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Depression is an illness that involves the moods and affects one’s sleep and eating mannerism, thoughts and body. This condition may also be categorized as a mental disorder manifested by the loss of interest to pleasures. The feeling of low self-esteem is highly prevalent amongst many individuals. There are various forms of depression, which include: the main depressive condition and the dysthymic condition (Ainsworth, 2000).
Major depressive disorder
This is referred to as the major depression. The patient suffering from this condition has a combination of various symptoms responsible for undermining one’s ability to study, work, sleep and eat. It has been established through research that radical depressive condition affects the patient’s normal functioning of the body. Some patients may experience a single episode of these occurrences while others may experience multiple recurrences (Thomas, 2011).
This condition is referred to as mild chronic depression or dysthymia. These people suffer from these symptoms for a long duration, but the symptoms may not be as grave as those of the major depression. The patients with dysthymia are not fully disabled by it. Although, the patients may not function normally, they may undergo the same experience as for the serious depression where the patient may experience single or multiple recurrences (Nordqvist, 2011).
Elderly people are highly susceptible to blame the cause of their depression on social circumstances or happenings. However, there are numerous factors that contribute to the prevalence of depression, which include: partner’s death or the existence of chronic illnesses. During this stage there are occurrences of biological changes that account for depression. Brain-imaging studies demonstrate that in depression the circuits of the brain with the responsibility of the regulation of sleep, mood, appetite, behavior and thinking do not function properly. There is an imbalance of the neurotransmitters. The problem with the neurotransmitters may be imminent in both the old and the young.
Other conditions that have a history of breeding depression to the elderly include the heart problem, reduced thyroid action, cancer and deficiency of folic acid. Excessive drugs usage could also trigger depression. These drugs may include: blood pressure drugs, beta-blockers, steroids, sedatives and digoxin.
The pattern of its symptoms in the older people varies considerably in comparison to that affecting the young people. The most common symptom is the prevalence of anxiety; this slows down thoughts and activity. The older people have a tendency of having numerous bodily symptoms. There is a high likelihood of the elderly people battling with cases of weaknesses; for instance, palpitations, back or abdominal pains, lack of interest in sex, headaches, constipation, breathe shortness, prevalence of imaginary hallucinations and illness. Elderly people who are suffering from depression have bouts of confusion and forgetfulness. In advanced stages it could occur in the form of dementia.
Employment of Antidepressant drugs assists in restoring the equilibrium of neurotransmitters existing in the brain. Depression can also be normalized by giving the patient the appropriate social support and psychotherapy. This assists in dealing with cases that have a possibility of triggering depression. Studies have indicated that more than 80 percent of patients suffering from depression have a tendency of improving once given the correct treatment accompanied by plenty of medication and psychotherapy among other curative measures. In case of the older people, medications have a tendency of taking a longer time to respond compared to the younger people. The elderly people take a period of 12 weeks for the achievement of a remission. Studies have revealed that combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy are extremely effective in the prevention of depression recurrence when employed to the elderly suffering from depression (Joffen and Levitt, 1998).
Another vital aspect of dealing with depression is addressing the cases of social isolation. The importance of strong family and community ties help in eradicating cases of depression. The patients suffering from advanced depression may need the intervention of psychiatrists who are skilled in treating the elderly people. The severe cases of the elderly may require the usage of electroconvulsive therapy. Lifestyle alterations that can treat depression include regular exercises and nutrition (Miller, 2008).
In conclusion, depression affects the mood of an individual, which is manifested by one’s inability to eat or sleep well. Patients suffering from the main depression have the tendency of having multiple symptoms, which are responsible for affecting the normal functioning of the body, these include: one’s ability to eat, sleep, work and study. Dysthymia, on the other hand, has lesser severe symptoms compared to the main depression. One should also be extremely cautious on excessive usage of drugs, as these have a high possibility of triggering depression. Some of the drugs that could trigger depression are: steroids, sedatives, blood pressure drugs, digoxin and beta-blockers. In case of depression treatment the patients are given Antidepressant drugs which help in maintaining the balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. The elderly suffering from depression should be subjected to both psychotherapy and antidepressants as an effective curative method. Finally, one should work on his/her social relationships since cases of social isolation could lead to depression.