Depression

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    The consequences of untreated depression in pregnancy and postpartum can be far reaching, affecting labor, delivery, infancy and beyond. There are more medical complications (like preeclampsia or severe nausea) and higher rates of smaller babies and preterm deliveries. And for the mom and baby, depression postpartum affects the ability to bond and develop a positive attachment, which is essential for the child's well-being.

    The good news is that depression and anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum are very treatable. Treatment options include psychotherapy, medications and many others that are effective and safe. To begin the process of healing, please reach out to your primary care doctor, your obstetrician, a counselor or any trusted provider if you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms.
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    While pregnancy in today's society is often viewed as a magical time for a woman, full of glowing happiness, for many women it is a time of depression. Depression during pregnancy (antenatal, prenatal or perinatal depression) happens to 10-15% of women. Depression after delivery (postpartum depression) happens to 15-20% of women. There has been more public awareness recently about this postpartum condition, though depression during pregnancy is often overlooked and underdiagnosed.
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    Pure depression often results from excessive activity in the deep limbic system -- the brain’s emotional center. This type of anxiety and depression is associated with primary depressive symptoms that range from chronic mild sadness (also known as “dysthymia”) to crippling major depression where it’s difficult to even get out of bed.
     
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Does the stigma about mental health issues lead to underdiagnosis of depression?

    There's still a stigma surrounding depression, says neuropsychologist Marsha Lucas, PhD. In this WisePatient video, she explains how social taboos prevent many people from seeking treatment for depression.


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    Seek out friends who will stick by you and help you through tough times. Ask them for specific help with daily routines, such as getting to therapy, exercising with you and encouraging you to take good care of yourself. You may need to educate your friends about your depression. They may not understand that depression is an illness and requires treatment. They may expect that you can just pull it together and get better. They may think they can cheer you up.
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    A depressive episode involves symptoms such as depressed mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and increased fatigability. Depending on the number and severity of symptoms, a depressive episode can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    We can't deny that giving a child or adult a deficit-disorder label can impair confidence and motivation, which may create a clinical depression. In addition to a diagnosis of depression following attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there are two other common patterns: 1) ADHD and depression are both present and co-occurring, and 2) depression is misdiagnosed as ADHD or ADHD is misdiagnosed as depression.

    One of the diagnostic requirements of ADHD and depression is that the symptoms not be "better accounted for by another mental disorder." The oversight of this simple phrase has resulted in an elevated rate of diagnosing both ADHD and depression when one diagnosis is the correct one. For example, if a person can't pay attention or follow through on projects because they are depressed, then the correct diagnosis is depression and there is no reason to add a diagnosis of ADHD unless an extremely rigorous evaluation has been conducted to determine that both disorders are present. One time I asked a client why she did not finish her projects. She reported that "I look at what I've done and I tell myself it stinks, so I just stop." This is not ADHD, this is low self-esteem.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    According to Nassir Ghaemi, a professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and author of A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, which examines the mental health of famous leaders, the depressive realism hypothesis argues that "[depressed people] are depressed because they see reality more clearly than other people do."

    This may explain why one study showed that persons with a history of depressive symptoms usually score higher on tests for standard measures of empathy than a nondepressed cohort of college students. “This was the case even when patients were not currently depressed but had experienced depression in the past,” Ghaemi writes. “Depression seems to prepare the mind for a long-term habit of appreciating others' point of view.”
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    In addition to higher levels of empathy and realism, some professionals believe that the effects of treating depression with psychotherapy may also bestow benefits that nondepressed people often don’t access: self-knowledge.

    Dr. Gina Newsome Duncan, associate professor of psychiatry at Georgia Health Sciences University, believes one crucial characteristic of mental health involves knowing oneself and being self-aware. She often tells her depressed or anxious patients that “they are in a position to be some of the most mentally healthy people around because their illness has forced them to grapple with unhealthy patterns and learn new skills to cope with the stresses of everyday life.” This shows the importance of seeking professional help when one is suffering psychologically. It can save a life.

    Though these qualities may give depression an upside, I don't want to misrepresent the suffering and pain that those with depression experience. If left untreated, depression can put a person on a slippery slope. "Suicidal thoughts occur in about half of clinical depressive episodes," writes Ghaemi. Ten percent of people with depression take their own lives. "The benefits of depression come at a painful, if not deadly price."
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    Depression affects 7% of the population, including 10% of the population over the age of 18, during a single year. In the U.S., 19 million people will suffer from mood disorders this year.

    Major depression is a major cause of disability in the U.S. and worldwide. Unipolar major depression is second only to coronary heart disease as the major illness contributing to disability in major market economies, and unipolar major depression accounts for 7% of disability adjusted life years, an international standard measure of disability.

    Each year, 12% of American women and 7% of American men will experience depression. Over their lifetimes, approximately 20% of women and 10% of men will experience major depression. Whether examined for one year or for the entire life span, approximately twice as many women as men will be affected. Women between the ages of 18 and 45 compose the largest proportion of people with major depression.