Major Depression and Body Pain
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Depression can have both psychological and physical repercussions. Learn more about the relationship between major depression and body pain here.
Transcript: The effects of depression aren't all in your head. About 30 percent of those diagnosed with clinical...
The effects of depression aren't all in your head. About 30 percent of those diagnosed with clinical depression also have persistent body pain. And research shows that as painful symptoms get worse, so do psychological complaints. That's because brain functions that let us feel and manage PAIN are closely aligned with brain functions that produce feelings of depression and anxiety. Research shows that both PAIN and DEPRESSION travel along the same neurological pathways and the same neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, are responsible for regulating them. When body pain is associated with DEPRESSION, the pain often comes on as ACHES or SHARP SENSATIONS in the head, back, chest, stomach and joints. Some people also experience bouts of fatigue and exhaustion, no matter how much sleep and rest they get. Unfortunately, many doctors aren't aware that pain symptoms can be associated with depression and they search in vain for some other physical source. Some studies suggest that if physicians evaluated all pain patients for mood disorders , they might discover that 60 PERCENT of them had UNdiagnosed depression. If you suffer from undiagnosed chronic pain OR have been diagnosed with depression and pain in combination, treatment may include: *Medication, such as antidepressants *Cognitive-behavioral therapy to ease depression and help you change your pain response * Stress management, including relaxation techniques, hypnosis, or biofeedback * Supportive individual and or family counseling. Keep in mind, it might take some time to find the right treatment or combination of treatments to ease your pain AND manage your depression. But if you work with your doctor, the chances are very good that you will find what works for you.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-30 | Tags »
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Depression has affected the lives of people. Find help and help others dealing with depression by sharing your story: Depression: What was your experience? Check out our video here.
Last Modified: 2014-02-13 | Tags »
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People with mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may not seek help on their own. Take this quiz to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms in your loved one.
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Even if you feel your depression meds are working, don't stop taking them. Learn why depression meds & compliance is critical to your treatment.
Transcript: When you take cold medicine, in an hour or less your symptoms diminish. That makes it easy to see why...
When you take cold medicine, in an hour or less your symptoms diminish. That makes it easy to see why you should KEEP dosing yourself. But it's less obvious-at least right away-why you should STICK to an antidepressant. The benefits don't kick in immediately-in fact, it can take up to two months before you feel significant relief from your depression. For some people, that can be so frustrating that they don't want to stick with the therapy. A depressed person plagued with pessimism and negativity might give up TOO SOON. For others, the SIDE EFFECTS associated with the medication are troubling and make them reluctant to take the meds. And for still others, depression makes them disinclined to seize control of their wellbeing and take full responsibility for becoming healthier. They are just not willing or able to comply with treatment recommendations. On the flip side, some people stop taking the medication as soon as they start to feel BETTER. In reality, you should stay on your meds for at least 6 months, and LONGER if you've had 2 or more major depressive episodes within 5 years. But whatever the reason, many, many people FAIL to follow their doctor's prescription for antidepressant therapy. In fact, different studies have reported that only about 20 percent of patients comply, according to the World Health Organization. This is VERY risky behavior, because stopping medication abruptly or taking it sporadically can increase depression-like symptoms or plunge you back into full blown major depression. When it IS time to come off antidepressants, your doctor will put you on a tapering-off schedule so your body can gradually adjust to going without the medication. To learn more about antidepressants, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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Not sure if your antidepressant is doing its job, even though you're taking every dose? It's tough to evaluate your own progress, but this survey will let you compare your experience to others.
Last Modified: 2013-11-21 | Tags »
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You need to take an active role in your own treatment and be your own, best advocate. That means finding out what your antidepressants are doing and how psychotherapy works.
Last Modified: 2013-03-08 | Tags »
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Your lapses in memory may not be coincidental. Learn more about the relationship between memory and major depressive disorder.
Transcript: Major depression is commonly associated with symptoms such as BODY pain, insomnia, FATIGUE, and decreased...
Major depression is commonly associated with symptoms such as BODY pain, insomnia, FATIGUE, and decreased libido. But an even more troubling, and harder to pin down side effect is memory problems. Research has found that chronic depression may damage your HIPPOCAMPUS, an area of the brain mostly responsible for short-term memories and new learning. And the longer you suffer from major depression, the greater your risk for memory loss. The hippocampus contains receptors for the stress hormone CORTISOL. People with major depression are known to have cortisol levels that remain slightly but consistently higher in that region of the brain. Prolonged exposure to cortisol may SHRINK or ATROPHY the hippocampus, causing memory loss and maybe even mild cognitive impairment, which is the stage of memory problems that comes before Alzheimer's disease. A 2010 study performed at Rush University Medical Center even indicates that depression may DOUBLE the risk for Alzheimer's disease. If major depression is TREATED early enough, memory loss MAY be avoidable OR reversible. However, in rare instances, people reported memory problems as a side effect of almost all antidepressants but those problems went away when they stopped taking the medication. If you have major depression and are experiencing memory problems you've never had before, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Watch other videos in this series to learn more about major depression.More »
Last Modified: 2013-02-01 | Tags »
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Eating, sleeping, going to work, talking with friends and family-these are the things that make up most of our days. But if you are battling depression, dealing with them can seem like a climb to the top of Mount Everest. See how you compare with others
Last Modified: 2012-04-18 | Tags »
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Are you at risk for depression? Genetics and medical conditions can play a role, but they are not the only factors. Watch this for more on risks of depression.
Transcript: A number of factors can increase the risk for depression, a serious mental illness that can affect anyone,...
A number of factors can increase the risk for depression, a serious mental illness that can affect anyone, at any time of life. Risks include gender, a person's ability to cope with stress, the presence of certain medical conditions or loss of a loved one. Evidence suggests that genetics play a role in depression. While there is not a specific gene that causes depression, a family history of depression suggests that other family members may be at risk for experiencing depression during their lifetime. Gender is a risk factor as well. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men, which many experts attribute - in part - to hormonal influences on the brain chemistry that regulates mood and emotions, as well as balancing work and family responsibilities. Depression is not uncommon in men, especially in a culture where male self-worth is often dependent upon physical prowess and career achievements. However, men tend to be less comfortable talking about their feelings or seeking help than women, suggesting that male depression may be underreported. Adolescents are also at risk for depression, particularly those who lack self-confidence, tend to be overly critical of themselves, or those who are unable to cope well with stress in everyday life. While risk factors may increase the probability of depression, there's no certainty that depression will occur. That's because depression risks are also closely associated with individual personalities, temperament and styles of coping, along with how each person construes and reacts to past and current life experiences. For example, a family history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse puts a person at risk for depression later in life. Depression risks may also occur in the context of relationships, as with the loss of a family member, infidelity, divorce, or betrayal by a friend or coworker. Serious illness, especially chronic conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, pose a risk for depression as well. In addition, depression among caregivers of family members with these chronic conditions is approximately 10 times more frequent than in the general population. Not everyone with risk factors becomes depressed. And many risk factors can be managed with the help of a mental health professional. If you - or someone you know - is at risk for depression, please consult a mental health professional.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-22 | Tags »
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Managing depression can be tough, there are steps you can take. Self-help techniques and natural remedies for depression can go a long way. Learn more here.
Transcript: Psychotherapy and medication don't work overnight, but the good news is that there ARE a number of things...
Psychotherapy and medication don't work overnight, but the good news is that there ARE a number of things YOU can do on YOUR own, in addition to ongoing treatment, that may help improve YOUR depression symptoms. Mustering the motivation to change your lifestyle may not be easy when coping with the fatigue, hopelessness and negative feelings that often characterize depression. But there are a variety of ways that may ultimately enable you to improve your mood and feel more in control. Thinking about things that previously provided satisfaction or enjoyment is a good start. If you were physically active before you were depressed, you may want to begin walking, join an exercise class or even pop in an aerobics video a few times a week. Depression sufferers typically have reduced levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, which is important for mood regulation. Researchers believe exercise increases levels of serotonin, which may improve state of mind. Numerous studies demonstrate the mental health benefits of having a pet. In addition to helping relieve isolation, pets offer unconditional love, provide opportunities for social interaction and provide a sense of purpose, building self-esteem and a sense of responsibility that helps refocus your priorities. Many experts believe regular journal writing can help depression sufferers sort out thoughts and feelings. The act of honestly expressing feelings in black and white may be difficult, but it can also provide an invaluable outlet for confronting your emotions and encouraging self-examination. And, while housecleaning may not be the top of your list when fighting depression, it doesn't hurt to take a look around to see where you can brighten things up. While a dark room is good for sleeping, you may want to have brighter sheer panels under your heavier drapes to let light in during the day! And if the weather is warm enough, open up your windows to let in both some fresh air and light. Fresh flowers and live plants, along with ridding your house of clutter may also help relieve depression symptoms, while making you feel more in control. When coping with depression, the things you avoid are as important as the things you prioritize. For example, alcohol and drugs often worsen depression symptoms, and may interfere with antidepressants you may be taking. Equally important is eating a healthy diet that ensures you are getting the nutrients your body needs for healthy functioning such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, while limiting fats, sugars and caffeine. You should also make healthy sleeping patterns a priority. Since depression often disrupts normal sleep, this can be a challenge. However, resisting the compulsion to "sleep through your problems" and actively taking steps to promote restful sleep can be helpful for depression sufferers. Remember, as you begin taking steps to improve your depression symptoms, it's not so important that you always enjoy the activities as that you feel you're taking positive steps in your recovery not unlike taking your medication every day. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please see a mental health professional.More »
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What is depression? It's different from an occasional feeling of sadness. True depression is a clinical disorder. Learn the varying degrees of depression.
Transcript: Most people know what depression is - almost everyone suffers from occasional depression with symptoms...
Most people know what depression is - almost everyone suffers from occasional depression with symptoms like sadness, pessimism and low energy. It is only when depression lasts two weeks or more that it becomes a clinical disorder, at which point it is called Major Depression. People sometimes have a hard time understanding the difference between depression and normal sadness. It is important to understand that when someone has depression there are actually physical changes in the structure of the brain as well as reduced levels of important chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that allow communication between nerves, but they are also important for mood regulation. People suffering from depression typically have reduced levels of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. Lower levels of serotonin lead to mood destabilization and depression. People suffering from depression can also have related changes in their brain structure. For example, people with a history of depression have a smaller hippocampus than others. This is important because the hippocampus is an important serotonin receptor.Although people commonly think of depression as a single illness, there are actually many different types, with different causes and treatments. One common type of depression is Major Depression. Symptoms often include overwhelming feelings of sadness, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, low energy and feelings of worthlessness. It may also result in poor sleep, appetite changes, and negative thinking. Another kind of depression, Dysthymia, is characterized by a chronic lack of pleasure in life. Its symptoms are less severe than major depression, but Dysthymia tends to last for long periods of time. Adjustment depression disorder can occur in the aftermath of a sad or traumatic event. A period of unhappiness is normal, but if the depressed feelings continue for several months then it is called adjustment depression disorder. One other common kind of depression is Seasonal Affective Disorder, a pattern of depression related to a lack of exposure to sunlight. Typically, SAD sufferers notice symptoms during winter, when days are shortest, and can often be helped with a light box that replaces lost sunlight. Depression is really a catch-all term for many related illnesses. Excellent treatments exist for most kinds of depression, but self-diagnosis is tricky. If you think you are suffering from depression, the first step towards feeling better is to see a doctor. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out other videos and sources on this subject.More »
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It's easy to confuse the difference between sadness and depression. Find out if you are dealing with the emotion of sadness or suffering from depression. Watch the video for more.
Transcript: Everyone feels sad, blue, and even despairing at times. But how is feeling depressed different from being...
Everyone feels sad, blue, and even despairing at times. But how is feeling depressed different from being depressed? Sadness is a part of being human; it's a natural response to painful and upsetting circumstances. People who are sad usually know the cause of their distress, whether it's divorce, a blow to the self-esteem, health problems, or life changes, like losing a job. Normal sadness is a transient emotion that passes as the distressed person deals with troubling events. Compared to sadness, clinical, or major, depression is far more complex. Clinical depression is a mental illness characterized by both emotional and physical symptoms. Which make it hard to function normally in everyday life. In direct contrast to people who are simply sad, depressed individuals do not usually have a logical "reason" for their feelings. Instead, their persistent depressed mood may come from nowhere. Often, people with depression lose interest in previously pleasurable activities and people. These emotions are often accompanied by physical symptoms not present in people who are simply blue. Aches and pains, sleep and appetite changes, and unrelenting lethargy are all physical signs of clinical depression. Other signs include diminished ability to concentrate and make decisions, Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and/or worthlessness, and even recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. These signs indicate the presence of clinical depression, but the condition cannot be diagnosed unless symptoms occur most of the day, either daily or near daily, for a period of at least two weeks. Also, the symptoms cannot be attributed to drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication, Nor can they be the result of a medical condition like hypothyroidism. And if the symptoms occur within two months of the loss of a loved one, clinical depression will not be diagnosed. By definition, clinical depression is debilitating-but it's also highly treatable! If you or a loved one experience persistent, debilitating feelings of depression, talk to a doctor about your symptoms!More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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