Clinical Depression Causes, Triggers, Symptoms and Treatment

Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mental disorder that is characterized by persistent low mood and accompanied by low self-esteem and loss of pleasure and interest in normally enjoyable activities. Sense of despair and hopelessness accompany individuals affected by this disorder, and it is often difficult for them to do everyday activities like working, studying, eating, sleeping, enjoying friends and activities. Some individuals may be affected only once, while others may be affected several times during their lifetime. The disorder seems to occur from one generation to the next in some families, but it can affect individuals with no family history of clinical depression.

Symptoms

Clinical depression affects the individual’s personal relationships and everyday activities, and its impact on well-being and functioning is similar to that of chronic medical condition like diabetes. Symptoms of clinical depression are numerous and the most common ones include:

  • Loss of energy and fatigue on an everyday basis
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Indecisiveness and lack of focus
  • Insomnia, hypersomnia
  • Diminished interest in everyday activities
  • Restlessness, feeling slowed down
  • Anger, irritability
  • Weight loss or gain (5% or more of body weight within a month)
  • Drug/alcohol abuse
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide or death

Causes and Triggers of Clinical Depression

Three types of factors play a role in clinical depression development: biological, psychological and social factors. A pre-existing vulnerability is often triggered by various life events. The vulnerability can be genetic as well. One other cause of depression is direct damage to the cerebellum. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as social isolation, major life changes and grief from losing a loved one due to divorce, separation and death are all known triggers of depression.

Risk factors

Some individuals are more at risk of clinical depression. The disorder affects about 6.7% of the U.S. population over the age of 18. Between 20% and 25% of individuals suffer from an episode of major depression at some point during their lifetime. Older adults, teens and children are also affected, but it often goes unnoticed in these populations. The number of women affected by clinical depression is twice as high, the reason behind it being hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and miscarriage.

There are some other factors that boost the risk, like increased stress at home or work. Women who raise a child on their own are often more susceptible to depression as well. Clinical depression in men is underreported because they are less likely to seek professional help.

Diagnosis

Major depression is diagnosed by a health professional – either a primary care doctor or a psychiatrist – after performing a major medical evaluation. The evaluation includes:

  • Personal and family psychiatric history
  • Depression screening test
  • Blood work may be done to exclude medical issues that have similar symptoms

Treatment Options

Clinical depression is treatable and treatment varies depending on the severity of symptoms. Psychotherapy, talk therapy and antidepressant medication are the most common way to treat clinical depression. Other medication may be added to antidepressants to boost their effectiveness. It might take some time to find the right type of medication and dose for each patient, as they all react differently.

Shock therapy is another option, if drugs prove to be ineffective or if the symptoms are severe. Taking the necessary precautions, such as reporting any symptoms to your doctor as soon as they appear, reduces the risk of development.

 

All You Need to Know about Workplace Hearing Loss

Prolonged exposure to noise at work could cause damage to the ears causing occupational deafness and what is sometimes referred to as acoustic shock. According to research, this is the most common job related injury. Shockingly, many employees do not realize they have the defect until the effects have become adverse. Early detection of hearing loss makes treatment a lot easier.

Due to the alarming number of victims, regulations that protects employees from suffering from high noise levels in their working levels have been put in place. Not only is noise harmful to the ears, but also contributes to higher chances of accident happening at work. An employee may be shouting for help but noise inhibits the coworkers from hearing.

According to the regulation noise above 80dB is regarded as harmful. This rule does not exclude any profession despite some work environments like mining, construction and engineering having inevitable noise generation.

All employers are supposed to provide efficient ear protection and train their employees about risks imposed to them by noise. They should also find measures to lower noise above 80dB. They are otherwise held liable for any damages caused. Employees ought to follow procedures to avoid posing liabilities to their employer.

It is always easier for the individual to take caution since controlling the noise is at times impossible. Using hearing protection equipment is therefore recommended. You could see an audiologist for professional advice. In most cases, you will take a hearing test. As per the results, the best equipment will be administered. Usually, ear-muffs and earplugs are given to protect your ear drums. Be sure to see your audiologist regularly for checkups.

Always look out for signs like migraines, high blood pressure, tinnitus and heart disease aggravation that could be an effect of loud noise.

The employer could also consider some preventive measures where possible. For instance:

  • They could enclose noisy working machinery within a sound proof enclosure.
  • Noisy machinery can be placed or moved away from workers.
  • Before purchasing machinery, obtain the noise data. The level of noise should be relevant.
  • Enhancing job rotation to avoid exposure to specific individuals.
  • Exhaust systems could be fitted with silencers.

In case the employer fails to meet their responsibility and as a result an employee suffers, the employee is entitled to make an occupational deafness claim. The employer should compensate for the losses incurred as a result of their negligence. You could get guidance from a lawyer on how to make an injury at work claim.