Depression: Types, Symptoms and Treatment


Depression is one of the major silent diseases that affect human beings irrespective of their biological and physical health. The major goals of this paper are to identify signs and symptoms of depression, the causative agents, and tests are taken for depression patients. The treatment plans, preventive measures to be taken are also discussed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the outcomes of depression to human beings and the economy at large. Future research in depression is also suggested to improve the health care of patients.


The term “depression” refers to the development of a feeling of loss, anger, and sadness interfering with the normal functioning of the human body, and typically is characterized by mood disorder, loss of interest in activities, and reduced energy, which may cause varying levels of social dysfunction1. People undergoing depression become less productive in daily work leading to time wastage. This paper discusses depression symptoms, causes, tests, and treatment and prevention measures taken when an individual is affected.

Types of depression

Classification is based on the extent of the damage caused and the symptoms experienced. There are several types of depression which are; major, persistent, manic, seasonal affective disorder, psychotic, peripartum and premenstrual dysphonic disorder2. Major depression is characterized by a continuous feeling of hopelessness and sadness, with presence of at least five symptoms which can be classified along a spectrum of mild to severe. Severe episodes may include psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations, or functional incapacitation.

Persistent depressive disorder is a mild form of depression which is chronic, and feelings such as low esteem and becoming less productive are manifested. Manic depression involves episodes of mood changes which range from extremes of high to low energy. Seasonal affective disorder occurs due to seasonal changes when daytime lasts a shorter period than night. Peripartum depression affects women in the weeks and months after childbirth while premenstrual disorder occurs at the start of periods in women. Atypical depression manifests itself due to persistent form of sadness.


Depression is a lifetime illness that is prevalent in many countries and often affected by changes in availability of mental health information, and changes in psychiatric practice. Depression affects people from various backgrounds, and it is believed to be the third-highest factor that negatively impacts most countries economically, socially, and politically. The impact brought about by depression is measured by the mortality rate and financial costs incurred when dealing with the damages brought about by depression. Men are at higher risks of developing depression compared to women across the globe. Children also are affected by depression following the conditions which they are brought in.

Causes of depression

Depression may be caused by a variety of issues which can range from circumstantial to biological. Of course, there are many causes combined that may trigger depression. For example, an individual Mayfield down after being sick or after experiencing a traumatic event, such as Bereavement or loss of a loved one. Sometimes an individual can have a downward spiral of events that may lead to depression. Another contributing factor is genetics, due to family history. Early childhood trauma and divorce and certain medical conditions such as insomnia and chronic illness cause depression. Hormonal imbalance especially in pregnant mothers can also lead to depression due to mood fluctuations1. Students in schools may face pressure from studies and a lack of fees which leads to dropouts. Divorce whereby children grow separately from both parents makes them miss parental love and care. Certain medical conditions such as insomnia and chronic illness are among the leading contributing factors to depression1. This is due to the struggles involved in taking medication, controlling and diet, and frequent medical checkups which are cumbersome.

In schools, students may face pressure from studies and a lack of fees which leads to dropouts. Drug and substance abuse among the youths are due to influences of peer pressure. Youths can face challenges such as relationship misunderstanding, lack of money, and in college-going students, money for upkeep might cause challenges1. Some research studies that suggest that an individual is more likely to get depression as they get older

Symptoms for depression

An individual who is stressed experiences many symptoms which indicate an onset of depression. These symptoms can either affect the mood of a person or the general body. They can also vary where men, women, and children experience different symptoms. Women may feel depressed due hormonal changes during pregnancy3. Change in behavior such as withdrawal from common social engagements, developing suicide thoughts, and losing interest in activities.

Children tend to have uncontrolled crying and can isolate themselves from play activities with other children. Some may refuse to go to school and prefer staying at home due to fear of teachers. Digestive problems may emerge, and loss of appetite leads to diseases such as marasmus and kwashiorkor. Men on the other hand develop mood changes and become anxious, restless, and aggressive. They may feel hopeless with life, less superior, and empty. They lose interest in their favorite, drinking excessively, using drugs, and involving themselves in risky activities.

Tests for depression

Depression diagnosis can be made by the healthcare personnel by examining the present signs and symptoms. In most scenarios, friendly interaction with a doctor may present questions that are useful in determining the health state4. Depression can be linked with other health conditions; physical and blood test examinations can be conducted to determine whether they are the root causes. An individual has to be diagnosed clinically by the DSM-5 criteria, in addition to thyroid studies, patient health questionnaires, use of depression scales, and many other tests to consider5. Complications may occur if the depression is not noticed and attended to at early stress. It is a disorder that can begin from stress and when experienced for a long time, depression develops. Relationships may change with other people where one can become hostile. Self-isolation from friends and family cultivates thoughts of death. Pain can be felt as a result of self-harm and weight loss. In some situations, the patients might cause harassment to others verbally, physically, or emotionally.

Treatment for depression

Any disease which occurs may lead to death if medical attention is ignored. Medications like anti-anxiety and antidepressants help lower the levels of depression6. Psychotherapy measures involve meeting with an experienced therapist who can offer guidance and counseling7. Positive attitude development is enhanced and therefore better decisions are made. Herbal remedies can also treat depression and acupuncture services.

Reflexology where pressure is applied to different pressure points on the hands, feet and face to relieve stress are also used. Message which uses touch to bring about relaxation leads to production of serotonin helps improve the symptoms of depression8. The use of some essential oils can be a natural remedy for controlling depression cases. The sweet scent of wild ginger activates the production of serotonin receptors in the brain which reduces the rate of release of stress hormones8. Guided imagery enables the depressed to cope up with anger, pain, depression and insomnia which are very risky.

Overall, the goal in treating depression is to eradicate symptoms of depression, helping individuals improve daily functioning and quality of life in addition to improving workplace functioning. The ultimate goal is to reduce suicidality and minimize adverse effects from treatment and prevent relapse.

Preventive measures

Exercising regularly and properly leads to mood nourishments and a boost in immunity. Exercise maintains a healthy weight, boosts immunity, and cuts down on extra and unwanted calories in the body. This is because drugs make depression more severe and uncontrollable. Eating a balanced diet like taking foods rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables enhances digestion improves the quality of life9. Developing positive relations with others and talking out when faced with an issue as solutions may be within the surrounding.


In conclusion, depression is one of the diseases that can develop in a person without their knowledge. These differences can lead to misunderstanding causing stress leading to depression. Depression-causing factors can be environmental, social, and biological. Events like death of family members or someone close, divorce, and early childhood trauma can cause depression. Symptoms vary according to gender where men, women, and children exhibit unique symptoms.

Tests for depression are manual whereby meeting with a therapist can give a quick examination hence determining whether one is depressed or not. A wide range of preventive measures like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, avoiding taking alcohol and drugs lower depression levels. In order to improve depression management strategies, future research should make considerations on the following issues. A variety of literature should be used to obtain theoretical knowledge on depression. Motivation should be encouraged in patients undergoing depression especially when taking medications for them to regain their health as quick as possible. Awareness on possible causes of depression and methods of preventing them should be made to people at an early stage.

Cited References

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Konstantinou, G., Vigod, S., Mehta, S., Daskalakis, Z., & Blumberger, D. (2020). “A systematic review of non-invasive neurostimulation for the treatment of depression during pregnancy”. Journal of Affective Disorders, 272, 259-268.

Ivanets, N., Svistunov, A., Chubarev, V., Kinkulkina, M., Tikhonova, Y., & Syzrantsev, N. et al. (2021). Can molecular biology propose reliable biomarkers for diagnosing major depression? Current Pharmaceutical Design, 27(2), 305-318.

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Tavares, L., & Barbosa, M. (2018). Efficacy of group psychotherapy for geriatric depression: A systematic review. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 78, 71-80.

Biesheuvel-Leliefeld, K., Kok, G., Bockting, C., Cuijpers, P., Hollon, S., van Marwijk, H., & Smit, F. (2015). Effectiveness of psychological interventions in preventing recurrence of depressive disorder: Meta-analysis and meta-regression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 174, 400-410.

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Hofmann, S., Curtiss, J., Carpenter, J., & Kind, S. (2017). Effect of treatments for depression on quality of life: A meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 46(4), 265-286.

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