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Depression affects 1 in 10 Belgians. Depression is thus difficult to remove from our society. The time in which people thought that depression was ‘just in our heads’ has also passed. Research has shown that depression is caused by a lack of dopamine and serotonin in our brain. Thus, depression can be seen as an illness, just like the flu or chickenpox.
To increase the awareness regarding depression, this article sums up the following points:
The following information is useful, both if you might have a depression yourself or if someone close to you shows depressed characteristics. By knowing more about the symptoms and treatment, it is easier for you to guide others and you can also recognize premature symptoms in yourself or others more easily.
The following symptoms indicate that a depression might be at play:
According to the DSM-IV, the official diagnosis tool of many psychiatrists and doctors, you may consider to have a depression if at least 5 symptoms are present, the symptoms have been present for at least two weeks, the symptoms are not caused by an addiction or the passing of a loved one, and the symptoms caused significant suffering.
The treatment of depression depends on the severity of the depression and the personal preference of the client themselves. An option is to treat depression with medication, namely antidepressants.
Another possibility is to treat depression at the hand of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective therapies when it comes to treating depression. You can follow this therapy with a psychotherapist, psychologist, or at the hand of online self-help. The online self-help program by 15 Minutes 4 Me is based on therapeutic techniques and reduces depression by an average 40% after one month (Study in Artsenkrant, 2011).
Would you like to know to what extent the symptoms of depression are applicable to you or what influence these symptoms have on your life? Then take the free online depression test here.