ABC Medical Center > Depression

What is Depression?

21:56 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition that affects a person’s daily life due to their overwhelming emotions, such as sadness, irritability, loss, or impotence. We can all experience these feelings at times or for certain days, but when they last for weeks, months, or years, we are talking about depression, which can occur in children, adolescents, young people, and older adults due to various circumstances, generally due to a stressful or painful event.

Depression occurs for different reasons, but when analyzing the brain of a patient with depression, significant elevations in various chemical substances such as cortisol, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are observed, which can happen due to genetics, family environment (alcoholism, drugs, chronic diseases, affective losses, stressful or painful situations), behaviors learned at home or a combination of these causes.

This disease does not distinguish social status, age, or sex and is classified as:

  • Major depression: when the depressed patient’s daily life is affected for more than several weeks.
  • Psychotic major depression: when the person loses contact with reality.
  • Persistent disorder: when the depression lasts two years or more.
  • Postpartum depression: some women may develop depression after having a baby, and the symptoms can be as severe as those of major depression.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: it usually occurs in the coldest and darkest seasons of the year, perhaps due to the absence of sunlight.
  • Bipolar disorder: when the depressive state alternates with mania, hence the term manic-depressive.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: women can become depressed a week before menstruation and the symptoms disappear at the end of it.

Signs and symptoms Depression

Depression is characterized by periods of more than two weeks of low mood and apathy, its symptoms vary from one person to another but the most common are: 

  • Lack of appetite or excessive food intake, causing drastic changes in body weight. 
  • Tiredness and lack of energy.
  • Crying for no apparent reason.
  • Inactivity and lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyed.
  • Slow or fast movements.
  • Obsession with death and suicidal thoughts.
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep.
  • Irritable or low mood most of the time.
  • Recurrent negative thoughts and severe self-criticism. 
  • Loss of sexual desire.
  • Lack of concentration and memory problems.
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and helplessness. 

If you have depression, it is common for you to experience anxiety, generating physical symptoms such as pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, tachycardia, or abdominal discomfort.

In the case of children and young people, the symptoms may be different, especially changes in behavior and sleep habits, as well as in school performance.

Diagnosis and treatment Depression

Depression is a disorder that needs to be diagnosed and treated early. If you have at least three of the aforementioned symptoms seek a specialist, who will do a clinical interview to assess your case and define the treatment to follow, which may consist of the supply of drugs and psychotherapy sessions to help overcome your depressive state.

Depending on your problem, one or both may be necessary. Usually, pharmacological treatment is used at the beginning to make the symptoms subside and begin healing. Medications are then prescribed to prevent the condition from returning.

Prompt treatment can prevent serious consequences of depression, such as suicide or physical self-harm.

Depression is a treatable and curable disease, but it is essential to follow medical recommendations.

At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.

Our mission is to provide you with comprehensive and multidisciplinary care programs for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of nervous system diseases, always focusing our activities on your safety.

Nervous system specialties

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging


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  • medigraphic.com
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  • León AEJ, Guillén GMÁ, Vergara LA. Prevalencia de depresión y factores de riesgo asociados en pacientes con diabetes mellitus tipo 2 del Centro Médico Nacional «20 de Noviembre». Rev Endocrinol Nutr. 2012;20(3):102-106.
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  • Soria TR, Rosas BFY. Depresión en parejas heterosexuales con un hijo adolescente con problemas de conducta. Rev Elec Psic Izt. 2021;24(2):832-854.

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.