Clinical depression is one of the most dangerous disorders for a person to deal with, in many cases it’s much more than just a little case of the blues, it gets to feel more like the entire world is spinning out of control and as if they’re losing control on their everyday life. (wikipedia) Whether they want to admit it or not, everyone on this planet has dealt with depression to one degree or another in their life. Some people can cope with depression much better than others, I can speak for myself on this matter as I always turned to writing and poetry whenever I felt down, other people are wired a bit differently. (helpguide) While some can handle depression there are those who just can’t handle it, they take things much harder than other people, we’re all made up chemically different, this causes our reactions to what happens in our life to differ from person to person. (livescience) There’s a difference between how men and women handle depression as well, once again stemming from their chemical makeup, one of the biggest examples would be dealing with postpartum depression, it’s not a genetic flaw it’s just a side effect of child birth in some women. (mayoclinic)
Due to the nature of depression and how many people are affected by it on a daily basis, there have been quite a few treatment options developed over the years. (cdc) With one in every ten American adults admitting they battle with depression to some degree in their life, in some cases on a daily basis, it’s safe to say that it is one of the largest ailments experienced in the United States. (adaa) When people think of depression they just think of the massive situations, the automatic assumption that depression is just when someone can’t handle the weight of the world coming down on them any longer which results in the loss of life, whether their own of those of others. That’s a misconception though as depression could be seen as something as small as just being upset by someone having a differing opinion than your own. (nih) The problem is when someone can’t handle this small bout of depression, or they’re afraid to seek help for this issue, it could be pride or just the simple fact that they never get an actual diagnosis of the problem. Once a diagnosis is completed the patient can seek treatment for their ailment, that could be pills, speaking to people, in my case it was writing, and even in some extreme cases electroshock therapy, the problem is typically getting to the point of a diagnosis though. (nytimes)
The symptoms of depression are very broad, some symptoms can be very obvious while others may just seem as if they are just a typical part of everyday life, it’s important to know the symptoms and be prepared to help anyone who exhibits them in any way they need. Symptoms can range from simple fatigue, which is something we all deal with to an extent at least one day a week, to something as major as suicidal thoughts, planning, or in the worst of cases attempts. (webmd) While the deep end of the symptom spectrum can be easy to spot, the shallow end could be much more difficult to spot, making it that much more difficult to get treatment and carry on with a more standard life. The most common testing has always been a bit of a question and answer type of scenario, or in some cases it could be brought out in people by visiting an psychiatrist though chatting with the doctor or even running them through a Rorschach test, you can even take a test online now to see how you rank on the depression spectrum. (psychologytoday) With all of the options available to test someone for depression, scientists may have made one of the biggest breakthroughs and one of the greatest options for testing to get a surefire answer to date.
Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna, led by Lukas Pezawas, have found that biomarkers in a persons blood could be an indication of depression. (plosone) The blood test used picks up on levels of serotonin in the bloodstream, serotonin is known as the “happiness hormone,” the lower the level in your system the more likely you are to experience depression. Serotonin transponder (SERTs) proteins are in the body to make sure serotonin gets to the places it’s needed, sometimes the hormone gets absorbed into the SERTs which causes a bit of a logjam which doesn’t allow the serotonin signal to make it to the next neuron. As a result doctors will prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Zoloft or Paxil, to get the serotonin levels balanced and help a person get back to a normal life. This new blood test could make it much easier to diagnose depression, allowing for quicker and more effective treatment of those who suffer this terrible affliction. (iflscience) With all the advances being made in the medical field lately, this is a great step forward for something that affects so many people on a daily basis, hopefully this will get us one step closer to acceptance of people who suffer from mental disorders of all types making diagnosis and treatment much less of a scarlet letter on the chest of those afflicted.