Many people believe that depression is a condition that has spread and gained great social significance only in the last decades but it has been known even by the antique doctors. The notable ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates described the condition calling it melancholia. He even recommended certain therapy for the patients with this diagnosis. Of course, then there hadn't been developed any antidepressant preparations yet that are utilized today but some of the methods of ancient therapy are still used. For instance, Hippocrates recommended patients’ relatives not to judge the sick person but instead encourage and cheer, he also prescribed long warm bathing and mineral water consumption from a certain spring in Crete. As it turned out many centuries later, this water contained the high level of bromine ions, magnesium, and lithium – the currently known and used elements for the therapy of depression. Besides, Hippocrates also paid attention to the fact that the condition is commonly accompanied by constipation and therefore prescribed his patients warm cleansing enemas. As a calming agent for melancholia accompanied by anxiety, he used opium tinctures.
“The Father of Medicine”, as Hippocrates is known today, was the first physician to discover and documented his observations about the changes in the condition of the patients with the disease known today as depression related to weather and season, and improvement of the condition of some patients after sleep deprivation.
There are also documents that confirm that this mental condition was also known in the ancient Egypt.
Currently, depression is proven to be the widest spread mental disorder around the world. According to the statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), every tenth individual aged 40 or more suffers from it and, two-thirds of them are women. Among people aged 65 and older, depression is diagnosed three times more frequently. Besides, depression and depressive disorders are widespread among children and adolescents and its percent in this population is around 40 of children aged from 15 years and above which also justifies the greater number of suicides namely during these years. According to the studies conducted by the WHO, depression is the major cause of adolescent morbidity and disability.
Fortunately, nowadays depressive disorders are treated successfully with the help of the most modern medications. In this section of our online pharmacy you can buy antidepressants at affordable prices and without a prescription but first, let’s discuss when should you seek help or insist that your child or other family member seek help and consider taking the pills.
What is a depressive disorder? What can be a cause for its development?
There is not a single type of depression type and the reason for it. The general definition of depressive disorder is a mental condition distinguished by the bad mood, loss of ability to experience happiness, and dysfunctional thinking, i.e. negative thoughts, pessimistic attitude, and motor retardation (i.e. slow movements). Besides, depression is accompanied by low self-esteem, a loss of interest to life and habitual activity. In some cases, a person suffering from it can begin to abuse alcohol or other psychotropic substances.
The condition can develop as a result or response to personal drama, for instance, a loss of a loved one, loss of work or social status, and so on. In such cases, the type of disorder is called reactive as it develops as a reaction to certain circumstances or events.
According to some theories, depression can develop as a result of excessive brain strain due to stress, physiological or psychosocial factors.
Another factor of depression development risk is intense negative emotions experienced in childhood.
Depression can develop on a basis of a physical disease and is called somatic. It can develop in a variety of conditions such as neurological conditions (e.g. dementia, epilepsy, narcolepsy, and so on), endocrine diseases (e.g. diabetes), and others.
If there are no circumstantial or somatic reasons for depression development or they are not obvious, then depression is called endogenous.
Many people who live in the climates where the sun is not seen for the most of the year or those who work in dark premises can develop depression triggered by the lack of sunlight.
Depression can develop as a result of the treatment with certain medications, for instance, Levodopa, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, and others. This type of depression is treated with the discontinuation of the therapy with the medicine that caused it.
Monoamine theory links the development of depression with a deficiency of biogenic amines, namely, serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. Some researchers come to the conclusion that this theory is not reasonable enough since it does not explain the limitations in the effectiveness of antidepressants and the slow development of their therapeutic effect.
The advocates of the cognitive therapy believe that in many cases depression is caused and supported by the dysfunctional beliefs that occur usually in childhood and are activated in an adult life due to a particular life event that has become a cause for the development of depression. These dysfunctional beliefs predispose patients to the characteristic distortions of thinking that underlie the "cognitive triad of depression": a person who suffers from depression usually has a low self-esteem, low opinion about his environment and future. Depressive patients systematically distort their perception of events finding in them the proofs of their worthlessness, negative views on the surrounding reality and their future.
How is depression diagnosed?
The first step in any condition treatment is a proper diagnosis made by a qualified specialist. If you feel that you lost the ability to be happy you must not hesitate to talk to your physician about it. Many people are ashamed of telling their doctors about their emotions and concerns about their mental health believing that it would influence their personal lives or careers. In fact, namely the untreated depression can be a reason for deteriorated relationship or loss of a job so you should seek treatment as soon as you start having concerns about your mental condition. If someone from your family, friends, coworkers, or simple acquaintances shows the signs of the depressive disorder, support them and encourage going to a therapist.
The diagnosis is made differently based on the practices used by a therapist. The most frequently used practice is diagnosis based on the interview with a patient or a special questionnaire. Besides, a doctor should exclude somatic factors that can be a cause of the disorder such as evaluation of thyroid function, general medical examination, and blood tests. The doctor should also pay attention to the accompanying symptoms such as anxiety, neurosis, apathy or irritability, suicidal tendencies, and so on to choose the treatment correctly.
Forms of depressive disorders
There are two major types of depression – unipolar and bipolar. Unipolar is a “standard” depression with only one type of symptoms listed above. Bipolar disorder is a condition in which depressive phases alternate with manic episodes with absolutely contrary manifestations.
The unipolar depressions are divided into:
- Major depressive disorder is the main type of depression with all signs needed for the diagnosis clearly pronounced.
- Minor depressive disorder has the symptoms insufficient for major depression but has at least two symptoms of it persistent for at least two weeks.
- Atypical depression is a condition in which the typical symptoms occur along with such symptoms as increased appetite, increased body weight, and increased sleepiness.
- Postpartum depression is a condition that develops after giving birth.
- Recurrent brief depression differs from the main type of the condition with the periodicity and short time of presence, i.e. it can come and go several times a month during several months.
- Dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder is a condition with the same signs and manifestation as major depression but they are most of the time manifested not as vividly though the condition can transform into major form from time to time.
Treatment methods of depression
Based on the analysis of the questionnaire filled in by a patient or based on the interview, a therapist or psychiatrist can choose the type of treatment. The most frequently used types of therapy are psychotherapy and intake of antidepressants.
There are several groups of antidepressants and your doctor must tell you which one is the best for you based on your symptoms as their effect greatly vary. For instance, some antidepressants have also stimulating effect and help to cope with apathy while others reduce anxiety and render calming effect. If you use the wrong medication, you can only worsen your symptoms.
The most appointed antidepressant preparations today are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and tricyclic antidepressants. At our online pharmacy, we offer you to buy the best generic versions of the most modern and effective preparations at affordable prices. Besides, we offer a wide range or antipsychotics for bipolar disorder if you suffer from depression as a phase of this condition. Each medication has a comprehensive medication guide with dosage information, contraindications, precautions, and so on. If you don’t find this information sufficient, you can always account on a free consultation of our pharmacists.