Depression and COVID-19

If you are experiencing depression after COVID or want to learn about depression and its treatment, below is all the information you need to know.


Depression

Depression is a common and severe mood disorder that negatively affects how you think, feel and act. It can be described as feelings of anger, sadness, or loss that interfere with everyday activities. You may lose interest in the activities you enjoy or experience sadness. It can cause a variety of issues emotionally and physically. It also reduces your ability to work. Can covid cause depression? Is here depression after covid?


“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” Laurell K. Hamilton


Symptoms of Depression

Depression is more than sadness, and it can cause various symptoms. Symptoms can affect your mood as well as your body. Depression symptoms may differ from one person to another and vary in severity, such as how long symptoms last or how often they occur.

You may be feeling sad, anxious, empty, worthless, or maybe experiencing hopelessness, crying a lot, feeling upset or angry, and loss of interest in activities, or you have decreased energy or fatigue, difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions, or move or talk more slowly. You may have difficulty sleeping, waking up early in the morning, oversleeping, appetite, or weight change. Also, you may experience chronic physical pain for no reason like headache, aches or pains, digestive problems, thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide. If you experience these symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression.


Causes of Depression

There are many causes of depression. Some common causes include are given below:


Hormone levels

Changes in the female hormones progesterone and estrogen over different periods such as during the postpartum period, menstruation, menopause, or perimenopause, can increase the depression risk in an individual.


Early childhood trauma

Some events affect your body's response to stressful situations; an early childhood trauma may lead to depression.


Brain chemistry

There may be a chemical imbalance in brain parts that regulate people's thoughts, mood, appetite, sleep, and behavior with depression.


Brain structure

If your brain's frontal lobe is less active, you have a higher risk of depression. However, scientists do not know if it occurs before or after the onset of depressive symptoms.


Family history

If you have a family depression history or any other mood disorder, you are at higher risk of depression.


Substance use

Substance or alcohol misuse history can affect your risk.


Medical conditions

Certain conditions can lead to depression-like insomnia, Parkinson's disease, chronic illness, heart attack, chronic pain, stroke, and cancer.


Pain

People who experience emotional or chronic physical pain for a long time are more likely to develop depression.


Risk Factors of Depression

Depression can affect anyone; several factors that can lead to depression are:


Genetics

If you have a family history of depression, it can run in families. If one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70% chance of getting the disease at some point in their life.


Sex

The prevalence of major depression is twice as high in women as in men.


Socio-economic status

Socioeconomic status, including perceived low social status and financial problems, can increase depression risk.


Biochemistry

Differences in the brain and certain chemicals can cause depression symptoms.


Certain medications

Some medications, like certain types of hormonal birth control, corticosteroids, and beta-blockers, may be linked with increased depression risk.


Environmental factors

Constant exposure to abuse, neglect, violence, or poverty can make some people more at risk of depression.


Personality

People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or pessimistic, have depression risk.


Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to the symptoms of depression.


Depression Treatment

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. About 80% to 90% of people with depression respond well to treatment. Almost all patients get relief from their symptoms.


Medication

The brain chemistry of an individual can contribute to depression and its treatment. That’s why; antidepressants are prescribed to help modify an individual's brain chemistry. These medications are not sedatives or habit-forming. Antidepressants usually have no stimulant effect on people who don’t have depression. Antidepressants improve in the first two weeks of use, but full benefits can be seen after two to three months of use. If a patient does not feel improvement after several weeks, their psychiatrist may change the medication dose, add another antidepressant, or replace it.


Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is often used to treat depression. For mild to severe depression, psychotherapy is often combined with antidepressant medications. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a specific type of therapy that is effective in depression treatment. Depending on the depression severity, treatment may take a few weeks or more. In many cases, significant improvements can be made in 10 to 15 sessions.


Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive Therapy is a medical treatment that is usually prescribed to patients with severe major depression who have not responded to other treatments. It involves a short electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is in anesthesia. A patient usually receives ECT two to three times a week for a total of six to 12 treatments.


Self-help Tips

There are various things you can do to help reduce depression symptoms. For many people, regular exercise helps to improve their mood. Getting enough sleep regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol can also help reduce depression symptoms.


Depression and COVID-19

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that one-third of Americans have anxiety and depression symptoms. Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are on the rise in the pandemic, while patients of COVID-19 and their families are also at higher risk of developing anxiety and depression. Questions from “are home covid tests accurate?” To searches like “covid home test near me”. The COVID-19 pandemic can lead to significant stress and psychological distress. A variety of factors related to COVID-19 contribute to depression rise, such as:

• Grief over the loss of life

• Unprecedented physical distance

• Reduced access to caregivers

• Fear of getting sick

• Trauma from widespread illness

• Loss of community

• Financial concerns

Mindfulness and telepsychiatry can help people with mental disorders.


Resources

• American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Fifth edition. 2013.

• Kessler, RC, et al. Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62(6):593602. http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx? articleid=208678

• National Institute of Mental Health. (Data from 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.)