CAUSES – A depressive disorder is a group of symptoms that reflects a sad or irritable mood exceeding normal sadness or grief.  The sadness of depression, also referred to as clinical depression, is of greater intensity and duration and by more severe symptoms and functional disabilities than is normal.  Depression falls into several categories; major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar.  Depression can be caused by a set of events, a woman experiencing post-partum after giving birth, and also just before her menstrual period.  Researchers also believe that it is caused by the lack of serotonin uptake.

TREATMENT – The main source of treatment for depression is psychotherapy, antidepressant medication, and electroconvulsive therapy.  Psychotherapist would normally prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) such as fluoxetine, nefazodone, paroxetine, sertraline, and trazadone.  The most widely used herbal remedy is St. John’s-wort.

PREVENTION – Mental health professionals usually teach cognitive techniques that assist in coping with stress. The prevention of postpartum depression include helping mothers decrease those specific aspects of their lives that may contribute to depression, like having little social support. Maintaining a proper diet and exercise is a good way to combat depression.


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