The Oxford Dictionary defines depression as a state of ''low spirits or vitality''. Clearly, this state has been experienced by most people at some stage during their lives. However, the psychiatrist is seldom concerned with such a mood change unless it persists for such a long time that it incapacitates the individual. Should the depressed mood be associated with feelings of guilt, suicidal tendencies and disturbed bodily functions (such as weight loss, anorexia, loss of libido or a disturbed sleep pattern characterized by early morning wakening) and persist for weeks or even months, often with no initiatory cause, then psychiatric assistance is usually required. It is not proposed to discuss the various types of depression that have been identified because the drug treatment is essentially similar irrespective of whether or not there appears to be an initiatory cause. For example, bereavement is often associated with a severe depressive episode, particularly in the elderly, and while counselling may be of considerable assistance in enabling the patient to adjust to the changed circumstances the use of an antidepressant is often advisable.
Many psychiatrists still divide depression into the endogenous (i.e. no apparent external cause) and reactive (i.e. an identifiable external cause) types and, while such a division may be of some value regarding ancillary treatment, there is presently no evidence to suggest that the biochemical changes that may be causally linked to the illness differ nor is there any evidence that the way in which the patient should be assisted by drugs differs substantially. Other international classifications of depression are based on the mono- and bipolar dichotomy, a system of classification that separates those patients with depressive symptoms only from those that fluctuate between depression and mania (i.e. manic-depression) or have only manic symptoms. In such cases treatment strategies differ as specific and antimanic drugs such as lithium or the neuroleptics would be used to abort an acute attack of mania, while antidepressants are the drugs of choice
Fundamentals of Psychopharmacology. Third Edition. By Brian E. Leonard 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ISBN 0 471 52178 7
to treat the depressive episodes and anxiety associated with depression. Readers are referred to the various classification manuals, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV) or the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD10), for further details.
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Learning About How To Defeat Depression Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life And Success! Discover ways to cope with depression and melancholic tendencies! Depression and anxiety particularly have become so prevalent that it’s exceedingly common for individuals to be taking medication for one or even both of these mood disorders.