Does Depression get worse or better as you age?
Like any other medical condition, people have questions about depression. Most people are ignorant to what true depressive conditions are, the effects they have and how to treat them.
What is Depression?
There is a distinct difference between a depressed state, and being clinically diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.(MDD) It is normal to feel symptoms of depression when something of value has been lost, such as a romantic relationship or high-value property. However, this does not mean that the individual is suffering from clinical depression.
Major Depressive Disorder is a crippling condition that affects all areas of the patient's life, including his personal relationships and professional relationships. Depression keeps people from living a normal, healthy lifestyle and reduced their appetite and sex-drive.
As of right now, there are no laboratory tests to help doctors diagnose individuals with MDD. Instead, diagnoses are made from accounts of the patients' personal experiences and the reports made by the patients' family and friends.
The typical age of onset for MDD is 20 to 30 years old. The peak is around 30 to 40 years old.
Most medical professionals believe that Depression occurs as a chemical imbalance in the brain. The hormones in question include serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. This chemical imbalance is also known as the Monoamine hypothesis to the medical community.
However, other professionals believe that clinical depression can occur in individuals due to social stigmas, genetics and evolution. In other words, biological, psychological and social factors all play different roles in terms of depression.
What are the first signs of depression
Due to its obscurity, it is often hard to tell when depression first arises in individuals. Low moods and irritability often are the first signs of depression, though most people don't recognize these signs at first, especially if the patient is pessimistic in nature.
Usually, an individual is able to thwart off the first signs of depression if his or her personality allows them to cope with the events or episodes that cause depression. Since social factors are one of the major causes of MDD, it is hard to tell if an individual can cope with their situation and avoid developing severe depression.
If the patient's condition worsens, the next symptoms are loss of appetite and sex-drive, followed by lack of performance at work and devalued relationships. Ongoing symptoms include low self-esteem and an inability to experience pleasure in things that were once enjoyed. Other signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling worthless
Severe cases of depression include these psychosis symptoms:
- Unpleasant hallucinations
- Thoughts of suicide and death
Physical symptoms of depression include:
- digestive problems
How does age affect depression?
The answer to this question often depends on the individual. Psychological, social and biological factors all help determine if the depression gets worse or better. Likewise, the patient's personality and ability to cope with social stigmas helps determine if the depression gets worse or better as he or she ages.
If the depression is due to social events and episodes and the individual is optimistic, there is a chance that the depression will disappear as he or she ages. However, depression caused by biological factors is often unavoidable and may get worse as the individual ages.
It is suggested that in any case the individual seeks help with a depression residential treatment center if the symptoms are severe or worsening. These centers can often help patients learn to deal with their depression or get them the medication they need in cases of biologically-caused depression.