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Depression

My aunt lost her daughter a couple of years back. she went into depression as per relatives but to me she appeared to be normal. recently i observed a slight harshness in the way she talks. whenever anyone points out a mistake of hers, she retaliate back on the same time. my questions are: 1. what are the possible reasons for anyone to suffer depression? 2. what are the possible reason for my aunts behavior, is it depression or mood swings? 3. is there any possibility that any person can suffer depression without the knowledge of the people living around them ? 4. what are the possible symptoms of depression ? do they vary with age and gender?
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Doctor Answers (2) on Depression

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Dr. Sugandha Gupta Delhi | Psychiatrist
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Loosing a close family member is very tragic and difficult to handle. Your description of irritability alone does not suffice to call it depression. Answering your last two questions first, symptoms of depression are persistent sadness of mood, low energy levels, alteration in sleep and eating patterns, crying spells, negative thinking, reduced interest in previously pleasurable activities amongst others. With age, the negative features are more severe and irritability can be a part. And yes, persons suffering from depression may be missed by significant others especially when mild to moderate symptoms are there. Depression occurs due to certain biochemical changes in the brain which may be precipitated by external stressors or internal triggers, one's personality, social support, genetic makeup, physical ailments, coping skills also have an important role to play. In your case, kindly take your aunt to a mental health professional, as every individual is different, a proper diagnosis and management can only be done after a detailed assessment. Irritability can also be simply due to medical causes like anemia, thyroid disorders, hypertension etc. Or psychological causes like stress. Insomnia etc. So that she will require a thorough body check up. In the meanwhile, Surround her with love and affection, ensure healthy diet and sleeping habits and ask her to meditate and do some pranayaam. I hope this helps.
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Dr. Diwakar Sharma Delhi | Psychiatrist
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1. Depression has a biological basis where certain chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine become deficient in certain areas of the brain. Result is inability to regulate thoughts and emotions the way we normally r. Reason for this deficiency may be chronic stress (psychological or physical), hormonal problems (specially thyroid), genetic susceptibility (+ve family history), addiction etc 2. Mood swings or getting easily irritated is in fact a manifestation or symptom of an uncomfortable (possibly depressed or Stressed out) mind. 3.Yes this is not just a gud possibility but even the ugly reality of today's society where mental illness is equated with being psychologically weak and thus looked down upon. 4. Major symptoms of depression are. Feeling low, Decreased energy levels leading to increased fatiguability, Not being able to enjoy previously pleasurable activities, Decreased self confidence, Disturbed sleep and appetite, Bleak and pessimistic thoughts for future, Irritability, decreased sexual desire, diurnal variation in mood. Etc.. Hope this helps u but feel free to consult further. Take care.
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