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Depression: symptoms, risks, and methods of treatment

Depression is not a weakness or something easy to get rid of, and it is defined as severe depressive disorder (Severe depression disorder), or clinical depression.

It is a disease that affects the soul and the body. Depression affects the way of thinking and behaving, and it can lead to many emotional and physical problems. Usually, people with depression cannot continue to go about their daily life as usual, as depression causes them to feel a lack of any desire in life.

It should be noted that depression is one of the most common diseases in the world.

Coping with depression

Today, the majority of health professionals treat depression as a chronic disease that requires long-term treatment, just as it is treated with diabetes or hypertension.

Some people with depression experience only one period of depression, but in most patients, symptoms of depression recur and last for life.

Through proper diagnosis and treatment, symptoms of depression can be reduced, even if the symptoms of depression are severe.

The right treatment can improve the feeling of people with depression, usually within a few weeks, and enable them to return to the normal life they used to enjoy before they had depression.

  • Loss of desire to engage in normal daily activities.
  • Feeling nervous and depressed.
  • A sense of hopelessness.
  • Spells of crying without any apparent reason.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Unintentionally gaining or losing weight.
  • Nervous.
  • Anxiety and boredom.
  • Exessive sensitivity.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • A sense of worthlessness.
  • Loss of desire for sex.
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back or head pain.

Symptoms of depression are different and varied because depression appears in different forms in different people.

For example, symptoms of depression may appear in a 25-year-old person with depression that differs from those that appear in a 70-year-old person.

Some people with depression may have symptoms that are so severe that something is not right.

Others may feel that they are “poor” in general, or that they are “not happy,” without knowing a reason for this.

Causes and risk factors of depression

It is not known, yet, the exact cause of depression.

The prevailing belief, as is the case with other mental illnesses, is that many biochemical (biological – chemical), genetic and environmental factors can be the cause of depression, including:

Biochemical agents:

Research that uses imaging with modern and sophisticated techniques confirms that physical changes occur in the brains of people with depression. It is not known exactly, yet, what these changes are and their degree of importance, but clarifying this matter would help, in the end, to define and define the causes of depression. It is possible that chemicals naturally present in the human brain, called “neurotransmitters” (neurotransmitters) and related to mood, play a role in causing depression. Also, an imbalance in the hormonal balance in the body would also be a cause of depression.


Some research indicates that the onset of depression is more prevalent in people who have biological relatives with depression. Researchers are still trying to uncover genes involved in causing depression.

Environmental factors:

To a certain degree, the environment is considered a trigger for depression. Environmental factors are situations and circumstances in life that are difficult to face and coexist with, such as the loss of a dear person, economic problems and acute stress.

It is true that there are no accurate statistical data, but depression is a very widespread disease.

Depression transcends all borders and differences, racial, ethnic and socio-economic. No person is immune from depression.

Depression generally begins in the late 20 years of life, but depression can appear at any age and may affect anyone, from young children to the elderly, adults.

Double the number of women diagnosed with depression is double the number of men. This may be due, in part, to the fact that women are more likely to seek treatment for depression.

The most important reasons that lead to depression

The exact cause of depression is not known, but research indicates many factors that appear to increase the risk of developing depression, or cause its exacerbation, including:

  • The presence of biological relatives with depression
  • Suicides in the family
  • Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one
  • Depressive mood in the morning
  • Diseases, such as: cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s or AIDS
  • Continuous use, for a long time, of certain medicines, such as medicines of a certain type to treat high blood pressure, sleeping pills and birth control pills in some cases.

Depression complications

Depression is a severe and stressful illness that can be a heavy burden on individuals and families.

Untreated depression may worsen to the point of disability, indigence, dependence, and even suicide. Depression can lead to severe emotional, behavioral, health, and even judicial and economic problems that affect all different areas of life.

Depression risks

  • Suicide.
  • Addiction to alcohol.
  • Addiction to drugs.
  • Anxiety.
  • Heart disease and other diseases.
  • Problems at work or with education.
  • Confrontations within the family.
  • Difficulties in the marital relationship.
  • Social isolation.

Diagnosis of depression

During regular therapy meetings, doctors and therapists ask questions about moods and thoughts. Sometimes, a patient is asked to fill out a questionnaire that helps them detect symptoms of depression.

When doctors suspect that a patient has depression, they conduct a series of medical and psychological examinations.

These tests help to refute the possibility of other diseases that may be the cause of the symptoms, and help to diagnose and detect other complications related to the condition.

Tests to diagnose depression

  • Physical (physical) examination
  • Lab tests
  • Psychological evaluation

Criteria for diagnosing depression

An evaluation by a physician or a psychotherapist helps determine whether the condition is severe depression or one of the other diseases that sometimes reminds of severe depression, including:

Adjustment Disorder: An acute emotional reaction to a painful event in life. It is a mental illness associated with stress and can affect emotions, thoughts and behavior.

Two-way disorder: (Or: bipolar disorder – Bipolar disorder, which was previously called: Manic Depressive Psychosis), this type of disorder is characterized by a fluctuating mood from one extreme to the other.

Cyclothymia: A type of clenching disorder.

Partial depression (or dysthymia): This is a less severe and difficult disease, but more chronic than depression.

Postpartum depression: It is depression that appears in some women after they give birth to new children. It usually appears a month after birth.

Psychotic depression: It is a severe and difficult depression that is accompanied by psychotic symptoms and phenomena, such as hallucination.

Schizoaffective disorder: It is a disease that includes the features and symptoms of schizophrenia and Mood disorders.

Winter depression: This type of depression is linked to changing seasons and insufficient exposure to sunlight.

Severe depression differs from the diseases mentioned above, in terms of symptoms or degree of difficulty.

Treat depression

  • Drug treatment
  • Psychotherapy
  • Electroconvulsive treatment Electroshock treatment – ECT

There are also methods for treating depression that did not satisfy research and experimentation, such as the accepted methods mentioned above, including:

Cerebral stimulation
Complementary and alternative therapies.

There are certain situations in which a family doctor can treat depression on his own.

But in other cases, there is a need for a qualified psychologist to treat depression, a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a social worker.

It is very important for the patient to have an effective role in treating depression. Through cooperation and joint work, the doctor (or therapist) can decide, together with the patient, which type of depression treatment is best and most appropriate for the patient’s condition, taking into account the nature of the symptoms and the degree of their severity, the patient’s personal choice, the ability to pay the costs of treatment of depression, side effects of depression treatment and factors Other.

However, there are cases in which depression is so difficult that it is necessary for the doctor, a relative or someone else, to follow the treatment of depression and monitor it closely until the patient regains his health and reaches a position in which he can participate actively in the decision-making process.

Depression treatment methods

The following is a detailed description of methods of treating depression:

1- Medicines

Dozens of drugs are available on the market for treating depression. Most people can reduce symptoms of depression by combining medication with psychotherapy.

Most anti-depressants are equally effective and effective. But some of them may cause very severe and dangerous side effects.

Stages of depression treatment

Typical first choice:

Many doctors begin treating depression with anti-depressants known as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – SSRI.

The second typical choice:

A group of antidepressants known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCA – Tricyclic antidepressants)

The last typical choice:

A group of antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitor – MAOI.

Side effects of depression medications

  • All anti-depressants can cause unwanted side effects.
  • Side effects appear in different levels of severity in different patients. Sometimes these side effects are so mild that they do not need to stop taking the medicine.
  • In addition, these symptoms will disappear or lessen within a few weeks of starting treatment with anti-depressants.

2- Psychotherapy

Sometimes psychotherapy is used in conjunction with drug therapy. Psychotherapy is a comprehensive name for treating depression through conversations with a therapist about the situation and matters related to it.

Psychotherapy is also called conversation therapy, counseling, or psychosocial therapy.

3- Electrophoresis

An electric current is passed through the brain, causing feelings to flood.

Recovery from depression

Depression may, at times, be so severe that it necessitates hospitalization (hospitalization) for treatment in the psychiatric department.

But even in cases of severe depression, it is not always easy to decide how to treat depression and whether it is the right treatment. If it is possible to treat the patient outside the hospital with the same or more efficacy, the doctor will likely not recommend admission to the hospital.

Hospitalization of the patient in the psychiatric department is usually preferred in cases where the patient is not able to take proper care of himself, or when there is a serious fear that he may harm himself or anyone else.

Prevention of depression

There is no way to prevent depression. But doing some things can prevent or prevent the recurrence of symptoms, such as:

  • Taking measures to control stress, to raise your level of joy, and to raise your level of self-esteem will help.
  • Support from friends and family, especially during times of crisis, can help overcome depression.
  • Treating the problem early, as soon as the first signs or symptoms appear, can help and prevent the depression from getting worse.
  • Long-term preventive treatment also prevents recurrence

Nahar Center Staff

Treatment at the Nahar Center is under the care of the best doctors and psychiatric consultants around the clock

Get to know our medical team

Dr.. Amjad Al Ajroudi
Dr.. Amjad Al AjroudiChairman of the Center's Board of Directors
Consultant of psychiatry, addiction and family relations
Dr.. Mohamed Salah Mansour
Dr.. Mohamed Salah Mansour
Consultant Psychotherapy & Addiction Treatment
Dr.. Mohamed Soliman


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