10 Answers to Questions About Depression
When do I need to see a doctor?
The first time you think you might have a mental illness.
What might a doctor ask me about?
- Do you often experience fear or longing?
- Are you able to perform your daily activities well?
- Does anything else give you joy?
- Does anyone need you? If so, who?
- Have you thought about ending your suffering? If so, how?
- Do you have any complaints about how you feel?
- If yes, since when and what?
- Have you already been treated by a doctor for another illness? What medications are you taking regularly?
What should I ask my doctor?
- Can the medicine really help?
- How long should I take the medicine for?
- Are there alternative therapies?
What can a doctor do?
After a detailed examination and exclusion of organic pathology (e.g., anemia may be the cause of persistent bad mood), the doctor will prescribe you a sedative. If you already have a prescription, you can find medications in Anxiety Disorders Drugs.
If the syndrome is more severe, the doctor will refer you to a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
What can I do myself?
- Be proactive and get into treatment
- Talk about your difficulties with people who have already gone through it
- Take care of a quiet lifestyle. Any stress disturbs the body's chemical balance.
- Find a self-help group.
Mild depression is an oppressive and already painful state, which is accompanied by a prolonged negative emotional background. But the patient still maintains control over himself or herself, can justify his or her condition and remains open to communication. That depressive mood should not be confused with severe depression, although the boundaries of the transition from one condition to the other are often blurred.
Severe depression is a serious mental illness, a psychosis. The patient is helpless and is completely at the mercy of his depressed state, does not allow for any words of encouragement and support, and is obsessed with the idea of suicide.
"Near-zero" moods, moments of despair, periods of sadness and longing are all moments that make up part of a person's life. Deep and intense grief after a separation or the loss of a loved one is even necessary to overcome anew the situation of life. If, however, depression occurs:
- overwhelmingly frequent and intense for a long period of time
- comes down on your head like a "thunder from out of the blue"
- abstracted from the real flow of life
- demands self-recognition and becomes a torment for the person, then we are talking about a serious illness.
What causes depression
There are several varieties of depression and associated factors:
- Tragedies and negative events in life - pathological depression
- Neurosis - Neurotic Depression
- Side effects from medications - drug depression
- Genetic predisposition
- Climax - menopausal depression
- Postpartum depression after childbirth
- Psychosis - psychotic or endogenous depression
- Age - senile depression
- Brain diseases - organic or cerebral depression
- Depression against the background of ingestion or withdrawal of toxic substances (alcohol, drugs)
Severe depression can appear in a person with absolutely no motivation. Caught unawares, the person (often without outward signs) is in complete despair inside and cannot get rid of this condition by their own efforts. Feelings such as guilt and the feeling that the person is unworthy of society and despised by other people arise. Suicidal thoughts or even attempts arise. The person with severe depression needs to be protected from himself first and foremost.
At the first symptoms of depression, it is necessary to see a doctor immediately, but the situation is complicated by the fact that the person himself does not recognize depression. This is due to the fact that the symptoms of depression are mainly mental, not physiological in nature. If you notice symptoms of depression in your friend, a close person, or a relative, suggest unobtrusively that the person should see a doctor so that he or she can finally get rid of the symptoms that are spoiling his or her life.
How does depression feel
The main symptoms of depression are a constantly wistful and depressed state, loss of all interest, and a reduction or complete absence of life stimuli. Depression does not affect a person's intellectual capacity, but concentration and attention are impaired. Work and other daily activities become a torment. When engaged in monotonous activities, the patient may hide his illness for a long time. Colleagues only in extreme cases are struck by the fact that the person has become more withdrawn and answers questions monosyllabically. Spontaneous activity seems to depressed people as something awful.
How to know you have depression
People with severe depression are unable to work, their movements are often stiff, and they spend most of the day in bed. Such people suffer from a lack of confidence in themselves. They do not like themselves and are constantly haunted by guilt and feelings of worthlessness. They see their current life only in a negative light, and they expect only bad things from the future.
People with severe depression are unable to work, their movements are often stiff, and they spend most of the day in bed. Such people suffer from a lack of confidence in themselves. They do not like themselves and are constantly haunted by feelings of guilt and worthlessness. They see their current life only in a negative light, and they expect only bad things from the future.
Death occupies a considerable place in their imagination and suicidal thoughts may come to the patient quite often. People suffering from severe depression often assert that they feel neither joy nor sadness. If you suddenly hear this from someone, try to convince the person that they need to see a specialist, as such symptoms are often inherent in the disease. Depression can manifest itself not only in a mental state but also in physical ailments. For example, if any symptoms (such as abdominal pain) are not confirmed by organic diseases - it is likely that this is the manifestation of depression that has lasted for years.
What physiological signs depression may have:
- Chronic headaches;
- Back pain;
- Heavy breathing (shortness of breath);
- Sleep disturbances (waking up early).
It is easier to distinguish depression from other illnesses just by the morning symptoms. Symptoms may subside during the day, or disappear completely, but in the morning the patient experiences symptoms again.
A weak appetite, which leads to weight loss, and a waning interest in sexuality are also typical.
Severe depression often proceeds in phases; it lasts for several months, then disappears, but returns again. In some people, phases of depression are intensified by manic attacks. Mania is a morbid condition characterized by mental activity, manifestations of anger and rage.
Prevention of depression
Evidence has shown that developing prevention programs can reduce depression. The community can take effective interventions to prevent depression, including developing programs in schools to increase positive responses in children and youth. Interventions for parents of children with behavioral problems can reduce parents' symptoms of depression and improve their children's outcomes. Planning sports activities for older adults can also be effective in preventing depression.
Screening and Treatment for Depression
Mental examination in the form of an interview is the doctor's primary method. But sometimes this method is only possible after a course of medication therapy has been completed. In the case of complaints of physical ailments, it is necessary to conduct investigations to rule out organic diseases. In older people, a differential diagnosis between depression and brain impairment can often give results only after a long period of observation. There are effective treatments for depression.
Depending on the severity and type of depressive episodes over time, providers may provide psychotherapy such as behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), or provide antidepressants such as alternative serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Use different medications to treat bipolar disorder. Health care providers should be mindful of possible side effects associated with antidepressants, the possibility of intervention (in terms of experience and/or access to treatment), and personal preferences. The various forms of psychotherapy that can be considered include individual and/or group face-to-face psychotherapy by professionals and therapists under the supervision of therapists. Antidepressants are not first-line drugs for mild depression. Such medications should not be used to treat depression in children, and they should not be first-line medications for adolescents. Antidepressants should be used with caution in adolescents.
Most people with severe forms of depression should receive both medication (antidepressants) and assistance from a psychotherapist. Mild forms of the disease can be quite effective herbal remedies, such as St. John's wort. With severe forms, synthetic drugs are prescribed, the reception of which is regularly monitored by the doctor. Both herbal and light synthetic drugs (with the exception of tranquilizers) have a cumulative effect and take effect after 7-14 days. Depression in women during menopause is well treated with estrogens.