Depression is a mental health disorder accompanied by a whole range of conditions, including loss of the ability to experience emotional experiences, thought disorder, low mood, feelings of hopelessness, deterioration in general physical health, etc.
Most people suffering from depression are not aware of their psychological problem – they accept depression as a norm in life, believe that they just have a bad mood or “black bars” in life. In fact, depression cannot be overcome with “willpower” and “strong desire.” If symptoms are detected, you must immediately contact a specialized doctor – he will conduct a comprehensive diagnosis, determine the presence and level of the problem, and prescribe adequate treatment.
Causes of depression
Today, the exact reasons for the development of depression have not been established. But some forms of the disease can be passed on for generations, suggesting a genetic predisposition to the disease.
Among other reasons for the development of depression, psychotherapists note:
- A wide range of neurological and somatic diseases accompanied by pain and psychological discomfort for the patient;
- Acute traumatic situations: death of loved ones, failures in personal life, problems at work, upheavals at the state level, etc.;
- Alcohol abuse, drug use, as well as the use of various psychoactive substances, including caffeine and psychostimulants;
- Violation of the rhythm of wakefulness and sleep. It can be caused by both physiological problems of the body, and frequent changes of time zones, for example, during regular long flights during business trips or rest.
The exact cause of the development of the problem can only be determined by the attending physician based on the date of the initial examination and test results. It determines the best inpatient or outpatient treatment for depression.
Symptoms and signs of depression
The difficulty in diagnosing a depressive state in a person is fuzzy symptoms, which are often expressed in forms that mimic the symptom complex of other diseases, including those of internal organs.
In most cases, the patient has a general weakness, apathy in relation to people and events, difficulty breathing, sexual dysfunction, constipation, rapid weight loss, unpleasant sensations of cold or heat in the abdomen, headaches, dizziness.
In young people and adolescents, depression can be latent. Psychologists call the symptoms of the development of such depression: excessive tearfulness (in the absence of good reasons), laziness, conflicts within the walls of the school, with friends, and at home.
Types of depression
Today there are a large number of different types of depression, which are divided into two main subgroups: simple and complex. Let’s take a closer look.
Simple types of depression include:
- Melancholic, anxious, adynamic and apathetic depression is a melancholy state accompanied by constant oppressive depression of mood, usually experienced as severe mental pain. In rare cases, the patient may think about self-destruction and commit suicide;
- Postpartum depression is the most common type of depression, seen in 10-15% of women who are pregnant or have given birth. It develops against the background of hormonal changes in the body, can manifest itself both before or during childbirth, and one year after the birth of the child. Requires immediate professional treatment to return the young mother to her normal condition.
Complex types of depression include:
- Senesto-hypochondriacal depression is accompanied by both classic symptoms and senetopathy (painful sensations in various parts of the body). In the foreground, concern for their own physical health comes out;
- With delusions and hallucinations – the most difficult type of depression, which often leads to ideas of self-blame and suicide.
Only a specialized doctor can accurately determine the presence and type of depression. Do not self-medicate!
How to get out of depression – treatment
Treatments and symptoms of depression in women can differ significantly from treatments and symptoms of depression in men. In the vast majority of cases, only an individual approach should be used for treatment, based on the date of the initial examination and the results of analyzes of a particular patient.
In the process of treatment, psychotherapeutic and medication are widely used by psychologists and pyschiatrists.
Psychotherapy is the basis for successful treatment, which allows you to find contact between the patient and the doctor, to determine the cause of the pathology, and also to form the correct attitude to the events taking place in life.
In rare cases, doctors can also use other methods: music therapy, meditation, light therapy, hypnotherapy, etc.
Types of Treatment of Depression
There are three main types of treatment for depression: medical, psychological, and social. The management of a depressed patient often involves a combination of these types:
- Medical treatment includes not only medications but other treatment options, which are usually only used in specialized centers;
- Psychological treatment refers to psychotherapy or “talking therapy”, which has several theoretical and clinical subtypes. Psychotherapy can be used alone to treat less severe forms of depression or in combination with medications for more severe depression;
- Social and other interventions are also very important. These include social activities, rest, moderate regular exercise, sick leave (if needed), disease awareness, and self-help methods. These activities can provide hope and empowerment that add therapeutic value to both medication and psychotherapy.
Depression is typically treated in primary care settings with antidepressant medication and referral to appropriate mental health services. The following sections provide more detailed information on antidepressants and how to arrange referrals to appropriate institutions.