Depression. Treatment

Updated 2 years ago on April 03, 2023

The term "depression" is familiar to almost everyone today. People easily label themselves and others, putting on the same scale an ordinary moping or depressed mood and a very serious neuropsychiatric disease.

Depression is an emotional disorder that causes suffering, interferes with one's ability to live and work fully, and has devastating consequences for interpersonal relationships. In the worst case scenario, this disorder can lead to suicide.

Important: At the first signs of a depressive disorder, it is necessary to seek help from specialists. Any illness is easier to treat at the initial stage than in its neglected form.

Unfortunately, depressive disorder is often not taken seriously, not considering it a disease, much less a reason to see a doctor. And not only those around them, but also the patients themselves. A depressed person can hear from others a lot of unpleasant things: accusations of laziness and indulging their whims, in unwillingness to look at life positively. These reproaches fall into fertile ground, since depression, figuratively speaking, "feeds" on guilt, false shame and depression. The patient, as a rule, cannot get out of this state on his own, and his condition steadily worsens.

Causes and types of depression

Depending on the manifestations of the disorder and the factors that provoke the disease, there are several types of depression.

Depressive disorders are divided into two main types according to their origin:

  • exogenous (provoked by external factors);
  • endogenous (caused by a person's internal problems).

According to the degree of severity, a distinction is made between mild, moderate and severe forms of the disease.

According to the nature of the symptoms and peculiarities of the course there are such types of depression as:

Depressive episode. A primary case, which was not preceded by any episodes of the illness. It is manifested by insomnia, depressed mood, withdrawal, and decreased activity.

Recurrent depression. Signs of the disorder appear approximately once a month and last for several days. It can also be manifested by other symptoms, besides emotional ones: decrease in memory and attention, impaired concentration.

Postpartum depression. A condition that can develop in women in the first days and weeks after childbirth due to changes in the hormonal sphere. It is manifested by nervousness, mood swings, insomnia, increased fatigue, and - often - indifference to the newborn.

Depression in bipolar disorder. This disorder is characterized by alternating episodes of high and low moods. At the same time, the person lives a perfectly normal life the rest of the time.

Chronic depressive disorder. It is characterized by persistent long-term (more than two weeks) physical and emotional emptiness, decreased appetite, and sleep disorders.

Causes of depression

Causes of depressive disorders in modern medicine are usually divided into three groups:

  • psychological;
  • sociocultural;
  • biological.

Psychological factors. The overwhelming number of patients noted that "before" depression, they had a great number of stresses in their life (conflicts in the family and at work, past infections, overfatigue, etc.).

An undoubted trigger for depression can be psychological trauma caused by the death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, or violence.

Socio-cultural factors. Many people are also emotionally vulnerable because of the various labels society hangs on them. Undervalued/overvalued self-esteem, objective or perceived lack of recognition, failure to meet someone's expectations, unachieved goals by the deadline are common causes of depression in modern people.

Biological factors. Sometimes depression is a consequence of internal pathological reasons - genetic predisposition, neurochemical processes, endocrine disorders, hormonal rearrangement (such depression is more common among women), etc. And cardiovascular diseases can be both a consequence and a cause of depressive disorder.

Whatever the causes of the psycho-emotional disorder, it is almost impossible to get out of depression on your own, and taking medications recommended by "experts" from the Internet is extremely dangerous! Only a specialist can understand the causes of the illness and develop a treatment tactic.

Signs of depression

Manifestations of depressive disorder are numerous, varied and can affect not only the emotional sphere, but also the bodily.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • sadness, depressed mood for 2 weeks or more;
  • general fatigue;
  • pessimism;
  • apathy, lethargy;
  • irritability;
  • tearfulness;
  • guilt;
  • unstable appetite, weight changes (loss, gain);
  • sleep disturbances;
  • decreased libido;
  • attacks of anxiety, fear;
  • decreased ability to work;
  • Inability to concentrate, impaired memory;
  • loss of interest in the things you used to love;
  • somatic diseases (complaints of physical ailments, often not previously troubling).

In neglected cases, retarded speech, delusions, a marked decrease in intelligence, obsessive thoughts about death, alcohol and drug abuse are not uncommon.

Parents of children and adolescents should be alert to the appearance of such signs of depression as:

  • sleep disturbances;
  • decreased appetite, lack of weight, stunted growth;
  • frequent headaches;
  • Gastrointestinal manifestations (frequent vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, etc.);
  • rapid heartbeat;
  • an inadequate reaction to the mundane;
  • irritability, aggression;
  • stubbornness, reticence;
  • defiant behavior;
  • anxiety, fears;
  • decline in academic performance.

Treatment of depression

It is impossible to get rid of depression without qualified help! A neurologist (psychotherapist, psychiatrist) is a specialist you should see if you suspect depression in yourself or someone close to you.

Only a doctor can understand the causes of the disease, make an accurate diagnosis and offer an effective treatment regimen for depression.

As numerous clinical studies conducted around the world show, the most effective for depression is a combination of methods such as:

  • drug therapy (prescription of antidepressant drugs);
  • psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy);
  • hardware methods (biofeedback therapy, magnetotherapy, light therapy, reflexotherapy, therapeutic sleep, ozone therapy, massage, etc.);
  • phytotherapy (decoctions, infusions, inhalations based on medicinal plants).

For the prevention of depressive disorders, simple yet important things such as a peaceful family environment, communication with people you love, a healthy environment, an active lifestyle, and positive experiences are extremely important.

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