Depression is a serious psychological disorder, which often affects not only the patient himself but also his loved ones.
Most often, depression develops against a background of stress or a long-term traumatic situation. Often, depressive disorders are hidden under the mask of a bad mood, character traits. In order to avoid serious consequences, it is important to understand how and why depression occurs.
Causes of Depression
Depressive disorders can appear at any age and in representatives of any social groups. It is primarily due to the fact that the demands of modern society exert significant pressure on a person. People are striving for social well-being, professional success, external attractiveness. If this can not be achieved, a person can fall into despair, it is hard to experience failure, and as a result, depression develops. Depressive disorder can also result in severe psychological trauma, such as a death of a loved one, family breakdown, breakdown with a loved one, a serious illness.
In rare cases, depression occurs without any obvious cause. Scientists suggest that in such situations the role of neurochemical processes play a role, in particular, the exchange of neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.).
Emotional manifestations of depression are very diverse. These include feelings of anxiety, despair, a decline in self-esteem. A person suffering from depression experiences constant fatigue, sadness. He ceases to be interested in what used to bring him joy, becomes indifferent to others.
The behavior of patients also changes. Depression can be suspected if a person loses the ability to focus, cannot concentrate attention.
Sociable and cheerful by nature, a person falling into a depression, begins to avoid contact with friends, relatives, “locks himself”. Quite often there is an attachment to alcohol, narcotic drugs.
Depression also has some peculiarities of thinking. Thoughts about oneself become negative, people are fixed on the negative sides of their lives, considers themselves unnecessary, useless, burdensome for relatives. It is difficult for the patient to make his own decisions.
In addition to changes in the emotional sphere, depressions are also characterized by physiological (somatic) manifestations. Most often, insomnia occurs. Appetite can disappear completely or, conversely, intensify and lead to overeating. Patients complain of pain in the heart, stomach, and constipation. The energy reserve of the body is noticeably decreasing; patients are quickly overworked even with small physical and mental loads. Often there are disorders of the sexual sphere.
Unfortunately, alcoholism and drug addiction are very often caused by depressive states. Alcohol and drugs create a false sense of well-being for the patient. Depression also underlies the most diverse social phobias (fear of losing a loved one, fear of being in a public place), and in severe cases can lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts.
What can you do
First of all, it is necessary to know that depression can and must be treated. If you notice that one of your relatives has criticized himself too often, conflicts with family members, co-workers, experiences an inexplicable sense of fear, you should consult a doctor. If the patient is diagnosed with depression, he should be supported, try to cheer him up, even if he is not interested in it. Relatives of the patient should understand that depression is a transitory state, in which it is necessary to provide psychological help without plunging into the illness itself. Try to convince the patient that there is no fault of his that he was depressed. Together you will cope with this difficult condition.
What can a doctor do during a depression?
Without treatment, depression can last for months and even years. The basis of treatment is the use of medicines and psychotherapy.
Drugs for the treatment of depression (antidepressants) are selected individually for each patient and taken for a long time, for several months.
Drug treatment will be successful if the patient strictly observes the recommended regimen of taking medications.
The goal of psychotherapy is to help a person learn to regulate their own emotions. This method of treatment implies the active participation of the patient himself, his willingness to talk about his problems. All information received by a doctor during a psychotherapy session remains private.