Depressed mood, sadness, guilt, the feeling that you are not capable of anything … When you are depressed, life is perceived only in dark tones and it seems that there is no way out of this state. However, depression can be managed, according to psychiatrists and psychotherapists.
It is worthwhile for someone in our environment to say that he is depressed, we start looking at him with involuntary reproach. “Pull yourself together,” – is most often pronounced in response. After all, we are confident that our friend just does not know how (does not want) to control his mood and makes an elephant out of a fly. “This is because we often confuse depression with sadness, sadness, and depression,” explains psychiatrist Elena Vrono . “It seems to us a temporary condition like a runny nose or a bruise from a bruise — something that goes away by itself.”However, depression is a real disease. ” Studies by neuroscientists show that its effect on human health can be extremely dangerous. But depression is treated. Antidepressants and psychotherapy come to the rescue. What are the causes of this disease? How does it manifest itself? And what if we ourselves or a person close to us get sick?
How to determine what is at stake
Not every negative experience speaks of depression. Sadness, sadness, longing – these are separate emotions, and depression involves a complex combination of feelings, notions, memories and thoughts. “So, throughout life, we repeatedly experience sadness, which is an adequate response to a situation of separation, disappointment, failure, loss,” says American psychologist Carroll Izard ( Carroll Izard ). – When depressed the sadness is complemented by other emotions – often shame, loss of self-esteem and aggression that a person feels towards himself. “* If your relatives or you yourself began to look at life too gloomy, it is worth understanding what you are dealing with – with a strong emotional experience of some events in life or with mental disorder. “Depressed mood, loss of interest in life, fatigue, apathy, when nothing brings pleasure. Tangible loss of appetite and weight. Insomnia or drowsiness. Anxiety or lethargy. Decreased performance, memory loss and concentration. Loss of the meaning of life. If the majority of these symptoms manifest themselves constantly and for at least two weeks, we can say that this is depression, ”says Elena Vrono . It is also known that the tendency to take into our own account everything said, especially unpleasant (“it’s my fault”, “forever I have no luck”), is also a sign of depressive states. “It is important to know,” continues Elena Vrono , “that the signs of depression can manifest themselves in a rather mild form, and can be of a pronounced (painful) character.”
Two reasons: heredity and stress
Depression is studied by various specialists: neurophysiologists, biochemists, genetics, endocrinologists, psychologists. And they all agree that this disease is caused by two main factors: genetic predisposition and the environment in which a person grows and lives.
One of the latest genetic studies was conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Granada (Spain) under the supervision of professors Jorge Ballesteros ( Jorge Ballesteros ) and Blanca Martinez ( Blanca Martinez ) * *. They proved the connection between the onset of depression and the special structure of one of the genes associated with the serotonin transfer mechanism (the neurotransmitter responsible for our mood). It turned out that for those of us who are carriers of such a genotype, the most insignificant stress can be a trigger for depression. Those with a different structure of this gene are not subject to depression at all.
Meanwhile, there is another view on the occurrence of this disease. “Obviously, depression has a family origin,” says American psychoanalyst Nancy McWilliams ( Nancy McWilliams ), – but for the time being we cannot assess to what extent this disease is transmitted genetically, and to what depressive behavior of parents becomes the reason for the similar behavior of their children ”***. “Postpartum depression of the mother, which is accompanied by depression, detachment, anxiety, the inability to feel the needs of the baby, is very much affected by it and to some extent contributes to the occurrence of susceptibility to this disease,” agrees psychoanalyst Vitaly Zimin. “The fact is that the boundaries of the“ I ”in infancy are very blurred, the child still does not share himself and the people around him and experiences the maternal depression as his own”.
In other words, the presence of an “unfavorable” genotype is not a necessary condition for the formation of depressive disorders. Moreover, warm, trusting relationships in the family reduce the risk of illness, even if there is a genetic predisposition towards them.
Treatment of depression helps to cope with chronic diseases.
Depression and apathy can disable many more people than angina pectoris, arthritis, asthma, and diabetes can do, a group of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) led by Dr. Somnat Chatterjee ( Somnath Chatterji ) * . They surveyed 245,000 people from 60 WHO countries.Survey participants answered the questions: how do they sleep, do their pains bother, are they intense, do they have memory and concentration problems, how do they cope with everyday tasks. The survey results showed that depression is the most damaging to health; if a person suffers from depression due to a chronic disease, this aggravates the course of the disease. 3.2% of respondents experienced depression at least once in the last year; among those suffering from angina pectoris, there were 4.5%; among patients with arthritis – 4.1%; among asthmatics, 3.3%; among diabetics – 2%. Moreover, up to 23% of people suffer from depression due to one or more of the above diseases, which is much higher than the probability of developing depression in a person who does not have a chronic disease. “Depression in combination with a chronic disease affects the body destructively, because it worsens the patient’s condition, despite the treatment of the underlying disease,” says Dr. Chatterjee . “These results indicate the need to make treatment of depression a priority.”