Here you will receive answers to your questions about depression and learn how to get rid of it:
American Psychiatric Association Test for Classical Depression.
There are also such subspecies of depression as classical and masked, proceeding under the guise of another disease. With the test below, a diagnosis of classic depression can be suspected. The diagnosis of masked depression hiding under the guise of some kind of bodily ailment requires somewhat more detailed research.
Note any of the following symptoms you have:
Depressed mood for most of the day and almost every day (according to the patient or his loved ones);
Severe loss of interest or pleasure throughout most of the day and almost every day
Significant weight loss or weight gain (without following a special diet) or decreased or increased appetite almost every day;
Insomnia or sleepiness almost every day;
Psychomotor agitation or lethargy almost every day;
Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day;
Feeling worthless or unfounded ideas of guilt almost every day;
Decreased ability to think, concentrate, and make decisions almost every day;
Recurring thoughts of death, suicidal intentions with no definite plan, suicidal attempts, or planning for suicide.
With major depression, at least five of the listed symptoms should be noted at the same time, for two weeks or more, and these symptoms should not be characteristic of the patient’s personality. One symptom should be depressed mood or loss of interest or a sense of pleasure.
With minor depression – depressed mood and two more of the listed symptoms.
What is depression and what are its causes?
Depression is a condition characterized by a depressed mood, severe mental suffering, a decrease in the ability to receive pleasure, a decrease in mental activity, and various abnormalities in the work of internal organs.
The development of depression is caused by very subtle biochemical disorders in the central nervous system, primarily by the depletion of the stock of substances regulating mental activity – neurotransmitters. The causes of depression are diverse. The most common options are severe and / or prolonged mental stress, including those caused by internal conflict, overwork, brain injury (even in the distant past), severe and prolonged diseases of internal organs, surgery, prolonged pain, lack of blood supply to the brain, congenital neurochemical disorders, personality traits. Needless to say, the success of treatment largely depends on the correctly identified cause and form of depression.
What are the types of depression?
The International Classification of Diseases classifies depression into various forms. Due to the onset – to neurotic, due to an imminent internal conflict, reactive, which is a reaction to mental trauma, and endogenous, which has internal causes, for example, congenital neurochemical disorders. By the nature of the flow – into classical and hidden (somatized and masked). By severity – on minor and major depression.
Somatized depression is expressed in the form of some kind of bodily ailment, often stomach and intestinal diseases, high blood pressure, muscle pain, bronchial asthma, sexual disorders, vascular dystonia. Disguised depression occurs under the guise of another disease, mimicking the patient’s painful sensations; however, as a rule, multiple medical examinations do not reveal signs of the disease. There have been cases when patients with a mask of depression such as “abdominal pain” ended up on the operating table with imaginary appendicitis. There are also a lot of depressive syndromes accompanying chronic diseases (arterial hypertension, diabetes, hepatitis, oncology, etc.), the consequences of injuries and diseases of the central nervous system (concussion, birth trauma, increased intracranial pressure, stroke, etc.), intoxication (alcohol , professional, medication).
What bodily symptoms can be a manifestation of masked depression?
The most common masks for depression are:
Mask – abdominal syndrome. Pain, heaviness, bloating, feeling of cold or heat in the abdomen, constipation or diarrhea, nausea and belching, loss of appetite .. Episodes of cramping pain. The condition worsens at night and in the morning, improves in the afternoon. Often, patients repeatedly call an ambulance, are admitted to hospitals with suspected acute appendicitis, cholecystitis, food poisoning or an ectopic pregnancy. Treatment with therapists and surgeons does not bring relief.
The mask is a headache. Headache without clear localization, feeling of fullness or constriction of the head, burning sensation, creeping in the head. The condition worsens at night and in the morning, improves in the afternoon. Pain relievers are almost ineffective. Such patients are diagnosed with migraine or vegetative-vascular dystonia. They are treated for years without effect.
Mask – facial pain. Simulates neuralgia of the trigeminal or glossopharyngeal nerves, diseases of the temporomandibular joint, teeth. Sometimes, driven to despair by pain, patients ask dentists to remove perfectly healthy teeth, which sometimes brings temporary relief. Dental prosthetics are often the causative factor of pain. The mask may show sensations of roughness, numbness or hairiness of the tongue.
Mask – cardialgia. Simulates heart pain, palpitations, interruptions, burning or coldness in the chest. The results of the cardiogram do not correspond to the patient’s complaints. Heart medications reduce pain, but do not completely relieve it. With a mask – angina pectoris, nitroglycerin is not effective.
The mask is arthralgia. Simulates radiculitis, joint diseases, muscle pain and neuralgia. The X-ray picture does not correspond to the nature of the patient’s complaints. The area of pain does not correspond to the area of damage to any nerve or joint.
The mask is insomnia. Sleep disorders are a mandatory manifestation of depression. With this version of the mask, they are the main or only manifestation of the disease. Early awakening is characteristic. The patient wakes up in the morning poorly rested, eats breakfast with disgust for food, and arriving at work, already tired, needs rest and a cup of strong coffee or tea. The peak of activity of such a person is 12 o’clock in the afternoon, but by two o’clock his working capacity falls, and by the end of the day feeling very tired, he, often, still cannot fall asleep until late at night. The next morning the situation is repeated.
The mask is a phobia. Fear with simultaneous understanding by the patient of its groundlessness. Often – fear of death from cardiac arrest, AIDS, stroke. Panic attacks in the subway. Fear increases at night and in the morning, decreases in the afternoon.
Mask – Sexual Disorders. Weakening of erection, accelerated or delayed ejaculation. A tendency towards morning coitus is characteristic. The desire for ever stronger sexual stimuli is designated in folklore as “gray hair in the head – devil in the rib.” Sexual dysfunction is the earliest sign of depression.
The mask is an addiction. Drug and alcohol abuse brings short-term relief to such patients, giving rise to very rapid development of drug or alcohol dependence. Binges are characteristic from several days to one and a half months. Stopping drugs or alcohol can worsen the symptoms of depression. Against this background, ideas of self-accusation and suicide appear. Withdrawal symptoms are accompanied by violent somatic symptoms, characteristic of other types of depressive masks.
How to distinguish between situational mood decline and depression-illness?
It is necessary to distinguish depression as a transient state of a healthy psyche from depression-illness. Depression that occurs temporarily due to a traumatic event is a normal reaction. Everyone had to experience it after the loss of a loved one, loss of prestige or self-esteem.
Depression as a disease either occurs without a prior stressful situation, or has a high intensity, duration and leads to the appearance of specific symptoms of depression (see the American Psychiatric Association Test for Classical Depression).
You are depressed. What to do?
See your doctor. Getting out of depression on your own can take months or even years, or it may never take place. Helping loved ones is important, but it also doesn’t solve problems. Is it worth giving years of your life to depression?
Depression is treatable. Since both biological and psychological factors are involved in the development of depression, doctors successfully combine medication and psychotherapeutic treatment.
What is psychotherapy and why is it so effective for depression?
Experienced mental trauma, mental stress and low stress tolerance, conflicts with others and conflicts within one’s own personality, personality traits inherent in the process of its formation, difficult experiences about one’s own health – all this can underlie depression. Treatment with antidepressants alone without psychotherapy helps in these cases, but after drug withdrawal, depression can come back again and again. Therefore, psychotherapy in the treatment of depression is almost mandatory.
Psychotherapy is a comfortable, delicate and exciting method of treatment. Perhaps it would be fair to call psychotherapy an art – the profession of a psychotherapist requires not only serious training, but also a special talent.
There are a large number of psychotherapy methods, and therefore it is possible to choose the most effective and comfortable method for each patient. For example, “not naming the problem” therapy is practiced – when it is required to work through memories or experiences that one does not want or cannot talk about. Family psychotherapy successfully helps in solving family problems – for spouses or even the whole family, including children and parents.
By and large, psychotherapy is a great way to unleash the hidden abilities and talents of your own personality and learn to live and work easily and with pleasure. That is why more and more successful people use psychotherapy not only for therapeutic purposes, but also for further personal and career growth.
What medications are used for depression? Can you do without drugs?
Often, psychotherapists help their patients cope successfully with depression without taking medication. At the same time, in some forms of depression, medications are needed – to quickly stop difficult emotional experiences and restore the correct balance of neurotransmitters.
For depression, the following groups of drugs are used:
Antidepressants. Antidepressants restore the correct balance of neurotransmitters and thus eliminate the biochemical basis of depression, i.e. heal her. Over the past 10-15 years, the rhythm of human life has become so intense that depression has become one of the most common diseases, especially among active, able-bodied people. This required the development of new antidepressants – safe, active, and responsive. Therefore, in recent years, selective antidepressants have appeared; they relieve depression and at the same time do not induce lethargy. Using them, you can fully work, have sex, drive a car.
Vitamins, biostimulants and nootropics. These drugs allow you to establish the energy supply of brain cells, and therefore increase efficiency and stress resistance, improve physical well-being, and increase the effectiveness of antidepressants.
Tranquilizers. Tranquilizers do not cure depression, but they can quickly relieve its symptoms – melancholy, anxiety, fear and their bodily manifestations. Most antidepressants develop slowly, so tranquilizers can be added to the treatment regimen to quickly relieve the patient’s condition.
Antipsychotics. These are powerful anti-anxiety and antipsychotic drugs. Neutralizes fears and anxiety. Relieve the patient from the continuous tormenting stream of thoughts for months. Reduce bodily manifestations of somatized depression. Prescribed for moderate and severe depression.
Medication for mild depression usually consists of one antidepressant, vitamins and nootropics, and in more severe cases, tranquilizers and antipsychotics are added.
What if depression appears again and again?
As a rule, with frequently recurrent depression, we are faced with the following:
Psychological (personal) causes of depression have not been worked out.
Diseases leading to depressive conditions (thyroid disease, diabetes, hypertension, consequences of brain injuries, etc.) have not received proper assessment (treatment).
Insufficient duration of antidepressant treatment. A stable effect of antidepressant treatment develops (individually) after 3-12 months of regular use; for long-term treatment, the safest antidepressants are used under the control of blood tests.
Sometimes for a radical solution to the problem, preventive psychotherapeutic and / or drug treatment is required 1-2 times a year, for several years.
With the correct diagnosis, all four problems are solvable.