It is considered that a depressed person looks sad and depressed. Nothing pleases him, so he certainly looks like a melancholic donkey Eeyore. The classic “troika” of symptoms of depression: anhedonia (inability to get joy from life), adynamia (unwillingness to make any movements, even brush your teeth in the morning) and retardation of thinking – really means a very sad person who has been lying on the couch for weeks to the wall. However, the manifestations of depression are much more diverse than is commonly believed. Sometimes depression is masked by other diseases, and, before making a correct diagnosis, the doctor has to sort out one hypothesis after another.
Remember the grandmothers in the tram, who wake up before dawn and go to public transport – without a specific goal, but in a very bad mood. They cling to all around with morals and abuse, and if it is possible to provoke a full-fledged conflict, this is a real holiday for the elderly person. Weliness, quarrelship, the desire to criticize everyone and everything, categorical disagreement with any event in life (from creative activity to the snow outside the window) is considered to be a manifestation of “complex nature” and “old age.” In fact, this is not always the case. Irritability, and sometimes hatred of everything, can be a manifestation of dysphoria in depression, and this is due to a lack of serotonin in the brain (while the always quiet and sad “donkey Eey” are, as a rule, patients with predominant dopamine deficiency) .
Postpartum depression is also often manifested by the predominance of negative emotions over melancholy. Such a mother does not see anything good in her parenthood, but only experiences a diverse range of negative feelings: from sluggish irritation to acute anger with the desire to hit the child. Therefore, if the range of your emotions is represented mainly by minor shades, it is worth considering and, possibly, visiting a specialist.
Impairment of memory and attention
This problem often occurs in the elderly. Forgetfulness, decline in daily activity, unwillingness to learn news is usually written off as “senile insanity” and presented with a pessimistic statement: “Well, what do you want, age”.
Often this happens after a serious illness that suddenly overtook an elderly person. This may be a stroke, heart attack, or recently diagnosed cancer. And now the pensioner, who had recently been vigorous and full of modest plans to improve his summer cottage, hoped to undergo an annual examination at the clinic, suddenly loses interest in everything, down to elementary household chores: he ceases to take a shower, forgets to eat, does not understand which tablets he should to accept. A detailed examination by a neurologist helps to distinguish between true memory loss and depression. The latter is much easier and more effective to heal: one or two simple tablets plus a little attention from loved ones work wonders and quickly allow you to return the person’s personality literally from non-existence.
And again, remember the grandmothers from the tram. Why do they get up so early, if they still do not need a job? Of course, the elderly have reduced need for night sleep, sometimes up to 4–5 hours. However, this is not the only reason for the early awakenings.
If a person wakes up every morning with anxious thoughts, starts thinking about possible negative life scenarios that may never happen, or build endless dialogues with offenders in his head, the matter may be depressed. Disturbance of the depth of sleep and its duration is a common occurrence in depressive states.
It is normal to feel guilty because you accidentally hurt a person. However, if the wine gets colossal proportions and for a long time prevails over the rest of the emotions, the matter is bad. A mother who feels guilty in front of the child, because every morning she takes him to the kindergarten to go to work, and who is at the same time ashamed before the boss, that she too often remembers her baby, is probably depressed. A man who feels guilty in front of his parents, wife, children, friends and a little bit — in front of all of humanity as a whole, probably also has problems with neurotransmitter metabolism in the brain.
A girl who feels guilty in front of a mirror for being too fat, in front of feminists for wanting to lose weight and pleasing men (in other words, supports the idea of objectifying the female body), and in front of her mother for not matching her ideas of beauty, too, may need the help of a specialist.
Incomprehensible pains with which the patient went around all the doctors, but did not find their reasons. Indefinite discomfort, a feeling of constant fatigue for no apparent reason and a complete lack of vitality. Strange headaches, the cause of which the doctor does not find either after an examination or on an MRI. All of this may be “bodily” manifestations of depression.
Sometimes depression is masked by the exacerbation of a chronic disease, such as gastritis. An important “beacon” is the discrepancy between the picture, which is found after the examination, and the patient’s subjective sensations. If there is a non-dangerous catarrhal gastritis on gastroscopy, and the patient feels terrible discomfort day and night, he is sure that there is nothing worse than his illness and his manifestations of his simple illness are apocalyptic with the end of the world, it can be a depressive disorder.
Manifestations of depression do not always fit into the classical scheme and are often not understood by the patient: it is difficult for him to imagine that this is not the world around has become somehow gray and hostile, it is his brain that broadcasts a distorted picture and needs careful “reconfiguration.”