Depression, related to the so-called mood disorders, is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world. According to WHO, more than 350 million people suffer from it. These are people of all ages and categories of the population, but still there are more women among them – “due to unique biological, hormonal, social and behavioral factors.” Well, nothing warned – means armed. Let’s look at depressive disorder from three perspectives: medicine, the patient and his inner circle – and find out what each side can do.
Depression Treatment: Specialists Help
“Medicine has effective treatments. When choosing a doctor, it is necessary to take into account many factors: from the degree of the disorder itself to, ideally, genetics. ” If the form of the disease is moderate or severe, usually it is not without medication, and they are very different: antidepressants, normotimics, anxiolytics, rarely antipsychotics.
There are more than 15 groups of antidepressants alone and hundreds of drugs that differ in chemical structure and mechanism of action. Each of them can be applied in one case and be completely contraindicated in another. “In addition, combinations of various classes of psychotropic drugs are often used for the pharmacotherapy of depressive disorders. For example, in depressions with anxiety-phobic phenomena in combination with, for example, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, so-called anxiolytics are often prescribed (psychotropic drugs that suppress anxiety, fear, anxiety and emotional stress or reduce their severity). ”
As for non-drug options, two have shown good effectiveness: cognitive-behavioral therapy (the most popular method in the USA) and psychoanalysis (in honor of European experts). Cognitive-behavioral therapy is about changing the patient’s negative thinking and helping them develop new behavioral responses to stressful situations.
“The tremendous success of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy in the treatment of depression has led to the fact that in the event of a mild or moderate severity disorder, a person can do without drugs – unless, of course, he actively cooperates with a psychotherapist. “A new direction is still actively developing – mindfulness-based (based on awareness) cognitive psychotherapy, which shows encouraging results in working with chronic drug-resistant depression.” Psychoanalytic techniques are aimed at the gradual resolution of internal conflicts that interfere with enjoyment of life, allow a person to learn and understand how his inner world of feelings, emotions, thoughts and fantasies works.
“Recently a fairly young direction has begun to develop, a personalized psychiatry based on psychogenetics and psychopharmacogenetics. Its essence lies in specialized screening studies and compilation of genetic maps, both by predisposition to the development of certain mental states, and by selecting the most effective psychotropic drugs, their dosages and minimizing side effects. ” As you can see, science does not stand still. But patients themselves sometimes do nothing.
Is it possible to get out of depression on my own?
Although there are effective treatments for depression, less than half of those affected get them, and in some countries less than 10%. One of the reasons that is relevant for our penises is stigmatization, a social stereotype that depression is a whim, inability to pull oneself together, and weakness of character. Therefore, many are ashamed, even close to talk about their feelings, not like a psychiatrist. “It’s not necessary to complain about depression, it must be treated. As a rule, rational people decide to seek help at the moment when the disease violates the usual way of life (it is impossible to wake up to go to work, the quality of mental activity decreases, memory and attention worsen). In this regard, worse for those who are not particularly busy with anything and can afford not to get out of the room for days. Their illness can go far, and the intervention of relatives will be required. ”
Doctors advise first of all to contact a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist who will conduct the necessary tests, assess the severity of the condition and, if necessary, send him to the psychiatrist for pills. Finding a good doctor is, of course, difficult, but nothing is impossible. “Alliance with a specialist is very important – this is a combination of trust, mutual respect and willingness to cooperate. Psychotherapy is far from always easy and pleasant; it is work, labor, but it is the alliance that becomes its foundation. Therefore, if it seems to you that you are being devalued, not heard, give ready-made advice or tell life-saving stories from your own life, try to look for someone else. ” By the way, psychoanalysis is also good because the training and work of specialists is controlled by reputable organizations. For example, the International Psychoanalytic Association website has a list of all psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically oriented therapists.
The topic of self-medication is even embarrassing to raise, but nevertheless we will say a few words. Breathing exercises, meditation, auto-training and other practices can accompany therapy only under the supervision of a specialist. If you plan to heal yourself, nothing good will come of it. “Perhaps there will be a temporary effect, which is due to the replacement of the intrapsychic conflict with increased physical or mental stress. Compare this situation with acute appendicitis: it is enough to drink a powerful painkiller, and it seems that everything has passed. However, when the effect of the drug is over, the discomfort will return in double volume, and everything can even end fatally. ” The same applies to self-administration of antidepressants: if you want improvements, rather than exacerbating symptoms, you should never do this.
Help relatives and friends to a person in depression
Our expert works with the disease using cognitive-behavioral therapy. Taking this opportunity, we asked her to draw up a certain manual – how to behave with a person with a mood disorder. The likelihood that he will appear in your circle sooner or later is quite high: every sixth inhabitant of our planet has experienced depression at least once in his life.
“To be honest, talking with such a patient is a challenge. Not in the sense that depression is contagious (not contagious!), But it is a difficult task to tact, kindness and common sense. Moreover, the success of treatment largely depends on the recommendations that the patient hears from relatives and friends. So be careful.
Suspecting depression in a loved one is quite easy – by sudden changes in behavior.
- He often looks depressed.
- His facial expressions and gestures are impoverished.
- It seems as if he lacks energy.
- The conversation is dominated by topics of helplessness, hopelessness, the meaninglessness of what is happening.
- A person reduces activity, is reluctant to make contact, tries once again not to leave the house, which is completely unlike him.
If you again and again observe something similar with a girlfriend, partner or someone from relatives, it’s time to act.
CORRECT: Persuade a person to go to the doctor. It’s best to say bluntly: “You have changed, and I am worried about you. You look and behave differently than always. These changes are similar to symptoms of depression, so you need to see a doctor. Everything is treatable. ” It is important not to back down if your interlocutor starts brushing it off. Your task is to encourage him to turn to a specialist, and therefore it is appropriate to show calm perseverance. Today, psychotherapists are able to accurately diagnose depression, and if it is not found, no one will treat the patient for a non-existent disease. Therefore, you are not risking anything.
The patient can write off his condition to external circumstances (an evil boss, lack of money, problems in his personal life) or, in very difficult cases, not see a way out at all (all in vain, nothing will help me). What to do in such cases? Depends on who gets sick. If we are talking about a very close person, we must unite with other relatives and friends and together demand an immediate visit to the doctor. If this is someone you know, admit that you are not omnipotent and cannot do good without taking into account the will of others.
WRONG: In response to the expressed sadness and depression, to promise that “it will pass by itself”, to try to amuse or, even worse, simply change the subject. Yes, a depressive episode can really go away on its own, but with a high probability it will return and the disease will become chronic.
CORRECT: To persuade a person to refrain from making fundamental decisions regarding his life (such as changing his job, partner, place of residence) until he is completely cured. For example, like this: “The period of depression is not the time for change and assessment. Let’s wait a bit with that. ” The fact is that under the influence of the disease, we seriously change our attitude to ourselves, to people around us or to the future, and there is a false feeling that the problem can be solved “surgically”. In fact, these feelings are dictated by the disease, and listening to them is certainly not worth it.
WRONG: Engage in such conversations – look for the guilty or analyze childhood for the subject of non-existent psychological trauma. By supporting such rhetoric, we only plunge a person deeper into difficult experiences and strengthen his symptoms.