Many use the word “depression” to describe bad mood, sadness, or simply to say that they are not in the spirit. When a specialist uses the word “depression” – he means clinical depression – major depressive disorder (BDR).

Major depressive disorder (BDR): a condition in which the feeling of sadness is much stronger than usual and lasts longer than usual. In addition, there is a loss of interest and pleasure.

People suffering from depression experience difficulties in daily functioning. Difficulties also arise at work. Very often they are not interested in the proximity of family and friends. They feel desperate and useless.

There are different types of depression of varying severity: postpartum depression, seasonal depression, mild depression, and clinical depression (BDR).

Depression can be expressed as symptoms on both psychological and physical levels.

Symptom of Depression

Symptoms of depression are individual and manifest in each person differently. Not all of the following symptoms should be present in depression. There are also additional symptoms, not listed below, that may be present in depression.

    • Reduced mood.
    • Loss of pleasure.
    • Obsessive occupation of guilt and self-abasement.
    • Feeling helpless and desperate and self-loathing.
    • Deterioration of memory and ability to concentrate.
    • Removal from social activity.
    • Problems in the sexual sphere.
    • Disturbed sleep.
    • Low or increased appetite.
    • Thoughts of death or suicide.
    • Various physical symptoms such as fatigue, apathy, headaches and digestive problems.
    • In certain cases, delusions and/or hallucinations (usually auditory hallucinations) may be present.

    Risk Factors for Depression

    In most cases, it is not about one single cause leading to depression, but a combination of several causes.

    The following are causes that increase the risk of depression:

    • Heredity.
    • Early trauma, such as abuse, separation, or neglect.
    • Deterioration of physical condition.
    • Chronic pain due to injury, accident or illness.
    • Separation and loss.
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder or its complications.
    • Old age or widowhood, especially among men.
    • Previous mental disorders.
    • Adaptive response to changes in status, place of residence, especially in people with dependent personality.
    • Various physical ailments such as Parkinson’s and fibromyalgia.

    The thoughts of a depressed person can be dark and unpleasant, accompanied by a sense of failure, low self-esteem, and despair. These thoughts and feelings are accompanied by anxiety and reduced functioning – relative to the expectations of others, or his own.

    And yet, there is good news – there is what to do and who to turn to.

    Professional Help

    Psychological treatment from an independent practitioner: private treatment (psychotherapeutic treatment, psychiatric treatment, etc.) from an independent practitioner, through a health insurance Fund or in private.

    Psychological treatment in a polyclinic: includes psychiatric consultation, psychiatric treatment, recommendations to family members, etc.Treatment is carried out in psychiatric clinics of hospital offices, in public clinics of the Ministry of Health, in clinics at hospitals or in private clinics.

    Day hospital: a day hospital is a “transit point” between living in the community and hospitalization in the hospital and Vice versa. The treatment is very intensive: about 6 hours a day are different types of treatment-psychotherapy, group therapy, occupational therapy, etc.

    Hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital: designed for severe cases in which staying at home is impossible because of the risk (both for the patient and for others), because of reckless behavior or the need for continuous care.


    A person who is depressed is very difficult to find the strength to take care of himself. But if a person takes an active role in the treatment and goes to concrete actions, it will help to improve his condition.

    Care and self-care

    Quality sleep: most people with depression sleep either very little or very much. Quality sleep can significantly improve mood and increase the amount of energy during the day.
    Balanced diet: a varied and enriched diet will help to improve health, add clarity of thinking and increase the amount of energy in the body.

    Medication: taking medication on time and in the doses recommended by your doctor may help to improve mood and will be a palliative, complementary treatment to psychotherapeutic and/or group treatment.

    Sports: simple sports such as yoga, walking and swimming will help to improve your mood.
    Hygiene: when people suffer from depression, hygiene can become an impossible task. Regular bathing and comfortable, neat clothes can greatly improve the inner feeling.

    Introduce good habits

    Focus on positive things: make a list of actions, people and places that cause a feeling of happiness and well-being. You can choose from a list of things that are already being done, or you can do them every day. Most likely, it is impossible to do everything that is written in the list every day, but you can try to enter those things that can be done daily in the daily routine. At this point, this list may look pointless, but in the future it can become a source of ideas and lead to the understanding that all situations are transient and there is nothing that would remain unchanged.

    Be sensitive to yourself: no need for criticism or self-flagellation, if something did not work, or plans are not implemented. In addition, you can try to apply to yourself all that you would advise a friend, whether he is in your situation.

    Show Activity

    To join any group: the group in Matnas (community center), a community group with those closest to you in spirit and interests, sign up for a program or club. It’s important to find something you like to do to increase motivation.

    Trying new things: Hobbies, course, studies and new experiences can improve mood and prevent negative thoughts and actions.

    Volunteering: being able to do something for others directly affects the inner feeling and the feeling of loneliness. There are organizations and various structures such as medical facilities, matney, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, factories and museums, looking for people who want to help.

    Set real goals: it is important to set real and independent goals: dress up in the morning, swim, walk around the neighborhood on your own or prepare food. Achieving these goals improves mood, gives confidence and encourages the establishment of the following goals.

    Effect not mood

    Mood observation: for some time, mood observation provides an opportunity to see a picture of changes in feelings and shows that the number of good days is greater than it may seem. This review will show the real picture that not everything is permanent and that there are activities, people and places that improve mood.

    Use imagination: imagination gives you the opportunity to plunge into the memories of good emotions and pleasant places. You can even imagine a future experience or a place you would like to visit. This method helps to understand that there are things that improve our health.

    Development of social relations and interpersonal relations

    Stay in touch: if you feel like you do not want to see anyone, you can send a message or contact by e-mail with family, friends or acquaintances.

    Communication: it is difficult to start talking about your feelings and feelings, but many people say that they feel better after they share their impressions and experiences.

    Join a support group: participating in support group meetings is a great opportunity to listen to people who are or have been in a similar situation and get information from them. Information on support groups on the topic of depression can be obtained through Internet searches, access to health insurance Fund or mental health stations.

    Getting support via the Internet: professional support via the Internet can help in cases where a person cannot or cannot ask for help. Professional forums or chat rooms, such as ERAN (Rishon Ezra navset – psychological first aid) or MOTHER – Kehilat briut hanefesh – society for mental health can provide first aid.

    Advice to family and friends of a depressed person

    Talk about bad mood and depression: it is difficult for most people to talk about their health and what is happening to them. It is necessary to remain open, talk about depression or about mixed feelings. This way, your friend or close relative who is depressed will feel more comfortable telling you what is happening to him.

    Advise to apply and send for professional assistance: a close friend or relative can be those who will provide assistance and support – both in everyday life and in applying for professional help. Talking over a Cup of coffee or a slow walk around the house can improve your mood, help to trust a friend or relative and lead to a decision, finding a way out of the situation and strength. It is impossible to force a person to ask for help if he is not interested in it, but it is possible to listen, calm, encourage to ask for help and remind that this opportunity always exists.

    Staying in touch: it is sometimes difficult for a depressed person to stay in touch and keep in touch, so his friends and family should try to stay in touch with him. Text messages or phone conversations can mean a lot to him and remind him what they think about him.

    Take care of yourself: caring for another person affects our feelings. Close family and friends can also receive support and guidance and participate in suitable support groups.