How to Cope with Depression?
“I have depression” – we often hear these words. But most often people call depression the usual attacks of melancholy and bad mood, which often pass by themselves a maximum of a few days. Real depression is a disease that can poison life for many years and never goes away without treatment.
What is depression?
Depression is a serious illness characterized by clear symptoms that distinguish it from a bad mood.
The main signs of depression include:
- A joyless, oppressed state;
- Frequent and sudden mood swings;
- Anhedonia, the loss of feelings of pleasure (“Nothing pleases and is not interested»);
- Inability to concentrate, memory impairment;
- The inability to make a decision, the constant return to the same issues;
- Fear, anxiety, panic attacks, attacks of aggression;
- Chronic feeling of fatigue, lethargy (“Wake up broken”);
- Sleep Disturbance, insomnia or, conversely, constant drowsiness;
- Loss of appetite, weight loss, digestive problems;
- Depression libido;
Feeling of pressure, heaviness in the abdomen and chest, shortness of breath; various vegetative symptoms, such as excessive sweating, tremor, dry mouth and others.
If these symptoms occur simultaneously and last for several weeks, then there is every reason to suspect depression.
We used to believe that depression is always a consequence of some sad events – the loss of loved ones, divorce, loss of favorite work. But that’s not exactly true. There are three main types of depression – reactive, somatic and endogenous. Jet really is the consequence of abrupt changes in life or of trauma. Endogenous arises as if “out of the blue”, without any obvious reasons. In fact, there are reasons, they are just not so noticeable to others. Endogenous depression can be the result of hormonal imbalances (especially well-known postnatal depression), taking some drugs, alcohol or drugs. Somatic depression is one manifestation of another disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease, hypothyroidism, traumatic brain injury, or even the common flu.
In addition, residents of the Northern latitudes are often observed seasonal depression associated with a lack of sunlight.
It is very dangerous to underestimate or poetize depression. In this state there is nothing attractive or romantic, it destroys the life and personality of a person, affecting not only himself but also his loved ones. Tips “stop whining” and” pull yourself together ” are not only useless, but also very harmful – a depressed person is unable to control this condition in the same way as a patient with a broken leg can not run a hundred meters. Reproaches of friends lead only to the fact that a person is even more confident in his weakness and worthlessness and even deeper immersed in this state. It is also wrong to believe that the disease is the result of the tendency to analyze too much and”wind yourself”. Even small children who have barely learned to speak can suffer from depression.
This disease is one of the most common mental disorders – it affects more than 350 million people of all age groups. Every year, about 150 million people in the world are deprived of working capacity due to depression. At the same time, women get sick twice as often as men – although doctors explain such statistics not by the “resistance” of the stronger sex, but only by the fact that men are less likely to turn to specialists and “are treated” mainly with alcohol or other similar means. There is another disturbing fact – according to statistics, the risk of getting depression increases three times if someone in the family already suffers from this disease.
Treat, cannot be deferred!
Getting rid of depression quickly is very difficult, and without the help of doctors and psychologists – it is impossible. But the disease is successfully treated with the right approach. Complex measures are usually prescribed.
First to fight drugs – antidepressants. They should be selected by a doctor-as a rule, such tablets can not be bought without a prescription, and uncontrolled intake of funds of this group can lead not to recovery, but to deterioration. Antidepressants relieve the main symptoms. As a rule, the stage of medical treatment lasts from several weeks to several months. As a Supplement to antidepressants, sedatives are often prescribed. In some cases, a good effect is also given by physiotherapy, light treatment, acupuncture.
After improving the condition, there is a period of consolidation of the results. This stage of treatment is equally important – depression is insidious and can return again in a few months or even years. In order not to leave the disease a single chance, you need a course of psychotherapy and individual work with a psychologist. To combat depression, there are many techniques-cognitive psychotherapy, which aims-to change the perception of man about himself and the world; interpersonal psychotherapy, helping to resolve conflicts with others; behavioral therapy designed to change the behavior that leads to stress and depression; psychodynamic method that resolves internal conflicts of a person with himself and many others. The duration of this stage depends on the severity of the condition and how the patient is ready for cooperation: it will take from several sessions to several months of work with a specialist.
The author of the book “The Loss of sadness: how psychiatry transformed normal sadness to a pathological depression,” Jerome Wakefield argues that depression could be the impetus for positive changes in your life, allowing you to understand the desires and to learn from mistakes.
How to beat depression, or antidepressant advice
You can overcome depression only if you really want it. And if the fight against the disease is limited only to the formal taking of pills and visiting doctors, the result will not be achieved or the path to recovery will stretch for months or even years. To get back in shape as soon as possible, “antidepressant measures” need to be actively incorporated into everyday life. There are no trifles in the treatment of depression. Of course, these tips will not help cure the disease without medication and psychotherapy, but can significantly speed up the process.
For depression are typified by obsessive thought, get rid of which very difficult. If you feel that for the hundredth time you are scrolling in your head the same memories and questions, switch your attention to any subject. Lift a stone from the ground, consider it, note the color, texture, weight, twist in your hands, think what it looks like. Instead of a stone, you can use any other object – a key, a leaf from a tree, anything that comes to hand. It is important to concentrate on contemplation. In a few minutes, the gloomy thoughts will recede.
This is not psychology, and pure physiology – during exercise, like them or not, the brain produces endorphins – hormones of happiness and joy, the lack of which provokes depression.
Art therapy is a whole section of psychotherapy. Creativity really helps to cope with depression. Any result of creative work increases self-esteem, while the process itself is important. But the artistic value does not matter much.
Do not hold emotion in itself
The demands to “pull myself together“,”keep the blow” and “do not get unstuck“, as we have said, only drive a person into an even deeper depression. Pent-up emotions are like a bomb exploding inside. Even healthy people, who keep everything in themselves, pay for their apparent composure with neuroses and psychosomatic diseases. If you want to cry-cry, I want to scream-scream, I want to rampage-beat the sofa cushion.
Start to keep a diary in which you will celebrate all the pleasant moments, even if they were very fleeting and insignificant. Pay attention to what pleases you most often, and strive for it.