Do you have depression?
Many people think that depression is a bad mood. This view is certainly wrong, if you are a living person, then you have inevitable periods of emotional decline and recovery. Depression begins when you lose the ability to cope with such downturns. If a healthy person is yelled at by the boss, his mood will certainly deteriorate, this is completely normal. Such a person will stay in a bad mood for some time, but then inevitably he will be distracted, will work this negative on an unconscious level and will live on. There may be situations when the" precipitate " will still remain for a long time (how to deal with this, I'll tell you below), but nevertheless this episode will not poison the rest of a healthy person's life.
When depression is different. The most common signs of its presence are causeless bad mood, loss of the ability to enjoy life and increased fatigue for at least two weeks. Under the wanton here refers to the lack of daily traumatisierung factor causing an emotional depression. It doesn’t mean that if you’re rude on the bus, you have a reason to fall into melancholy for the next two weeks.
It should also be borne in mind that depression can be masked, that is not manifested through bad mood, and any somatic factors, disorders at the level of organs and systems of the body. Such depression is also unpleasant because it is poorly diagnosed. This is exactly what happened in my case, six months I was treated for anything, but not for depression. During these six months, I managed to undergo treatment for thyroid insufficiency, gastroesophageal (gastro-esophageal) reflux, gastric erosion, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic myocarditis, giardium and a number of other diseases.
Fortunately, there are quite objective methods for diagnosing depression. To assess the presence and severity of the disease, specialists use several scales, such as the Hamilton, Beck or Gotland scale. All of them are a set of questions, for each of which there are several possible answers, estimated by a different number of points. It is believed that the assessment should be made by a psychiatrist, and this is correct. It is always easier for a specialist to objectively assess the accuracy of your answers, clarify unclear points, ask leading questions.
At the same time, if you suspect that you have a depressive disorder and think that you are able to answer the questions as honestly as possible, it makes sense to test yourself before you run headlong to a psychiatrist. A negative answer may not always be correct in the case of self-test, but a positive is a sufficient reason for a visit to a specialist.
For independent work more than others suitable scale Zang.
Zang scale for self-assessment of depression (ZDRS)
Zang scale for self-assessment of depression (The Zung self-rating depression scale) was first published in the UK and subsequently received international recognition. It is developed on the basis of diagnostic criteria of depression and the results of a survey of patients with this disorder. Assessment of the severity of depression on it is based on the patient’s self-assessment. The scale contains 20 questions, each of which gives an answer to the frequency of occurrence of a particular feature, ranked in four gradations: “rare”, “sometimes”, “often” and “most of the time or constantly.”
Method of application: before starting the procedure, the subject should be acquainted with the method of working with the scale. The scale is filled in by the subject, and the specialist does not take part in its filling. The time required to fill in takes a few minutes.
The total score is determined by the results of the answers to all 20 points.
How it all began
Analyzing now my past, trying to find the causes of depression, I understand that there is no one traumatic situation that led to the development of the disease. Undoubtedly, my childhood experiences played a huge role. I was quite a weak physically and sickly child, and although I’m still not fully aware of everything that scared and traumatized me in the deep past, the intensive therapy I went through at Dr. Janov Center in Los Angeles and months of practice of my method convinced me that the roots of the problem grow from childhood.
At the same time, in full accordance with the causes of depression, set out in one of the previous chapters, in my mind there were a lot of quite conscious traumatic episodes from the less distant past and even the present. All this tension grew like a snowball and did not find a way out, in the end the psyche had to not withstand such pressure and break. That is what happened in August 2002.
At that time, I only suffered from the flu and was still in the recovery period, was weakened physically, residual effects continued to manifest themselves. It so happened that in the same period I was under the influence of chronic stress associated with problems at work and difficult relationships with his girlfriend. Problems have not been resolved for several months, and if the complexity of the working order, I objectively could not have any significant impact, the solution to the problems in my personal life was not due to the blocks, beliefs, blinkers, if you like, that existed in my mind at that time. All this mental stuff accumulated for decades and did not allow me to breathe calmly and carefully analyze the emerging life situations.
One fine morning I woke up and was surprised to find that my heart was beating faster than usual, without any physical or intellectual stress. Without paying special attention to it, I went to work, by the end of the working day to heartbeat the expressed shortness of breath was added. This went on for a few days, but I was really worried when I started daily bursts and drops in body temperature, with nothing obvious associated and not following any sustainable pattern.
My medical education played a cruel joke on me. The emotional sphere at that time had not yet been touched, and I was looking for the cause of ill health in anything but a depressive disorder. By the third week, my condition began to bother me seriously, I developed severe asthenia, I was tired very quickly and could not concentrate on doing any, even the most simple work.
The trip to the therapist and the General examination revealed no abnormalities, except for palpitations. There was a suspicion of myocarditis, which was rejected after a special instrumental examination. The next stage was the elimination of hormonal disorders, a detailed analysis revealed a slightly reduced level of thyroid hormones, and the next stage of my epic began.
On the recommendation of an endocrinologist, I started taking thyroxine, the main product of the thyroid gland, with regular blood tests and monitoring of hormone levels. I must say that the process is not fast and we spent another month to fix the minimum violation that was found in me. Needless to say, it did not produce any results.
Since I did not receive adequate treatment, my condition continued to deteriorate, and now he added disorders of the digestive system. The first was a stable heartburn, after taking almost any food, it quickly led to the development of pain in the stomach and the emergence of erosion of the gastric wall. In addition to thyroid hormones, I started taking drugs to reduce the acidity of gastric juice and was treated with antibiotics for the eradication of Helicobacter pilory, a bacterium that causes stomach ulcers.
As soon as I heal one manifestation of the disease, as she found a way out in something else, now I had to deal with gastroesophageal reflux, an extremely unpleasant disease, manifested by the casting of undigested food and gastric juice from the stomach into the esophagus. Another series of examinations, unsuccessful drug therapy and the proposed surgery aimed at narrowing the diameter of the gastro-esophageal valve. All this against the background of continuous deterioration of the General state of health.
I understood that the operation would not solve anything and would not save me from suffering. It was necessary to find the root cause of the disease, and I went to London, for examination in Cromwell Hospital, one of the best private hospitals in the UK. By this time, I looked so depressed that, to the credit of my therapist, he didn’t have to exhaust me with numerous and unnecessary tests. First of all, looking at my hormonal tests and conducting an external examination, he immediately said that my thyroid is all right, and advised me to immediately throw out all my pills for hypothyroidism.
Then, after asking me in detail about the symptoms of the disease and the effect of the treatment (or rather, its absence), he was the first to utter the fatal word: “Depression”. In other circumstances, I would have been extremely upset by such a diagnosis, but by that time I was so exhausted that I was even glad to see him. Anything to get some certainty and the right treatment. I had no idea what was ahead of me. I was sick by this time for about six months.