Depression: causes and symptoms

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Depression may seem like a minor illness, but it prevents you from living a normal life — learning, working, writing books and pictures, making friends and raising children.

Depression may seem like a minor illness, but it prevents you from living a normal life — learning, working, writing books and pictures, making friends and raising children. Severe forms of depression in 15% of cases end in suicide - according to WHO statistics, this is about 800,000 cases per year and second place in the rating of causes of death for people aged 15-29 years.

What is depression?

Clinical depression is a mental disorder that, according to statistics, 300 million people worldwide suffer. Depression is expressed by apathy, bad mood, reduced physical activity, sleep and eating disorders, anxiety, guilt feelings and loss of the meaning of life. If you have this type of mental illness you may find it hard to perform daily tasks and find pleasure. Some people choose to deal with it on their own, which can be extremely difficult. This disorder can become overwhelming at times and can mentally drain someone.

When depression is hard to work: each sentence must be re-read several times, it is difficult to focus attention and to keep in mind even simple tasks, and at the same time it does not leave a sense of meaninglessness of what is happening and its fault for helplessness and "laziness."

In addition to work, they cease to interest things that usually give pleasure: books, films, music, hobbies, children. This condition is called "anhedonia" - the inability to rejoice and have fun.

Depression is often underestimated and confused with a bad mood. If the project is not going well at work, or your favorite car keys are lost, a little sadness is normal. To refuse dessert (or vice versa, to eat two), to go to bed early, to cry in the end - in the normal state of such means are usually enough to feel better.

But in the case of depression, proven self-help tools do not help, and a bad mood may not have any “objective” reasons. A person can be supported by a family and wait for class work, but still, I want to cover myself with a blanket with my head and not leave the room almost never. And this state lasts for several weeks, months and even years.

Why does depression occur?

Studies have shown that during the disease increases the activity of neurons, which are responsible for negative emotions and fear, and decreases the activity of those that form positive emotions and a sense of satisfaction. Insufficient activity of neurons "reward" in the brain leads to a lack of motivation. Negative thoughts are repeated in a cycle,
and positive emotions fail to “kill” them.

Depression is associated with an imbalance between positive and negative emotions.

The development of depression is influenced by external circumstances, psychological factors, genetic predisposition.

As an external trigger can serve as a stressful situation - the loss of a loved one, parting with a partner, an unexpected dismissal or relocation.

Internal causes may be associated with a genetic predisposition. Research suggests that several genes may be involved in the development of a depressive disorder. They are mainly associated with the work of brain neurons.

How to treat depression

Psychotherapy is used to treat depression. Antidepressants of various classes are used as a medicine: serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and others.

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors block the return of neurotransmitter to neurons. Serotonin acts on receptors longer and creates a feeling of pleasure. At the same time, the drug does not increase the amount of serotonin, but only stretches the expiration date - this is how to transfer the clock in the computer a day ago to extend the license of the program.

Due to the fact that inhibitors do not interfere directly in the process of mediator synthesis, the drug is almost not addictive.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors block the enzyme that destroys monoamines - serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine. As in the case of serotonin, it allows neurotransmitters to stay active longer and maintain the emotional state of patients

In addition to drugs and psychotherapy, regular physical exertion helps to cope with depression (running or swimming will be an ideal option), proper nutrition with a high content of omega-3 fatty amino acids, meditation. There are several non-drug methods: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), light therapy, biofeedback.

How to help people with depression

Despite the availability of treatment, only 10% of patients receive professional help - simply because everyone else does not apply for it.

This is due to the widespread attitude towards people with depression as “lazy and dicky”, with all the ensuing requirements in the spirit of “pull yourself together, a rag”. Under public pressure, the patients themselves begin to believe that the disease is contrived, and they must cope on their own. Cope fails - and this only increases the sense of guilt.

Dealing with depression alone is as easy as lowering blood pressure by force of will.

If any of your loved ones suffer from depression, try to tactfully express your support, tell us about ways to get professional help, but do not try to shake up, cheer and "fix". Acceptance and patient treatment in such cases is a more effective remedy. Depression is a painful condition that includes disturbance in the emotional sphere (decrease in mood, loss of joy, inability to experience pleasure), mental sphere (pessimism, everything seems to be negative), change in activity (decrease in activity or, on the contrary, fuss), additionally may be a decrease or increase in appetite, insomnia or drowsiness, thoughts of death (including suicide), inability to make decisions. Guilt feelings can also occur. If the feeling of guilt is a habitual experience, we can say that a depressive character is formed.

Most cases of alcohol, drug abuse, extreme sports, gambling addiction, workaholism, and other addictions are associated with trying to escape from depression.

In other cases, the desire to "cancel" depression leads to emotional swings. It is an illusion that everything is wonderful and there is no reason for depression. This is accompanied by a rise in mood. But life cannot be fooled and illusions, when faced with reality, are scattered. Then there is a new painful fall into depression.

So, if you are faced with depression, it is best to make an appointment with a doctor (general practitioner, neurologist, psychotherapist). An experienced doctor can prescribe antidepressants that suppress the symptoms of depression (and in life-threatening cases, especially if you are obsessive thoughts of suicide, their purpose is justified). But the cure, alas, does not occur. After drug withdrawal, depression usually returns after a while. It can also change forms - for example, manifest psychosomatic diseases (that is, diseases of the body caused by a psychological problem).

How then not to suppress the symptoms of depression for a while, but to cure it? Treatment of depression should be accompanied by a psychologist or psychotherapist. The fact is that in the treatment of depression it is necessary to plunge into depression, no matter how strange it may sound.

Depression is a condition that has arisen due to the suppression of strong feelings! Depression is often spoken of as a state of depression. This is a very precise definition. It is the suppression of one's strong feelings — anger, sadness, despair, etc. that causes depression. It is on the suppression and avoidance of feelings that a huge amount of energy is spent, which leads to fatigue and joylessness.

Depending on the type of depression, one can judge about the avoidable feeling. For example, anxious depression is the avoidance of aggression, melancholy - sadness, apathetic - boredom.

Some people that have this condition do not even know. Their symptoms can be so subtle that it does not impact their lives the slightest. For many people, this is not the case. Most people with depression find it hard to get out of bed in the mornings.

They have a negative output on life and feel that they have nothing to look forward to. Most people do, however, get up in the mornings but only because they feel an obligation to complete tasks. For these people, life is not enjoyable.

When experiencing this type of mental disorder most people choose to seek medical help.

Sometimes these people think that once they see a therapist or get on medication all of their problems will go away. This is most commonly not the outcome. Therapy usually takes an extended period of time to work, and medication for this condition is normally prescribed on a trial and error basis. It is hard for a therapist to solve a lifetime of problems in just one day and all medications work differently. After seeking medical attention and finding these things out sometimes the illness can worsen.

Some people choose to give up on their method of treatment because they think it does not work. Those people go on feeling hopeless and helpless. The people that choose to stick with their plan normally find success, but like previously stated it may not come quickly. It is common to switch medications or therapist multiple times throughout the treatment. Sometimes people feel that they cannot connect with their therapist on the level they need to, or they must switch for insurance reason. Medications, on the other hand, can have negative side effects or worsen the depression. If setbacks like this occur, it can continue or even worse.

It may sometimes feel as if medical treatment for this type of illness is an endless process.

Eventually, the right medication will be selected and a good therapist will be found. At this point, the condition may start to decrease. The feelings of depression will start to go away and you can go on to live life to its fullest. On occasion, it may rear its ugly head, but always keep in mind the good over the bad. Being optimistic is one of the key aspects of living with this disorder. It may always be a part of your life, but it does not have to take over it.

Many people live with this condition and live a happy and healthy life. Deciding how to deal with it is up to you. The most important thing to remember is that you can overcome it. Whether you decide to seek medical help or not, it should never be the most important thing in your life.

Depression psychotherapy is careful, careful, with the support of a psychotherapist, immersion into a frightening feeling and experience it. When it turns out that the feeling of sadness, for example, is not so terrible, it is lived through and there is an opportunity to live other feelings, which are called positive. In addition, a large number of forces are being released, which was spent on restraining emotions.

There are numerous ways that exercise may help someone struggling with depression. While it is essential to realize that should you be clinically determined to have depression or think that you have depression make certain you talk about treatment options with an experienced specialist.

These are a few reasons how exercise and depression are linked and how some physical activity can be employed as a therapy option:


When an individual experiences any style of exercise this compound is released within the body. Endorphins behave as a painkiller so the main reason that the body produces this chemical substance is to combat the beating that a body takes during physical activity. Nevertheless, there can be side effects of endorphins that can assist someone with depression. This compound can also offer a euphoric sensation. This feeling can help people attain a positive frame-of-mind and a general happy condition.

As noted above, the main purpose of endorphins is to work as a painkiller. This is often largely intended for the impact of physical exercise, but this result can in addition help folks who are coping with persistent pain or other ailments. This pain may result in depression, so a respite from the pain can help with treatment.

Group exercise and/or performing exercises with a friend:

By exercising with a few friends, or even within a group of strangers, adds lots of positive social experiences. This social interaction is great therapy for anyone struggling with depression. Also, exercising with others is a fantastic way to maintain a fitness program. It is harder for a person to give up an exercise program as long as they know that there can be others relying on them being there.

Sleep improvement:

Exercising helps individuals achieve regular and better sleep. This is basically because of the demands put on the body. Poor sleep is connected to depression, so achieving better sleep is an additional great way in which exercise can help as a treatment against depression.

Any exercise can help:

Numerous people are reluctant to start a new exercise routine because they figure that they can't deal with demanding physical activity. And also, they may think that they merely don't have the time. Nonetheless, any exercise can help. Begin by simply walking around the block a couple of times. This does not involve demanding activity and can be carried out in a short amount of time. After a while, you'll discover yourself strolling farther and more quickly. Ultimately, that stroll may turn into a jog.

Even though it is a rising phenomenon, numerous physicians are not suggesting exercise as a depression treatment. Do not let this deter you. Bring it up with your doctor and as long as it is not forbidden, start with some light walking or jogging. You might be surprised by just how much some exercise will affect depression.