Depression how to get out of it – outline
Depression is a serious mental disorder, the signs of which it is important to recognize in time and choose an effective treatment. What is the essence of the disease, what are its RIA Novosti, 21.12.2021
MOSCOW, Dec. 21 – RIA Novosti. Depression is a serious mental disorder, the signs of which are important to recognize in time and choose an effective treatment. The answers to these questions are in the article of RIA Novosti. What is depression? Depression is a type of mental disorder that depresses people. Such a disease often provokes a decrease in self-esteem, apathy and a feeling of uselessness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depressive disorder is widespread throughout the planet and affects about 280 million people.According to a study by scientists from the University of Michigan, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men. This is primarily due to the work of the brain’s neural cells responsible for the reproduction of emotions. In the course of experiments with mice it was discovered that in stressful situations, the activity of these cells in males was lower than in females.In menThe manifestation of depressive disorder in men and women is different, as the former are less inclined to demonstrate their feelings and experiences.Because men do not fully recognize the presence of a possible disease, depression in them often runs more severe than in women.Solution of psychological problems in the stronger half of humanity usually takes last place, so the symptoms of possible illnesses in the male. This is due to the fact that they do not consider going to the doctor as a manifestation of weakness, and pay more attention to their health and the solution of psychological problems.Many experts believe that hormonal changes that occur in the female body throughout life are one of the main causes of depression.This mental disorder in women begins with systematic mood swings, tearfulness, constant feelings of fatigue. After that, the desire to work, do the things you love, interest in family problems, etc. disappears. During female depression, these symptoms of the disease continue for a long time.PostpartumPostpartum depression is a special subtype of mental disorder that occurs in many women who have given birth, as the body faces severe stress caused by adapting to the next hormonal changes and the new role of mother. The disease is usually characterized by insecurity, fears for the health of the baby and increased emotionality.Postpartum depression can appear for the following reasons:In children and adolescentsDepressive disorder does not bypass children. Due to the fact that a child or teenager is not always able to describe their feelings and experiences in detail, childhood depression can be difficult to detect. It often manifests as school failure, conflicts with peers, maladaptation in the community. In children under the age of seven, the disorder is characterized by poor appetite, moodiness, sluggish movements and little weight gain.
Mental illness is most pronounced in adolescence, when a child is first faced with a change of social circle, begins to notice that his opinion does not always coincide with that of his parents or friends.SignsDespite the special manifestations of depression in men, women and children, there are general signs of mental illness regardless of gender and age:CausesThe development of depression is affected by both external and internal causes (biological and social factors).InternalThe internal or bi When depression develops, there are disturbances in a group of neurotransmitters (substances that transmit signals between neurons in the brain). First of all these mediators are hormones – serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.Lack of serotonin causes increased irritability, aggression, sleep and appetite disorders. Low concentration of noradrenaline leads to increased fatigue and apathy. Dopamine affects motor and thinking activity, as well as the desire to engage in any activity.How to get out of depressionDepression should be seen by a doctor. On your own, you can only alleviate the symptoms of the disorder or cope with its initial stage.Psychologists advise to follow some rules:Beck Depression ScaleDepressive disorder has stages of development. In order to determine the degree of the disorder and prescribe treatment, many mental health professionals resort to the Beck Depression Scale. When taking the test, developed by the method of American psychotherapist Aaron Beck and his colleagues, the patient must answer a list of questions that are rated from zero to three points depending on the shades of mood: 0 points – “I do not feel sad”; 1 point – “I am sad and depressed”; 2 points – “I suffer from depression and longing”; 3 points – “I am miserable and cannot tolerate my condition”. At the end, all the results are summed up, and the doctor draws conclusions based on the number of points scored.ClassificationDepressive disorders are usually divided into exogenous and endogenous, depending on the causes of the disease.Exogenous depression is a mental state caused by external factors (a difficult life situation or grief). Tracking such a disorder is much more difficult, since symptoms can weaken or, on the contrary, intensify with changes in the social environment. For example, during a vacation, the patient begins to feel better, but when he goes to work, he again feels apathy.Endogenous depression occurs under the influence of internal factors. This form of mental disorder needs to be treated with a comprehensive approach (consultation with a psychologist and taking medications). Endogenous disease is more stable in its course and almost does not depend on the social environment.Stages of developmentDepressive disorder has five main stages of development:ComplicationsDepression greatly affects the nervous system and the body as a whole. You can not put psychological problems on the back burner, because such a disorder often leads to the development of somatic diseases: bronchial asthma, coronary heart disease, cancer, etc.
Many of the illnesses that accompany depression go into a chronic form.DiagnosisFirst, a specialist analyzes and evaluates the possible causes of the illness and compares them with diagnostic criteria. After the patient is referred to a clinical psychologist, where the doctor gives an opinion on the state of thinking, memory and concentration of the patient. An examination by a neurologist and a therapist is also necessary, if there are any complaints about problems with the heart, the gastrointestinal tract, etc.In case of suspicion of other diseases, the psychotherapist may prescribe a test for thyroid hormone levels, ECG, CT or MRI of the head.TreatmentThe treatment of depression is assigned depending on the type and stage of the mental illness. Most often a comprehensive approach is used.PharmacotherapyPri cyclothymic or melancholic stage of depression, patients are prescribed drug therapy.The doctor decides to prescribe drugs in the following cases:AntidepressantsThe main drugs in the fight against depression are antidepressants, the reception of which should be under the strict supervision of the doctor, because when using the medication alone can lead to a number of complications and side effects. Antidepressants help to lift the mood, eliminate anxiety and irritability, improve sleep and appetite, reduce apathy, and normalize the emotional background.PsychotherapyThe main goal is to change the patient’s irrational beliefs and get rid of pessimistic thoughts and moods. Some symptoms of depression disappear quickly, getting rid of others can take much longer.Such sessions are aimed at processing the patient’s deepest feelings and traumatic experiences.FototherapyPhototherapy implies irradiation with powerful artificial light sources twice a day (in the morning and in the evening) for half an hour. This type of treatment is used when diagnosed with a seasonal mental disorder occurring in a mild form.Nonmedicamental methods Nonmedicamental methods of treating depression usually include: Such methods of getting rid of mental disorder are less effective compared to psychological counseling and taking medication, so they are appointed as a supplement to basic therapy.ConsequencesIgnore the symptoms of any stage of depression development is impossible, because the disease rather quickly escalates into severe It is important to ensure that it does not grow into a serious mental illness. To do this, according to psychologists, the following preventive measures should be observed: “It is important not to accumulate unfulfilled tasks, so as not to feel emotionally stressed just thinking about the postponed tasks,” stressed Veronica Tyurina, consulting psychologist and energy therapist. – In addition, competent planning of one’s time will inspire confidence in oneself, in one’s strengths, as well as create a great sense of self – “I’m doing well”, “I have time for everything”. Also, you should always try to fill yourself with positive emotions, to note the virtues in yourself – this is no less important, which teaches everyone to perceive the best moments in the space around them. Such actions lead to conscious positive thinking, which you can bring up in yourself, “- said Veronica Tyurina.
At the bottom. How to get yourself out of depression and want to live again?
In March 2022, two-thirds of Russians experienced stress and anxiety due to the current situation in the country. This is evidenced by the results of operational monitoring of the socio-economic situation conducted in March by the Analytical Center NAFI.
Very often the cause of depression is long-term stress, says Mikhail Rozanov, a clinical psychologist with 25 years of experience. However, he urges to distinguish between medical and everyday definitions of the word. In society it is customary to call all fears, fatigue from work and short-term lack of desire a general term “depression,” he complains. While real depression is a serious disorder that must necessarily be treated by a doctor. Fatigue and sadness pass, but depression deprives a person of a full life, the psychologist emphasizes.
- The world of a person suffering from depression is painted black
- “Depression is a mental disorder that reduces a person’s activity and interest in life,” comments Rozanov. – According to WHO statistics, depression affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and less than 50 percent of them receive treatment. Many do not seek help at all, believing that everything is fine with them and that everyone around them is to blame for what is happening to them.
- Loss of interest in previous activities;
- a depressed mood for a long time (more than two to three weeks), which does not depend on circumstances;
- strongly pronounced physical fatigue, a literal loss of energy and loss of strength;
- increased irritability, dissatisfaction with oneself;
- loss of the ability to enjoy familiar things;
- desire for social isolation;
- the prevalence of gloomy thoughts about life, about oneself;
- suicidal thoughts;
- disruptions in sleep patterns;
change of food cravings (overeating or complete absence of appetite);
Statistically, there are twice as many cases of depression in women as in men, the psychologist notes. He suggests that this is due to the upbringing and the stereotype that a man should be strong and not to worry about problems, but to solve them. Therefore, according to Rozanov, men more often try to suppress their emotions and do not seek help. “It is difficult for them to admit that they have a disease related to emotions. And they unconsciously mask depression by immersion in work and important cases, aggressive behavior or alcoholism and other addictions,” the doctor explains.
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Psychologist Tatiana Poritskaya added that there may be many more men suffering from depression than the official statistics state. “Women tend to be more attentive to their psychological state, so they seek help more often. Men are less attentive to their health in general. They tend to choose avoidance and denial of problems,” she believes.
Mikhail Rozanov urged to necessarily contact a specialist when depression is suspected. However, the doctor also added that in addition to treatment, especially if it is temporarily impossible to receive it, it is worth turning to self-help techniques.
Above all, he urged to record anything that makes a person feel better. “Watch a funny video, like a meal, talk to a pleasant person. Remember any event that caused a positive response, “- explained the psychologist. Rozanov added that you should not be shy to ask for support: the main thing is to understand what help is needed and who can give it, and they do not take money for demand.
Also, according to him, in such a state it is very important to listen sensitively to your desires: “As a rule, you don’t want to do anything during depression. So it is important not to miss the moment when the desire to do something appeared. And be sure to do immediately. You can go for a walk, go. You can talk to someone, talk. If you want to just lie down, let yourself do it. And don’t berate yourself for procrastination. It will disable you even more.
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Tatiana Poritskaya added that there are two types of motivation to get out of an emotional hole on their own: external and internal. External is the reasons that make a person act. For example, he needs to pay the mortgage, so he has to go to work, even a job he does not like. The internal one is the person’s personal desire to keep doing something, despite obstacles and difficulties. For example, a person helps an animal shelter for free, even while experiencing difficulties, but adhering to an inner desire not to abandon the lesser brothers in need.
“It turns out that a person who uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques on his or her own to overcome depression needs a lot of inner motivation to keep going. But given the lowered emotional background and anxiety inherent in depression, it’s quite difficult to do that,” the expert points out.
Eduard Mavlyutov, psychologist and founder of the school of psychology “Puzzles” says that during the COVID-19 pandemic many people have worsened symptoms of depression due to isolation and illness. Therefore, he advises communicating more with loved ones to get out of the emotional corkscrew.
Love and support evoke positive emotions, many need the tactile sensations of a hug, a heart-to-heart talk, acceptance, understanding. And importantly: the unappreciated state of a loved one with inappropriate jokes or advice can increase the chances of coping with depression
Mavlyutov believes that to improve the emotional mood will help sports, communication with loved ones, establishing a sleep schedule, doing your favorite hobby, walking in the fresh air, pleasant music and making important decisions.
“Physical activity as an antidepressant affects the brain, he calms down, freeing himself from negative programs, physical exercise improves sleep, increases appetite, increases concentration, reduces the stress load, raises mood, reduces anxiety,” specifies the psychologist. – In depression, a person often abandons responsibility and enters a phase of inaction. As a consequence, indecision and uncertainty can lead to apathy. In this state, it is difficult to be the author of his life, and making decisions returns a person to managing it much faster than if he would run away from solving his problems.
Adjusting sleep patterns is the foundation for building a system that brings the body, soul and mind back to normal. For a healthy sleep, you need to give up alcohol and coffee, and turn off gadgets an hour before bedtime
If a family member or friend has fallen into the clutches of depression, psychologists recommend in the first place not to devalue his condition, even if it seems that his problem is insignificant. Everyone experiences emotions in their own way, and not everyone can cope with life’s difficulties, they explain.
For a loved one who finds himself in a difficult situation, it is necessary to create a comfortable and safe space, to help him with everyday difficulties and praise him for any small victories, adds Rozanov. It is strictly forbidden to say to him phrases like: “You made it all up”, “Stop whining”, “Get it together, you wimp” and so on.
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Mavlyutov in a conversation with “Lenta.ru” draws attention to the fact that delicacy and a careful approach with a share of patience to the loved one will be adequate help. “In a state of depression, a person may withdraw and not come into contact, in which case you should not put pressure with your care, much less be offended or show aggression,” recommends the psychologist.
Help should be provided with the consent of those who “drowned” in depression, especially if the person is used to solve everything himself
Tetyana Poritskaya advises not to offer a “universal” solution that helped someone else. “Being around a depressed person is quite difficult, especially if he does not receive professional psychological help. Therefore, you need to be measured in your strength and take care of yourself. In other words, help others not to the detriment of yourself,” the expert recommends.
The connection between good nutrition and mental disorders, including depression, is being studied by a separate field in medicine – nutritional psychiatry. “The connection between the psycho-emotional state and the types of bacteria in the gut has already been proven,” says a clinical psychologist and head of the educational program “Consultant on weight correction and psychology of eating behavior. Nutriciologist” at the Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Olga Tonkova-Kuznetsova. – For example, 95 percent of serotonin, the most important neurotransmitter, is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. The main enemy in this case are inflammatory processes in the intestines.
- Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich / Pexels
- Seven key rules for preventing and fighting inflammation from Harvard Medical School
- Commitment to an anti-inflammatory diet
- Increasing physical activity throughout the day
- Weight control (especially important to reduce visceral fat accumulated in the abdomen between organs)
- Quality sleep
- Smoking cessation
Limiting alcohol consumption
Certain dietary guidelines have been developed to restore intestinal health. An anti-depressant and at the same time anti-inflammatory diet includes a large amount of vegetables. It is important that the body gets vitamins, micronutrients and, especially important for the intestines, the necessary amount of fiber, added Olga Tonkova-Kuznetsova. Legumes, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, greens, carrots, and figs would be excellent choices.
Healthy fats are also invaluable: sea fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils (especially olive oil)
“In 2017, scientists proved the positive effects of probiotic supplements to alleviate depression. Therefore, it is recommended to introduce foods rich in them into the diet: fermented dairy without added sugar, miso paste, kimchi, sauerkraut, natural kvass, tea mushroom,” continues the clinical psychologist. – Whole-grain foods (preferably in unprocessed form), low-fat dairy products are useful. At the same time it is recommended to reduce the total consumption of products of animal origin in relation to vegetable ones.
The human brain loves sweets and fatty foods. Therefore, diets are often accompanied by a decrease in concentration, cognitive functions and a decline in mood, noted psychologist and expert in eating disorders Olga Lavrushko.
“So how can you be content and not get fat? Add fatty fish, nuts, bitter chocolate, avocados, and fruit to your diet,” she recommends. – Black chocolate contains anandamide, a cannabinoid neurotransmitter that reduces feelings of pain and depression. Scientists have even called dark chocolate the new cure for anxiety.”
A natural antidepressant, according to the expert, is turmeric. It can be added with a slice of lemon in a glass of water.
Bananas contain magnesium, dopamine, which improves mood, and are a source of B vitamins that calm the nervous system
Red oranges, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, cherries, eggplants, black rice, nutmeg grapes, red cabbage and some peppers – both hot and sweet – contain anthocyanins. These antioxidants help the brain produce dopamine, the substance responsible for coordination, memory and mood. They help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the gut when consuming excessive amounts of fats and carbohydrates, added Olga Lavrushko.
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Olga Tonkovaya-Kuznetsova also advises choosing lean meat. Chicken and beef contain the essential amino acid tyrosine, which increases levels of dopamine, the happiness hormone, as well as the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. In addition to improving mood, meat improves concentration and has a beneficial effect on memory. In turn, vitamin B12, which is contained in meat fiber, helps to cope with insomnia and depression.
“Also useful is seaweed (kelp), a record-breaker in the content of B vitamins responsible for the health of the nervous system. In addition, they are necessary for the work of the adrenal glands, which, in turn, regulate the production of adrenaline. Its deficiency causes the emergence of chronic fatigue, emotional deterioration and the development of depression”, – specified the expert.
Alla Miloserdova, specialist in nutrition and preventive medicine, advised to add meditation and breathing practices to all the mentioned methods of fighting depression in her conversation with “Lenta.ru”.
“Meditation is a psychological process of attracting attention to the experiences and internal processes taking place at the moment. It helps discipline the mind, preventing it from running ahead into the future or back into the past,” the expert said.
Photo: Ivan Samkov / Pexels
Miloserdova advises practicing breathing techniques: “Inhaling activates the sympathetic nervous system, while exhaling activates the parasympathetic nervous system. The cardiogram reflects this process, and normally the gaps should not be equal. To activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the exhalation should be longer than the inhalation.
It is important to get pleasure through the senses (stroking, smelling, hugging, watching, hearing pleasant things), physical activity, guided meditations in the imagination (remembering your favorite people, those who were kind to you, beautiful places, pleasant moments in life), caring for someone