How to get out of severe depression?

Instructions for getting out of depression: a pill, a word and a personal effort.

Psychotherapist advice to those who are “covered” with depression: what specialist to turn to first? What helps: a pill or a word, a conversation? Should I be afraid of antidepressants?

Around depression a lot of controversy. Many still consider this disease – “vagaries” and the consequence of a satiated time. About the myths that have developed around the disease, and about what treatments are most effective, we talked with a psychiatrist of the highest category Lyubov Frolova .

Depressive disorders are now found in the list of symptoms and aggravating conditions in half of the diseases on the WHO list. The causes of the disorders vary. In particular, it has been proven that there is a genetic predisposition to depression. This illness can be present in our lives for a few years, or it can last a lifetime. “Everyone in the world at least once, but suffered from a depressive state,” says psychotherapist Lyubov Frolova.

Depression is a serious illness, although many believe that it is banal moping and laziness. In fact, with depression recorded abnormal activity of the brain – this can be seen in brain imaging. The biochemical balance is disturbed, as well as the transmission of impulses between nerve cells. So it’s not just the whims of your loved one. If he has depression – remember: it is an illness, and it must be treated.

There is no such thing as “vegetative vascular dystonia. But depression is.

Man is a very complex organism. “Everything in us is embedded in layers. First – our animal, biological essence – these are instincts. Then there are reflexes and emotions. Then there are moods. Emotion flashed and extinguished, and the mood is the background, it holds for a long time,” says Lyubov Frolova. – Then touches the personality or as people call it – the character. And above all this is our intellectual and logical abilities. And all of this together determines our consciousness. Which is also divided into unconscious, conscious-unconscious and conscious.

Depressive syndrome can occur when different “layers” of our psyche are disordered, the expert explains. “For example, in personality disorder, when a person’s consciousness is strongly influenced by some character trait, he builds himself some air castles, and the dream does not come true, then the mood begins to change. One thing is piled on top of another, and it leads to a decrease in mood. If a person can not find a rational way out of this, it can begin depression.

Depression affects one in six people. Sometimes it is believed that immersed with his head into work, you can get rid of depression on their own. This will help with anxiety, but not with depression. The illness requires treatment by a specialist. By the way, if your loved one is trying to hide from life’s problems at work, it may be one of the signs of depression that has begun.

“During these periods the emotional experience is heightened. The intellect may be calm, but the soul is reeling. Emotions in general are more active and primary. Therefore, a mood disorder, no matter which way it swings, then pulls the intellect,” says Lyubov Frolova. – Depressive disorders affect both motor and intellectual functions. Physical activity or lethargy and mental – everything is interconnected. There is no separate space for the physical, mental and emotional in our bodies, so a depressed person is not lazy, as others accuse him, he is truly unable to move and think: if a depressive disorder is not treated for a long time, it affects physical health”.

As recently as 10 years ago, the World Health Organization added hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart attacks, stomach ulcers, skin diseases, (mostly neurodermatitis), and bronchial asthma to the list of psychogenic diseases.

“These are diseases that have been proven to originate in the mental state. That is, we get nervous for a long time – and the autonomic reactions that always accompany the emotional ones take hold. This changes the structure of blood vessels, then organs, and a disease is formed.

Eight character traits for seven billion people

We have only eight character traits according to the psychiatric classification. Psychologists distinguish 16. “Meanwhile, there are about seven billion people living on earth. And people are never alike,” notes Lyubov Frolova.

The eight character traits :

  • Hysterical character (the oldest, is responsible for survival, it is a man-artist, he must be in the spotlight, shine, but can adapt to any conditions).
  • Paranoid trait (single-mindedness).
  • Pedantry – slowness, thoroughness and thoroughness.
  • Anxiety and mistrust (“Have I done the right thing? Have I offended someone?”).
  • Excitability (before I thought about it, I already did it.)
  • Hyperthymic trait (person-motivator, energizer, leader, but very enthusiastic, fickle; lots of energy, but doesn’t follow through)
  • Depressive trait, dysthymic, person-brooding: “everything is bad, nothing will work”).
  • Introversion. Low emotionality, but internal fullness. Inherent in people with talent, intellectuals.

Usually we combine three or four to five traits. The combination of all eight traits does not happen, so the ideal personality does not exist in principle. “Some trait usually stands out the most. Let’s say an anxious, anxious person.

but it still has the determination to move him forward, and hysterical trait, not to be afraid of society. All in all, you get a harmonious personality. But if suddenly the anxious and mistrustful trait is much more, the person will doubt his actions and words, feeling anxious at the slightest opportunity.

A hypertensive citizen, for example, combined with purposefulness will be an excellent leader. But here, for example, if he starts to get nervous because of exams or any other problems in life, anxiety will pull on his own vascular dystonia. In fact, there is no such disease, it is a vascular instability due to emotional reactions. If anxiety lasts for a long time, it will seem that he can’t cope with anything. Then disorders of sleep, appetite join, even less energy is left for activity, and depression begins.

Or an introvert: he is a closed person, he already has a limited circle of communication, but if someone also offends him, he will completely cut himself off from society. We will not see his worries, but he will have them.

Who is almost not susceptible to depression are hyperthymes, Pure hyperthymes will just get carried away with another idea and run on. Cyclothymics, people who combine hyperthymic and depressive traits in the same person, are active from spring to fall, and in winter they go into hibernation and ennui.

The hysterical character sharpen their feelings on external beauty. On this basis, they often develop all sorts of disorders: if you are dissatisfied with your appearance, what kind of mood will you have?

And this is just the most primitive, banal problems, but there are deeper. Every one of us has experienced loss. Divorce. Deaths of loved ones. Disasters. Wars. “In general, depression is a normal reaction to stress. Grief must be experienced, we must come out of the experience with new experiences, renewed. If the personality is not able to overcome grief, the person goes into long-term depression.”

Who to turn to?

You go to a specialist. If a word, a conversation (which is a good place to start) can help you, then you need a psychologist, and if words aren’t enough, you need a psychotherapist. This is already a doctor with experience in psychiatric work. A psychiatrist, on the other hand, appears on the scene in extreme cases: such as suicidal moods, attempted suicide. “Any action in the form of autoaggression or heteroaggression (aggression against oneself or another person) must be dealt with by a psychiatrist,” explains Lyubov Frolova.

Often everything ends in the first stage – with a visit to a psychologist. For some, he helps, but for others, he did not, and the person is generally disappointed in psychological aid. He forms a belief that specialists of this profile are unable to cope with his problem. What is to be done? Here it makes sense to talk about the quality of psychological and psychotherapeutic services in the country. And about the culture of addressing this kind of professionals. Many people do not understand the difference between a psychologist and a psychotherapist.

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“A psychologist treats only with words. A psychotherapist treats with both a pill and a word. A psychiatrist most often uses medication, such specialists are overloaded, dealing with severe problems, and time is short, usually they do not have time to do psychotherapy,” says Lyubov Frolova.

Depression can develop gradually: a bad mood becomes habitual and constant. The person begins to ignore study, work, some holidays and events. Social ties are disrupted. After the beginning of treatment for depression, the condition of most patients improves in 4-6 weeks.

“Society has replaced our mother.”

If the person who is ill has a strong, normal personality, he “survives” his problem with the help of words, a psychologist. The person comes out of the depression and continues to live on, ready to meet a new stress.

The psychotherapist notes that throughout the world, personal maturity is now very much behind the calendar age. We take a long time to mature. “If you compare the conditions of life now and a hundred years ago, they will be much different. At least in the degree of comfort. We don’t walk, we don’t have to plow or grow our own food, but we experience daily encounters with an unprecedented (for the past) flow of information. A person who does not need to exert himself, but who daily receives a powerful dose of information entertainment and irritation, does not grow up. He has a childlike life. Society has replaced our mother.” And any immature personality reacts to stresses in a childlike way. “As a result, the immature personality has a lot of demands and a deficit of responsibility, especially considering the Russian trend of prolonged parental care. Perhaps parental prolonged hyperopedic care can be explained by the very complicated history of our country, in which human losses numbered in the millions,” explains Lyubov Frolova.

Belief in a magic pill

In any case, you have to admit: the treatment depends on the strength of the stress. “If there is an earthquake and you are in the center of it, everyone understands that there is a need for all kinds of help. But after all, an earthquake, the collapse of the world, can also happen in the figurative sense, in the psychological sense, in your head. You have to try to realize the extent of your defeat. And then go to the doctor, choosing a specialist with medical training. And get ready for medical treatment.

At the same time, medication must be accompanied by psychotherapy, then in 90-95 percent of cases we are waiting for success. “If the treatment is just a pill, that’s 50 percent success. If the treatment is only a word, also 50 percent. Only a combination of factors can help. And success will be in 95 percent, as a doctor I cannot guarantee 100 percent cure,” says Lyubov Frolova.

“But if you read the forums on the Internet, the belief in the magic pill we have almost entirely, in 90 percent of cases, and with any disease. A hypertensive patient comes to the doctor and demands: “Doctor, give me a drug that I was immediately cured and grew 20 years younger,” says the psychotherapist. – And the doctor, from such a patient’s point of view, is a magician. We pass the responsibility onto the doctor. He has to wave a wand, and I should be as good as new. This again comes from social immaturity. The most common request we get is, ‘Doctor, give me hypnosis so I can be cured.

A person may become frustrated with a treatment-not because the doctor or antidepressant is bad, but because the person expects a different treatment. He expects magic. But let’s be realistic: There are no magic pills or magic words.

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There is no addiction.

There is also the fear of treatment with antidepressants. Fear of addiction. But it grows from the same place, says Lyubov Frolova, – from the myth, from the belief in the magic pill: “The patient takes the pills for 5 days, they don’t help him. “I quit the pills, they don’t help,” he says, quits, returns to his usual state, but since he felt at least a little bit of relief, the returned state seems even worse to him. Subjectively. “I was prescribed a bad antidepressant, it has an addictive effect,” hence these thoughts. But in fact, the treatment with medications has to go at least two months. And there are also prolonged stressful situations that last six or six months or a year. Patients come to us who have already been to witches and magicians and other doctors. The longer the depression was before treatment, the longer it takes to recover. About the same period.”

Antidepressants are not addictive. “The trouble is that the vast majority of patients who come to me have already taken a bunch of pills that are just directly addictive. Usually these are tranquilizers. And some people manage to get hold of stimulants, and they cause an addiction and gradually form an addiction. Self-medication is the scourge of our time. The Internet is the doctor in charge. People on the forums “prescribe” to each other – advise drugs, telling where, for example, can buy phenazepam without a prescription – says Lyubov Frolova. – I, as a doctor, prescribe antidepressants, and they do not cause addiction, because they have an entirely different effect. They add a missing neurotransmitter in a given state so that the body itself produces during this time, for example, serotonin in the cells. Then the body gets used to working on its own again, the nerve cells regain their ability to work, and we cancel the medication. Therefore, again, it is important to observe the doctor: antidepressants can be taken only under the supervision of a specialist.

Any medication has side effects. And if you read the summary of the drug – often the opposite. For example, drowsiness and agitation, or constipation and diarrhea. Because foreign pharmaceutical companies have long been working under the control of insurance companies. And if a patient finds any side effect from the medication, and it is not declared in the summary, the client can sue for millions. So it’s reinsurance. And only doctors with extensive clinical experience with antidepressants can tell a client which drug is right for them so there are no side effects.

If the patient comes in for the first time, it also takes a while for the doctor to select the medication. It can be compared to the antibiotic, which is chosen according to the sensitivity of the infection, so that it works. It’s the same with depression in a particular patient. “There are at least 20 neurotransmitters in the head. Some of them are depressogenic, others are mood-enhancing. We don’t need to make anything up – everything we need is inside a person. All we need is to help the organism “work it out. That is why self-treatment is impossible. Internet forums are no different than forums on drive-up benches: “Try it, girlfriend, it worked for me!”

According to a study by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 70% of people who took medication for depression got rid of their symptoms, although it took time. Scientific evidence supports the effectiveness of combining medication with psychotherapy.

By the way, the medicinal effect of antidepressants manifests itself in two weeks after starting to take them. For some, it takes a month or even three months. So those who quit treatment halfway through – just did not wait for the drug to take effect. You need to go to the doctor and say: It doesn’t help. And then the specialist will choose an individual scheme of action of the medicine. This is the doctor’s prerogative.

But remember, medications (as we said) only help half the time. You also need a word. And your effort. Pills alone, without your attempt to overcome the crisis with your own mental resources, will not cope with depression.

About hypnosis

Does hypnosis help? “It is a type of psychotherapy. But it’s also one version of a magic wand – in the public perception. “You hypnotize me to be the way I want to be.” Hypnosis is a very crude tool. We put a person into a trance. We either put something in a person’s brain, and we don’t know what it will result in, we don’t know what it will interact with inside him, or we take something out of a person internally,” the doctor explains. – But at the same time, we don’t know if his or her own experiences are coming out of him or her. I use this method very rarely, and on certain patients. It is worth knowing that 30 percent of the population is genetically immune to hypnosis.

One has to be prepared for the triad – the pill, the word, one’s own effort. “The therapist will make you work on yourself. The patient has to work, he is the main assistant to himself, the doctor can only show what possibilities his body has, and already you have to use these possibilities yourself. This, by the way, refers to any disease, all doctors repeat to the patient: must balance the diet, get rid of bad habits, increase physical activity, and physical ailments will decrease, but who does it all? Ask yourself this question.”

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A severe form of depression

Severe form of depression can occur to any of us for a variety of reasons and circumstances, regardless of gender, age, financial or social status. Unfortunately, no one is immune. This is a serious disorder that requires immediate help from a specialist and caring loved ones.

Let’s talk about this form of depression today. In this article, we will tell you what causes can cause severe depressive disorder, what are its signs and how to help a person to cope with its manifestations.

Types of depression

Experts distinguish three types of depression according to the level of severity: mild, moderate and severe. Severe can pass both with psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, intrusive thoughts), and without them. It is necessary to be able to distinguish the severe stage from the others in order to know exactly what methods will have to be applied to help the person in a difficult situation.

With mild to moderate depression, the patient usually continues to go to work and socialize with people, although his or her quality of life is significantly reduced. In the severe form, the person is in a bad mood, has no interest in what is going on and enjoys his activities, he quickly tires, suffers bouts of crying or aggression, and in some cases may even think about suicide as the only way out of this state.

Signs of severe depression

During severe depression, there are changes in the work of the brain: biochemical and physiological processes of nerve cells proceed differently. Brain substances or, as they are also called, “happiness hormones” – dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine – are responsible for a person’s mood and activity. If brain activity is disrupted, then comes apathy, there is a lack of energy. To prevent the loss of a person’s interest in life and begin the correct treatment in time, it is necessary to know thoroughly the manifestations of severe depression.

Experiencing feelings of guilt;

Thinks about suicide;

is in a depressed mood;

is inactive and inefficient;

suffers from low self-esteem;

cannot concentrate;

sees his future in a gloomy and pessimistic way;

does not show interest in the usual affairs, family;

feels chronic pain in different parts of the body;

loses (or, in rare cases, gains) a lot of weight;

…then there is a high probability that he is in deep depression. In any case, a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist diagnoses and prescribes treatment.

Do not assume that the disease will pass by itself, the consequences of a severe form of depression can be very serious. Constant anxiety and fear over time can turn into manic forms, so it is so important to see a specialist when you notice the first symptoms.

On our distance learning course, it is possible to become a clinical/crisis psychologist and be prepared to professionally provide immediate psychotherapeutic support to people in acute crisis situations and suffering from a severe form of depression.

Causes of the disease

What can cause severe depression? There is no exact answer here, each case is different. Sometimes the disorder arises even because of minor difficulties that are firmly and permanently settled in a person’s life. Lack of money, an unloved job, having to live with unpleasant people, an illness that worsens the quality of life – all these factors can cause stress and depression.

More often than not, depressive disorder comes from psychological, physiological or social causes.

Psychological reasons include:

The presence of bipolar depression (a chronic manic disorder associated with seasonal exacerbations);

frustration (constant feeling that desires are unrealizable);

loss of goals, meaninglessness of existence;

death of loved ones;

violence (both physical and moral);

a tendency to get stuck in experiences related to difficult or unusual events.

Biological causes may include:

Seasonal factor (e.g., fall or spring);

Neurobiological features of the body;

immune system disorders;

abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs;

serious infectious or chronic diseases;

impaired cerebral circulation;

endocrinological causes (pregnancy, postpartum period, menopause or endocrine disease);

overexertion, emotional burnout.

The risk of developing severe depression also increases with the involvement of the following social factors:

Cheating or divorce;

violence in the family;

older age and the associated loss of meaning in life;

high stress at work;

political instability in the country/the world;

loss or change of employment.

More often than not, depression develops for several reasons at once, all of which must be identified and taken into account in order to prescribe the right treatment.

Important! Self-treatment should not be practiced, it can harm your health and aggravate your psychological state.

What are the dangers of severe depression?

If inaction and no treatment, the main dangers of severe depression are as follows:

  1. Behavioral changes can cause a person to elementarily refuse to perform daily activities, stop taking care of themselves. This can lead to lifestyle changes, falling into dangerous communities and companies, and even suicide attempts.
  2. Unwillingness to socialize can provoke dismissal from work, divorce, and loss of friends.
  3. Physical and psychological exhaustion will lead to weight loss and the occurrence of psychosomatic illnesses and metabolic disorders.

Severe form of depression and suicide

Sometimes it happens that, being in a deep depression, a person loses one of the most important instincts – the instinct of self-preservation. Longing and constant mental pain make him think about ending his life. Often, a strong sense of guilt also contributes to terrible thoughts: the person believes that he deserves punishment, does not deserve to exist in the world and his death will only make life easier for his relatives.

At the beginning of a depressive disorder, a person is weakened and is not yet able to make such drastic decisions. But as soon as the strength comes back, there is a chance that the victim will carry out his plan, having previously created a deceptive impression in those around him that he is now much better.

According to psychologists, the risk group includes lonely or withdrawn people who suffer from psychosomatic manifestations or have cases of suicide in their family.

It is extremely important to seek help in time and prevent terrible consequences or the rebirth of depression into a chronic form.

Who treats depression and how?

Researchers assure that even severe forms of depression and changes in brain function can be corrected. To get out of a dangerous state will require the help of qualified specialists with knowledge of psychology, physiology and the peculiarities of the body.

A psychologist or psychotherapist makes a diagnosis with family or individual consultations, using psychotherapeutic methods (such as psychoanalysis or body-oriented therapy), and identifies the source of the depressive disorder.

The reasons for the disorder can be very different, and treatment tools will be chosen based on them, as well as taking into account the physical and mental health of the patient.

If pharmacological treatment is necessary, antidepressants and tranquilizers are prescribed. Medications are selected only by a psychiatrist or neurologist. Medications noticeably improve the emotional state of patients and increase mood. In the most severe cases, doctors may recommend hospital treatment. But here you need to understand that being admitted to a psychiatric hospital is stressful in itself. Many people precisely because of fear of becoming a patient of such an institution do not go to the doctor. Therefore, if possible, it is better to choose a day hospital or visit doctors and clearly follow their recommendations at home. Hospitalization is needed only in cases where there is a risk of suicide and constant monitoring of the patient’s behavior becomes a necessity.

Consultation with a neurologist is also necessary because it will exclude the presence of additional diseases – neuroinfections, craniocerebral injuries and others.

A visit to an endocrinologist and a gynecologist should be made if depression is caused by the corresponding conditions (e.g. menopause in women).

Additionally, the therapist may prescribe restorative or physical therapy procedures.

But the most important factor in successful treatment will be the person’s desire to get rid of the depressive disorder as soon as possible. But to do this, it is necessary not only to recognize the existence of the problem, but also to put a lot of effort and patience on both the sufferer himself and his loved ones.

Is it possible to come out of severe depression on your own?

We found out that with a severe form of depression, a visit to the doctor is a must, too great is the risk of serious consequences. But to support yourself or a loved one in the treatment process is possible on your own with simple methods.

So what actions should be taken to get out of depression?

  1. Isolate or significantly reduce external stimuli. For this purpose, it is possible to take a sick leave or a vacation at work.
  2. Lead a sober lifestyle. It is necessary to exclude even alcohol-containing drugs (for example, corvalol or motherwort).
  3. Watch your sleep schedule. Try to go to sleep until 11 p.m., and wake up without the help of an alarm clock, giving the body the opportunity to choose the time of awakening itself.
  4. Provide natural bright light in the room (except at night), because good light has a positive effect on the psyche.
  5. Eat a healthy and regular diet, make sure you get enough protein and vitamins in your diet.
  6. Do not neglect water procedures. In the treatment of depression, a contrast shower in the morning and a warm bath in the evening with pleasant soothing aromas helps a lot.

But the main thing to remember is that even the most severe depression is a reversible condition. You should be patient and not stop in your actions to save yourself or your loved ones.

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