Depression is a mental health disorder in which there is a prolonged lowered mood, combined with a sense of hopelessness, meaninglessness of life, lethargy and irritability. This condition occurs as a response to a number of biological, psychological and social factors, too severe, difficult events and experiences.
There are 2 types of depression – neurotic and psychotic. As defined by psychiatrists, the neurotic type of depression is characterized by apathy, insomnia and anxiety. The disease most often occurs in straightforward and rigid personalities, with a sense of duty, uncompromising.
Predisposing factors for the development of neurotic depression are:
- severe stressful situations;
- mental trauma in childhood;
- upbringing mistakes of parents;
- the use of alcohol or drugs;
- functional disorders of the nervous system;
- unfavorable genetic predisposition.
People with the above-mentioned factors of depression are at risk. Most often, depressive disorder is caused by external factors, rather than by hormonal disturbances. Psychotraumatic incidents (for example, sudden stress or prolonged living in unfavorable conditions) play a crucial role.
What kinds of mental disorders there are
Depressive neurosis is accompanied by the following disorders
- Astheno-neurotic type – manifested by exhaustion of the nervous system, prolonged fatigue;
- The anxious-phobic type – is manifested by inexplicable attacks of panic, anxiety and fear;
- Anxiety-depressive type – characterized by a combination of anxiety attacks and emotional depression;
- Hypochondriacal type – is characterized by the prevalence of discomfort feelings, due to which the patient constantly looks for nonexistent illnesses.
In contrast to psychotic, in the course of a neurotic disorder there is no lesion of mental functions of the person. Therefore, the patients maintain normal perception of the world. However, disturbances in the course of thought are noticeable and there may be some somatic symptoms. The patient is able to critically perceive his own condition.
What are the forms of depression
Every healthy person has some level of anxiety. It is necessary in order to effectively adapt to reality and challenges in society. The development of neurotic depression leads to various pathological states in a person:
- The reactive form of neurotic depression results from external factors.
- The personal form of depression is formed since childhood, depends on personality traits, the presence of conflict situations.
- Non-endogenous depression is formed gradually, against the background of certain events.
- Non-psychotic depression is not combined with disorders of perception of the world. It usually remains sober and reasonable.
Depressive states are also distinguished by their degree of severity. In masked, or latent depression, symptoms are mildly expressed. The condition of patients is described as mental suffering. The mood is usually depressed. Patients are bothered by painful sensations in the chest.
In the dysthymic and dysbulic form, the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive neurosis increase. Previously existing character traits are sharpened; pessimism predominates in thinking.
In the cyclothymic stage, there are attacks of melancholy and unmotivated sadness. Self-perception changes within a day. Somatic disorders become acute.
Signs of depression and nervous exhaustion
Nervous exhaustion has a characteristic triad. It includes:
- Depression of the emotional sphere;
- suppression of cognitive abilities;
- weakened psychomotor skills.
The main mental and physical symptoms are:
- persistent headache;
- abnormal heart rhythm;
- feeling of discomfort in the chest area;
- respiratory disorders, shortness of breath or choking sensation;
- digestive disorders, diarrhea or constipation;
- appetite disorders;
- Insomnia or drowsiness at night;
- feeling of impending danger, which appears at any time of the day;
- suicidal thoughts;
- appearance of auto-aggressive behavior;
- decreased or complete absence of sex drive;
- tunnel thinking (monotonous; the person sees only what is under his/her eyes, does not recognize mistakes)
- negative assessment of what is happening in the world;
- social alienation.
Be warned: there is no ICD-10 definition for neurotic depression. Depending on the prevailing symptoms, the pathology in question is mainly classified as recurrent depression or dysthymia.
Consequences of a neurotic disorder
Depression at first does not impair a person’s ability to work and his social connections. At first, he is still working hard. This work capacity is associated with the activation of an escape mechanism from a stressful or psychotraumatic situation.
However, symptoms of depression gradually increase, and after several years, the quality of the patient’s life is noticeably worse. Personal, educational and social spheres suffer, and the person becomes more and more withdrawn.
The illness can traumatize into a neurotic personality disorder. The patient has a risk of developing drug addiction. Individuals with depression are more likely to commit suicide 70 to 80 percent of the time. Statistics cite staggering data: more than 90 percent of people who die by suicide suffered from depression.
One proven symptom of depression is suicidal ideation. This concept refers to a person’s consciousness of planning and committing suicide.
Treatment and Prevention of Depression
There has been some recent progress in the diagnosis and treatment of depression. Applying for medical help at the right time speeds up recovery and prevents the pathology from worsening. Unfortunately, not always the patient starts treatment in time. In a number of cases he starts treatment when he sees that he cannot cope with the problem by his own strength. To begin therapy, the patient must be active himself, which is problematic because his strength is exhausted. In this situation, the help of family and friends is important.
A psychiatrist, psychotherapist or neurologist diagnoses and treats this disease. Treatment involves a combination of psychotherapy techniques and the prescription of medications. Medications are needed to relieve acute symptoms. Psychotherapy is prescribed in order that the patient become aware of the causes and mechanisms of his/her illness. In addition, consultations with a psychologist teach the person to react appropriately to stress. This helps prevent the development of depression.
Typically, depression does not have a single cause, so there can be many ways to treat it. When treating depressive states, non-medicinal methods are preferred. A psychotherapist may recommend breathing and relaxation training. In some cases, it is recommended to attend group classes.
If neurotic depressive disorder has mild symptoms, the doctor may prescribe a patient tonic agents and multivitamins. They stimulate the work of the central nervous system. However, you must remember that all medications should not prescribe themselves: from this, the condition of the body may worsen even more. In addition, an excessive amount of vitamins is not safe for a person. Antidepressants that are taken without a doctor’s permission can lead to severe poisoning.
The most important way to prevent a depressive disorder is to be able to achieve physical relaxation and relieve emotional tension. A person needs to adhere to a normal sleep, work and rest routine. Meals should be regular. At the first symptoms of depression, it is necessary to see a doctor immediately: delaying treatment is fraught with the development of dangerous symptoms.
Early treatment of depression is the key to a speedy recovery.
Psychologist answers to common questions
How is neurosis different from depression
These are 2 different mental disorders that have a similar mechanism of formation. In some cases, the symptoms of these disorders may be similar. However, there are also differences. During depression, a person has no positive emotions, a feeling of hopelessness and gloom prevails.
At the same time, during neurosis, a certain uncertainty, anxiety and tension prevail. During neurosis, a person thinks quickly, which is not the case with depression. Moreover, a certain lethargy is noticeable in depression.
How to overcome fears
To combat feelings of fear, it is recommended to do an exercise. First, a person should think about the situation that causes anxiety or fear. Subsequently, it is necessary to answer these questions:
- What thoughts arise when I am overcome with feelings of fear;
- What is the worst thing that could happen in this situation?
- How can I explain the situation in a different way?
- how I might have dealt with these situations before.
Psychologists have a rich set of training techniques for dealing with fear and anxiety. At the first pronounced signs of neurotic depression you should immediately see a psychiatrist.
Here you can take a Beck test for depression
Author of article
Mikhail Ivanovich Skvira
Graduated from Educational Establishment “State State Medical University” with a degree in “Medical Business”. Clinical psychologist, master’s degree in psychology, from 2016 to 2018 the leading specialist in the UH “GOCPB” to work with alcohol dependence method “Edelweiss”, the author of articles and publications. Awarded a commendation for many years of fruitful work in the health care system. Work experience: 18 years.
I am very nervous, I lose temper even with my child, I sit at home, I don’t communicate with anybody, my boyfriend doesn’t help me, I can’t ask for help to listen to me, I have no desire to help, I have stomach aches for about a month, I have thoughts about death. I had a headache today after the breakdown, my heart was pounding, my chest hurt, I felt nauseous and dizzy, every day in tears.
- Victoria Naumova
- 18.09.2022, 10:15
I don’t want to live, even though I understand that I have elderly parents and a son. I do not see any sense in the future. Many years ago a man was dying in front of my eyes and I did not go near him. He loved me very much as a daughter. He had no one else.I hate myself for it, he is in front of my eyes all the time, I feel so sorry for him, such pain in my soul that I don’t know what to do. I need to work, everyone looks at me like I’m crazy, saying that it was a long time ago and that I should forget it. There is no good psychotherapist in our city. And will he help me?
DEPRESSION AND A SENSE OF OPPRESSION
Psychological support for depression. If necessary, medical help. Consultation psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, neurologist. At home and in the clinic. We work around the clock.
Repression is a state of low mood.
Depression has many synonyms and words that reflect a similar condition. The most common is depression. Actually the term depression comes from the Latin deprimo, which means “to suppress”, “to crush”.
Other synonyms of depression are: prostration, melancholy, apathy, grief, depression, moping, depression, depression, depression, gloomy, sad, and others.
Causes of depression and despondency
In terms of helping a person in a state of depression and according to the causes of development, experts distinguish three types of depressed mood:
1. Depressed as a reaction to external unpleasant events.
- As a result of receiving negative traumatic information. For example, the news of a serious illness or the death of a loved one, news of the outbreak of war, of a loss of some kind, of a threat to oneself, etc.
- A continuing psychological conflict between the desirable and the actual.
- Consequence of nervous system overload in the form of prolonged stress or a series of excessive psychological traumas, lack of sleep, malnutrition, exhaustion due to internal diseases.
- bad weather.
2. Depression is a manifestation of the disease DEPRESSION. Depression as a painful condition is characterized by decreased mood, loss of enjoyment, pessimism, low self-esteem with feelings of guilt and other symptoms.
3. Depression is a manifestation of other mental disorders, such as:
- Encephalopathy (consequences of an organic lesion of the C.N.S.);
- Anxiety disorders: phobias, obsessions, panic attacks;
- Psychosomatic illnesses: choking attacks, irritable bowel syndrome, weight gain (or loss), hypertension, eczema, palpitations, etc;
- addictions (alcohol, drug, tobacco, gambling addiction, etc.), especially in the initial period of abstinence (sobriety);
- asthenic syndrome, neurasthenia.
Separately, it should be said that psychiatrists distinguish among mentally healthy people a group of people who have a kind of predisposition to depression.
These are the owners of personality traits such as decreased sociability and activity, hypochondriticism (exaggeration of health problems), dissatisfaction with current events and themselves, difficulties in making choices due to heightened mistrustfulness, pessimism and skepticism about everything.
These character traits can be observed from childhood and may intensify during periods of hormonal restructuring of the body. For such people, a lowered mood is a kind of norm. The development of depressive conditions requiring medical attention occurs more often with them than with others.
What to do if you start to feel depressed
If it is a one-time temporary condition that does not affect your behavior and ability to work, then you should not pay attention to it, look for something to switch to and the depression will pass on its own.
Most likely the cause of this depressed state is an external factor (stress, psychological trauma, overwork, etc.) and therefore it is a normal reaction of the psyche, which does not require treatment.
If, however, the depressed mood lasts for more than a few days, has arisen for no apparent external reason and affects your activities (decreased productivity, too much stress is required to achieve normal results, missing work or school), then you should seek help from a specialist because it is likely to be a painful condition.
How to help a person in a depressed state
Offer your help, try to assess the cause of suffering yourself and assess whether it is necessary to wait it out, or require the help of a doctor.
In some cases, it may be possible to “escape from the depression” by switching to another problem or changing one’s attitude; in other cases, on the contrary, you should look for the cause of the depression and talk about it.
Don’t leave him alone with himself. Be persistent if you encounter a refusal to see a specialist when the condition worsens.
Sleep disturbance and weight loss are critical indicators for arranging a consultation with a specialist. Alcohol is a poor and dangerous way to help with a depressed or depressed state.
Techniques used in the case of a depressed state
- Psychological: support, empathy and assistance in solving current problems from others, “pity”, relaxation with autogenic training or similar techniques, a change of environment (vacation or time off, travel, temporary relocation);
- Physical: water procedures (cold showers in the morning, warm baths in the evening), intensive and regular physical activity, a sound sleep of at least 8 hours, as long as one falls asleep before midnight;
- Medical (only if prescribed by a doctor): pharmacotherapy, physical therapy, diet therapy, sleep deprivation, etc.
Who can help with depression
With mild depression, any close person capable of empathy can help. Or a psychologist who has techniques to help cope with depression.
If you can see that the suppression has painful features, you should see a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
Symptoms that may indicate that the depression has turned into depression and a doctor is needed:
- Anxiety, apathy, longing for no external reason;
- low self-esteem;
- suicidal thoughts;
- disturbed sleep: insomnia, lack of sense of sleep, early awakening, sleepiness during the day;
- diurnal fluctuations in mood: worsening in the morning and relieving in the evening;
- loss of appetite and weight loss. Or on the contrary, a strong attraction to food;
- physical signs of depression: a lump in the throat, heaviness in the chest, inner trembling, heart palpitations and shortness of breath, diarrhea or constipation
There is no single most effective method or best cure for depression. Each person and case needs its own unique “tools” for dealing with feelings of depression.