Treatment of major depression – tell us all the nuances

Severe depression

Severe depression is a serious disorder of the mental state of a person. It can occur for many reasons, and is characterized by a depressed state, a sense of worthlessness, all-consuming melancholy, pessimistic and depressive moods. Depression spares no one; it can strike anyone, regardless of their gender, age, financial and social status.

Severe Depression Causes

Severe depression usually occurs for two reasons: psychological and physiological.

For psychological reasons, depression can develop as a result of stress or some kind of traumatic mental situation. It can be the death of a loved one or relative, physical or mental abuse, a terrible disaster in which the person was involved, etc. Usually after two months, the depressive state can go away, but without proper help, it drags on and then severe depression can develop.

A number of seemingly insignificant unpleasant life situations that have been present in a person’s life long enough can become a source of constant stress. Lack of money, work that does not bring joy, having to live with unpleasant people, deteriorating quality of life due to a chronic illness – all this can be attributed to a constant stressful situation.

Severe depression can develop because of frustration, a condition in which a person constantly feels that his desires are unrealizable.

Existential crisis can be both a cause and a manifestation of depression. It is expressed in the loss of life goals, a sense of meaninglessness of existence, imbalance of harmony.

The physiological causes of depression have very different roots. Alcohol and drug use, menopause, brain circulation disorders, severe fatigue, chronic diseases, lack of proper nutrition – this is just a small list of physiological disorders that can lead to severe depression. The important thing is that depression rarely develops for any one reason, often several factors lead to it simultaneously. And successful treatment is only possible if all the causes of this mental disorder are taken into account.

Severe depression symptoms

That the person is in severe depression is determined by the following symptoms: depressed mood, reduced capacity for work and activity, constant feeling of fatigue, inability to focus on anything, constant self-blame and feelings of guilt, low self-esteem, the presence of thoughts about suicide, gloomy and hopeless outlook on their future, insomnia or, conversely, a strong sleepiness, loss of appetite.

The clinical picture of severe depression is as follows: the person experiences an unremitting feeling of boredom every day; his mood is depressive; there are signs of psychomotor retardation; he cannot concentrate his attention on anything; sexual desire is reduced; in the morning the patient feels tired and broken because he cannot sleep well at night. The manifestations of severe depression also include a feeling of suffocation and discomfort in the chest area, complete apathy, pessimistic views of their future (the person always expects misfortune to happen), impotence, inability to make any decisions, constant sleepiness and feelings of laziness.

Severe depression signs

If a person has no strength and desire to do anything, if he cannot force himself to do anything, and he is constantly in a bad, depressed mood, it shows signs of depression. Manifestations of depression also include constant laziness, which masks apathy. The fact is that during severe depression, the human brain begins to work differently – its biochemical processes change, which leads to the appearance of laziness. There are three main brain transmitters that are responsible for a person’s mood, energy and performance – these are dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. And when their work is disrupted, there comes a complete apathy and a lack of energy to engage in any activity. In such cases, it is necessary to start treatment with special medications, otherwise the person simply won’t want to get up in the morning and will completely lose interest in life. The consequences of severe depression can be very serious and negative for the patient – a constant feeling of fear and anxiety develops, eventually acquiring a manic form.

The course of severe depression in pregnant women deserves special attention. Since it often becomes a cause of miscarriage. Therefore, at the slightest sign of depression, a woman should seek help from a specialist.

Severe depression and suicide

Severe depression is dangerous because the patient completely loses the instinct of self-preservation. The persistent feeling of homesickness, as well as the constant pain that torments the soul, makes him think about suicide. Overwhelming feelings of guilt, the feeling that he deserves to be punished, the desire to free his loved ones, often push the person to suicide. Statistics show that 15% of people with mental disorders of unexplained etymology become suicidal.

At the beginning of the illness, the person is so weak, exhausted by severe depression, that he is unable to take any steps to end his life. But once this condition goes away, the patient may make an attempt to kill himself. He will think out a suicide plan in detail, work it out, and try to create the deceptive impression that he is feeling better, without leaving the thought of committing suicide.

The most common cases of suicide are among lonely people with a history of somatic diseases, and people who have a history of suicide.

So what should a person do if he or she has all the signs of severe depression? The answer to this question is one – seek help immediately. If depression is not treated, it will acquire a chronic form, and this is fraught with very dangerous consequences.

Severe depression treatment

Where do you start to treat severe depression? Of course with a visit to a psychologist or psychotherapist. Consultations with these doctors, as well as individual and family psychotherapy sessions, will help to identify the root cause of the disorder and determine the main causes of depression. Many methods of psychotherapy are used to treat severe depression: classical psychoanalysis, psychodrama, existential therapy, cognitive and behavioral therapy, as well as body-oriented therapy.

In some cases, when the patient has a severe neurotic form with disorders of the vegetovascular system, it is necessary to undergo additional examination by a neurologist. It will help rule out the presence of a neuroinfection, CHM, intoxication or disorders of the vascular system. To rule out the onset of early menopause, a woman should visit an endocrinologist and a gynecologist.

For the drug treatment of severe depression, various drugs of the SSRI group (Paxil, Rexetine, Prozac, Cipralex, Pram, Zoloft), tranquilizers (Alprazolam, Relanium, Nitrazepam, Diazepam) and new generation antidepressants (Venlaxor, Mirzaten, Coaxil) are used.

But the most important thing in the treatment of severe depression is the person’s own desire to get rid of their disorder. At the same time, it is important to understand that this process is long and laborious, and will require a lot of patience and effort from the patient.

The whole truth about real depression

The main problem in treating depression is the neglect of the disease. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases patients come to the IsraClinic already at the late stages of depression. This is due to the myths about psychiatry that have formed in society. Indifference from loved ones often leads to the formation of the disorder. If a person has lost interest in life, has become pessimistic, has a depressed mood all the time – do not delay in visiting specialists, ignoring depression often leads to suicide attempts.

Very often you hear phrases like: “I’m depressed,” “I’m falling into a depressive state in the fall,” “so many problems piled up, and life has become unimportant. In fact, few people attach importance to these words, and the expression “depression” has long been in our society something commonplace. In the morning we complain of depression and lack of mood, and in the evening we laugh over a comedy, snuggled on your favorite couch. However, few people are familiar with the real clinical depression, which is also called severe depressive disorder. This illness is characterized by a pronounced decline in mood, loss of interest in life and work, withdrawal and a complete inability to enjoy anything. One of the reasons for the depressed state can be a disruption in the functioning of the neurotransmitters – in fact, the production of serotonin, norepinephrine, acetylcholine and dopamine (the hormones of happiness and pleasure) is disrupted. The patient feels depressed all the time, and without appropriate treatment, there is a high risk of life-ending illness.

Causes of severe depressive disorder

  • The occurrence of difficult life situations (lack of work, loss of loved ones, problematic divorce)
  • Taking drugs (short-term euphoria is achieved by releasing a huge dose of “happiness hormones” into the brain, which then leads to long-term depression and inability to enjoy life);
  • Taking certain pharmacological drugs (for example, excessive use of antidepressants);
  • congenital features of the body (low content of neurotransmitters in the brain);
  • severe diseases (against the background of constant depression and severe pain, clinical depression can develop)
  • Hormonal malfunctions (this mostly concerns women who are prone to severe depressive disorders due to hormonal alterations during pregnancy and after childbirth, menstrual cycles and menopause).

Factors that trigger depression

  • Depression can be caused by external and internal factors;
  • the vast majority of depression occurs as a reaction to stress – the so-called psychogenic depression;
  • only 2-3% of patients are depressed regardless of external circumstances, the so-called endogenous depression;
  • the risk of suicide in depressed patients is 35 times higher than in healthy people;
  • one in two with psychogenic depression attempts suicide;
  • one in five with endogenous depression attempts suicide;
  • one in six succeeds in a suicide attempt;
  • about half of the suicides on the planet were depressed.

Signs of depression

  • Bad mood, apathy;
  • fatigue, poor sleep;
  • lack of motivation, interests;
  • feelings of guilt for no reason;
  • low capacity for work;
  • pessimistic moods;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • poor appetite, headache, dizziness;
  • unreasonable anxiety, fear.

Young fathers and postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is a condition that occurs in women who have recently given birth. Instead of happiness, joy and euphoria, a young mother begins to experience sudden mood swings, crying for no reason or for a minor reason. Cheerfulness is abruptly replaced by sadness, and insomnia occurs. In most cases, this condition occurs in the first six months after childbirth. Postpartum depression may appear as depressed mood, anxiety, low self-esteem, lack of strength, tearfulness, feelings of loneliness. Severe postpartum depression can lead to infanticide as well as maternal death, often by suicide. In addition, evidence suggests that health care in many countries faces the problem of postpartum depression, but low- and middle-income countries face the greatest burden. The causes of this condition are not entirely clear. Triggering factors can be bad relationships in the family, lack of money, difficult childbirth and more. All this occurs against the background of changing hormonal background, to which some women may be particularly sensitive. At the same time, it is noted that about 4% of fathers experience depression during the first year of life of the child. After the child reaches 12 years of age, 21% of fathers experience one or more episodes of depression. Young fathers with a history of depression, with a low level of education and income, are most susceptible to this condition.

Rules of conduct with depressed patients

  • Constant presence: spend as much time as possible with the sick person, he will gradually stop feeling lonely and unwanted.
  • Attention, complicity: do not focus on his inner feelings, convince him in the rapid end of the disease, noticing even minimal positive shifts.
  • Control the observance of hygiene, daily regimen, and proper nutrition.
  • Never ignore any of his statements and especially his requests.
  • Behave calmly and confidently, as if nothing has happened.

How a positive attitude can help

Indeed, self-tuning for the best is the basis of effective therapy for all mental illnesses. A person learns to behave in such a way that positive emotions displace life’s negativity, but this may not be enough. In some cases, the treatment of depression must be medicated. Antidepressants have side effects (dizziness, sweating, loss or increase in appetite, and others), but sometimes they are still necessary. Usually the negative effects go away at the end of the prescribed course of medication. In order to avoid mental ailments, you should follow the simple rules of a healthy lifestyle. For a good mood helpful rest, a balanced diet, exercise, socializing with nice people. Not out of place would be the refusal of bad habits, training of internal calm and the ability to overcome stressful situations.

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