Depression or chronic sadness (Latin depress ") is a state of mental depression. The psychiatric depression is assigned to affective disorders. But depression can also occur during other illnesses.

What are depression?

Depressed people lose interest in activities, experience their experiences only very weakly and often tend to loss of appetite or overeating.

Depression is a mental condition characterized by serious negative and depressed moods and aversion to any kind of activity. Depressed people feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable or restless. Most of these symptoms occur simultaneously in depression and are so stressful for those affected that they feel sick and are severely restricted in their ability to act.

Depressed people lose interest in activities, experience their experiences very poorly, and often tend to lose their appetite or overeating, focus heavily on their real or perceived problems, and often have difficulty making decisions. Depression can, in extreme cases, lead to suicide and successful suicide.

Authorized for psychiatry in Germany are specialists in the professional diagnosis of depression. Most of them focus on the international classification system of mental and other diseases. In order to diagnose depression, certain characteristics must be present in a definite form. Mood swings must go beyond strength and there must be specific indicators to help the doctor diagnose major depression or bipolar disorder (formerly the term "manic-depressive episode").

causes

At present, not all causes of depression are understood by science because they are very complex. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that there are various causes. The main role is played by biological factors, developmental factors, cognitive processing mechanisms, as well as current events.

It is still debated whether the depression in many cases are clearly attributable to a metabolic disorder in the brain. It is assumed that messenger substances for the information exchange of the brain regions can not become sufficiently active. Physicians who are more proficient in depth psychology or cognitive behavioral therapy believe that depression in many cases is related to life changes or has been learned over long periods of time.

According to this approach, depression is a sign of the psychic system that coping with life can take effect only after a certain period of rest. In this approach of therapy of depression they are interpreted as a necessary step to come to a new life.

Diseases with this symptom

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • cancer
  • dysthymia
  • irritable bowel
  • Borderline Syndrome
  • anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • stroke
  • Burnout syndrome
  • Affective disorders
  • Cushing syndrome
  • eating disorder
  • menopause
  • bulimia
  • Ulcerative colitis

complications

Depression can be associated with suicidality. The spectrum ranges from general thoughts of death to suicidal fantasies, planning, preparations and suicide attempts. For suicidality, hospitalization is indicated. The length of stay is very variable and depends on the individual case.

People with depression often suffer from concentration problems that hinder their daily lives. Even activities such as reading or watching television sometimes prove problematic. Motivational and volitional difficulties also contribute to disability at work, at school or in education. Social complications associated with friends and family are common; depressive thought patterns can thereby favor the emergence of conflicts. Regardless, people with depression often withdraw socially.

Cognitive disorders, such as memory problems, are also a possible complication of depression. These may be the appearance of a so-called pseudodemenz. Patients show symptoms that are very similar to those of Alzheimer's and other dementias. Short-term memory is often more affected than long-term memory.

The effect of antidepressants may vary from person to person. Some patients experience only a slow improvement in symptoms or no improvement. In some people, the condition may worsen despite antidepressants.

In response to depression, some sufferers develop other mental disorders, such as eating disorders.

When should you go to the doctor?

Depression can affect people of all ages and are independent of social status, occupation or gender. The symptoms of depression can often be very nonspecific and so often one or the other does not realize that he is already in a depressive phase. In many cases, patients suffer from inexplicable complaints such as sadness, lack of drive, and so on. Mostly family members or friends notice changes in behavior and personality.

If these symptoms do not disappear after a few days or weeks, going to the family doctor is the best method. The family doctor can then initiate the further steps for treatment. Especially when the person concerned can no longer find his way in everyday life, it is inevitable to go to the family doctor or specialist. Often, however, patients are ashamed to tell their mental health problems for fear of being stigmatized by society.

Long-term depression can also have a major impact on social life, making normal household tasks and work impossible. Thus, the existence is also endangered, because it threatens the loss of employment or even the breaking of partnership or marriage. A stay in a clinic can mean the rescue from the difficult situation.

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Treatment & Therapy

Self-treatment should be discouraged because the processes of depression are too diverse. Important treatment options are psychtherapy, behavioral therapy and the use of antidepressant medications. Depression can be treated quite successfully nowadays.

Depending on the approach, psychotropic drugs (antidepressants) or psychotherapy are used to treat depression. However, there are also experts in depression who, depending on the situation, implement a combination therapy of medication with psychotherapy. The psychotropic drugs can cause a change in the production of messenger substances in the brain in depression. However, psychotropic drugs in depression are not successful in all patients, which then can be used as a further therapy and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Psychotherapy for depression is more likely to teach new behaviors in dealing with life changes. This therapy is tedious but in many cases more stable in the long run because new behaviors are learned that can build a barrier for future depression.

psychotherapy

Here, the conversation between and therapist is relevant. Particularly suitable are psychotherapists, child and adolescent psychotherapists or medical psychotherapists.

Outlook & Forecast

In depression, the further course of the disease with possible complications always depends on the severity of the depression. If these are relatively in the beginning at a very low stage, they can disappear on their own if they are triggered by negative events in life. If these events turn to the positive side, the depression can be relatively easily controlled.

For more severe problems and severe depression, it is usually necessary to visit a doctor or psychologist. In most cases, discussions and therapies help with the psychologist. In cases of severe depression, medicines must be used to control them and help the patient, especially in the early days.

The relationship with the patient's friends and relatives is also a very strong variable in the progression of the disease. You can help a great deal here to help the person affected and to release the negative thoughts that lead to depression.

If the depression is not treated, it can also have a negative impact on the living conditions. This includes loss of work, antisocial behavior and possibly even drug addiction or alcoholism. In the worst case, depression ends with suicidal thoughts or suicide itself.

prevention

Home remedies ↵ for depression It has long been known that the risk of depression is partly inherited.

Preventing depression can therefore be useful if suicides or serious physical illnesses have occurred in the family more often. In these cases it would be advisable to start a cognitive behavioral therapy.

Here, those who are susceptible to depression learn to come to a broader view of their work and life situation. Depression can be prevented in such a way that those affected have more options for action.

Situations that often lead to depression are reassessed and are more likely to be tackled.

You can do that yourself

It helps many people with depression to have a clearly structured daily routine. Meaningful getting up and sleeping times form the framework of the daily plan. Activity plans can help avoid too much idle time. The activities should be realistic and not excessive. In addition, it is advantageous when more strenuous and pleasant activities alternate.

Vitamin D can help to improve the symptoms. Therefore, enough daylight is of great importance for people suffering from depression. Getting up in the morning in good time, as well as walks (for example, half an hour daily), can help improve the vitamin D level.

Everyday exercise and sports are other ways to counteract depression in everyday life. Exercise promotes the release of dopamine and serotonin, which play a central role in depression as neurotransmitters. Furthermore, regular meals are useful. If necessary, sufferers can also set an alarm on their mobile phone to avoid skipping a meal. A well-balanced diet tends to have a positive effect on the improvement of mental symptoms.

The extent to which friends, family members or other persons should be informed about depression is individual. Especially with suicidality, self-harm or self-harm, however, it makes sense to initiate at least one trustworthy person and to develop a contingency plan.

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