Psychology and Psychiatry

Clinical depression

Clinical depression is a common affliction that affects people regardless of their age. The state in question is characterized by the constant presence of a person in a dejected mood, the lack of pleasure from communicative interaction.

In addition, with the protracted course of the deviation in question, suicidal thoughts may occur. Also, the described condition is accompanied by insomnia, lethargy, drowsiness, guilt feelings, lethargy or agitation, self-deprecation, appetite disturbance, weight change. Clinical depression requires professional medical intervention.

The causes of the disease

There is a theory that depressive disorder is often due to the presence of deviations in the psyche and genetic predisposition. However, other factors contributing to the formation of the described violation are also identified.

First of all, hormone imbalances are ranked as such factors. Clinical depression may occur due to a decrease in the number of neurotransmitters, which causes a slowdown in the production of nerve impulses. It kind of "turns off" the feeling of positive emotions. Often, hormonal disruptions are triggered by menopause, endocrine dysfunctions, serious somatic disorders, and pregnancy.

Clinical depression can be provoked by cognitive factors, for example, an erroneous assessment of one’s own being or those around us. Often, depressive moods suffer from individuals who have low self-esteem, high expectations, or negative stereotypes.

You can also identify situational factors, the influence of which may give rise to the described disorder. Often, the deviation in question is formed after a traumatic episode, when a person is faced with various life troubles. For example, a severe divorce, death of a loved one, relocation, loss of work, material difficulties are capable of plunging into depressed mood.

These events significantly reduce self-esteem, a person loses faith, the future seems rather dull to him, which provokes a depressive mood. The impact of stressors, the constant overload of the nervous system lead to the exhaustion of the latter, as a result of which the level of sensitivity decreases. Because of this, a person becomes irritable, easily vulnerable, can often get upset over trifles, almost does not feel positive emotions.

The described disorder is more common among the inhabitants of megacities. It is also more common among residents of developed countries than backward countries. Probably, this difference in most cases is due to the presence of a more sophisticated diagnosis and a high level of medical care, as well as a greater awareness of the inhabitants of developed countries and especially megacities about what depression is, therefore, they often seek medical help. At the same time, crowding and densely populated large cities, high-speed rhythm of life, a huge number of stressors - invariably affect the prevalence of depression among the inhabitants of megalopolises.

In addition, the disorder described is often noted among unemployed individuals, people working in harsh working conditions, engaged in monotonous, boring, unloved activities, people who do not have their own home.

Clinical depression is also often observed in people prone to migraines.

A huge role in the formation of the described deviations among persons in the pubertal period, adults, is played by the environmental conditions in which this individual grew up in childhood.

It was found that people who were abused in childhood or adolescence (experienced physical: slaps, slaps, beatings, intimate harassment, or psychological violence: abuse, parental nagging, provocations in order to cause a child a sense of shame, guilt, feelings of inadequacy or own worthlessness) as adults show programming for depressive reactions. Such persons are constantly waiting for a bad event. Their stress hormone concentration is exceeded. There is also a sharp increase in cortisol, even with the slightest effect of a stressor. At the same time, for persons who have been subjected to violence as an adult, this indicator is significantly lower.

Studies have shown that among people suffering from clinical depression, a large proportion of people who have been subjected to violence or maltreatment in childhood or puberty.

Today, doctors agreed that the occurrence of any depressive states is influenced by hereditary factors that create a predisposition to the described disorders, reduced resistance to stress, "imprinting" in childhood (which forms a programmed depressive reaction), and current or recently stopped stressors.

Symptoms of Clinical Depression

The severity of symptoms is due to the individual characteristics of the patients and the severity of the course of the disorder. Contrary to popular belief, signs of clinical depression are not limited to depressed emotional state. The following are typical symptoms of the deviation in question.

The presence of clinical depression, first of all, indicates the loss of interests. A person who is under the yoke of depressive moods loses interest in his surroundings, his hobbies, and other people. Depressed patients do not lead to entertainment, do not pull to previously liked activities. With a more severe course of the analyzed deviation, patients show complaints about the complete absence of any feelings. They complain that they are separated from the real world by a secure wall.

An unexpected decrease in mood also indicates the presence of the deviation in question. The patient feels his own helplessness, uselessness and worthlessness. He is invariably in a depressed state of mind. Often there are suicidal tendencies due to the loss of the meaning of existence, self-esteem decreases, a sense of fear is born. The patient becomes timid and insecure.

As the symptoms escalate, the person’s well-being becomes worse, appetite disappears, weakness is felt, sleep disturbances are observed, and efficiency decreases. Due to headaches, the cognitive sphere is markedly slowed down, and as a result, it is difficult for patients to perform their daily duties.

In patients who are in the described state, the behavioral response varies greatly. They become withdrawn, they start to avoid people, they are excluded from any communicative interaction. Often, in the usual events there is an inadequate response. For example, a person may cry or reveal aggression.

The deviation in question differs from the usual depressive state by a rapid increase in symptoms. At first, usually people don’t pay special attention to their own well-being. However, after several days, his condition suddenly becomes worse: a person stops leaving home, eating food, talking or doing something else.

Severe illness can be accompanied by suicide attempts, serious mental disabilities, hallucinations and delusions.

In order to diagnose the analyzed violation, it is necessary to have at least five of the below symptoms, namely:

- dejected mood;

- hypersomnia or insomnia;

- a significant decrease in body weight in the absence of a special diet or weight gain, or loss of appetite, or an increase in it;

- a significant decrease in interest or loss of pleasure from any activity;

- a decline in the ability to concentrate, think or indecision;

- a sense of worthlessness or a sense of inordinate guilt;

- slow motor activity and intellectual activity or psychomotor agitation;

- exhaustion or loss of energy;

- Periodic thoughts about death, obsessive thoughts of suicidal tendencies in the absence of a specific plan or attempted suicide, or the presence of a specific "strategy" of suicide.

The listed manifestations should be noted almost daily and most of the time. At the same time, the patient or his relatives can note the painful condition on their own (for example, relatives may notice a retardation of speech in a relative, causeless crying).

In addition, at least one of the above manifestations should reveal either a loss of pleasure, interest, or indicate a reduced mood. In order to diagnose clinical depression, symptomatology should provoke discord in professional activity, social sphere and other significant areas of life. In this case, the manifestations of the analyzed deviations should be observed for at least 14 days.

Depressive patients always perceive events in a distorted way, because they proceed from the understanding of their own worthlessness and uselessness. Their perception of reality is based on negative views, a negative attitude towards reality and their own future. Often, such patients have characteristic distortions of thought processes (random conclusions, over-generalization, exaggeration, selective abstraction).

Thus, the main clinical manifestations of depression can be represented by a triad of symptoms, including persistent deterioration of mood, inhibited thinking and a slowdown in motor activity.

Typical manifestations of clinical depression can be considered: depressed disruption, not caused by external factors, observed for at least 14 days, constant fatigue, anhedonia - recession or loss of ability to get pleasure, which is accompanied by a loss of activity to achieve it.

In addition, there are signs of an act of suicide being prepared. There are three main manifestations of a potential suicide.

The signs of a suicide being prepared are the following:

- the patient discusses the intention to harm his own person, health, kill himself, can begin to read any information about suicides, buy pills or weapons;

- a person is constantly in deep sadness, does not show an interest in reality, has trouble sleeping, there is a disturbance in appetite;

- the patient complains about his own worthlessness, makes a will or initiates changes to it, there are sudden mood swings, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, the appearance of addiction to narcotic drugs;

- A person may suddenly come to his relatives for a visit, while the described symptoms gradually increase;

- deliberately exposing oneself to an unreasonable risk resulting in a fatal end (for example, crossing at the wrong place on the road).

A person suffering from the described deviation, when meeting with everyday everyday stressors, usually feels helpless, overcome by a feeling of loneliness. Sometimes the most familiar activities, for example, morning waking up, dressing, taking a shower, seem to them an impossible feat.

Treatment of clinical depression

Therapeutic correction of the condition under consideration should occur exclusively under strict medical supervision. It is not recommended to engage in self-healing, because often it is unsuccessful and often leads only to the aggravation of the disease.

Effective methods for treating clinical depression are: psychotherapeutic correction and drug therapy. Specific treatment requires depression during pregnancy.

Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, tranquilizers and antipsychotics are considered the most effective means for correcting the analyzed deviations.

Preparations of the antidepressant group are aimed at increasing the number of neurotransmitters in the brain, which helps to eliminate the following manifestations: motor activity retardation, depressed mood, apathy. However, these funds work only after the accumulation in the body of their active ingredients. The effect will come approximately in 15 days.

Mood moods are aimed at reducing the activity of the nervous system in order to normalize its condition, which significantly affects the patient's mood in the direction of improving it. In order to accelerate the positive effect, this group is recommended to be prescribed together with antidepressants.

Tranquilizers help relieve a sense of fear and anxiety. Also, this group of tools helps to normalize sleep and diet. However, here it should be borne in mind that the intake of the described drugs often causes dependence.

Neuroleptics (antipsychotics) are prescribed to slow down the transmission of impulses in the brain and inhibit the nervous system. Often used with the aggressiveness of patients, the presence of delusions or hallucinations.

When prescribing the above drugs it is very important to consider the age of the patient suffering from clinical depression.

Often for the correction of the analyzed state successfully applied folk healing.

In addition, a fortifying therapy is always required. This shows the purpose of the B-group of vitamins and mineral complexes.

In men, clinical depression is more difficult and recommendations are similar to those used in women, but the man should be surrounded by care, his faith in his own strength must be revived. We must refrain from quarrels, accusations and criticism.

The use of psychotherapeutic techniques is considered the most important step in the treatment of depression. First of all, they are aimed at identifying the cause and helping the patient in finding and understanding the root of the problem. In addition, psychotherapy helps to improve mood, normalize the condition and prevents the recurrence of depressive disorder.

Among the well-known psychotherapeutic methods, the most effective were: hypnotechnics, humanistic psychotherapy, behavioral method, individual or group therapy, rational, family, suggestive and psychoanalysis.

The basis of individual psychotherapy is the close direct interaction between the therapist and the patient, during which the following occurs:

- Awareness by the patient of the features of the structure of his personality, as well as the reasons that prompted the development of the ailment;

- the study of the individual mental characteristics of the patient, aimed at the discovery of the mechanisms of formation and saving of the depressive state;

- correction of negative attitudes present in a patient with respect to his own personality, past, present, and future;

- informational support, correction and potentiation of the prescribed drug therapy for a depressive state.

The behavioral method of therapy is aimed at resolving current problems, as well as at eliminating behavioral manifestations, such as the monotonous image of being, renunciation of pleasure, isolation from society, and passivity.

Rational psychotherapy is aimed at the logical reasoned conviction of the patient in the need to modify the attitude to his own person and reality. Here methods of explanation, persuasion are used in conjunction with methods of abstraction, moral approval, switching attention.

A feature of cognitive-behavioral methods in the correction of depressive states is their use without prescribing pharmacopoeial drugs. The meaning of the method consists in the dismemberment of negative thoughts, the patient's reaction to the events taking place and separately to the situation itself. During the session, with the help of various unexpected questions, the psychotherapist helps the patient to look at the action from the side, so that he can be sure that nothing terrible happens in reality. The result of therapy will be a transformation of thinking that positively affects the behavioral patterns and the patient's condition.

In addition to the appointment of pharmacopoeial drugs and correction through psychotherapeutic techniques, changes in nutrition are also shown. There are products that help overcome the symptoms of clinical depression. Therefore, it is recommended to eat more vegetables and fruits that have a bright color (carrots, persimmons, bell peppers, bananas), fatty sea fish, cheese, dark chocolate, buckwheat, nuts.

There are also so-called antidepressant drinks, for example, drinking lemon-based melissa with orange juice or milk based with the addition of chopped nut kernels, banana pulp and a teaspoon of lemon juice.

Признаками выхода из клинической депрессии считаются возрождение интереса к бытию, появления радости от мелочей, возникновения смысла существования, исчезновения телесных проявлений, порожденных данным расстройством, отсутствие желания совершить самоубийство. Некоторое время после излечения могут наблюдаться признаки эгоцентризма, понижение эмпатии, замкнутость.

In order not to face such a scourge as clinical depression, it is recommended to try to lead an active way of being, avoid stressors, monitor well-being, evenly plan working days, eat right, travel, entertain yourself with different hobbies, have a beloved pet, devote more time to communication with loved ones friends, walks.

The forecast of this deviation is favorable with timely medical care, targeted and precise execution of doctor's prescriptions, proper nutrition.