Health : How to recognize the signs of depression?
Medicine calls the whole complex of depressive disorders “depression”. This notion is linked to serious problems in a person’s activity and a decrease in his interest in the world around him as well as in the usual elements of his life. Even specialists may have difficulty answering the question of whether you have depression, as well as determining the exact cause of the depression. This is so because several factors can play a role to trigger this condition. These are both hereditary, physiological, neurological and psychosocial. Accurate diagnosis is possible after studying the patient’s history. The course of treatment involves a combination of several methods: conservative, psychotherapeutic and other measures. So what sign of depression can help us spot this condition? And how do you know if you have depression?
Sign of depression – does this condition depend on criteria such as age and gender?
Most cases of depression have a clear link with age and, in particular, with adolescence or the age of 20 to 30 years. Due to the peculiarities of the psyche, women are more prone to depressive manifestations. The exact reasons for this phenomenon have not yet been established. Some depressive symptoms occur in 30% of patients who seek medical help. Less than 10% of those who have requested it have any signs of profound depression requiring competent medical intervention. The state of demoralization associated with unpleasant incidents in the patient’s life is significantly different from clinical depression. There are a number of characteristic signs which indicate temporary psychoemotional difficulties which go away within a few days without specific treatment.
Sign of depression and difficulties associated with their identification
The deterioration in mood is manifested by lightning and is not permanent. As events change, the person’s mood improves and the mental state returns to normal. The loss of mood can alternate with well-being and with times when the person is fun or stable.
The patient does not have suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-contempt and a sense of his own futility. If the patient is prone to depressive states with demoralization, individual signs of major depression may be observed. But even this type of sign of depression does not speak of an illness that requires immediate help.
What are the common causes of depressive conditions?
Experts associate manifestations of depression with environmental factors and genetic predisposition. However, they invariably indicate the inability to accurately identify the cause of the disease. Official medicine recognizes the hereditary imprint in more than half of diagnosed cases: in first-line parents and in identical twins.
Traditional theories about depression
According to generalized theories, the development of a depressive state can be affected by alterations in the functioning of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland or adrenal glands, which produce hormones important to humans. Changes in the interaction of these organs can lead to prolonged depressive states. A disturbed psycho-emotional state as a result of past problems plays an important role in the appearance of signs of major or chronic depression: divorce, loss of a loved one, financial losses.
In the absence of a predisposition to serious mental disorders, these events do not cause prolonged depressive states. If the patient is prone to anxiety, it increases the risk of developing dangerous symptoms.
Depression signs and predisposition in women
Speaking of the predisposition to depression, experts indicate that women are more at risk of such a condition. The causes cited by professionals include: exposure to daily stress due to high mental stress; high risk of thyroid dysfunction; hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle or menopause; An increase in the level of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that contributes to the destruction of neurotransmitters that determine the patient’s mood.
Against the background of clinical depression, the patient may show signs of somatic diseases: hormonal disorders, brain tumors, strokes, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Symptoms and signs of depression
Signs of depression depend heavily on the nature of the condition and help specialists make an accurate diagnosis. In a state of major depression, the patient has a tired and sad appearance, lack of eye contact, lack of emotions, depression and suppressed speech
Changes in diet and personal hygiene are also observed. Characteristic symptoms of depression also include decreased interest in favorite activities, insomnia, sudden weight loss or gain, difficulty making a decision, inability to concentrate. , obsessive thoughts of death or suicide, lethargy.
Symptoms may vary depending on the profile and type of depression
When talking about chronic depressive disorder, this type of symptom and sign of depression is seen for two or more years. The patient experiences anxiety, there are obvious personality disorders. People with depression are also more critical of themselves and others. She has a tendency to lock herself in and has a notable drop in her esteem. Additionally, increased fatigue, inability to concentrate, feelings of hopelessness, insomnia or excessive drowsiness, weakness, and mood indicate a chronic condition.
Against the background of premenstrual depressive disorder in women, a week before the expected start date of the cycle, there are sudden changes in mood, anger and irritability, a state of anxiety and tension. It decreases the interest in the usual activity, decreases the concentration of attention, you notice an increase in fatigue and feelings of depression. Up to 6% of women of childbearing age have the symptoms of depression listed in women with PMS at different times in their lives.
In depressive disorders of the inexplicable etiology, patients of both sexes experience anxiety, characteristic manic syndromes (feelings of superiority, talkativeness or good humor), decreased emotional response to pleasant events, states of delirium or hallucinations and psychomotor retardation. The symptomatic picture of the different types of depression is individual for each patient. However, everyone with depression invariably has some common characteristics of a particular illness, which makes diagnosis easier.
Complications of depressive conditions
The increase in the pathological situation against the background of the patient’s refusal to receive professional help can cause the following dangerous phenomena: an increase in symptoms of depression; increased incidence of depression; prolonged illness, the duration of which increases with the frequency of attacks; cases of double depression, when serious psychological problems overlap with more “superficial” experiences and difficult to treat stages of depression develop; difficulties in choosing the right therapy, when the disease does not lend itself to conventional methods of treatment and requires the use of “more powerful” drugs with a high risk of side effects.
Diagnosis of depression
The treatment of depression is the field of activity of the therapist, psychologist and psychiatrist. In the best case, it will be done on the joint advice of all these specialists. To recognize the signs of depression and make an accurate diagnosis, these specialists use special questionnaires. They also take into consideration the issues raised by patients and their families, in particular regarding characteristic changes in well-being and mood.
Communicating personally with the patient, the doctor clarifies the duration of the course of the disease, and also decides on possible dangers associated with a depressive state.
There are several approaches to treating depression. Drug therapy is practiced taking into account the patient’s condition, the reaction to previous courses and the risk of side effects. Antidepressant drugs can influence the action of certain hormones that contribute to the development of depressive conditions and thus help restore hormonal balance in the body.
Supportive treatment involves a regular visit to a specialist to monitor the results of treatment, adjust the chosen course, obtain the necessary explanations, etc.
Other methods of treating depressive states include the approach of psychotherapy, light therapy, deep brain stimulation methods, etc.
Subject to all the recommendations of specialists and the complete completion of the course, stable positive results can be achieved within several weeks, while reducing the risk of recurrence of depressive conditions.