What is Depression?
Among mental disorders, depression is quite prevalent. According to the World Health Organization, depression is one of the leading health problems in the developed world.
It is estimated that one in four women and one in ten men may experience bouts of depression at some stage in their lives, and children can also be affected.
There are no concrete data regarding its frequency in the Uk, but estimates indicate values of 2 to 3% for men and 5 to 9% for women for the most severe forms of depression and values above 20% for more severe forms. mild disease.
What distinguishes a depression from sadness?
Depression is a pathology that can go unnoticed, since its symptoms can be attributed to other causes (such as physical illness or stress) .
It is important to realize that everyone can be sad, but that these feelings last for a short time, on the contrary, in depression there is interference with day-to-day activities associated with intense suffering . As such, depression, although common, is a serious illness.
Many patients with depression do not seek treatment, although there are effective ways to treat it.
Depression is a mood disorder that should not be confused with feelings of sadness, which are generally reactive to life events, temporary and which, in general, are not incompatible with a normal life.
Depression can have different forms and degrees of severity and its symptoms can be prolonged over time, and may include:
- Feelings of sadness and annoyance
- Feelings of irritability, tension or agitation
- Feelings of distress, worry, unfounded fears and insecurity
- decrease in energy,fatigue and slowness
- Loss of interest and pleasure in daily activities
- Disturbance of sleep and sexual desire
- Significant changes in weight due to appetite disorders
- Feelings of guilt and self-worth
- Alterations in concentration, memory and reasoning
- Physical symptoms not due to another illness (headaches, digestive disorders, chronic pain, general malaise)
- Ideas of death and suicide attempts
Depression significantly affects performance at work, family and school life and all activities of the patient, causing great suffering.
In the most severe forms, symptoms may arise with no apparent connection to traumatic life events and last for several months.
In the milder forms, the intensity of the symptoms is lower and allows the maintenance of daily activities, although the feeling of fatigue, sadness and lack of interest is present, and tends to last for years.
In some cases, depression does not manifest itself in the form of sadness, but through symptoms such as fatigue, nonspecific pain, a feeling of oppression in the chest, insomnia , digestive disturbances (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea), which raises the hypothesis that a different disease, making diagnosis difficult and delaying.
Depression can be part of bipolar disorder, in which episodes of depression alternate with periods of excitement and euphoria. In the euphoric phases, patients’ self-esteem is very high, with a loss of sense of reality, and excessive spending and impossible deals may occur.
In most cases, depression is the consequence of interactions between biological, psychological, and environmental variables:
- There is a hereditary tendency to some types of depression.
- Traumatic life events contribute to the onset of depression, and may act as triggers or facilitators of depressive episodes.
- The personality type and the way each individual deals with problems is also associated with a greater or lesser predisposition to it.
Treatment is important so that the depression does not linger and get worse. If the symptoms are not recognized as part of an illness, the negative evaluation made by others will tend to accentuate the weak personal image and reduced self-esteem.
Suicide is a possibility that should not be overlooked and treatment is essential to reduce this risk and allow depression symptoms to improve.
There are several possible treatments for depression, including antidepressant medications and psychotherapy, which should be chosen by the doctor individually. In general, these are treatments that must be continued for a significant period of time in order to be effective. If you are suffering from depression you can consult us for depression therapy in London.
Family and social support is an important complement to the treatment selected by the physician.
The prognosis for it is good and essentially depends on the treatment instituted and adequate control of all the risk factors present in each case.
While it is not possible to prevent it, there are some lifestyle habits you can adopt to maintain your mental health:
- Find ways to manage stress and improve self-esteem.
- Take good care of yourself: get enough sleep, adopt a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
- Seeking support from family and friends during difficult times.
- Have routine check-ups regularly and see your doctor if you feel unwell.