Today you can often hear: “I’m depressed.” People inappropriately and out of place recall depression, thus explaining a temporary loss of strength, mental fatigue, and other negative conditions. But how many understand that there is depression in reality? Depression is a fairly common mental disorder these days, impaired affect, the characteristic features of which are the so-called depressive triad: poor mood, anhedonia (inability to experience joy), impaired positive thinking, motor inhibition.
In a state of depression, a person loses interest in life, refuses or is unable to conduct habitual activities. Frequent consequences of a person being depressed are excessive use of alcohol, drugs, psychotropic drugs.
Forms of depression
Depression can be unipolar when the patient’s mood for a long time remains within the same negative pole, and bipolar, considered as part of a bipolar affective disorder, accompanied by manic or hypomanic episodes. Conditions of mild depression can also occur with cyclothymia, a mental disorder characterized by a chronic unstable mood.
Unipolar depression is divided into the following forms:
– clinical depression (major depressive disorder);
– minor depression, which is characterized by the manifestation of at least two main symptoms within two weeks;
– resistant depression, which is difficult to treat with antidepressants;
– atypical depression, the symptoms of which are both manifestations typical of this mental disorder, and atypical signs (increased appetite, weight gain, drowsiness, emotional reactivity);
– Postnatal depression (postpartum);
– transient recurrent depression, manifested in separate short episodes over a long time;
– dysthymia – a chronic mood disorder, when a person complains almost every day of depression and bad mood for at least two years.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression of different forms manifests itself in different ways. However, all the clinical symptoms of a depressive disorder can be divided into main, typical and indirect, additional symptoms. The diagnosis of depression is made if a person has at least two main symptoms and at least three additional symptoms for a certain time.
Typical (common) signs of depression are:
– depression, low mood for a long time, which arise regardless of external circumstances;
– loss of strength, increased fatigue that occurs for at least a month.
Additional symptoms of depression are much more serious and more dangerous than typical symptoms. Indirect manifestations of depression include:
· Feeling of worthlessness, guilt.
· Unreasonable, causeless anxiety (fear).
· Inability to make independent decisions.
· Inability to concentrate.
· Glycogeusia (a sweet taste in the mouth that appears without a corresponding irritant).
Periodic weight gain or weight loss.
Insomnia or, conversely, drowsiness.
· Thoughts of death, suicide.
The therapist diagnoses depression in a patient if the duration of typical and additional symptoms is at least 2 weeks. The exception is cases where the signs of depression are very severe, occur sharply, and manifest rapidly.
Timely identified depression responds well to treatment. But despite everything, this particular mental disorder is the most common in the modern world.