Depression – Questions and Answers

What is depression?

Depression is a mental illness characterized by a mood disorder. 

What are the main symptoms of depression?

The main symptoms of depression are

  • Joyless, depressed state, loss of pleasure.
  • Lack of interest.
  • Inability to concentrate, memory impairment.
  • The inability to make a decision, obsessive returns to one and the same issues.   
  • Fear (in front of everyday life or uncertain), inner anxiety, anxiety. 
  • Feeling tired, lack of energy.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss.
  • Lack of sexual interests.
  • Feeling of pressure, heaviness in the abdomen and chest.  
  • Vegetative symptoms (dry mouth, constipation, sweating, etc.).  

What if someone close to you suffers from depression?

  • The complaints of the depressed patient should not be ignored and prohibited.  
  • Avoid flat, comforting language or trivial encouragement.  
  • Do not try to cheer up the sick person. 
  • Emphasize the immediacy of the depressive state by instilling hope for an end to the depression. 
  • Do not call for manifestations of the patient’s will, do not tell him: “you must pull yourself together,” you could , if you wanted “, etc.         
  • Do not let the sick person feel helpless and guilty .  
  • Don’t invoke virtues like faith or a sense of responsibility.  
  • Free the depressed patient from the need to make decisions, especially the very important ones. 
  • Behave with the patient calmly, evenly and confidently.  
  • Organize your own visit to the doctor and accompany the patient  
  • Relieve the patient from personal and professional contacts.  
  • Do not change the patient’s cardinal habits. 
  • Do not insist on sick leave, especially if there are no signs of severe depression.  
  • Show your compassion and understanding, and support the patient in their own urgent and real tasks.   
  • To draw the patient’s attention to everything that he manages to do, do not allow yourself at the same time to triumphant intonations.   
  • Monitor the regular adherence to the patient’s regimen, the rhythmic distribution of affairs in the daily routine  
  • Do not let the patient lie in bed in the morning , go to bed early and be alone.    
  • Make sure that the patient looks after himself.  
  • Avoid feigned gaiety.
  • Do not make reproaches and remarks.  
  • Try to stimulate the patient’s breathing.
  • Don’t mention the patient ‘s past successes.  
  • Do not self-medicate the patient, seek help from a specialist psychiatrist.   

How can depression be treated?

Current treatment for depression involves:  

  • The use of biological methods of therapy ( primarily psychopharmacological drugs). A prerequisite for the effectiveness of treatment is cooperation with a doctor: strict adherence to the prescribed therapy regimen, regular visits to the doctor, a detailed, frank report about your condition and life difficulties.        
  • Psychotherapy (individual, group and family) is not an alternative, but an important adjunct to the drug treatment of depression. In contrast to drug treatment, psychotherapy assumes a more active role of the patient in the treatment process. Psychotherapy helps patients to develop skills of emotional self-regulation and in the future to cope more effectively with crisis situations without sinking into depression.               

What usually hinders seeking psychotherapeutic help? 

  • Low awareness of people about what psychotherapy is. 
  • Fear of a stranger’s initiation into personal, intimate experiences. 
  • Skeptical about the fact that “talking” can have a tangible healing effect. 
  • The idea that you need to cope with psychological difficulties yourself, and turning to another person is a sign of weakness.    

Helping people close to you to overcome depression 

The support of loved ones, even when the patient does not express interest in her, is very important in overcoming depression. In this regard, the following advice can be given to relatives of patients:    

  • Remember that depression – a disease in which the need sympathy, but not in koem case can not sink into the disease with the patient, sharing his pessimism and despair. You need to be able to maintain a certain emotional distance, constantly reminding yourself and the patient that depression is a transient emotional state.         
  • Studies have shown that depression is especially unfavorable in those families where a lot of criticism is made about the patient. Try to make it clear to the patient that his condition is not his fault, but a misfortune, that he needs help and treatment.        
  • Try not to focus on the illness of a loved one and bring positive emotions into your life and into the life of your family. If possible, try to involve the patient in some kind of useful activity, and not remove him from business.           

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