It would seem that everyone, in fact, knows the main symptoms of depression … However, this is a false impression. It is worth delving a little deeper and getting acquainted with the clinical descriptions of this disorder in more detail – and you will be surprised how complex and varied its manifestations are! And an accurate diagnosis can be made only by knowing all the nuances, sometimes outwardly inconspicuous individual characteristics of these manifestations. And an effective treatment strategy , in turn, is based precisely on a comprehensive knowledge of all the signs of depression .
When you look closely at someone with depression, you will probably notice that their mood is altered .
Doctors call depressed mood hypothymia and note that the “bad mood” in depression can have different shades specific to a given mental disorder.
Indeed, depressed mood is recognized as a classic sign of depression. In all cases of disorder, even the most mild, this symptom occurs most often.
The spectrum of mood changes can include anxiety, melancholy, apathy and irritability. Emotions close to the feeling of anguish, sadness, and recognized the sadness, to apathy – laziness and indifference, to the dismay – excitement , anxiety and fear.
“Recognition” of the leading modality of mood: irritability, anxiety, melancholy and apathy is especially necessary for accurate diagnosis of depression and the construction of an optimal treatment regimen.
Each of the leading modalities of depression has its own spectrum of concomitant somatic and neurological symptoms.
Constant doubts when making a decision, low self-esteem, and feelings of guilt are quite typical signs of depression.
It can also manifest itself in an angry, melancholy mood – dysphoria. At the same time, one should not forget that such phenomena as constant dissatisfaction, irascibility, resentment and vulnerability can be permanent attributes of a person’s personality, which were present even before the onset of depression.
Irritability, anxiety, melancholy and apathy, as a rule, are in close connection with each other, but at some point one of these feelings becomes the leading one. The manifestation of a number of other symptoms depends on this , in particular: the nature of sensations in the internal organs and the degree of change in thinking and perception processes.
Unbearable melancholy is a hard feeling. In this state, the world for the sufferer looks lifeless and dead. And such a world can no longer bring any joy, no pleasure. This is how anhedonia often develops . This term “covers” the loss of the ability to experience, experience pleasure. The joys of life lose their meaning, what used to please is now indifferent …
In severe cases, there is “mental anesthesia” – a conscious loss of the ability to any feelings in general. Despite the excruciating mental pain, a person sometimes completely loses the “gift of tears”, but as he recovers, the ability to cry out his sorrows returns to him.
During depression, initiative clearly weakens, the ability to cope with difficulties decreases , many desires common to people disappear, and the will noticeably weakens. A person begins to constantly complain of fatigue , weakness, which sometimes seem so insurmountable that he no longer has the strength to just get up and go to the doctor. In severe cases, there may be complete passivity, immobility. Obvious changes in behavior and appearance occur.
With depression, a person, on the one hand, seeks isolation, avoids contact with other people, and on the other hand, on the other hand, seeks sympathy and support from others.
He strives for loneliness and at the same time is afraid of it, withdraws from communication, hiding his feelings, and at the same time he is glad, even if a short, casual meeting with a person who is ready to at least superficially delve into his problems.
Attempts to distract the depressed person, to come up with entertainment for him, are usually unsuccessful and often cause the opposite effect. Deep pessimism soon paints the world dark again . Changing the place of stay, contacting a new doctor sometimes only for a short time bring relief, which quickly gives way to disappointment, irritability and the return of other symptoms, even more pronounced.
Movement during depression is most often slowed down, limited. The sufferer can sit motionless in one place or lie for a very long time . Sometimes there is even a so-called “depressive stupor” – a state of complete immobility.
Less often, opposite phenomena can occur . So, with melancholy in the elderly and young people, specific excitement can be observed, in which a person does not find a place for himself, rushes about, breaks his hands, groans. The character of a person is noticeable in the manifestations of depression.
In the period of depression also appears carelessness in dress and in appearance. For a person, a posture with lowered shoulders, a sad expression on the face, lowered corners of the mouth, a look “down”, a fold at the eyebrow, among psychiatrists known as the “Veragut fold”, named after the doctor who described it, become characteristic .