DepressionFeeling bad and depressed in some phases is normal and will pass. In the case of depression, this is not so easy: sad feelings and negative thoughts then last longer and determine one's entire life. Read more about causes, course and treatment here.
At a glance
– Depression is a common mental illness. – Deep sadness, lack of drive and inner emptiness are common. However, many other symptoms can occur. – Life circumstances and hereditary predisposition can promote the development of depression. Symptoms of depression persist for at least 2 weeks. May persist for several months. – Medication and psychotherapy can relieve symptoms and help shorten a depressive episode.
What is depression?
Phases of feeling bad or depressed are normal and will pass. This is not so easy for people with depression: Sad feelings and negative thoughts last longer and then determine their entire lives. everyday activities, work or learning become difficult. Friends, family and hobbies are neglected.
What is depression?
In the following video you will learn how depression manifests itself. What triggers it. What treatment options are available??
How depression manifests itself?
People with depression experience a phase of deep sadness that can last for several weeks and from which they often see no way out. Depression can manifest itself in many different ways. For example, the following signs are typical:
– permanent depression or depressed mood – exhaustion and lack of drive – apathy and insensitivity – reduced self-esteem – feelings of guilt and constant brooding – difficulty concentrating and making decisions – withdrawal from relatives and friends – hopelessness and fear of the future – thoughts of no longer wanting to live
Physical symptoms that may occur with depression are:
– tiredness – sleep disturbances – loss of appetite – weight loss or gain – sexual listlessness – gastrointestinal problems such as constipation – increased sensitivity to pain
Particularly in older people, depression often manifests itself in the form of physical complaints, such as unexplained pain.
On health information.de sufferers describe how they experienced their depression.
How depression develops?
How depression develops has not yet been adequately researched. Experts believe that many things interact: biological processes, psychological factors, life circumstances and special events. For example, the following factors can promote depression and influence its course:
– a hereditary increased risk: the disease is also more common in family members. – Stressful experiences, such as abuse and neglect, but also the death of a loved one or a separation – Chronic anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence – Metabolism of the brain: It has been found that in depression, for example, in the brain certain nerve impulses are transmitted more slowly. Also messenger substances. Hormones can play a role. – physical illnesses such as a stroke, a heart attack, cancer or hypothyroidism – persistent stress and overwork, but also underwork – loneliness – lack of light: some people react to the lack of daylight in the dark autumn and winter months with depression.
How many people have depression?
Depression is a common mental illness: It is amed that 16 to 20 percent of people will suffer from depression or chronic depressive mood (dysthymia) at least once in their lifetime. Women fall ill more often than men, older people more often than young people.
What is the course of depression??
Depression causes people to feel and behave differently. Many blame themselves for their condition. You avoid social contacts, withdraw and hardly ever leave your home. These behaviors can exacerbate the symptoms. Often help is then needed.
Depression progresses in very different ways:
– For some people, the symptoms disappear after some time, even without treatment, and do not return. – In many people, depressive phases alternate regularly with phases without symptoms. – Still others are depressed over a long period of time, sometimes more, sometimes less severely. – Some develop chronic depression. This is spoken of when the depressive episode lasts longer than 2 years.
In the case of depression, the typical symptoms persist for at least 2 weeks and can last for several months. If they subside after a certain time, this is called the end of a depressive episode. About half of the people who are treated for depression feel a significant improvement in their symptoms after about 3 to 6 months.
If depression occurs again within 6 months after the symptoms have subsided, it is called a relapse (recurrence). If the symptoms recur more than 6 months or even years later, it is called a recurrent depression. In-depth information on the topic of depression. You can find their different forms under health information.[email protected] en.en.
How to prevent depression?
Stressful events, such as the loss of a partner or chronic stress, are thought to be partly responsible for the development of depression. Some stresses can be reduced. Learning to cope with crises can also reduce the risk of depression. The social environment also plays an important role: People with stable relationships are less likely to suffer from depression.
If there is an increased risk of recurrent depression, long-term treatment with medication can help prevent relapses. Another possibility is psychotherapy over a longer period of time.
How is depression diagnosed?
Some people see their depression not as a disease, but as a personal failure or a passing phase related to stress. Many others, on the other hand, are so severely ill that they are unable to go to a doctor or ask for help on their own. In both cases, relatives should offer their support. Accompany the person in question to the initial consultation with a doctor, for example.
In order to diagnose depression, doctors first ask about complaints that are typical for depression. On the other hand, it is important to rule out other illnesses or problems that may cause similar complaints. Physical examinations may also be needed for this.
A distinction is made between the main and secondary symptoms of depression.
The main symptoms are:
– depressed mood, sadness, dejection – disinterest and joylessness – listlessness and rapid fatigue, often after even minor exertion
Secondary symptoms may include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Loss of appetite – Sleep disturbances – Concentration and decision-making disorders – Low self-esteem – Feelings of guilt – Negative and pessimistic thoughts about the future – Thoughts of or attempts at suicide
Certain questionnaires are often used for diagnosis. If several major and minor symptoms persist for 2 weeks or longer, depression is diagnosed. Depending on the number, type, and severity of symptoms, experts distinguish between mild, moderate, and severe depression. The treatment is also based on this.
How is depression treated?
A variety of treatment options are available for depression. The most important ones are:
– psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy; and – treatment with medication
Which therapy is suitable depends, among other things, on the patient's circumstances, the severity of the illness and how the symptoms develop over time. The advantages and disadvantages of conceivable treatments and the expectations associated with them can be discussed with the therapist.
More information on the treatment of depression can be found on gesundheitsinformation.en.
What can relatives do?
Often, partners, friends or relatives are the first to notice or learn about depressive symptoms and changes, because they are the first contact persons. Your support is especially important for people with depression. However, those close to the patient can also reach their limits -. Often need help themselves, especially in the case of severe depression. Self-help groups can be an option here, but also medical or psychological support.
If there are signs of suicidal thoughts, help and active support are especially important. Mostly it remains with such thoughts – however, they are to be taken absolutely seriously. Those who have it should confide in others.
For such situations, there are various offers of help: for example, the social psychiatric service, crisis centers or the telephone counselling service. If necessary, this can also be done anonymously, often around the clock.
For suggestions and tips on how to talk to someone who is thought to be depressed, visit gesundheitsinformation.en.
Where to find support?
GPs are also the first point of contact for most people with mental health problems. However, it is also possible to turn to psychological counseling centers, psychotherapists or psychologists. For an initial consultation in a psychotherapeutic practice, a doctor's referral is not necessary.
Important to know: In emergencies – such as acute suicide risk – psychiatric-psychotherapeutic practices with emergency services or the emergency outpatient departments of psychiatric-psychotherapeutic hospitals can help.
Further information on psychotherapy and tips on how to get appointments promptly or which services are covered by statutory health insurance can be found on gesundheitsinformation.en.
Especially for mentally distressed children and adolescents, the University Hospital of Munich, together with the Beisheim Foundation, has developed the website ich-bin-alles.de developed. The website is aimed at children and adolescents with depression and their parents, as well as children and adolescents who would like to find out more about the subject of depression.
– German Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy. Treatment of depressive disorders in children and adolescents. Evidence- and consensus-based guideline (S3). AWMF register number 048-023. 07.2013. – German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Neurology (DGPPN). Unipolar depression. S3 guideline. National Health Care Guideline (NVL). S3 guideline and national health care guideline (NVL). AWMF register number nvl-005. 03.2017. – Depression in adults: recognition and management. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK) ; 2009 Oct 28. PMID: 31990491. – Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Depressive disorders. Federal Health Reporting. ie 51.