Dr. Tamara Wald has written and medically validated many texts as Medical Advisor for Fernarzt.
1. What is depression?? 2. How common are depressions? 3. Symptoms of depression 4. Causes of depression- Biological factors – Psychological and social factors – Other possible risk factors
5. Classification of depression 6. How depression is treated?- Pharmacotherapy for depression – Psychotherapeutic treatment
ICD code for depression: F32 – Depressive episode& F33 – Recurrent depressive disorder
The risk of developing depression in the course of a lifetime is 16 to 20 percent. Women are affected significantly more often than men.
Depression is a disease in which the thinking, feeling and acting of the affected person is influenced. The disease is usually accompanied by disturbances of bodily functions. Can cause considerable suffering.
– Depression is a frequent mental illness
– The disease can be caused by psychological, social and biological factors – depression can be caused by Psychotherapeutic and drug treatments to be treated
What is depression?
Every person knows the phases in life when he or she is unhappy and "depressed". However, the colloquial use of this term can be misleading. Although the term is more often used in everyday life to describe fluctuations in mood, depression in the medical sense is something other than these brief periods of sadness.
Depression is a mental illness, in which the sufferer are very depressed, lose their interests, and are exhausted and listless. People suffering from depression are rarely able to free themselves from their depressed mood, listlessness, and negative thoughts. Everyday tasks cannot be done or can only be done with difficulty. In the case of depression, the suffering prere of the affected person is high, because the well-being and self-esteem are significantly impaired.
How common are depressions?
Depression is one of the most common and, in terms of its significance, one of the most serious illnesses most underestimated illnesses. The risk of developing depression in the course of one's life (so-called lifetime prevalence) is 16 to 20 percent. Women are affected significantly more often than men. Depression occurs at any age.
Symptoms of depression
Most of the affected persons cannot assign the symptoms in depression and do not suspect that it is a mental disorder. Depression is not a homogeneous clinical picture. Can be manifested by a wide variety of symptoms. For this reason, many sufferers seek medical advice with the uncharacteristic symptoms such as fatigue or difficulty concentrating.
The three Main symptoms of depression are:
– Depressed, depressed mood – Loss of interest and joylessness – Lack of drive with increased fatigability and activity limitations
Additional symptoms for depression are:
– Disturbances in concentration, attention, and thinking skills – Decreased self-esteem and self-confidence – Feelings of guilt and worthlessness – Negative and pessimistic ideas about the future – Suicidal thoughts or actions – Decreased appetite
In the case of depression, those affected suffer from at least two main symptoms for at least two weeks.
You are not alone. Talk to our doctors about your symptoms and thoughts and get medical advice via video or phone consultation.
The Inhibition of the drive can also manifest itself in the outward appearance with a Slowing of reactions, movements and speech make your presence felt. Facial expressions and gestures can appear rigid in those affected. In extreme cases, sufferers can only talk or move with great difficulty. Also the Thinking and comprehension are inhibited. creativity as well as concentration-. The ability to remember can dwindle. In extreme cases, on the basis of this strong loss of memory wrongly diagnosed with dementia.
In 70 to 80 percent of those affected, depression occurs in conjunction with anxiety, In some cases, it can even lead to an anxiety disorder that requires treatment.
In the context of depression, there may also be psychotic signs such as delusions come. These delusions can take the form of a believed impending catastrophe or impoverishment. Also include the belief that one is terminally ill (hypochondriacal delusion) or dead inside (nihilistic delusion). This is referred to as depression with psychotic symptoms.
As Physical symptoms can play a role in depression z. B. Experience pain, feelings of prere on the chest or difficulty breathing – in some cases, these can even be the main symptoms.
For mild to moderate depressive episodes in addition to the main and additional symptoms, there may be a so-called somatic syndrome are present.
Typical characteristics of a somatic syndrome in depression are:
– Loss of interest – No pleasure in usually enjoyable activities – Lack of ability to respond emotionally to friendly surroundings or joyful events – Early morning awakening (two or more hours before usual time) – Morning low – Psychomotor inhibition or agitation – Marked loss of appetite – Weight loss (5 percent of body weight within one month) – Marked loss of libido
Causes of depression
When patients suffer from depression, the Usually more than one cause. Depression does not represent a uniform clinical picture. There are several hypotheses that try to explain the development of depression. Mostly occur physical and genetic influences interact with psychological and psychosocial factors and influence each other. This is called multifactorial genesis. Depending on the individual, the factors have a different weighting.
Studies have shown that genetic factors are of importance in depression. Depressive disorders run in families. First-degree relatives of a person with depression are 50 percent more likely to develop depression than the general population. It is important to note, however, that a hereditary predisposition does not necessarily mean that a person will develop depression. Only in the Interaction with trigger factors (z. B. hormonal changes in the postpartum period, relationship crisis, excessive demands, etc.) depression occurs in genetically vulnerable individuals. This is also referred to as Vulnerability stress model designated.
A physical cause of depression can be that the concentration of neurotransmitters serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine, the so-called monoamines, is reduced. They serve the communication between nerve cells and are involved in the regulation of a variety of brain functions, z. B. Attention, mood, sleep and appetite. The Monoamine hypothesis thus states that a lack of monoamines is the basis for depression. This approach is reflected in the drug treatment of depression. Many antidepressants work by increasing levels of monoamines.
It may be that a Disturbance of the Thyroid function, above all an underfunction, as well as Disturbances in calcium, vitamin B12 and folic acid levels can cause depression.
Likewise Anemia (anemia) may be the underlying cause. This must be ruled out.