Depression requires professional help.
Depression is different from normal tiredness or discouragement or sadness. These are “normal” feelings that arise in response to certain situations.
Mourning about a loss requires time. Stress must be followed by due rest. A sadness period has been experienced by everyone. It is usually a passing state.
Depression usually does not get better on its own.
The difference between a normal reaction to a situation and depression is the intensity and duration of the symptoms.
Depression can have a specific causes like the experience of a loss: the loss of a loved person, the loss of a job, the loss of an appreciated environment such as after a move, etc.
However, depression can also be shown in the absence of apparent triggers.
Symptoms of depression
Depression triggers a feeling of emptiness, hopelessness and lack of energy. The impression of not being able to meet the demands of everyday life can create anxiety.
The person might have the impression of a numbness and the disability to feel anything. Everything that was formerly ment illusion seems to be meaningless. Even daily routines are perceived as often insurmountable obstacles. There is a lack of determination. At the time of having to make a decision one remains in the doubt and in hours to turn around the issues
In depression, self-esteem diminishes and is often accompanied by a sense of guilt and the idea of what happens to one is a punishment. Even thoughts of death and suicide might appear.
These feelings affect more and more central functions of life.
Depression can lead to insomnia or excessive sleep, loss of appetite or weight gain, loss of libido (decreased sex drive), decreased concentration, physical distress or lethargy.
Gastric discomfort, headaches, back pain, dizziness or a feeling of tightness in the chest may also occur without medical explanation.
Mood swings are often experienced during the course of the day. One phenomenon is the “morning depression.” It costs to get up, one wants to avoid the morning sun, body hygiene and daily feeding routine.
When depression progresses we observe a social withdrawal and isolation of the person who can lead to the loss of the job.
There are increasing studies that indicate that depression can be a consequence of lifestyle. We see that depression actually relates to the following decisive factors:
Movement helps to eliminate the damaging effects of stress. Outdoor movement promotes our well-being, strengthens our immune system, improves sleep quality and produces endorphins (“happiness” hormones).
We are referring less to physical efforts and training than to a natural outdoor movement such as a walk or a bike ride. Research confirms that there is significant improvement in our mental and emotional condition if we walk half an hour outdoors three times a week.
Our mood is reactive to light. A depressed mood may be caused by lack of natural light or prolonged lack of light intensity. Correspondingly our psyche may be stimulated by exposure to the sun or certain frequencies of light. In depression there is a tendency to avoid light and withdraw into darkness.
Routines have a stabilizing effect on our psyche. Among them are routines in body hygiene and meals. Also a schedule for sleep, enough outdoor movement and regular contact with other people are important routines. In depression it is often very difficult to maintain daily routines.
A balanced diet rich in minerals, vitamins, fruits and fresh vegetables contributes decisively to our well-being not only physical but also psychic. Regular intake of heavy and fatty foods, foods rich in supplements and additives, prefabricated and industrial food and the consumption of alcohol and other toxins charge our system. In depression, one can observe the increased consumption of incriminating substances.
Sleep is the function that first is affected in case of any disorder. Especially the fast pace of life, increased demands and prolonged stress periods deprive us of the necessary rest. Satisfying a sleep hygiene can increase the quality of sleep.
Sleep hygiene means among other things
- A clean and well ventilated bedroom that only serves the sleeping function.
- Refrain from the use of electronic devices inside the bedroom.
- A rest and sleep routine and schedule.
- Abstain from activities that involve the use of screens two hours before bedtime.
Two hours before bedtime, eat the last light foods that promote sleep.
For more information on measures that promote sleep and the implementation of a sleeping program do not hesitate to contact us.
In depression rest times become irregular. One stays for many hours in bed without sleeping. The hours of rest are deferred to the daytime schedule which at the same time produces insomnia at night. The implementation of a sleep hygiene is essential on the way out of depression.
Humans are social beings. We need direct contact with other people. This cannot be replaced by the virtual contact of digital portals. We react to the stimulus of faces and require feedback from others.
Lack of a social network and social isolation such as marginalization as it happens in mobbing and bulling can be triggers of a depression or can sustain depression.
The thoughts themselves can trigger a depression. The chain of thoughts with negative content that starts automatically, without being perceived, is called rumination. Rumination is the recreation of the worst scenario of a situation recreated in different variants and in different ways. The content is always negative and far from finding a solution. The rumination and the corresponding contents are extremely harmful for the psyche.
In depression rumination is very widespread and manifests itself in hours of self-absorption and in a state of being lost in thoughts without actually knowing what we are thinking.
Rumination can be stopped by making thoughts conscious and other psychological techniques that can be facilitated by the psychologist. The practice of Mindfulness helps to counteract rumination, encourages the way out of depression and prevents its relapses.
Behavior can cause depression
If we maintain ourselves through prolonged periods in situations that contradict our needs, we can go beyond a state of unhappiness and fall into a deep sadness.
It can be said that prolonged enduring of an unpleasant situation can cause psychological problems. This can be conditions of a job, a personal situation or other constellations of situations in which we find ourselves involved.
Therapy works to (re) establish responsibility and the capacity to take action and change the situation.
We can also make decisions against your conviction and find yourself in situations difficult to sustain. This can happen through social pressure or to meet the expectations of others. In everything you are being “unfaithful” to yourself. The consequence may be psychic problems such as depression, fears or diminished self-esteem.
Psychological work helps to become aware of the situation and to make new decisions. It is imperative that new decisions are born out of the person affected as soon as he or she is prepared and the therapist refrains from giving opinions and advice!
Many people are afraid to seek professional help or wait too long. A psychic disease should be treated with the help of a professional. Especially in depression it is important to seek for professional help as soon as possible.
The bipolar form of depression is also called manic-depressive. It is characterized by a more or less rapid change between the monopolar form (see above) and the manic phase which occurs in an almost opposite state:
- Euphoric mood, an inappropriate joy, an excess of energy or, on the other hand, pronounced irritability and aggressiveness.
- Affected people have a great need to speak and express themselves in an accelerated way and with thoughts that jump from topic to topic. They are prone to being distracted and often overestimate their limits.
- In the manic phase, there is a frequent loss of control in the management of finances and the consequences of excessive expenses are not considered.
- One can observe unrealistic ideas of greatness and of being special and have extraordinary capacities
In many patients the change of a phase usually happens gradually, but abrupt and sudden changes are also possible.
Changes in mood are often a problem for people of the environment. The risk of suicide and addiction in bipolar disorder is high. The need for professional treatment in this case is essential.
Tips for accompanying persons
Support is very helpful. Supervision and attempted education are detrimental. The invitation to walks and other simple activities can be helpful.
Avoid phrases such as “cheer up” or “work up”. Phrases like this increase the guilt of the person affected.
Listen actively to realize when professional help is indicated and also to realize the risk of suicide. Desist from giving advice.
Take serious even the most subtle indications of suicide and seek professional help.
Speak openly about feelings. Always be open to dialogue.
Seek adherence to professional treatment sessions.
Help maintain a daily routine.
With a helping support and professional treatment there is a exit from depression.