Depression is a disorder that belongs to a group known as mood disorders. If a bad mood does not improve for two weeks, we can start to think that it may be mild depression. In this article, we will discuss about depression and depression therapy in London.
Types of depression and causes
Depression can be endogenous (“internal” or “true”) or exogenous (“reactive”). The causes of endogenous depression are harder to detect because they are hidden within ourselves. It is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which can be either congenital or acquired during life. This type of depression is usually treated with antidepressants.
Exogenous depression can be caused by overwork and prolonged stress (for example, even burnout can turn into depression), serious life events or trauma. However, the course of depression tends to be similar regardless of how the illness occurs.
Depression can also be shared
Exogenous depression can be caused by overwork and prolonged stress (for example, even burnout can turn into depression), serious life events or trauma. However, the course of depression tends to be similar regardless of how the illness originates.
Depression can also be divided into mild, moderate and severe depression. In the case of untreated depression, the patient’s condition worsens, and depressive states become chronic. The consequence of such conditions may include complete neglect of oneself and loved ones or lack of zest for life.
What are the symptoms of depression?
The most common symptoms of depression are lack of energy, sadness, fatigue, and loss of interest in things we used to enjoy. People suffering from depression also often experience sleep disturbances, changes in weight and appetite, and thoughts that lead to self-blame and despair.
Depressive states are usually more intense in the morning.
Physical manifestations of depression
In addition to deep sadness, depression very often manifests itself psychosomatically. The most common physical manifestations of depression are:
- a feeling of tightness and pressure in the chest
- pain in the limbs and body
- tics and restlessness in the body
- motor imbalance
- high blood pressure and heart rate
- Hot flushes
The difference between depression and sadness
We have come to call even a bad state depression, such as winter or autumn asthenia, sadness caused by a relationship or loneliness. Most of the time, however, these are just mood swings that sooner or later stabilize. Of course, a bad mood is not pleasant, but it is not something to be afraid of. It is a natural part of a healthy person’s psyche.
However, if you feel like it’s going on for an unusually long time and it’s already affecting your quality of life, then it could be the first signs of depression. At this stage, talking to a therapist can bring welcome relief and help you navigate a difficult situation more easily. You will also find out if the depression is clinical, that is, if it can be conclusively diagnosed.
How do I know if I’m suffering from depression?
A correct diagnosis is always made by a specialist with the help of psychological tests. Most often it is a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, but also a general practitioner. Based on psychological tests and an interview, he then establishes the diagnosis and discusses with the patient the appropriate treatment. This procedure is mainly applied to more severe forms of depression. For milder forms, a therapist can also help in a counseling session.
Treatment for depression – what should I do if I have depression?
Treatment for depression is an individual process.
Depending on the chronicity of the depression, psychotherapy, drug treatment (usually antidepressants) or a combination of the two are used. If you are experiencing the first signs of depression, look for ways to help yourself, at least until you have a chance to see a professional. We recommend you try some very useful techniques:
1. Create a daily routine and sleep schedule
Establish a routine that will take some getting used to, but will ultimately have a positive effect on your psyche. Create a healthy lifestyle, avoid alcohol and caffeine if possible.
2. Chat with friends
A friendly conversation can relieve you of the depressing feeling of loneliness. In addition to support, the other person will certainly give you the space you need to organize your thoughts that may seem overwhelming. An online therapist will offer you a similar service and can be available in a very short time, in addition, you will connect with a professional who specializes in these conditions in particular.
3. Practice a sport, relaxation or massage
As the mind influences the body, the body influences the mind. Through the pleasant stimulation of the senses, you will release the mental tension that accompanies depression. You can find a series of guided relaxation or meditation sessions on the internet, you can treat yourself to aromatherapy or a physical activity that doesn’t require a lot of energy.
What is postpartum depression and what are its causes?
Postnatal depression can be felt even by women who felt mentally balanced and who did not experience significant mood changes during pregnancy. A possible cause seems to be the change in the level of sex hormones, in this case the estrogen group.
Estrogen drops sharply after birth, and in the post-lactation period, its levels continue to fluctuate. This interaction increases the risk of depressive states due to biochemical processes.
Other triggers include biorhythm and sleep disorders in general. Women during this period lose their sleep routine and their entire daily routine changes to meet the needs of the baby.
Social isolation, which can be stressful for many women, doesn’t help. At the level of psychological depression, limiting beliefs will often support this. One of these may be, for example, the belief that asking for help is a sign of weakness. A subtle phrase echoing in the subconscious can bring a woman to the brink of mental and physical exhaustion.
How does postpartum depression manifest itself?
Postpartum depression can manifest immediately after the birth of the child, but also after a period of six weeks. Depression can also occur in pregnant women.
Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- Fear or anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of guilt
- The feeling that you cannot take care of the child
- Hatred of one’s own body
What is lactational psychosis and what are its symptoms?
Lactation or postpartum psychosis is a more severe form of postpartum depression. It most often occurs immediately after birth or in the first two weeks, but it can also occur in the first two months after birth.
Manifestations of lactational psychosis include:
- losing touch with reality
- irritability or aggression
- uncontrollable anxiety
- suicidal thoughts
- eating disorders
- memory disorders
For lactational psychosis, immediate treatment is very important, because the mother often loses the ability to care for her child completely. However, with appropriate treatment, usually with medication or even hospitalization, the symptoms of psychosis disappear quickly.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar affective disorder is a condition in which euphoric states alternate with those of deep depression. During the depressive phase, a person may be prone to self-mutilation or even suicide attempts.
The period of mania may seem pleasant, but the mania sufferer may not be completely in control of their actions and then have to face the consequences.
When there is suspicion of this disorder, a psychiatrist must be consulted who can prescribe the appropriate medication. Treatment is combined with psychotherapy.
How to help a person with depression?
Some people with depressive disorders may not realize they are depressed – they may call it a bad mood and wait for it to pass.
Other people don’t want to admit their problems or are afraid to ask for help.
If you suspect that someone close to you is suffering from depression, approach the situation with sensitivity. This is because such a person needs support and empathy the most. If you can, help her follow a daily routine and create a safe space where she’s not afraid to talk about her feelings. Also bring up the subject of specialist help and try to talk about it in a way that makes it clear that you’re not judging them, but rather that you find them useful.
It is also a good idea to keep in mind that sometimes the behavior of the depressed person may be different from what you are used to. Don’t feel frustrated that you’re doing everything you can to help your loved one and they don’t seem to appreciate it. He or she may be in a stage of depression where they simply cannot appreciate the gesture, and this will take some time.
The real story of a client with depression and how psychotherapy helped him
“Every spring I feel the same, exhausted and lifeless. Lots of sleep, quiet and solitude usually help. But this year, somehow, it wasn’t enough. The weeks went by and I felt worse rather than better. Gradually, I began to have problems leaving the apartment or forcing myself to go to work, I only went shopping when necessary, but the worst part was pretending to my own family that everything was fine. One day I realized that I couldn’t go on like this. Thanks for the opportunity to do online psychotherapy, because it would have been much harder for me to recover, I’m sure. During therapy, I managed to discover one important thing – that I had filled my life with a lot of responsibilities, but they no longer brought me joy or meaning.