What is depression?
Depression – is a mental illness characterized by mood disorder.
What are the main symptoms of depression?
The main symptoms of depression are:
- Bleak, depressed mood, loss of sense of pleasure.
- The lack of interest.
- Inability to concentrate and impaired memory.
- The inability to make a decision, a compulsive return to the same issues.
- Fear, inner restlessness and anxiety.
- Fatigue, lack of energy.
- Sleep disturbance.
- Loss of appetite, weight loss.
- The lack of sexual interest.
- Feeling of pressure, heaviness in the abdomen and chest.
- Autonomic symptoms (dry mouth, constipation, sweating, etc.).
What to do if your loved one is suffering from depression?
- You should not ignore and deny the complaints of the depressed loved one.
- Do not allow plane and comforting statement or trivial encouragement.
- Do not try to cheer up the patient.
- Emphasize the momentary depression, inspiring hope for the end of the depression.
- Do not call for the manifestation of the patient; do not tell him, “You have to pull yourself together, you could if you wanted to”, etc.
- Do not allow the depressed loved one to feel helpless and guilty.
- Do not call for such virtues as faith or sense of responsibility.
- Free up the depressive patient from having to make decisions, especially very important.
- Behave yourself calm, smooth and confident.
- Organize a visit to the doctor and accompany the patient.
- Do not change the fundamental habits of the patient.
- Do not force the depressed loved one to take a vacation, especially if there are no signs of major depression.
- Show your compassion and understanding; keep the patient in the performance of his own immediate and real problems.
- Pay attention to the patient on all the things that he makes right, do it without triumphant intonations.
- Follow a regular patient adherence, rhythmic distribution of the daily affairs.
- Do not allow the patient to lie around in the morning in bed, or to go to bed early and stayed there alone.
- Make sure that the patient takes care of himself.
- Avoid mock cheerfulness.
- Do not make accusations and comments.
- Try to stimulate the patient’s breathing.
- Do not mention about the patient’s past successes.
- Do not self-medicate the depressed loved one, seek help from a psychiatrist.
How to treat depression?
Modern treatment of depression includes:
- The use of biological therapies (primarily psychopharmacological drugs). A necessary condition for the effectiveness of treatment is to cooperate with the doctor: strict adherence to the prescribed treatment regimen, regular visits to the doctor, detailed and frank account about their condition and life difficulties.
- Psychotherapy (individual, group and family) is not an alternative, but it is an important complement to the medical treatment of depression. Unlike drug treatment, therapy involves more active role of the patient during treatment. Psychotherapy helps patients develop skills of emotional self-regulation and in the future to more effectively cope with the crisis without sinking into a depression.
What usually prevent handling for psychotherapeutic help?
- Lack of information about what is psychotherapy.
- Fear of initiation of a stranger in a personal, intimate experience.
- Skeptical attitude towards the fact that “conversations” can provide significant therapeutic effect.
- The notion that “you have to deal with psychological difficulties by yourself”, and appeal to another person is a sign of weakness.
Help of the loved ones in overcoming depression is important.
The support of loved ones, even when the patient does not express interest in it, it is very important in overcoming depression.
In this regard, the following tips can be given to relatives of patients:
- Remember that depression is an illness – in which is need for sympathy, but in no case to dive into the disease, together with the patient, sharing his pessimism and despair. You must be able to maintain a certain emotional distance and all the time reminding yourself and the patient that depression – is a transient emotional state.
- Studies have shown that depression particularly occurs in families where is done a lot of criticism of the patient. Try to make it clear to the patient that his condition – it’s not his fault, and he needs help and treatment.
- Try not to focus on the illness of the depressed loved one and bring positive emotions in your life and in the life of the family. If possible, try to involve the patient in some useful activity, rather than dismiss him from work.