The meaning and definition of chronic depression among the main pathologies of human mental health. The main causes and symptoms of this disease, as well as everything about how to get rid of it. Chronic depression is a mild form of mental disorder characterized by mild signs of depressed mood. The disease proceeds very slowly, sluggishly, and only sometimes it can manifest itself with a vivid clinical picture. The second name of this condition was "dysthymia", which once again emphasizes not a gross violation of the emotional sphere of a person. This condition is able to accompany the patient for several years without causing any outward suspicion. Accordingly, the very deliverance becomes possible only in the presence of already more severe symptoms of depression.
Causes of Chronic Depression
The pathogenesis of dysthymia is still not well understood. Most scientists have already come to a unified theory of the occurrence of this condition and associates it with some chemical processes in the human body. They are based on the lack of three mediator hormones. This is serotonin, which is responsible for the formation of positive emotions, dopamine - a factor in love and happiness, and norepinephrine - is responsible for anxiety and fear. Disturbance in the metabolism of these three links and leads to the onset of depressive disorder. The following factors can provoke such a violation:
- Problems in personal life… Most of all pathological conditions are preceded by just any stressful situations in the family. The relationship between a man and a woman very often leads to a loss of stability and stability of their psyche. People become dependent on each other and at the slightest disturbance in communication they plunge into their problems. Such prerequisites can depress not only the mood, but also the ability to experience a sense of joy.
- Chronic stress… The constant influence of negative emotions always negatively affects human health. Everyday failures and frustrations make him feel uncomfortable, uncomfortable, anxious, desperate. Regular presence in such an environment leads to disruptions in the production of the same important mediators that regulate a person's mood. An excess of norepinephrine and a lack of other important components in the central nervous system are formed.
- Chronic diseases… The presence of any somatic pathology that is present in a person's life for a long period of time always affects his general condition. The patient is depressed by the daily presence of any unpleasant sensations, symptoms, visits to hospitals and simply taking medications. Each of these factors makes a person feel uncomfortable and provokes the inability to experience joyful emotions in everyday life.
- Medicines… Given the pathogenesis of this disease, which is associated with chemical transformations, one must also remember about the substances that can influence them. First of all, these are narcotic drugs and psychotropic medicines. It is their metabolism that is associated with the formation of the above-mentioned neurotransmitters. Therefore, strict control of their intake is necessary, both for treatment purposes and for other illegal purposes.
The main symptoms of chronic depression
People with such a pathology do not differ much from the general population and cannot always clearly identify any problem they have. In most cases, this happens already when they pay attention to the criticism of the environment. They begin to complain that they cannot share joyful moments with friends, they do not feel pleasure, and they rarely smile. It is difficult for such a person to focus on what is happening, he constantly flies in his own thoughts and thinks about some global problems. Even the expression on his face can be described as difficult and overly puzzled, and all the time. Among all of the above, there are a number of symptoms of chronic depression.
Mental signs of chronic depression
This body system suffers primarily in the presence of such a pathology. Accordingly, all of its signs will be more associated with mental manifestations. They include changes in a person's character and behavior that shape a completely different personality for society.
Symptoms of chronic depression of a psychological nature:
- Uncertainty… It arises from numerical failures, or rather, over-emphasis on them. People do not notice and do not appreciate their victories, but they get very upset during defeats. As a result of such a reaction, an inferiority or inferiority complex arises. It becomes difficult for them to take risks, to show themselves and their capabilities in public.
- Fearfulness… This quality also becomes a consequence of previous failures and accumulates a great negativism in relation to impulsivity. A person cannot decide on an immediate action, he hesitates and worries about what he has done, even if it did not bring any particular harm to anyone. People become secretive and quiet, prefer not to express their personal opinion, so as not to hear possible criticism in return.
- Lowered self-esteem… Many people get into this state precisely because of the presence of any complexes. And then they don't let you get out of it. A person evaluates each point too critically in himself and is always dissatisfied with something. It seems to him that in comparison with others, he constantly loses in something, looks worse, dresses badly, says something wrong. The presence of such thoughts in the head further depresses a person's consciousness and worsens his general condition.
- Pessimistic thinking… In anticipation of any event, such people always hope for the worst, expect bad results and are not able to adequately assess the situation. In any case, everything must always end badly for them, with losses and damage. Even if there are absolutely no grounds for such conclusions, this does not stop them. Therefore, they are not inclined to take risks and rarely allow themselves any adventures, because they are sure in advance that they will fail.
- Helplessness… People who are depressed are very slow and shy. They live as if time had stopped and the world around them froze. Because of this, all things are done unhurriedly and slowly, and even more difficult. Their usual trip to the store is accompanied by problematic moments. Either they have nothing to wear, now they have no money, now the weather is bad, and so every time. It is important for them to feel support from the outside, they want ordinary things to always be helped to do, because they themselves "somehow" cannot do this.
- The prevalence of hopelessness… This is the worst feeling that is born on top of all the ills of a depressed person. It brings together all fears and negative attitudes, fatigue, lack of activity and many other problems. Therefore, in the end, he comes to the decision that life has reached a dead end, from which there is no way out. Behind such thoughts are very rash and terrible actions of people who are trying to find an easy way and solve invented problems on their own.
- Inability to be satisfied… It comes very early and becomes the head of a depressive disorder. A person simply understands that nothing pleases him. Pleasant moments become commonplace, or vice versa, they start to annoy. What was previously enjoyable has now become painful and unhappy. People lose their meaning in beautiful things and hobbies, some are struggling in search of new occupations, addicted to drugs or smoking in order to experience something new, to forget.
- Loss of initiative… The feeling of despondency and tragedy introduces a person into a kind of trance of delusions. He loses faith not only in the best in general, but also in himself. Accordingly, he stops reaching out for any victories or actions. His productivity at work begins to decline in parallel with the loss of interest in what is happening. Those who previously provided many ideas and plans are now unwilling to carry out even their standard duties.
- Indecision… A terrible trait that is becoming a must for these people. It is terribly difficult for them to accept anything new, and even more so to make any changes themselves. This moment manifests itself in all situations. These are small purchases, and choosing clothes, and changing jobs or building relationships. They cannot define their own desires and priorities. Every time a choice has to be made, the depressed person tries to avoid it or to shift that responsibility onto someone else.
Somatic Symptoms of Chronic Depression
Dysthymia affects not only the emotional sphere of human life, but also all organ systems in general. That is why there are a number of somatic disorders that are its symptoms. All of them arise as a result of disorders of the central nervous system and are clearly associated with the mental background of the patient.
The main symptoms of a somatic nature:
- Loss of appetite… A constant feeling of confusion and problematicness makes a person be in constant tension. This leads to the fact that he forgets even about important physiological needs. They fade into the background and, moreover, can even get out of necessity. Due to problems with the formation of neurotransmitters in the brain, the transmission of impulses about the feeling of hunger and satiety is disrupted. A person loses the desire to eat something, since he does not experience any pleasure at the same time.
- Sleep disturbance… This problem occurs precisely because of the same disturbances as with a loss of appetite. Added to this is apathy and confusion. An interesting fact is that some people are prone to increased sleepiness when depressed. They are ready to lie in bed day and night, they can sleep for an indefinite amount of time, but still feel tired and weak after that. Others cannot completely fall asleep and do not talk about such a problem, because they do not feel this need.
- Low endurance… This is one of the important criteria for the disease, which speaks of its severity and worsening. People complain about the constant feeling of fatigue and the heaviness of doing ordinary things. It is difficult for them to get out of bed in the morning, there is no motivation for actions and deeds. A person feels a lack of energy and loses his professional skills, problems begin at work, difficulties in everyday life.
- Migratory pain syndrome… A similar condition occurs quite often with such a pathology. People constantly complain of strange sensations in the area of the heart or joints, problems in the work of the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes it is an articular syndrome that does not fit the description of any disease, but continues to torment a person. Frequent headaches with varying frequency and nature of occurrence occur in almost every patient.
How to deal with chronic depression
Such a disease is a rather serious problem in modern society and requires special attention from doctors. Based on inexpressive clinical manifestations, it can be quite difficult to establish such a diagnosis, which significantly worsens the prognosis for overcoming chronic depression. Therefore, all possible health care organizations direct their efforts precisely to the prevention and early diagnosis of this pathology. Under such conditions, its treatment has a fairly good performance and outcome.
Mental therapy for chronic depression
It is the first on the list of help in the treatment of chronic depression. It is used in the presence of a confirmed diagnosis and can act as a single method or as a combination with other drugs. The solution to this question depends on the severity of the disease, as well as on the condition of the patient himself. But we can say for sure that this method allows you to enhance the effect of medications and accelerates the healing process.
There are several types of psychotherapy. All of them are carried out by conducting therapeutic sessions with a doctor who, through a conversation, tries to find out the cause of the disease and relieve the patient of it.
These techniques differ depending on how many people are present in the office during the conversation. These can be individual sessions with one person or group sessions with several participants at once. This issue is decided by the attending physician, based on the patient's psychology.
Sometimes they resort to a special version of psychotherapy - family therapy. It includes at least two people. In most cases, this is a husband and wife, both of whom must take part in solving the cause of the condition of one of the family members.
Medication for chronic depression
Not everyone knows what to do with chronic depression. Many people ask this question or resort to the wrong treatment option beforehand. Medicines that are used in this situation should be used only after a clear prescription from a doctor. To do this, use a group of psychotropic substances called antidepressants. They have the properties necessary to eliminate the main manifestations of the disease.
Among the most commonly used groups are the following:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors… The representatives are Celex, Lexappro. Their main effects are mood correction, aimed at eliminating fears and phobias, improving the body's overall resistance to stressful situations.
- Tricyclic antidepressants… These are substances with a ring structure that are capable of retaining neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft when transmitting an impulse through neurons. As a result, the conductivity and the formation of a sense of joy in humans are improved. The most prominent representative is Imipramine, which is widely used to relieve repeated attacks of chronic depression.
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors… These are drugs that inhibit an enzyme that can destroy the mediators of the central nervous system (serotonin, norepinephrine). Thus, their concentration and effects are increased. Used today by Parnat and Nardil. The drugs have a small number of side effects and are well tolerated by different groups of patients.
Prevention measures for chronic depression
This area of medicine is the key to a healthy society. Dysthymia, like many other diseases, is easier to prevent than cure. That is why it is worth paying the attention of each person to some moments of his life that can protect him from the development of such a state. After all, this can be the answer to the question of how to deal with chronic depression.
First of all, this is a certain way of life, which can be called correct:
- Nutrition… This point is extremely important for the life of every person, because it is capable of provoking many diseases, as well as simply changing the psycho-emotional background in general. Therefore, it is necessary that food brings not only physical saturation, but also contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to health. It is worth paying attention to the regimen of food intake, its regularity and small portions.
- Dream… The completeness and rationality of this state is extremely important and requires special attention. Lack of sleep or, conversely, excess sleep can disrupt many vital processes in the body as a whole. It is necessary to remember about the correct daily 8-hour sleep, which is of great value to a person.
- Proper rest… Everyone needs to rationally allocate their time so that physical activity does not exceed the body's reserves. Only then will a person have time to recover and continue to perform their functions correctly. Moreover, the rest should be regular and useful, include walks in the fresh air and other wellness procedures.
- Physical activity… Its presence in everyday life is mandatory for all people, regardless of age and gender. It activates all metabolic processes, improves blood circulation and the functioning of organ systems. Endurance increases, reserve forces of the body as a whole are replenished.
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Constant stressful situations and non-observance of a healthy lifestyle make a person vulnerable to the effects of various pathological conditions. Therefore, in order not to ask the question of how to get rid of chronic depression, one must always remember about the probable causes of its occurrence, as well as methods of prevention. Despite the fact that this pathology significantly worsens the quality of human life and is fraught with frightening consequences, early diagnosis and the correct provision of specialized care can return a person to his normal existence in the world.