Depression is much more complex than just a low mood. depressions are disease with many faces. Therefore, the risk for foreigners to overlook the warning signs is high. However, prompt recognition and diagnosis of the disease is essential, as the chances of recovery deteriorate as the disease progresses. In the worst case, there is only one way out for depressive patients: they want to commit suicide.

How does depression affect you?

People who are depressed usually feel deep sadness and emptiness, which spreads discouragement. Desperate patients suffer from self-blame, existential fears, and feelings of being unloved. The lack of dynamism and joy goes against active participation in life.

There is a sense of hopelessness that patients cannot overcome on their own.

The desire for affection spreads. But in return, the people concerned feel useless.

A high percentage of people affected

According to information from the health insurance fund GEK and Barmer, approximately one in six people is affected by a depressive disorder at least once in their life. The proportion of sick women is about twice as high as that of men. About 19% of all women and 12% of all men suffer from what is called true depression.

Statistically, people should therefore come into contact with people presenting this clinical picture. The risk of developing depression also increases with age. According to Barmer/GEK statements, approximately 20% of all people over the age of 65 are depressed. It is particularly dramatic, however, that the symptoms of the disease spread gradually and are not even noticed at first.

Help early

It is all the more important that depression is diagnosed as early as possible and that relevant information is taken seriously. About half of all people with depression recover within the first three months. In a quarter of all those affected, the recovery process takes more than a year.

The risk of relapse is high. About 70% of all patients experience other depressive phases during their lifetime.

There is an increased risk for people who live alone or people with a pessimistic view of the world. Other risk groups are people who act in a particularly responsible and performance-oriented manner and who restrict their own freedoms too strictly.

Stress as a decisive factor

In addition to a hereditary predisposition, difficult circumstances such as separation, unemployment, or death have a negative effect on depression. Psychological conflicts and too little or too much work are also considered causes of depression. Therefore, other human beings should pay special attention to people who are currently going through a difficult phase of life. If there is a change in behavior, obvious passivity, and absence, or deterioration in physical health, action is likely necessary.

This difficult phase can end quickly. If symptoms persist for longer, depression may be the cause.

Overwhelming factor for depression
Psychological conflicts and too little or too much work are also considered causes of depression.

Language changes

Those affected often suffer from language changes or have difficulty remembering past events. Altered facial expressions and gestures are just as important a warning sign as softer speech. A lack of interest in the environment is an indication of the onset of depression.

Situations often turn into an insurmountable obstacle that caused little concern.

In addition to these behavioral changes, depression usually also includes physical symptoms. Classic signs are indigestion, tachycardia, head and neck pain Back ache, dizziness, or dry mouth. Many depressed people report some sort of pressure building up in their heads. In addition to a lack of sexual desire, fear of other diseases is spreading. In addition, the feeling of well-being in the dark is generally higher than during the day.

When is professional help essential?

According to the statements of the Barmer/GEK specialists, action should be taken if the depressed mood lasts for more than two weeks and if several symptoms suggestive of depression are recognizable.

The following symptoms are typical in detail:

  1. lack of confidence and self-esteem
  2. the depressed mood does not go away on its own
  3. general sadness
  4. depression and weakness
  5. insufficient concentration
  6. Difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  7. increased self-blame
  8. excessive guilt
  9. sleep disorders
  10. states of restlessness and nervousness
  11. Loss of appetite or excessive appetite
  12. suicidal thoughts
  13. those affected are particularly irritable and aggressive

How is depression treated?

Common treatment methods for depression involve taking medications, called antidepressants. This therapy is usually supplemented with psychotherapy such as behavioral therapy. In some cases, it is also advisable to support those affected with other methods such as light therapy or awakening therapy. Depending on the individual case, psychotherapists and doctors decide which methods to use.

In addition to acute treatment, medical measures are taken to prevent a relapse. In many patients, the symptoms disappear after a few weeks or months without treatment.

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