What it’s like to have a depressive episode?

What it’s like to have a depressive episode?
Depression this is not just a fashionable word in the modern world. Everyone knows that this term describes a serious problem, a mental disorder that requires some treatment. In this article, we will analyze in detail a phenomenon known as a depressive episode. We will describe what it is and consider the classification of stages. We will also discuss causes, symptoms, manifestations, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the condition.
So what is a depressive episode? It is an affective disorder characterized by certain cognitive, emotional and somatic disorders. It manifests itself in the form of bad mood, loss of vital interests, decreased energy, activity, increased fatigue and total loss of the joy of life. In other words, the patients are tired even after insignificant efforts, they do not want to do anything, since all activities seem boring, monotonous, and the outside world and human relationships - unattractive and gray.
Among the additional signs of a depressive episode, one can distinguish reduced attention and concentration, low self-esteem, loss of self-confidence, gloomy pessimistic mood and loss of faith in the "bright future" poor sleep, and decreased appetite. The most serious consequences are self-denial, thoughts of suicide. Specialists say that such episode usually last for more than 2 weeks.
Let's look at what causes a depressive episode. Among the most probable causes, experts distinguish the following:
Genetic. These are anomalies affecting the eleventh chromosome. However, there are also polygenic types of disorder.
Biochemical. That is, the problem is in the disorders of activity of neurotransmitters. In particular, it is a deficiency of catecholamines and serotonin.
Neuroendocrine. Depressive episode of moderate degree may be the result of an impaired rhythm of the work of the limbic, hypothalamic, pituitary, epiphysis. All this is reflected in the production of melatonin, releasing hormones. It is believed that the process is associated with photons of daylight. They indirectly affect the complex rhythm of the body, sexual activity and the need for food, sleep and wakefulness.
Some people are more prone to suffering from moderate depressive episode or from more severe signs of this disease:
  1. People aged 20-40 of both sexes
  2. Those who have a low social status
  3. Divorced people, those who broke up with the boyfriend or girlfriend, lost their family, friends
  4. Those with relatives who have suffered from similar disorders or committed suicide
  5. Everyone who are very upset about the death of loved ones
  6. Individuals with distinctive personal qualities: a tendency to futile experiences, melancholy, anxiety for the slightest reason, and others
  7. Overly responsible and conscientious people
  8. Persons with unconventional sexual orientation
  9. Women during postpartum period
  10. Those who have problems with sex
  11. Persons suffering from chronic loneliness
  12. Those who lost social contacts
  13. Those who for a long time are experiencing a stressful situation
  14. People who feel certain emotions cultivated in the family: a sense of their own helplessness, worthlessness, uselessness, etc.
Keep in mind that the number of manifestations indicated in the patient characterizes the complexity of his condition. For example, a major depressive episode includes almost the entire list below.
What it’s like to have a depressive episode? Patients themselves describe their own state of health with the following words:
  1. Reduced concentration. Subjectively, this feels like an inability to remember information, it is very difficult for a patient to learn something new. Students and people working in the intellectual field often complain about it.
  2. Reduced physical activity, up to the lethargy, stupor. Some patients describe it as laziness.
  3. Aggressiveness and conflict. It is noted in adolescents and children, who in this way try to mask their true condition; this often transforms into self-hatred.
  4. Anxiety. This symptom of a depressive episode isn’t typical for all patients.
  5. In the evening, emotional health improves significantly compared to the morning mood.
  6. Reduced self-esteem, self-doubt. Such self-esteem removes the patient from the society, promotes the formation of a complex of inferiority. Such a long state in the elderly often leads to pseudo-dementia, deprivation.
  7. Thoughts about own insignificance and uselessness. Self-immolation, self-depreciation often leads to auto aggression, self-harm, thoughts about suicide.
  8. Pessimistic mood. The patient feels like the future is sad, the worst is yet to come, everything is useless. The world around is also heartless and cruel.
  9. Poor sleep. The patient complains of insomnia, it is difficult for him or her to get out of bed in the morning. The patient can’t fall asleep, he or she sees disturbing, gloomy dreams.
  10. Loss of appetite. Although there may be a desire to eat in the evening. Appears subconscious desire to switch from protein foods to carbohydrates.
  11. Incorrect ideas about time. It seems like minutes and hours go painfully slow.
  12. Self-conflict. The patient ceases to take care of him- or herself, there is a depressive depersonalization, senestopathic and hypochondriatic experiences.
  13. Slow speech, the patients often includes discussion of their own experiences and problems into any discussion. Sometimes it is difficult for the depressed people to formulate own thoughts.
Depressive episode symptoms are obvious for the medical professionals. A skilled practitioner can detect them practically at the first meeting with the patient:
  1. He or she constantly looks in the window or another light source.
  2. Specific gestures. People often press the hands to the chest.
  3. When feeling anxious, the patient constantly tries to touch his or her throat.
  4. There is the Veraguth's fold, the corners of the mouth droop down.
  5. Sometimes very active gesticulation.
  6. The voice is low and quiet, big pauses between words.
There are also non-specific symptoms of major depressive episode (and episodes of other intensity) are as follows:
  1. Extended pupils
  2. Constipation
  3. Tachycardia
  4. Worsened skin elasticity
  5. Increased fragility of hair and nails
  6. The person looks older than he or she really is
  7. Restless legs syndrome
  8. Psychogenic dyspnea
  9. Dermatologic hypochondriasis
  10. Pseudo-rheumatic, cardiac syndrome
  11. Psychogenic dysuria
  12. Somatic digestive tract disorder
  13. Dysmenorrhea and amenorrhea
  14. Pain in the chest
  15. Headaches
How to prevent a depressive episode? Or how to deal with a depressive episode? Depending on each individual case, the treatment will be different. This may be for example psychotherapy or medications. In this case, the medicine can be bought in traditional pharmacies or from a legit top online pharmacy. Experts suggest following the typical recommendations for a healthy lifestyle:
Quit bad habits, lead an active lifestyle; spend more time outdoors. Maintain a balanced diet that does not cause metabolic malfunctions in the body. Work on your own mental health: find new hobbies; work on self-esteem, avoid stress situations, you need positive emotions.
The patient and his or her friends often perceive depressive episode as a cry for attention, laziness, weakness. However, this is a serious problem, which requires not only attention, but also medical, psychotherapeutic treatment. Unfortunately, complications of an untreated depressive episode include mental disorders, fatal hobbies and even suicide.

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