“I am depressed!” – people often say this phrase without referring to the clinical form of the disease. As a rule, this is what they call the state of fatigue, apathy, unwillingness to do anything.
However, depression is a serious illness. Moreover, one of the most common in the world. We rarely pay attention to body signals and in the usual kaleidoscope of days, we simply ignore the symptoms of internal discomfort – until we plunge into a deep pool of emotional devastation.
What is depression and what it can lead to?
Depression is a mental disorder characterized by depressed, depressed mood, mental retardation, lack of energy, physical strength, and often the desire to live. The disease is rather difficult, but treatable. However, it is worth remembering that it is very difficult to get rid of depression without professional help. Self-medication or complete absence of therapy will lead to the transition of the disease to the chronic stage, with isolated episodes of remission and relapses.
There are many tests and questionnaires to determine the presence or absence of depression, but remember that only a psychiatrist or psychotherapist can make an accurate diagnosis or rule out a mental illness after a detailed face-to-face consultation.
Why hidden depression is dangerous?
Latent (nonspecific, masked) depression is dangerous because it remains unnoticed for a long time since its symptoms are disguised as an ordinary malaise. Of course, there are various individual manifestations of emotional discomfort, which in themselves are not depression, but when there are more and more, this may indicate an illness.
The main problem is that all manifestations of emotional discomfort in latent depression are vague and subtle. Often the illness makes itself felt on the physical level: for example, sudden weakness, uncharacteristic prolonged headache, or heart problems in the absence of cardiovascular disease. A person does not understand what is happening to him, and doctors shrug their shoulders and do not find the reasons for the strange symptoms.
The most interesting thing is that at an early stage, such symptoms can be easily corrected, which can consist of the usual rest and a change of scenery. However, latent depression is very insidious and disguises itself as anything. It seems to a person that he simply ran out of energy, he is tired, so he is no longer interested in what used to bring joy. He feels sick but does not understand at all what is happening to him.
Signs of hidden depression to look out for
- Sleep disturbances: for example, insomnia or, conversely, prolonged sleep, frequent awakenings.
- Memory impairment: Occasional memory lapses, inability to remember some familiar words or terms, inability to remember details or focus on something.
- Bad mood lasting more than two weeks, lack of joy from actions or events that were previously enjoyable.
- Increased fatigue: fatigue even from light exertion, migratory headaches, and pain in the heart of unclear etiology (most likely psychosomatic).
- Changes in appetite and weight: lack of appetite and insensitivity to hunger (as a result – a sharp loss of kilograms) or, on the contrary, “seizing” stress and inability to get enough (plus a sharp weight gain).
What to do if you notice similar symptoms in yourself or your loved ones
As we have already said, only a psychotherapist or psychiatrist can confirm or deny the diagnosis of depression, so if you find several signs of the disease while reading this article, immediately contact a specialist.
If the diagnosis is not confirmed and it turns out that you do not have latent depression, but, for example, emotional burnout, then pay attention to your daily routine in order to return to normal.
- Be sure to stick to your work schedule, and remember to take breaks for a cup of soothing tea and healthy snacks.
- Do not skip meals, be sure to have breakfast (for example, millet, oatmeal, buckwheat porridge). Experts believe that a healthy breakfast can improve mood, and cereals contain B vitamins, which are important for stabilizing the nervous system.
- Relax. Go for walks, sign up for a massage, or buy an aroma lamp (aromatherapy has a beneficial effect on the nervous system).