Feeling depressed or having a set of depressive symptoms is normal facing some negative events that people experience. It is a natural response motivated by the circumstances experienced by the person.
However, when the sadness, discouragement, or extreme apathy goes on for too long for no apparent cause, that is when we can say you are suffering from “depression.”
This type of mental alteration is complex, so in the next few lines we will see several explanations that help to understand depressive disorders.
What are depressive disorders?
Depression physically and mentally affects the way a person feels and thinks, and can lead to a desire to move away from family, work, and friends. In addition, it can cause anxiety and other psychological disorders.
It is common to find in certain testimonies of patients the loss of interest and the inability to enjoy usual activities, showing little motivation.
Additionally, many patients think that having depression is lying in bed crying and not wanting anything, which is why they are not identified with this concept even though they may in fact be diagnosed with the disorder. depressive. And although there are characteristic symptoms of this kind of psychological disorder, there are differences from person to person.
By Marta Garrido González psychologist specializing in Psychologists Málaga PsicoAbreu, depression is an emotional disorder that arises due to irrational thoughts. These beliefs, attitudes and thoughts are created from lived experiences and through learning from the person.
Often people with depression think that if the environment is not the way they want it to be (i.e. missing a loved one, breaking up, not finding a job, etc.), it is normal to be depressed and for life to be meaningless.
however, it goes through the way the person is confronted and deposit their happiness in factors external to themselves, not realizing that happiness does not depend on what happens to us, but how we take it.
What are the differences between feeling sad and having depression?
The term depression is confusing because it is used daily to describe when the person is in a bad mood, When it is very negative, or in mourning, among other reasons.
It is clear that all people go through difficult situations throughout their life and these can cause them sadness. However, this should not mean that you are suffering from depression.
The characteristics of normal sadness are as follows:
- Intensity and duration it is proportional to the stimulus that caused it.
- The person’s attention is focused on the need for space and the establishment of all opposing emotions.
- Acceptance and learning.
Below we will see an example of a case in which symptoms similar to depression appear but do not constitute a true psychiatric pathology.
In a breakup, the person who was left behind may not understand why they are single again, and feeling that they have loved that person and don’t know how to live without them, they think about all the time that they have lived. together and in the future that she no longer will be next to this person.
On the psychological level, the person feels emotional pain, negativity towards the future, Etc. You might want to lock yourself in your house, cry, and even do a lot of plans without having fun.
In these cases, the symptoms are the same as in depression, but proportional to the event.
In contrast, the characteristics of depression are as follows:
- There may not be any event that triggers the depressed emotional state.
- Disproportionate intensity and duration.
- It affects all areas of your life.
An example of depression may be the following:
In the previous case; one imagines that the person locks in and keeps their negative thoughts for weeks, which leads to a loss of self-confidence, a feeling of failure and constant discomfort.
When the person suffers from depression, sadness is constant and it causes feelings of worthlessness and loss of pleasure. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by cognitive affective disorder, negatively affecting all areas of your life. In extreme cases, there are people who see no meaning in life and start to think about suicide.
Symptoms of depression
Depression causes symptoms at the cognitive, physical and behavioral levels.
A set of symptoms appear that affect the affective sphere, showing constant sadness, decay, Irritability, emotional distress, frustration, decrease in regular daily activity, etc. Psychologists on the PsicoAbreu team say that physical symptoms are usually what lead people to seek psychological help.
1. Motivational and behavioral symptoms
These are apathy, indifference, reduced ability to enjoy, depressed mood. Getting out of bed, going to work or school, in short, doing daily chores, is complex for a person in this state.
These patients tend to isolate themselves from the environment, which decreases the frequency of social relationships. and having difficulty solving problems.
2. Emotional symptoms
The most notable emotional symptoms are loss of self-confidence, apathy and reluctance, guilt, suicidal thoughts provoked by his horrible present and his (theoretically) worse future, Excessive worry, etc.
3. Physical symptoms
Physical symptoms are a common feature of people with depression. A high percentage of patients who present for consultation have sleep problems (Insomnia). Other symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, decreased sexual activity and desire, etc.
Causes of depression
Despite studies aimed at finding the source of depression, it is not yet clear what mechanisms cause it. However, there are factors that influence it. They are as follows.
People prone to developing depression they tend to be less confident individuals, with low self-esteem, perfectionists, demanding…
2. Environmental factor
When the person faces an economic, family, professional, etc. problem.
3. Biological factor
here are the brain damage or neurotransmitter alterations (Poor communication in the neurons of the brain).
Types of depressive disorders
depression it can be classified into different subtypes based on grade, intensity and duration. Depressive episodes differ in their severity, that is, their impact on a person’s life.
1. Major depression
In this subtype, depressive symptoms are very intense and they appear in episodes that can last for weeks or months. A depressive episode is defined as the onset of symptoms over a continuous period of time that affects all areas of life.
2. Dysthymia or dysthymic disorder
The person suffers from prolonged depressive states lasting two years or more and does not incapacitate him, although he does. they prevent him from developing his life normally.
The most common symptoms are generalized loss of pleasure, pessimism, hopelessness, low self-esteem, irritability, social isolation, problems with concentration and memory … This is one of the most common depressive disorders.
3. Depression psychotic
Occurs when depression it is accompanied by a form of psychosis, Like a shift with reality, delusions or hallucinations.
4. Seasonal affective disorder
Depression appears during the winter, when the hours of sunshine decrease and the seasons change.
5. Postpartum depression
It occurs when a woman suffers from an episode of severe depression within the first month after delivery.
6. Bipolar disorder
It is a disorder suffered by people who have episodes of mania and depression.
The patient has moods and ups and downs. When he is in the phase of mania, he usually shows feelings of grandiosity or high self-esteem, a decrease in the need for sleep, excessive activity in different areas of his life (love, work, social), activities to high risk potential. and in the depressive phase their symptoms are opposite.
The team of psychologists from the offices of Psychologists Psychologists Málaga PsicoAbreu specializes in the psychological treatment of depressive disorders.
Psychological therapy is channeled to find the cause of depression and provide the patient with tools to modify the thought, emotional and behavioral factors that maintain depressive symptomatology. The goal of the treatment carried out by the specialists of the center is that the person finds meaning in his life and that this form of discomfort disappears forever.