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Video: If Depression Recurs - The Quality Of Life
Recorded: Nina Khmurchik
Depression is different: seasonal, neurotic, even tied to a certain age or circumstances. Today we will talk about recurrent - recurrent depression that can appear in our life and periodically poison it with its existence. How to deal with it, what measures can be taken?
The word recurrent itself comes from the Latin recurrens - "returning". But before discussing chronic depressive disorder, you need to understand the main thing - depression. It is she who forms the basis of this disease.
What happens in the head with depression?
At the chemical level
Our entire body is made up of cells, including the brain. Brain cells - neurons transmit nerve impulses. Everything we do, feel, think is the transmission of a nerve impulse from one cell to another. The impulse is transmitted using protein molecules called neurotransmitters. For example, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, in addition to their other functions, are responsible in our body for the ability to enjoy, experience joy, energy and interest in life.
During depression, the number of neurotransmitters decreases. There are more than enough reasons: severe stress, endocrine disorders, heredity. Even somatic illnesses such as flu, pneumonia, and bronchitis can trigger depression.
At the physical level
Often patients with depression complain of all sorts of ailments (heart hurts, intestines are not working well). This is because depression disrupts circadian rhythms. For a person, the harmony of these rhythms is important. We breathe rhythmically, the heart works rhythmically, the intestines also contract at their own pace. Sleep and wakefulness also belong here. Lack of neurotransmitters violates harmony, and therefore a person feels bad not only morally, but also physically.
On a psychological level
A person begins to feel tired, lethargic, loses interest in previously favorite activities, in severe cases it is even difficult for him to take care of himself. Going to wash your hair or tidy up the room becomes a real problem. Phrases of relatives from the series "pull yourself together" not only do not help, but also harm. A person is already depleted of resources, but here he is forced to worry more. The point here is not laziness, and depression is not a bad, lazy character, but a disease. Immediately, we indicate that the psychotherapist should first of all treat it.
Statistics show that if a person has already had depression, then it can recur in 50% of cases. If there were two depressions, the percentage increases, now in 70% of cases a second episode can occur
After the third episode of depression, we are already clearly talking about recurrent depressive disorder. This means that a person has a so-called locus minoris, a weak point in the body, a biochemical shift. Therefore, episodes of depression can recur quite often, for example twice a year.
If a person knows that depressions are recurring in him, it is important for him to learn how to monitor and control his emotional state.
How does depression affect the brain?
There are studies that suggest that certain changes in the brain are taking place. For example, in the prefrontal areas of the cortex and the frontotemporal part of the brain. There are structures that are responsible for affect, that is, mood and emotions. And during depression, they decrease in volume. But these changes are insignificant.
When a person treats depression, there is no change at all. So, obviously, it is more beneficial to be treated than to live with depression and think when it will pass itself. The usual phase of depression lasts six months, but on average, no one knows how it will actually be.
In a sense, depression is brain aging. Deterioration of cognitive functions, a drop in mood and energy - all this comes to us in old age. Dementia or other neurological degenerative diseases are often preceded by depression.
How can you help yourself?
Of course, medication and psychotherapy are important. And this should be the mainstay of treatment for recurrent disorder. You can add meditation, autogenic training to them. It is clear that if you only meditate, the depression will go away in six months, but this will happen not because of meditation, but because the cycle has ended.
Or it may not end. It all depends on the severity of the disease and the individual characteristics of the person. In a serious condition, when a person is prone to suicide, self-help can only do harm.