Every human being is unhappy, depressed, or even desperate from time to time. Normally, these dark moods will pass after a while. This is different for people with depression. Sad feelings and negative thoughts last longer with them and influence their actions and thinking.
Every fifth person suffers from depression once or several times in their lives. Depression has an impact on the emotions and feelings, the drive, and the consciousness of the person affected. The depressed person experiences himself or herself as joyless and without motivation, suffers from strong self-doubt, or feels worthless. Everyday activities such as work are difficult. Friends, family and hobbies are neglected.
How depression develops is not yet known. Possible risk factors are:
Traumatic experiences in childhood
Biochemical changes in the brain
Addiction to alcohol, pills or drugs
Physical disorders and diseases, such as stroke, heart attack, cancer or hypothyroidism
Tragic events, such as the loss of a loved one
Ongoing stress, mental overload and mental underload
The treatment depends on whether depression is occurring for the first time or repeatedly occurs, on how severe it is, and on if the cause is known.
Not every depression needs to be immediately treated psychotherapeutically or with medication: A mild depressive disorder can be addressed by means of counselling and by following personal coping strategies. This, however, requires that a severe course of the disease is excluded. An improvement should occur within two weeks. With moderate depressive disorders, psychotherapy or treatment with medication may be recommended as equivalent treatment alternatives to the person affected. For severe and chronic depressive disorders, a combination of psychotherapy and medication is necessary.
Roughly simplified, one can distinguish between the following treatment options, which are prescribed on an outpatient or inpatient basis:
Supportive measures, such as relaxation exercises, sports and exercise, light therapy, meaningful daily structure
These therapeutic approaches may help in some cases, but not in others. Likewise, the duration of the particular therapies cannot be predicted. For each person affected, therefore, the appropriate combination of therapies must first be found.
Acute therapy usually lasts six to eight weeks. The goals are:
To alleviate the symptoms so that normal everyday life is possible again
To shorten the duration of discomfort and limitations
To promote a conscientious taking of medication by the affected person
Continue to reduce the symptoms until they subside, and
Maintain therapeutic success
For people with an increased risk of recurrence of depressive episodes, protective long-term treatment is an option.
These are the other key aspects of aftercare:
Talk to people around you about your disorder, if you want to. It can be liberating to talk openly about the disorder with persons close to you.
Take your medication as prescribed. Do not make any changes to the medication yourself, but discuss this with your doctor. Attend the prescribed psychotherapy sessions conscientiously, even if you see an improvement.
Keep a mood journal
Try to structure your day as well as possible. Maintain social contacts – take responsibility for yourself and others. Maintain hobbies.
Get out in the open air as often as possible and go out among people.
In the event of the onset of new clinical symptoms and ailments, make use of counselling or medical support. Do not keep your pain to yourself.
Living with a chronic illness requires very good self-management in order to be able to successfully master the various challenges in everyday life. concordiaCoach can support you in finding good solutions.
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