Depressive syndrome in adults: symptoms, causes, treatment
Depressive syndrome is a mental disorder that manifests in the form of melancholy, apathy, drooping mood. The manifestation of such symptoms is the result of disturbances in the work of the autonomic and somatic nervous systems, which cause mental abnormalities.
When the first signs appear, it is recommended to make an appointment with a doctor; the course of the disease at the last stage may end in suicide for the patient. According to statistics, internationally, around 10 to 15% of the population commits suicide as a result of a mental disorder.
Experts have come to the conclusion that in 70% of cases, depression is the result of a sensitive perception of the environment. The disease is typical for both women and men, but women suffer more often, there is also such a thing as depressive housewife syndrome.
Short information about depressive syndromes
Symptoms and signs
The symptoms of depressive syndrome manifest differently in each patient. They arise as a result of the impact on a person of various factors, for example, the patient may not be ready for changes and feels that something draws them back. This causes a pessimistic attitude, which leads to mental disorders.
The main symptoms of depressive syndrome include:
- Suppressed instincts;
- Suppression of the protective reaction;
- Development of an inferiority complex;
- Decreased attraction to the opposite sex and satisfaction of sexual needs;
- Concentration on their problems (expressed in an excessive form);
If you do not pay attention to the symptoms manifested in a timely manner and do not start treatment, this can end in suicide for the patient. Also, in addition to the psyche, the entire body suffers, for example, physical pathology can develop.
General symptoms include:
- Development of melancholy, i.e. chronically sad mood, pessimism;
- Inactive brain function, i.e. slower reaction, slower thinking, inability to understand what’s being said, etc.;
- Loss of coordination of movements (slow work).
A person can oppress oneself, weak oppression occurs at the first stages of the manifestation of melancholy, which eventually develops into strong apathy. The patient does not see a way out of this situation and loses the meaning of life. The patient also shows an obsession with personal experiences. When communicating with a patient, the doctor notes the difficulty in thinking, answers to questions are given indistinct and not immediately.
Loss of coordination can develop into shock numbness. Bad mood, depression and sadness appear suddenly. In the acute form of the disease, the patient may bang their head against the wall for no good reason, scream - all this is dangerous, because in the process of such attacks, the patient can inflict bodily injury on oneself or others.
Causes of occurrence
The syndrome of depressive disorder manifests itself in each patient in its own way, due to which it is difficult to name the exact reasons. Among the main, general ones, we can highlight:
- Genetic predisposition;
- Development of pathologies leading to nervous disorders;
- Unstable psyche;
- Frequent or prolonged stress.
The manifestation of any symptoms is typical in the morning or at night. Morning or night is perceived by the patient as a hopeless, alarming time of the day. As practice shows, it is during this period that suicides are most often committed. At this time of the day, the patient can show especially noticeable complete absence, indifference to everything that happens around, apathy.
Different types of depressive syndromes
Signs of a depressive syndrome make it possible to classify the disease according to the following types:
- Manic-depressive syndrome (expressed in two phases, the first is manifested by activity, excitement, the second - depression);
- Asthenic-depressive syndrome (expressed as headache, anxiety, irritability).
Manic-depressive syndrome symptoms are expressed in mania and depression. At the first stage, the patient shows excessive excitability, begins to speak quickly, gesticulate. After that, an intermediate stage of sedation begins. At this stage, the patient feels that they are a great person who is ready to fight for what they does not actually need and know how to do, being certain that they are right.
After that comes the final stage, depression, which is characterized by absolutely opposite signs. The patient demonstrates despondency, melancholy, bad mood, apathy, sadness. Brain activity at the stage of depression is no longer so active, on the contrary, inhibited. Experts have come to the conclusion that this behavior is triggered by a genetic predisposition. If a patient is diagnosed with a severe stage of the disease, they are prescribed inpatient treatment, and the use of special antidepressants.
Asthenic-depressive syndrome expresses symptoms not only in changes in the patient's emotional state, but also in the form of headache, inhibited reaction, slow resolution, speech, high sensitivity. The causes of the disease are both external and internal, for example, against the background of a mental disorder, cancer, heart failure, trauma, and infectious diseases can develop. Also, the disease can be chronic in nature, which is characterized by a sense of guilt, hormonal changes, problems with the gastrointestinal tract, decreased sex drive. If the patient has been diagnosed with a mild form of mental disorder, then psychologist sessions are prescribed. In severe forms, drugs are prescribed. The severe form includes:
- Anxiety-depressive syndrome (fears, worries, anxieties arise for no reason);
- Depressive neurotic syndrome (a prolonged form of neurosis).
Treatment of anxiety-depressive syndrome can be carried out either at a hospital or at home, it depends on what stage the disease is at.
Most often, the first signs of the onset of this syndrome begin in adolescence. This is due to a sensitive, still unformed psyche, the release of a large amount of hormones.
Anxiety-depressive syndrome is divided into two types. The first is neurotic, manifested in nervous breakdowns, excitability, irritability. The second is suicidal, the person does not see a way out of the situation. It is with the manifestation of the second form of the patient and is placed in a hospital in order to avoid any suicidal attempts. With a depressive-neurotic syndrome, the picture works out in a different way. A person clearly understands reality, realizes that they are sick.
Forms of disease
- Light (expressed in the manifestation of two or three signs, for example, in low activity, indifference, depression).
- Medium (expressed in four signs, for example, decreased appetite, poor sleep, pessimism, low self-esteem).
- Severe (no meaning in life, thoughts of suicide, loss of interest in everything).
Methods of treatment for depressive syndrome depend on the form of the disease, from communication with a psychologist to hospital treatment.
ICD-10- international classification of diseases of the 10th revision, is a list of diseases, mental disorders that are suicidal in nature. This also includes depressive syndrome, which means that with a severe form, a relapse is possible. All diseases on this list are difficult to control and understand at what point the disease reaches its peak.
When to see a doctor?
With frequent mood changes, manifestations of a depressive state, apathy, the development of an inferiority complex, you need to make an appointment with a psychotherapist.
Treatment for depressive syndrome depends on the form of the disease. If the form is mild, a visit to a psychotherapist, a conversation with a psychologist is prescribed, a complex of vitamins is prescribed to the patient, the doctor gives recommendations. Moderate and severe forms require medical and psychological intervention. The patient is prescribed complex therapy, the duration of the treatment course varies from two to four weeks (each case is individual). A severe form of the disease is helped to treat not only medications, but also physiotherapy exercises, yoga, a favorable environment, soothing activities, for example, drawing, listening to calm music.
In treatment, regardless of the form, the support of relatives is of great importance. If the patient was treated in a hospital, then after discharge, it is important to create a favorable environment at home, so as not to provoke a new attack of excitability, irritability, and nervousness.
Treatment of asthenic-depressive syndrome and other syndromes includes the following set of measures:
- Taking medications, antidepressants (for instance, SSRI such as Paroxetine), tranquilizers;
- Conversations with a psychologist and psychotherapist;
- Correct diet and sleep patterns;
- Rejection of bad habits;
- Avoidance of stressful situations.
The patient should be provided with the most comfortable conditions, if necessary (for the benefit of the patients), the specialist recommends changing the social circle, place of work. Among the recovery methods, it is necessary to highlight healing sleep, various sedative measures, music therapy, light therapy.
Why is the disease dangerous?
Depressive-hypochondriacal and depressive-paranoid syndromes can be fatal. Everyone can become a victim of their own apathy, but not everyone realizes that they are sick. Such patients especially need help, they are dangerous not only for themselves, but also pose a danger to loved ones, since at the time of attacks of aggression they can cause physical injuries. Close people are faced with the task of timely identification of such symptoms as lack of appetite, the appearance of a feeling of anxiety, isolation, uncertainty in the patient, frequent attacks of aggression, panic, sleep disturbances, fears. All this leads to the development of various phobias, if the disease is diagnosed in a student, relationships at school deteriorate, if an adult has relationships at work, in a team. If the form of the disease is prolonged, the patient begins to think about death, which in reality can be fatal for them.
Keep in mind that depressive syndrome is not a temporary condition and human behavior, it is a disease.
Post by: Christopher Ames, MD, pshychiatrist, Medibank, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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