Tell me – Depression is fought with sports and going out into nature. Movement outside restores feelings of enjoyment for a person if depression is in its infancy, according to what mental health experts told Al-Hurra. However, medications remain necessary in many cases and must coincide with psychological treatment.
Is it possible to dispense with drugs designed to fight depression? What are the other ways to help get out of this psychological and mental state?
The World Health Organization explains that major depressive disorder (also known as depression) is a common psychiatric disorder that involves depressed mood or loss of enjoyment or interest in activities for prolonged periods of time.
Depression differs from the usual mood swings and fleeting emotions about the challenges of everyday life. It can affect all aspects of life, including relationships with family members, friends, and the community. It can result from, or lead to, problems at school and at work.
Psychotherapist and specialist in psychological evaluation, Marie Shaheen, said in an interview with Al-Hurra that “depression is a mental and psychological disease at the same time, and affects the thinking, behavior and feelings of people affected by it.”
Shaheen continues that in terms of feelings, the patient is in a state of continuous sadness and cannot feel moments of joy.
As for the psychological level, the sense of pleasure and enjoyment towards all things dies, and the affected person loses all the reasons for pleasure, and then the person develops black thoughts and feelings of guilt, in addition to a decline in his interest and self-care, the issue reaches the point of severe psychological fatigue that prevents him from getting out of his bed, so Shaheen.
She points out that this psychological fatigue makes a person lose all other feelings of life that motivate a person to take care of his eating, drinking, hygiene and work.
She says that at certain stages a person takes a defensive stance against this depression and fights it by eating.
People who have experienced abuse, great loss, or other difficult situations are at increased risk of depression. Women are more susceptible to depression than men.
An estimated 3.8 percent of people suffer from depression, including 5 percent of adults (4 percent of men and 6 percent of women) and 5.7 percent of adults over the age of 60.
About 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. And the prevalence of depression among women compared to men by almost 50 percent. Globally, more than 10 percent of pregnant women and women who have recently given birth suffer from depression. More than 700,000 people die by suicide every year. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 29, according to the WHO.
For her part, Shaheen says that depression stems from a person’s feeling of loneliness, meaning that people do not understand him, as well as from the feeling that many people have touched his personality and his “ego”.
And she explains that we notice through our work that adolescents who were suffering from bullying at a certain stage of their lives may have a greater predisposition to depression in their age stage (adolescence), because these people are not good at defending themselves, as their psychological defenses are not sufficient or good to protect themselves. with it. They have low self-esteem and a poor self-image to the extent that they tolerate insults, humiliations, and wrong remarks and accept them with guilt.
And whoever has a feeling of depression has a very high sense of guilt, and blames himself for any behavior and considers that he is always the culprit, and this matter also stems from education and the space that parents give to children for expression and rejection in order to enhance their personality, according to Shaheen.
And she stressed that parents who do not improve the personalities of their children pave the way for the possibility of depression in their children in the future, because they lose the necessary psychological defense mechanisms.
She stresses that the seriousness of depression lies in the fact that the person affected by it may commit suicide, and we notice that many adolescents harm their bodies in order to feel their psychological pain, and in this way they express their pain and condition.
** The importance of medication
As for medication, Shaheen says that it is not possible to be absolutely certain that medication is necessary or not. In some cases, if depression has not been entrenched in a person for a while, it can be treated without medication, but these cases are few, especially since depression coincides with panic attacks.
She continues that some cases of depression are seasonal or occasional. When a person loses, for example, his friend or his job, he can get out of depression without medication.
But if the state of depression is accumulated, Shaheen says that getting out of the state becomes difficult without medication, because the brain cannot automatically excrete secretions that lead to pleasure and a sense of psychological satisfaction.
And she continues that sport is one of the important treatments for depression, because people who have little movement and do not go out much from the house are more likely to fall into depression than those who go out to society and exercise.
However, some of those who suffer from depression reach an advanced stage during which they cannot exercise, for these people are helped by medication in parallel with undergoing psychological treatment, according to Shaheen.
The World Health Organization explains on its website that the depressed person suffers from a depressed mood (feelings of sadness, irritability, and emptiness) during an episode of depression. Loss of enjoyment or interest in activities. An episode of depression differs from the usual mood swings. It lasts most of the day, and occurs almost every day, for at least two weeks, according to the organization.
** There are also other symptoms of depression such as:
Excessive guilt or low self-esteem
Despair about the future
Thinking of death or suicide
Appetite or weight fluctuations
Feeling tired or lack of energy
Psychological therapies are the first treatments for depression. It can be combined with antidepressant medications in cases of moderate to severe depression. Antidepressants are not required for mild depression, according to the organization.
Psychological therapies can teach a person new ways of thinking, coping, or communicating with others. These therapies include talking therapy with specialists and supervised non-specialist therapists. Talk therapy can be done in person or online. Psychological treatments can be accessed through manuals, websites and self-help applications, according to the organization.
Effective psychological treatments for depression include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine. Health care providers should bear in mind the negative effects that may result from antidepressant drugs, and they should not be used to treat depression in children, and they should not be considered the first choice for treatment of adolescents, and they should be very careful when using them in their treatment, according to the World Health Organization. .