Depression is a mental illness that affects more than 10% of the global population, in which the patient loses interest in life and leans on himself. There are also cases where some people do not know they are suffering from depression. They show some symptoms and tend to ignore them. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary from person to person. Depression is more than just a temporary feeling of sadness and frustration that plagues us for a few days and then subsides. All people show changes in their mood, influenced by the various difficulties and situations of everyday life. But depression is characterized by persistent sadness and despair that persists for months and is an obstacle to a smooth work, social and family life.
- Feeling constant weakness
- Sleeping problems (insomnia, restless sleep)
- Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)
- Avoidance in performing favourite habits
- Social isolation, excessive introversion
- Suicidal tendencies – thoughts of death
- Tendency of devaluing his personality
The greatest danger for the person who suffers from depression is suicide. It is well known that the majority of people who commit suicide suffer from depression. That is why the early recognition of the problem and the immediate start of treatment always help to prevent such unpleasant situations.
We distinguish two types of factors: biological and environmental.
In the first category, researchers have shown that emotional disorders in a person are mainly due to a lack of neurotransmitters, substances in the brain that help brain cells communicate with each other, such as serotonin and noradrenaline. The lack of these substances causes the manifestation of psychosomatic symptoms, eg anxiety, irritability, weakness, payment, feeling of fatigue and sadness. The second category of environmental factors may include a bad event (eg the death of a loved one) and in combination with the influence of biological factors to trigger the onset of the disease. The elderly are considered the most vulnerable and prone groups for the onset of depression due to the influence and appearance of many risk factors. Indicatively some problems that occur at this age are: the loss of loved ones, financial difficulties, chronic health problems accompanied by pain as well as taking medications which can also cause depression.
The most appropriate treatments are medication or psychotherapy or a combination of both. Medications include antidepressants, which show some side effects (dizziness, anxiety, dry mouth, constipation, heart disorders). The results of the use of drugs to a young person are seen in 3-4 weeks while in the elderly it needs up to 2 months. Discontinuation of the drug should be done after the specialist’s recommendation and the medication should be continued for at least 6 months because there is a risk of recurrence of symptoms in case of premature discontinuation.