Depression, get out of melancholy; Inner emptiness, joylessness, depressed mood: Anyone suffering from depression should seek help – and with the help of therapy and/or medication they can bring color back into their lives.
Depression is a mental disorder that experts say has a variety of causes and triggers.
These can be traumatic experiences, a hereditary predisposition, an imbalance in the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, a dysregulation of stress hormones or drug treatment.
symptoms of depression
The symptoms are as varied as the triggers of depression. The main symptoms, however, can be described as follows:
- persistently depressed mood
- constant joylessness
- Loss of interest in things that previously interested the sufferer
- basic lack of drive
- Inner unrest
- compulsion to ponder
Self-Test: Am I Depressed?
If you have the feeling that you are slipping into depression or that you are already in it, you can first contact your family doctor. Based on physical examinations and a detailed discussion, he can verify the suspicion.
You can ask yourself the following questions. Is the answer always or mostly yes? If so, chances are you have at least one depressive mood and should seek help.
Ultimately, only a doctor or a psychologist can make a definitive diagnosis.
- Has your mood often been depressed or depressed in the past few weeks?
- Have you often felt joyless lately?
- Have you often been listless and tired lately?
- Have you had a lot of self-doubt, guilt, or negative thoughts lately?
- Do you suffer from insomnia?
- Have you had trouble concentrating lately?
- Has your appetite changed lately?
Depression vs. springtime fatigue
A true depression, which can be triggered by the above factors, must be distinguished from a seasonal depression, such as springtime fatigue or winter depression.
Winter depression is a seasonal mood that occurs mainly in the late autumn and winter months due to the lack of light.
Less light means less production
mood-enhancing endorphins. The darkness increases the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is why we feel tired and listless.
Treat depression – how it works
Have you been feeling sad and listless for a long time and feel an inner emptiness? Are you withdrawing more and more from your social life or are you unable to get up in the morning?
Then you should talk to a doctor. He can decide whether it makes sense to see a psychologist.
- A possible treatment can be a therapy – either without or in combination with the intake of antidepressant medication, which, for example, regulate the mood via the messenger substances melatonin or dopamine and have a positive influence.
- In recent years, herbal medicines for the treatment of depression, such as St. John’s wort, have also become increasingly popular. A psychologist or psychiatrist can decide which type of treatment makes sense. However, only psychiatrists or neurologists can prescribe medication for the treatment of depression, not psychologists.
- Whether outpatient treatment is possible or whether an inpatient stay is necessary also depends on the type and severity of the depression and on an existing risk of suicide.
Even if the step to professional help seems difficult or uncomfortable: depression can be treated well these days, a therapist can help you to relieve your suffering and make life colorful again.
In addition to psychotherapeutic and drug treatment, you can also get your depression under control with sport. Exercise brightens the mood, physical activity releases mood-enhancing messenger substances in the brain.
Fighting depression with the right diet
According to a recent study, you can also protect yourself from mental illness with the right diet. According to the scientists, the Mediterranean diet in particular not only prevents heart disease and cancer, but also depression.
Vegetables, fish, fruit, lots of olive oil and little red meat are the components of the Mediterranean diet. In the study carried out for this purpose, some of the subjects followed the rules of this diet strictly for four years – and had 30% fewer illnesses than the rest of the study group.