Depressive disorders are among the most common and significant clinical conditions worldwide. They affect up to 20% of the population in various forms. Contrary to popular preconceptions, suffering from depression does not mean that one is mentally ill or crazy.
There is evidence that people have suffered from depression as long as written records have existed. Countless public figures have suffered from various forms of depression, including J.W. Goethe, C.F. Meyer, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Ingmar Bergmann.
What is depression?
Depression is a disturbance of the emotions and mind which can manifest itself in feelings of sadness, a loss of interest/joy and a loss of motivation. Usually there are other characteristic symptoms such as sleep disturbances and loss of libido, changes in weight, feelings of guilt and feelings of worthlessness.
What are the signs of depression?
Depression can affect all of us.
We have all had periods in our lives in which we have felt sad, lonely or unhappy. These phases are completely normal. One could even say they were necessary! If our lives always went ahead smoothly, we would not be able to appreciate the special moments as such.
However, if a sad period in which the person affected no longer views life as a "normal succession of" highs and lows lasts for weeks or more, this could indicate a depression.
Can depression be cured?
Depression is an episodic disease and can have many causes. It is in no way a sign of personal weakness or failure. No one who suffers from depression should feel guilty or inferior. Depressions involve disorders affecting messengers in the brain. These disorders can be successfully treated with suitable treatment concepts and modern drugs. Talk to your GP or medical specialist, as the earlier depression is diagnosed and treated, the faster you will begin to feel better again.
Antidepressants are predominantly used in the medical treatment of depression. Contrary to a widespread assumption, antidepressants are not addictive. Unlike pain medications and sedatives, which have an immediate effect, it usually takes antidepressants 10-14 days to produce an initial improvement in symptoms. It is important that patients are aware of this before beginning treatment so that they do not independently stop taking the prescribed medication after a few days because it is not yet having any effect. Antidepressants are usually taken for at least six to nine months. During treatment, the dosage should be reviewed regularly by the treating physician and adjusted to individual needs.
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