The Dark Side of the Coin: Depression

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that is manifested not only by negative feelings and thoughts, but also by dysfunctional behavior and subsequent somatic symptoms.

Prevalence and gender

The incidence of Major Depressive Disorder is generally between 3-6%, and it is more common in women than men.

Symptoms

Depressed mood, decreased interest/desire for daily activities, decreased/increased appetite, decreased/increased sleep, feeling of tiredness and lack of energy, a heavy feeling of guilt and worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, constantly thinking about death/suicidal tendency. These symptoms have a serious negative impact on personal, social and work-related life.

Reasons

  1. Biological

Having depression in family members genetically is a risk factor.

  1. psychosocial

Stress, which has an important role in every psychological disorder, is also effective in the development of depression. When stressful life events (loss of a loved one, end of long relationships/divorce, job loss or negative health conditions, etc.) and the person’s negative perspective on this situation are combined, it causes a depressive state.

Low social support and loneliness, prejudice/exclusion, childhood abuse/traumatic events, being bullied, having another psychological disorder. Being neglected by parents as a child.

Unemployment, substance/alcohol use and low socioeconomic level are also risk factors.

How does depression develop? (Cognitive Triad)

According to the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’s theory of depression, depressed people develop negative beliefs about themselves, the world, and the future.

Self: The person perceives himself as worthless, inadequate, and flawed.

The world: The person perceives his experiences negatively: Other people are against him and the world is threatening.

Future: The person perceives the events he has experienced so desperately and without solution that he believes that these problems will continue in the future.

All these beliefs lead to helplessness and hopelessness, triggering depression.

Treatment

Psychotherapy: When we perceive our experiences as negative, we have negative emotions and as a result, we exhibit some dysfunctional behaviors. There are many different models of psychotherapy; they help the person realize their own false beliefs, replace their thoughts with more true ones, and challenge their depressive beliefs. In addition, some therapies aim to get to the root of these problems by raising awareness of one’s feelings and thoughts.

IMPORTANT – SUICIDE

Depression is one of the psychological disorders with the highest risk of suicide. If you know that the people around you are depressed, you hear him talk about death often, or you suspect that he is planning suicide, encourage him to seek support from a specialist and start therapy. Also, at this point, the most important support will come from loved ones (friends, family, lover/spouse, etc.); It will be very valuable to make you feel that you are not alone and to listen to him.

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