Depression and Rehab

Depression – illness, therapy and rehabilitation

Depression is a mental illness. It manifests itself in listlessness, a feeling of depression and exhaustion. Real depression has nothing to do with a temporary upset that every person suffers from time to time. It is a serious illness, which fortunately is easy to treat. Find out everything about depression, depressive disorders, their treatment and rehabilitation (rehab) here.

Depression: general

Depression is one of the mental disorders and affects feelings. In the worst case, the quality of life for those affected is severely restricted. Sometimes it is no longer possible to cope with normal everyday tasks. A depressive episode usually lasts between six and eight months. Some people experience a depressive episode only once. In most cases, depression is a recurring disease. Doctors then speak of a recurrent (recurring) depression . In about every fifth person affected, chronic depression develops with a permanent depressive mood without clearly definable episodes.

Almost four million people in USA are currently suffering from depression that requires treatment. About every fifth USA experiences at least one mild depressive episode in the course of his life. All people are affected, from childhood to old age. Women suffer from depression twice as often as men. Depression should always be given medical or psychological treatment. Not only will you relieve your symptoms faster, you will also avoid relapses and chronic depression.

Depression: causes

Researchers have long studied why certain triggers lead to depression in some people, but not in others. Those affected probably have an increased susceptibility to depressive disorders. A genetic predisposition seems to contribute to this. Physical causes can also promote depression, for example hormone disorders, thyroid disorders or a lack of vitamin B12. Disorders in the metabolism of the happiness hormone serotonin in the brain play a role in depression. So far it is not entirely clear whether they are the result or the cause of depressive illnesses.

Concrete triggers often (but not always) lead to the first outbreak of depression. These can be negative experiences, strokes of fate or family problems. Possible causes are also permanent stress and lack of regeneration times. In a winter depression, light plays a role. The lack of sunlight regularly causes depression in those affected in the dark season. These disappear again in the spring. A postnatal depression (postpartum depression) occurs in women in the period after the birth of a child on. The cause is hormonal changes, presumably associated with lack of sleep and physical after-effects of childbirth.

Depression: appearance/symptoms

Depression is associated with a high level of suffering for those affected. All life seems to be enveloped in a dark cloud. Depressed people struggle day after day with a deep dejection, a feeling of emptiness, or an inability to feel joy. This can lead to social contacts being severely restricted or no longer available. It is often no longer possible to practice the profession. Everyday tasks become a challenge. In the worst case, depression leads to thoughts of suicide or suicide. Sometimes other mental disorders, such as anxiety, addiction disorders or eating disorders, also occur together with depressive disorders. Physical symptoms such as non-specific pain are also possible.

Depression: Exams & Diagnosis

If people feel sad, exhausted or “empty” for a long time, the first way usually leads to the family doctor. This clarifies with specific questions whether the symptoms indicate a depressive disorder. If there is a specific suspicion of depression, the patient is referred to a specialist (psychotherapist, psychiatrist) or a psychologist.

The more precise classification of depression is based on certain complaints and changes. There are three main symptoms: a depressed mood, lack of drive and loss of interest. In addition, seven additional symptoms are taken into account: sleep disorders, concentration problems, lack of self-esteem, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, pessimistic future perspective, loss of appetite and thoughts of suicide. Based on these symptoms, the doctor rates the severity of the depression.

  • Mild depressive episode: There are two main symptoms and two additional symptoms over a period of at least two weeks.
  • Moderate depression: There are two main and at least three additional symptoms over a period of at least two weeks.
  • Severe depression: All three main symptoms and four or more additional symptoms are present over a period of at least two weeks.

Depression: therapy & rehab

While psychotherapy is often sufficient for mild depression, more extensive treatment is useful for moderate to severe depression. This may mean that you are being treated in hospital in a clinic. Intensive therapy and care is also possible in rehabilitation (rehabilitation).

Therapy for depression

Depression always means a great reduction in the quality of life. As much as they want, those affected can no longer master many everyday things. In most cases, the most severe symptoms can be alleviated by psychotherapy within a few weeks . In moderate and severe depression, psychotherapy is often combined with the administration of medication, the antidepressants. These active ingredients can give drive again or lighten the mood. There are also some other measuresthat have worked well for depression: Sometimes severe depression can be treated with sleep deprivation. Treatment with light can help with seasonal depression (winter depression). Relaxation techniques, sport and exercise almost always have a positive effect on depression.

Treatment for depression is divided into three phases. Phase one is about getting a handle on the acute symptoms. In the second phase, the patients are to be stabilized psychologically. In phase three of therapy, the doctor and patient focus on avoiding relapse. Rehabilitation can contribute to both phase two and phase three of depressive disorders.

Rehabilitation for depression

Every depression is different. For some of those affected, the focus is on the lack of drive, which means that normal activities in everyday life are no longer feasible. Others feel worthless, find life meaningless, or think about suicide. In specialized clinics you will find individual help and support for every form of depressive disorder. The therapy plan is tailored to you. After the rehab, you will receive valuable tips and learn who you can contact if you have problems.

Psychotherapeutic care in rehab

You will be looked after by a psychotherapist during rehab. Together with the therapist, you will discuss your individual problems, goals and successes over and over again during the stay. Find out how to overcome depressive symptoms, manage the disease, and realign your life.

Medical care in rehab

Specialists provide comprehensive medical care during rehabilitation. This ranges from detailed diagnostics to checking previous findings to medication. Medications taken so far are not only passed on in rehab, they are usually also checked again for their optimal effect. If necessary, the active ingredient or dosage are adjusted.

Extended psychological offers and group therapies

In rehab, you can exchange ideas with like-minded people in talks or in group therapy. This often has a very positive effect on coping with depression. At the same time, social competence is also promoted, which often has to be learned from scratch in the event of depression. You can also take advantage of special psychological offers for your very individual questions: How do I overcome sleep disorders? How do I reduce stress? How do I deal with fears or feelings of helplessness? There are special social counseling services for your return to work. In training courses you can also learn how to prevent stress in your day-to-day work.

Sport, relaxation and relapse prevention

For a fresh start in everyday life, you will learn basic techniques for coping with depression in rehab. Creative courses such as music or painting therapies help to express feelings. Relaxation techniques such as autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation can easily be continued at home after rehab. Sport is also important. Exercise reduces stress hormones and boosts endorphin production. Depending on the clinic, offers such as yoga, Pilates, Nordic walking, aqua jogging, self-defense, gymnastics courses or equipment training can be tried out. This way you can find the sport that you can and want to continue later.

Chances of recovery and benefits of rehabilitation

If you suffer from depression and you lack motivation and drive, starting rehab is often an effort. But this step is all the more important. Especially with long-standing and chronic depression, rehab can help you to understand your illness better, to overcome it faster and to protect yourself from setbacks. The aim is that those affected can shape their lives themselves again, participate actively in social and professional life and feel joy again.

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