Mental disorders today are less stigmatized by society in general than they were decades ago. Although there are still certain misconceptions regarding patients who suffer from them, it must be recognized that levels of understanding and empathy have increased today.
To understand what depression is, we must forget about the many stigmas on which people with this disorder were judged. They are not wanting to attract attention, they are not “making life difficult for themselves”, much less are they weaker than others. The suffering they feel is real, the symptoms they suffer are harmful to their overall well-being, and they require the care and support that anyone would receive when ill.
Depression goes beyond sadness accompanied by a binge on ice cream on a rainy day. Sometimes it can be compared to an unwanted guest who has arrived without warning (although what really happens is that they warn and we do not realize it). It messes up the life of the person who shelters it, tells him that he is not doing things right, drains his energy, irritates him, makes him cry, makes him feel useless and guilty, robs him of sleep and hunger …
How to recognize if we are depressed?
What is depression?
The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders “DSM V” not only emphasizes depression , but also depressive disorders as a set of disturbances that have something in common: a mood in which sadness predominates . The intensity and duration of depressive symptoms will be two indicators to take into account in order to make a good differential diagnosis. Broadly speaking, the longer duration and intensity of the same, the more serious the depressive disorder.
According to the ICD-10 , in typical episodes a depressed mood appears, a loss of the ability to take interest and enjoy things, a decrease in vitality that leads to a reduction in activity level and exaggerated fatigue.
For the World Health Organization (WHO) it is a mood disorder, which causes feelings of dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, sadness, disappointment, among other irrational negativistic thoughts that reduce the quality of life of the individual.
Similarly, a depressed subject may resort to other types of disorders that have a certain comorbidity with depression, such as some eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia and, sometimes, lack of sleep and rest is usually a plus in what that depression is concerned.
An interpretation of depression according to psychoanalysis
If the anguish comes from the encounter with our own desire, the depression cancels the anguish and consequently, projects the desire in the immobility of a time without place.
Massimo Recalcati. Italian psychoanalyst. Collected from his article published in “Il manifesto” of February 10, 2008.
In this quote, the Italian psychoanalyst Massimo Recalcati emphasizes the absence of desire as a representative symptom of any depressive state. A recurring discourse in the psychotherapeutic clinic would be one that presents the subject under analysis as a being devoid of desire. The question when waking up would be why do it?
On the other side of the coin we can find the concept “Discourse of the capitalist” presented by the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan . It would be that sustained social bond of the illusory claim to eliminate the pain of existence through the provision of an immediately accessible jouissance. I would understand it as trying to hide our lack through consumer enjoyment. Too much desire, put into action through bulimic consumption, would not be the depressive reverse of the absence of desire.
Types of depression
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Depression here is not just about feelings of reluctance and sad mood. Irritability is also common in people with depression. This disorder has more to do with disproportionate outbursts of anger and chronification of frustration.
Its genesis in childhood is very common. We should not minimize this problem by identifying it with tantrums or bad parenting habits. If it is not contained and it becomes chronic, it can lead to a more serious pathology when the person grows. The suffering of such people is not usually considered. After the manifestation of anger, the individual can promote self-aggressive and hetero-aggressive behaviors.
It is about a daily experience of feelings of handicap, sad mood and a loss of interest in things that previously gave meaning. For people who suffer from this disorder, depression has diminished all meaning of life, impoverishing everything from thoughts to life energy itself. Not surprisingly, they can go from very agitated states to appearing sluggish.
Comorbidity of major depressive disorder with other mental disorders is common. People with major depression often report symptoms of anxiety, feelings of concern about their future, and exhaustion from social relationships. Even eating disorders or psychotic episodes.
Persistent depressive disorder
The previous version of the DSM considered this disorder as Dysthymia. It resembles a less severe, but more chronic form of major depression. So it is possible to identify people who suffer from this discomfort through speeches such as ” I have always felt gray and off all my life . ” A sad mood is present most of the time.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
This edition has included this diagnosis in which mood swings, intense depressive moods and anxiety predominate during menstrual cycles. And it is not something to be despised, because the menstrual cycle involves a series of significant hormonal changes.
It will be important to know when these symptoms interfere with the woman’s daily life and cause her significant discomfort.
Induced depressive disorder
This mood disturbance can only be diagnosed in conjunction with a physical test and laboratory analysis . Since it is the result of consumption of some substance . Alcohol, hallucinogens or sedatives, or drugs that have these side effects.
Just because the substance or medicine is discontinued does not mean that the person will immediately come out of their depressive state. A good diagnosis is important since your treatment may erroneously lead to psychotherapy, and simply by withdrawing the substance we would have solved it.
Depressive disorder due to another medical condition
Some physical conditions and alterations are associated with the onset of depression. For example, it is quite common for patients with brain damage or hypothyroidism to also suffer from depression, and that the onset of this mood alteration occurs in conjunction with the diagnosis of the disease.
In large part, you built your depression. It was not given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it
Albert Ellis. American cognitive psychotherapist (1913-2007)