Depression is a mental disorder, the essence of which consists in the oppression of mental activity, mainly in its emotional-volitional component. Some people are helped with this disease by such drugs as

On average in the world in the year 2000, 1 in 10 suffered from depression in one form or another. According to the forecasts of the World Health Organization by 2020, the prevalence of depressive disorders will increase threefold and will take first place in the world among all diseases, overtaking ischemic heart disease. That is, every third person will suffer from depression. Many researchers believe that the real number of prevalence of depression is even higher. For example, according to the results of a study conducted in the U.S. of patients in medical institutions with various somatic (body) diseases, 72 percent of them were found to have signs of unexpressed depression.

According to official statistics, women suffer from depression twice as often as men. But this is most likely due to the reluctance of men, among whom it is taboo to complain about mental illness, to seek medical help. They tadistically (but unsuccessfully) try to relieve their depressive manifestations by alcoholism, workaholism, computer games and extreme kinds of activity.

As for age indicators, according to official statistics, middle-aged people are more susceptible to depression. But these figures can be connected with the maximum social activity of this age group, and, as a consequence, with the maximum frequency of seeking medical help. Compared, for example, with the older age group who are not used to seeking help from psychiatrists or psychotherapists and who traditionally ignore problems of their mental state. Or in comparison with the group of children and adolescents whose depressive manifestations are often ignored by pediatricians, parents, and children or adolescents themselves (because of their mental or emotional immaturity and, as a consequence, their inability to recognize and differentiate their emotional state).

Although depression can lead to considerable suffering of the person and to his poor functioning at work, school, family, half of the people suffering from this disorder do not seek psychotherapeutic or psychiatric help, mistaking its symptoms for simple fatigue and overstrain.

Especially if they are so-called mild depression (which accounts for about 40% of all depressive disorders). With mild (unexpressed) depression, a person often does not even notice his lowered mood, although his quality of life is undoubtedly significantly impaired.

What then can we say about atypical (masked, disguised) depressions, when the lowered emotional background can be insignificant or absent at all? They are also called “depressions without depression”.

The “masks” of such atypical depressions are extremely numerous and varied. Let me list just the most frequent manifestations:

Agripnic (when there are no other symptoms except a wide variety of sleep disorders: difficulty falling asleep, nocturnal awakenings, shallow sleep, nightmares, early awakenings, agonizing waking, lack of sleep, or perversion of the sleep-wake formula, when a person, experiencing insomnia at night, can only fall asleep in the morning);
craving disorders (dipsomania-pseudo-addiction, drug addiction, substance abuse, addiction to computer games, shopaholism, etc.)
Anorexic (with morning sickness, lack of appetite, sometimes aversion to food, followed by weight loss, constipation or diarrhea);
“angry” or dysphoric (in the form of aggressive behavior);
hysterical (with the desire to attract increased attention to themselves at any cost: touchy, tearful, conflicted, tendency to dramatize the situation, emphasizing or simulating their suffering because of a real or imaginary illness)
apathetic (when the clinical picture of depression is dominated by general weakness, increased fatigability, apathy, procrastination – putting off things “for later”, and a decrease in mood is only a reaction to reduced work capacity)
anxious (when the clinical picture of depression includes only anxiety as one of the symptoms);
existential depression (agonizing reflections on the meaning of life, a failed fate, the absence of goals in life);
“cheerful” depression (yes, and it happens! – when a person suffering from depression, puts on a mask of merriment, in order to hide his true condition);
Depression with sexual disorders (in the form of decreased libido, etc.);
somatized (algic, laryngeal) depressions.
Somatized depressions are also called psychosomatic disorders. This is the most common type of atypical depression. They can masquerade as symptoms of any somatic (bodily) illness:

Bronchial asthma, bronchitis;
Gastritis, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, colitis;
hypertension, arrhythmia, coronary heart disease;
arthritis and arthritis, radiculitis;
Psychosomatic recognized such diseases as irritable bowel syndrome, neurodermatitis, eczema, allergic dermatitis, and many other skin and other diseases.
Some specialists recognize only this type of depression – somatized – as “masked”, categorizing other types as “atypical”.

Somatized depression often causes considerable difficulty for general practitioners in making an accurate diagnosis. However, there are fairly clear criteria for the diagnosis of masked depressions:

Inconsistency between subjective feelings and objective findings;
lack of effect from traditional treatment;
effect of antidepressant therapy and psychotherapy.
Depression, whatever it is, is a pathological condition, not a variant of the norm, and requires mandatory specialized care!

The good news is that depression can be treated! If they are treated. Although so many people suffering from this disorder seriously hope that depression can “go away by itself. Here’s where I want to disappoint you: Depression can “go away” in very, very rare cases (the exception rather than the rule). For example, if the circumstances of your life suddenly change from very unpleasant to very, very pleasant (which, mind you, is uncommon). It’s more common to encounter a different, rather sad picture in the form of “neglected” depressions. Untreated depressions can last for years or even decades! The longer the depression lasts, the longer it takes to treat it afterwards!

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