What is Depression?
According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, by 2020, depression will become the second-leading cause of disability and death throughout the entire world. About one million people commit suicide annually, and people suffering from depression make up between 45 and 60% of suicides. This figure is becoming comparable to infectious and cardiovascular diseases.
A person with depression has a 35 times greater chance to end his life through suicide than do those not suffering from depression. 50% of those with endogenous depression and 20% of those with psychogenic depression attempt suicide. One out of every six commits suicide. According to research conducted in the USA, people susceptible to depression are two times more likely to die from other illnesses.
Depression often develops among family members of a patient already suffering from depression. Approximately 20% of relatives of depressed people suffer from depression, while relatives of healthy people become sick in 7% of cases.
Risk of depression among single and divorced people is 2-4 times higher than among people with families. Also, single and divorced men are at a higher risk than single and divorced women. Even if only spouse suffers from depression, divorce is 10 times more likely than among healthy families.
50% of depression sufferers do not even seek medical help, and only 25-30% of the others make it to the psychiatrist.
Primary Symptoms of Depression:
If you have two primary symptoms and no fewer than three secondary symptoms, then you can confidently talk about having depression.
What is Anxiety Disorder?
According to WHO data, anxiety and other mood disorders are among the top ten greatest public health problems. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), panic disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are included in this group of psychological illnesses.
GAD appears as an excessive and groundless feeling of worry lasting more than half a year. In addition, fatigue, attention span disturbances, irritability, muscle tension, and irregular sleeping patters are also noticed. This is a chronic disease that develops at a later age, most common among people over 55 years of age.
SAD is defined as a continuous, excessive fear of communicating with people or nervousness at work, and it is connected with physical and psychological displays of anxiety. The patient is afraid of criticism and negative opinions coming from his or her peers. Also, the patient avoids those situations or endures them while feeling significant anxiety and discomfort. SAD is common among young people.
Panic disorder is an illness manifested by repeated, unpredictable panic attacks, which also brings different stages of anxiety between such attacks (worry about effects and possible complications). Panic disorder brings about significant changes in a person's behavior and is an extreme burden: the person has difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, and excessive sweating. It appears that he will die at any time. Every so often, panic attacks are confused with heart attacks.
There are two kinds of panic disorder: with agoraphobia and without. Agoraphobia is a pathological fear that appears when it seems impossible or psychologically difficult to escape a situation, and the sufferer cannot count on receiving needed help. Agoraphobic fears usually appear in situations such as loneliness outside the home, in crowds, in lines, on bridges, and in the bus, train or car.
OCD is characterized by constant obsessive thoughts, images, or inclinations with or without the presence of repeated physical or psychological rituals. Symptoms lead to discomfort and wasted time, and they have a negative impact on a patient’s social and professional lives. Most often we see obsessive ideas about infection, compulsive counting, compulsive fears of unfortunate situations, and also obsession with religion and sexual activity. OCD is a chronic disorder that varies in intensity and severity of symptoms. Also, OCD often combines with depression and anxiety disorder.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder for which there are characteristic shifts in perceptions or reflections of reality. The first episode of the illness is usually associated with an appearance of so-called "productive symptoms." The person experiences auditory hallucinations (voices), delusions, disorganized speech (it is unknown what a person is trying to say, speech is off-topic, illogical), unexpected and unusual interest in religion and philosophy, "metaphysical intoxication", and grotesque behavior.
It is impossible to reason with a person with schizophrenia: He is absorbed by his own worries, he is often overanxious, he does not sleep much, he is in a psychotic state and can act accordingly, and he is dangerous to himself and others. Characteristic manifestations of schizophrenia include the following symptoms:
The first symptoms usually appear at a young age, around 20 to 25 years of age. Incidence of the disease is approximately the same throughout the world and is about 1%. Diagnosis is based on an analysis of the patient's complaints and behavior.
Schizophrenia sufferers are more often diagnosed as having other disorders (depression, anxiety disorder, and so on). Around 40% have a risk of alcoholism. People with schizophrenia are often confronted with social problems such as prolonged unemployment, poverty, homelessness, etc. They often are smokers and suffer different somatic disease, and they are more prone to suicide. Therefore, people with schizophrenia have a 10- to 12-year shorter lifespan than healthy people.
Antipsychotic drugs are the treatment of choice for schizophrenia. Psychotherapy and social and professional rehabilitation also play an important role in treatment. During the hardest times of the disease, the schizophrenic person can be forcefully hospitalized if he poses a risk to himself and others.
How do you treat it?
WHO experts ask people not to be afraid to seek psychological / psychiatric medical attention and, most importantly, to do it in a timely manner.
There are numerous methods of treatment for depression, anxiety disorder, and schizophrenia. Each method is individually selected taking into account the severity of the condition, the form of the illness, the duration of the illness and the prognosis, the survivability of treatment, and also the physical condition of the patient.
Each year, the catalogue of new antidepressant drugs is about 3 centimeters in width. Only real psychology and psychiatry professionals can deal with such a huge quantity of treatments and / or medicines and select the most effective and safe forms of treatment while taking into account the patient's individual situation. Only real professionals can monitor therapy through the entire process and provide adequate outpatient care.
Dr.Vorobiev's Rehab Clinic 2009-05-12 Articles/Press Releases