First signs of depression

SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

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Last Updated: 08/30/2022

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symptoms, causes in men and women, remedies

Lack of vitality, unwillingness to get out of bed, bad mood for a long time, and even unwillingness to live are all signs of depression. Depression has a negative effect on the health and general well-being of a person. That is why it is so important to get medical help from a specialist in time.

How to determine the presence of depression?

Pathology can appear after experienced stressful situations. If there is no disorder, after the problem is resolved, a good mood returns to the person. But when the cause is eliminated, and apathy, depression and loss of strength do not leave the person, it is necessary to seek help from a specialist. It may also decrease performance.

You can determine the presence of depression on your own, but you should not self-medicate even at an early stage of development. This should be done by a doctor, since self-medication can only aggravate everything.

Depression in women is often postpartum, as their lives change dramatically, and sleepless nights add fatigue. This is where frustration and apathy come in.

When the pathology is in advanced form, then a person has the following symptoms of depression - not only a bad mood and impotence, but also persistent disorders of the nervous system. There are also symptoms such as: a significant decrease in self-esteem, disadaptation in society, despondency and loss of interest in any events.

In physiological terms, appetite changes, intimate needs and energy decrease, sleep and bowel function are disturbed (constipation, weakness, fatigue during physical and intellectual stress are observed), pain in the body (in the heart, in muscles, in the stomach area).

The patient shows signs of depression such as loss of interest in other people, a tendency to frequent solitude, refusal of entertainment, use of alcohol and psychotropic substances.

Mental signs of depression include difficulty in concentrating, concentrating, making decisions, slowness of thinking, a pessimistic view of the future with a lack of perspective and thoughts about the meaninglessness of one's existence, suicide attempts, due to their uselessness, helplessness, insignificance.

Causes of depression

The appearance of the disorder is not influenced by age category or social class. Most often, depression appears against the background of stressful negative situations, with constant failures - then a person falls into despair from the inability to somehow influence the course of events.

But in addition to the social factor, severe psychological trauma can also lead to the development of depression, for example: family breakup, death of a loved one, a serious illness that affects not only the patient himself, but also his relatives. In this case, depressions are referred to as reactive.

The likelihood of depression increases with changes in hormonal levels: during adolescence, after delivery, with the onset of menopause, and also in old age. It can affect the emotional and physical level.

Another factor is brain damage and somatic pathologies. Often depression affects patients who have had a stroke, suffering from a chronic lack of blood circulation in the brain, after a traumatic brain injury.

The causes of depression can manifest themselves as a result of the side effects of drugs (benzodiazepines, corticosteroids). Often this condition disappears on its own after the drug is discontinued.

Types of depression

  • Neurotic - people with low self-esteem, insecure, straightforward people often suffer. They constantly feel a sense of injustice, and apathy arises from this.

  • Clinical - bad mood, loss of energy, problems with appetite and sleep. Often there is a tendency to suicide. This clinical picture can last at least 2 weeks.

  • Vegetative - manifested by such signs as tachycardia, a drop in blood pressure, tinnitus.

  • Psychogenic - develops after severe psychological trauma - divorce, loss of a loved one, dismissal from work, betrayal, etc. Accompanied by mood swings, anxiety, excessive sensitivity.

  • Masked - often the disease manifests itself secretly. Apathy, solitude and a decrease in interest in life can only appear as negativity and fatigue accumulate.

  • Asthenic - the condition is manifested by fatigue, sleep disturbance, emotional imbalance due to accumulated difficulties, stress, physical and psychological stress.

  • Postpartum - usually occurs 10-14 days after delivery. A young mother shows an increased sense of excitement for the baby, and constant lack of sleep and fatigue worsen the situation even more. In addition, the hormonal background also affects the state of the mother.

  • Somatogenic - attacks occur due to disturbances in the endocrine system, the formation and growth of neoplasms, both benign and malignant.

  • Alcoholic - depression is accompanied by excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. The post-alcohol state is accompanied by an uncontrolled craving for alcohol and the growth of withdrawal syndrome when alcohol is refused.

  • Bipolar - the patient is changing euphoria depressive, manic disorder. But in the period between these phenomena, caused by various factors: stress, loss of means of popularity, etc., a person lives an ordinary life and does not show symptoms of the disease.

How does depression develop in stages?

First, the patient has a depressed state, which he himself attributes to fatigue, a hard working week, drinking alcohol and other reasons. At the same time, he wants to retire from others and at the same time is afraid to be alone.

Then the stage of acceptance arises: the awareness of the dangerous state comes, the problem worsens, the intensity of negative thoughts grows, the body and the immune system fail.

The third stage - in the absence of adequate therapy, the patient loses control over himself, aggression increases.

Diagnosis and treatment of depression


To identify the disease, experienced specialists use short questionnaires - screening tools to identify symptoms: anxiety, anhedonia (loss of pleasure from life), suicidal tendencies. Thanks to this, it is possible to determine whether the patient has chronic depression, symptoms and treatments for depression, what form and severity it is.

To fully understand the picture of the disease, the doctor needs to familiarize himself with the symptoms that indicate depression, and not another psychological disorder.

For the treatment of depression, you can contact the following specialists:

  • Psychiatrist - treatment of depression with hypnosis, drugs for acute mental pathologies - schizophrenia, mental retardation, epilepsy, as well as other less severe ailments - neurosis, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.

  • Psychotherapist – treatment is carried out through special therapy, which provides for explanations, conversations, search for solutions to problems together with the patient.

  • Psychologist - consults the patient, cannot prescribe drugs and examinations. Clinical psychologists use modern test methods to identify problems that caused a psychological disorder.

The main directions of therapy in treatment are psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, social therapy.

A necessary condition for the effectiveness of treatment is cooperation and trust in the doctor. It is important to strictly follow the prescription of the therapy regimen, visit the doctor regularly, and give a detailed account of your condition.

Preparations for the treatment of depression


For the treatment of the disorder, antidepressants are used for anxious depression or when the pathology is accompanied by lethargy. Antidepressants are prescribed directly by a doctor and are not recommended for self-administration. The action of many antidepressants manifests itself two weeks after administration, their dosage for the patient is determined individually.

In bipolar depression, depression is treated with insomnia. While it has a negative effect on a healthy person, in a patient with a psychological disorder, sleep deprivation, on the contrary, brings the psyche back to normal.

Moderate or mild depression requires the appointment of drugs on a light, natural basis (herbal).

Where to get tested and treated for depression in Krasnoyarsk?

If you or your loved ones show signs of an emotional disorder, you should immediately contact a specialist. Since depression can lead to dangerous consequences:

  • isolation from society

  • deterioration in appearance

  • relationship problems

  • low performance or its complete absence

  • sexual problems

Contact the private clinic "Medunion" in Krasnoyarsk, get examined and treated for depression. Our phone number for appointment +7 (391) 202-95-54.

Depression: symptoms, signs and treatment



Mikhail Sergeevich

Experience 20 years

Psychotherapist, member of the Russian Professional Psychotherapeutic League

Make an appointment

The concept of "depression", as a whole complex of depressive disorders is called in medicine, indicates a serious violation of a person's activity and a decrease in his interest in the world around him and his own life. Establishing the exact cause of depression can be difficult, since several factors are possible: hereditary, physiological, neurological and psychosocial. It is possible to make an accurate diagnosis after studying the patient's history. The course of treatment involves a combination of several methods at once: conservative, psychotherapeutic and other measures.

Disease etiology

The classification of depression according to the current edition of the Manual of Mental Disorders implies a division into the following groups:

  • major depressive disorder;
  • chronic depressive disorder;
  • depressive disorder of specified or unspecified etiology: premenstrual disorders, depression due to health disorders, consequences of taking psychoactive drugs.

Most cases of depression have a clear age relationship: adolescence or age 20-30 years. Due to the peculiarities of the psyche, women are more prone to depressive manifestations, the exact causes of this phenomenon have not yet been established. These or other depressive symptoms occur in 30% of patients seeking medical help. Less than 10% of those who applied showed signs of deep depression, requiring competent medical intervention.

The state of demoralization associated with unpleasant incidents in the patient's life is significantly different from clinical depression. There are a number of characteristic signs indicating temporary psycho-emotional difficulties that disappear within a few days without specific treatment:

  • deterioration in mood is manifested by outbreaks and is not permanent, protracted;
  • as events change, a person's mood improves, and the mental state returns to normal;
  • low mood may alternate with fun and stable state of health;
  • the patient does not have suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-loathing and feelings of worthlessness.

With the patient's tendency to depressive states during demoralization, individual signs of major depression may be observed. But even they do not allow talking about a disease that requires immediate help.

Causes of depression

Experts associate the manifestations of depression with environmental factors and genetic predisposition. However, they invariably point to the impossibility of accurately identifying the cause of the disease. Official medicine recognizes a hereditary trace in more than half of the diagnosed cases: in first-line relatives, identical twins. According to popular theories, the development of a depressive state can be affected by malfunctions of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland or adrenal glands, which produce hormones important for humans. Violations in the interaction of these organs can cause protracted depressive states.

A significant role in the appearance of signs of major or chronic depression is played by the psycho-emotional state, disturbed due to experienced problems: divorce, loss of a loved one, financial losses. In the absence of a predisposition to severe mental disorders, these events do not cause prolonged depressive states. If the patient has a tendency to anxiety, the risk of dangerous symptoms increases.

Speaking about the female predisposition to depression, experts indicate as the reasons:

  • exposure to daily stress due to high mental stress;
  • high risk of thyroid dysfunction;
  • hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle or menopause;
  • an increase in the level of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that contributes to the destruction of neurotransmitters that determine the patient's mood level.

Against the background of clinical depression, the patient may show signs of somatic diseases: hormonal disorders, brain tumors, strokes, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

Symptomatic picture of the disease

Signs of depression largely depend on the nature of the disease and help specialists make an accurate diagnosis.

  1. In a state of major depression, the patient has a tired and sad appearance, lack of eye contact, emotionlessness, depression and restrained speech. Violations of diet and personal hygiene are possible. Also among the characteristic symptoms of depression: decreased interest in favorite activities, insomnia, weight loss or rapid weight gain, indecision, inability to concentrate, obsessive thoughts of death or suicide, lethargy.
  2. In chronic depressive disorder, symptoms persist for 2 years or more. The patient has anxiety, obvious personality disorders, increased criticality towards himself and others, isolation and low self-esteem. In addition, increased fatigue, inability to concentrate, a feeling of hopelessness, insomnia or excessive sleepiness, weakness and low mood indicate a chronic condition.
  3. Against the background of premenstrual depressive disorder in women, a week before the expected date of the start of the cycle, there are sharp mood swings, anger and irritability, a state of anxiety and tension. Interest in habitual activities decreases, concentration of attention falls, increased fatigue and a feeling of depression are noted. Up to 6% of women of childbearing age suffer from the listed symptoms of depression in women with PMS at various periods of life.
  4. In depressive disorders with an unknown etiology, patients of both sexes have anxiety, characteristic manic syndromes (feeling of superiority, talkativeness or high spirits), a decrease in emotional reaction to pleasant events, states of delirium or hallucinations, psychomotor retardation.

The symptomatic picture of different types of depression has an individual color for each patient. However, all persons suffering from depression invariably have common features of a particular disease, which simplifies the diagnosis.

Complications of depression

The growth of the pathological situation against the background of the patient's refusal of professional assistance can cause the following dangerous phenomena:

  • increase in symptoms of depression;
  • increased incidence of depression;
  • prolonged illness, the duration of which increases as the attacks become more frequent;
  • cases of double depression, when severe psychological problems are superimposed on more “superficial” experiences and stages of depression develop that are difficult to treat;
  • difficulties with the selection of appropriate therapy, when the disease is not amenable to classical methods of correction and requires the use of more "heavy" drugs with a high risk of side effects.

Depression diagnostics

The treatment of depression is the field of activity of the therapist, psychologist and psychiatrist, optimally - their collegial cooperation. Special questionnaires, complaints of patients and their relatives about characteristic changes in well-being and mood allow to recognize the signs of depression and make an accurate diagnosis. In personal communication with the patient, the doctor clarifies the duration of the course of the disease, and also delicately finds out the appearance of possible thoughts about harming himself or others. Also, concomitant pathological conditions are subject to mandatory study: a tendency to use alcohol and drugs, smoking, immoderate nutrition, etc.

Of great importance is the differential diagnosis of depression, which makes it possible to distinguish this disease from other similar mental pathologies: bipolar disorder, anxiety, demoralization, signs of dementia, or hormonal disorders associated with impaired thyroid function. At the same time, a number of clinical examinations are carried out: a complete blood count, measurement of thyroid hormone levels, electrolyte balance, blood levels of prohibited psychotropic substances.

Methods of treatment

Treatment for depression includes:

  • drug treatment is developed taking into account the patient's condition, response to previous courses and the risk of side effects. Drugs of the antidepressant group suppress the action of certain hormones that contribute to the development of depressive states and restore hormonal balance in the body.
  • maintenance treatment implies a regular visit to a specialist to monitor the results of treatment, adjust the chosen course, obtain the necessary clarifications, etc.
  • additional methods of influence: psychotherapy, phototherapy, electroshock therapy, methods of deep brain stimulation, etc.

If all the recommendations of the specialist are followed and the course is completed in full, stable positive results can be achieved within a few weeks, while reducing the risk of recurrence of depressive conditions.

Frequently asked questions about depression

How to get rid of depression on your own?

Attempts to deal with depression on their own usually end in failure and the appearance of signs of a deeper disorder. Only an experienced doctor will be able to determine the type of disease and choose the best treatment tactics. Folk remedies, uncontrolled intake of antidepressants "on the advice of friends", withdrawal into oneself - only tighten the knot of the problem and can cause deeper mental disorders with a simultaneous deterioration in physical health.

Why is depression dangerous?

Voluntary refusal of a course of treatment with the intention to overcome the disease on their own can have the most serious consequences: the appearance of suicidal thoughts, deep mental disorders, more frequent seizures, degradation of the personality in professional and family terms, the appearance of addiction to alcohol and drugs.

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