ARTICLE: What We Understand by Depression in Contemporary Context

In the previous article, we have read about What is Depression and its History and how it evolved from a mysterious practice to a clinical study that actually helps people. Earlier it was difficult to tell if a person is suffering from depression or not. But presently, there is a certain consensus when describing the symptomatology of people who have depression. However, most of the symptoms are not easy to detect, so it is necessary that a professional of Psychology or Psychiatry assess their severity and the effect they have on the person's life in order to establish an effective and adequate treatment.

The clinical characteristic that we all know of this disorder is a depressed mood. That arevery intensefeelings of sadness and emptiness, thoughts of uselessness and guilt or related behaviours such as crying. In depression, this is usually a constant, something that marks the day to day of people who have this disorder, a burden to get up every morning. Imagine how difficult it must be to live to "feel nothing", only with the constant thought that, above, it is your fault to be so for what you should be "idiot" or much more aggressive things towards yourself.

Another main element is the so-called anhedonia, which means a loss of interest and enjoyment of activities that were previously pleasurable and no longer. As in the state of mind, there is a gradient that can give clues to the seriousness of the state in which that person with depression is. Luis, for example, has stopped going to the park, he does not feel energized and does not enjoy it. However, he continues to savor the peace and calm that comes from taking out his dog Freddy every night in the neighborhood and, although it is not the same as always, when he tries to go out with the rugby boys at least to have a beer On Sundays at noon, they can still get some laughter. Although some things are still pleasant, it is a difficult situation to handle and that can generate a lot of frustration and impotence. This lack of pleasure is easy to end up leading to stop doing things or do nothing. Would you go out with your friends if you no longer had fun? Would you still go dancing if you did not enjoy it? And so, apathy ends up taking over the idlest and social part of our lives, without motivation to take us to action.

Other aspects of life that may be altered are sleep and appetite, either for an increase or decrease in them. Thus, there are people who, when they are in a depressed state, usually have interruptions of their sleep cycle or early awakenings without having a restful rest, which causes, together with the discomfort already described, complications to get out of bed. On the contrary, they may also have a hypersomnia, that is, they are too sleepy. In the same way, it happens with the appetite, that can be increased or diminished with the sensation that one has the "closed stomach" and does not want to eat food with the consequent loss of weight. There are also alterations on the sexual and motor leveldecreasing both sexual desire and movement due to a lack of energy or constant fatigue.

Depression affects all areas of the person, including effective, physical and cognitive aspects. All these symptoms can generate great suffering for those who undergo them and in their immediate surroundings.

Depression also affects cognitive aspects such as attention, as well as decision-making. Imagine that, in addition to being in a state of mind on the floor and not enjoying what was previously pleasing to you, you are tired and it is very difficult to be with fixed attention, focused on what you are doing. Surely in this situation do not be very productive in your job, which can lead you to have problems to keep your job. What was missing, above economic problems! This will not help much to improve your situation or your well-being.

It is important to talk about one aspect of depression that makes all this even more serious and dangerous than already mentioned. People who are in this state of emptiness, deep sadness and pain can come up with ideas of self-harm and suicide. The thoughts about death are recurrent, not because of a desire to die in itself, but as an exit to their suffering. They do not call attention, nor are they crazy, but the pain is overwhelming and they do not know how to escape from it and the situation in which they have been immersed, from their discouraging vision of the future.

Depression is complicated to understand from the outside, so it is important to know it to understand this problem and find a really valid solution. These solutions exist and can return to people who have depression a vision of their life much more pleasant and constructive than they currently have.

As we have seen, depression is not something as simple to handle or understand as it seems. There are records of its existence, with one name or another, for hundreds of years, and probably was present long before these writings, since it is something natural to the human being. However, all is not lost. Nobody learns to handle situations in life that can be overflowing as who learns to add and subtract.

The Psychology has been perfecting its techniques to put them at the service of the population. There are many techniques and treatments that have proven to be effective so that people who are mired, to a greater or lesser extent, in a depressed state can regain control of their lives and achieve physical, psychological and social well-being. In the second part of this article are described such interventions, which are important to know to be able to embrace those that have proven more effective and not fall into frustrated attempts to improve that do nothing but dig deeper.