Depression is a mental disorder manifested by a steady lowering of mood, motor lethargy and impaired thinking. Psychotraumatic situations, somatic diseases, substance abuse, disorders of metabolic processes in the brain, or lack of bright light (seasonal depression) can be the cause of its development. The disorder is accompanied by a decrease in self-esteem, social disadaptation, loss of interest in habitual activities, own life and surrounding events. Diagnosis is established on the basis of complaints, case history, results of special tests and additional research. Treatment is pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. One of the drugs is:

General information
Depression is an affective disorder accompanied by persistent depressed mood, negative thinking and slowed down movements. It is the most widespread psychiatric disorder. According to recent studies, the likelihood of developing depression over a lifetime ranges from 22% to 33%. Mental health professionals point out that these figures reflect only official statistics. Some patients suffering from this disorder either do not see a doctor at all or make their first visit to a specialist only after developing secondary and co-occurring disorders.

The incidence peaks in adolescence and the second half of life. The prevalence of depression at ages 15-25 is 15-40%, at age 40+ 10%, and at age 65+ 30%. Women are affected one and a half times more often than men. Affective disorder aggravates the course of other mental disorders and somatic diseases, increases the risk of suicide, and can provoke alcoholism, drug and substance abuse. Psychiatrists, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists treat depression.

Causes of depression
In about 90% of cases, acute psychological trauma or chronic stress is the cause of the development of a mood disorder. Depressions resulting from psychological trauma are called reactive. Reactive disorders are provoked by a divorce, the death or serious illness of a loved one, disability or serious illness of the patient himself, dismissal, conflicts at work, retirement, bankruptcy, a sharp drop in the level of financial support, relocation, etc.

In some cases, depression occurs “on the wave of success”, at the achievement of an important goal. Experts explain such reactive disorders by a sudden loss of the meaning of life caused by the absence of other purposes. Neurotic depression (depressive neurosis) develops on a background of chronic stress. As a rule, in such cases, it is impossible to establish a concrete reason for the disorder – the patient either finds it difficult to name the traumatic event, or describes his or her life as a chain of failures and disappointments.

Women suffer from psychogenic depression more often than men, and elderly people suffer more often than young people. Other risk factors include “extreme poles” of the social scale (wealth and poverty), lack of resistance to stress, low self-esteem, a tendency to self-blaming, a pessimistic view of the world, an unfavorable parental family environment, physical, psychological or emotional abuse suffered during childhood, early loss of parents, genetic predisposition (presence of depression, neurotic disorders, drug and alcohol addiction in relatives), lack of support in the family and in society.

A relatively rare type is endogenous depression, which accounts for approximately 1% of all affective disorders. Among endogenous affective disorders, periodic depression in the unipolar form of manic-depressive psychosis, the depressive phase in bipolar manic-depressive psychosis, involutive melancholy and senile depression are considered. The main reason for the development of this group of disorders are neurochemical factors: genetically determined disorders of biogenic amines metabolism, endocrine shifts and metabolic changes resulting from aging.

The likelihood of endogenous and psychogenic depressions increases with physiological changes in the hormonal background: during adulthood, after childbirth and during menopause. These stages are a kind of test for the body – during such periods, the activity of all organs and systems is rebuilt, which is reflected at all levels: physical, psychological and emotional. Hormonal restructuring is accompanied by increased fatigue, reduced efficiency, reversible deterioration of memory and attention, irritability and emo

tional lability. These features, combined with attempts to accept her own growing older, aging, or a woman’s new role as a mother, are the trigger for the dev

elopment of depression.

Another risk factor is brain lesions and somatic diseases. According to statistics, clinically significant affective disorders are detected in 50% of patients who have had a stroke, in 60% of patients suffering from chronic insufficiency of cerebral circulation and in 15-25% of patients with a history of craniocerebral trauma. In traumatic brain injury, depression is usually detected in the remote period (several months or years after the trauma).

Among somatic diseases provoking the development of affective disorders, experts specify ischemic heart disease, chronic cardiovascular and respiratory failure, diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease, bronchial asthma, stomach and duodenal ulcers, liver cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, malignant tumors, AIDS and some other diseases. In addition, depression often occurs with alcoholism and drug addiction, which is caused by both chronic intoxication of the body and numerous problems provoked by taking psychoactive substances.


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