In What Ailments Does Depression Mask
Sometimes bad health is caused mainly by psychological problems. In such cases, a lot depends on what our psychological type is. With some people stress has a mental expression – explicit form, development of phobias, but with others diseases of internal organs are provoked. Psychiatrists call these somatised or masked depressions. They are very difficult to treat because usually neither the doctor nor the patient suspects that the disease is due to stress.
In choleric people, stress is most often masked with cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, heart attack, duodenal ulcer, urological problems).
In melancholic people, depression can cause gastric ulcer, asthma, all kinds of neurodermatitis.
Phlegmatic and sanguine people are less prone to diseases of the nervous system. From 5 to 7 percent of people are not inclined to depression at all. Experts call these lucky people “sunny dispositions.”
The most common victims of depression are:
• Cyclothymics (around 20%) – perfectly healthy people prone to unexplained fluctuations in mood, people of a very sensitive nature. They are dependent even on weather changes that cause fatigue, headache and malaise and deteriorate their emotional condition.
• People with weak autonomic nervous system (15%) – typical for them are attacks of dystonia, jumps in blood pressure, depressive attitude.
• The largest group consists of anxious, suspicious people.
• The group of people highly dependent on hormones (e.g. women during pregnancy or menopause) and people suffering from thyroid disease. To this category could also be added those who experience violently the so called midlife crisis.
How to recognize hidden sadness and when do we seek medical help
- Bad mood, inability to concentrate (for more than 5-7 days)
- Waking up with bad thoughts. In such cases, your overall irritability is almost always increased.
- When depressed mood does not correspond to an objective situation, i.e. occurs in a situation of general wellbeing.
- Attacks of pain associated with a stress situation or high emotional stress (e.g. conflicts on the workplace often provoke strong stomach pain).
- When “hanging up” on one’s health condition, one is constantly asking “Will it hurt me or not?”
- The presence of suicidal thoughts like “Without me all will be better,” “I do not understand why I am living” etc.
In covert forms of depression antidepressants are not always necessary. An integrated approach is important – psychotherapy plus individually selected doses of drugs. There are no universal schemes. Asthenic depression is treated with stimulants, and anxiety – with the help of tranquilizers- sedative medications. For normalization of the deep processes in the nervous system microscopic doses of tranquilizers and neuroleptics are necessary. Especially useful for maintaining the body are all vitamins of groups B and C, folic acid, and also complexes with calcium, magnesium, selenium and lecithin.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2006, depression ranks second among the diseases that lead to loss of working ability. 70% of chronic diseases develop on a psychosomatic basis i.e. they affect the nervous system.
Quiz: are you prone to depression?
1. I would not say I am a light-headed person. Most of the time I’m serious, happy people annoy me.
2. Sometimes I feel that life is meaningless.
3. I often wake up in a depressed mood with no reason, even when it is sunny and birds are singing outside.
4. I notice that I cannot reject the gloomy thoughts and the joy of others causes a severe irritation in me.
5. Sometimes I am so bored and sad that I feel physically ill.
6. I can cry easily.
7. I frequently get afflicted, because I didn’t say or didn’t make something properly and I think of the words and attitudes of others for a long time afterwards.
8. I feel shattered all the time, although there is nothing to be tired of.
• Yes – 2 points.
• Not often, but it happens – 1 point.
• No – 0 points.
• 11 points or more: You are at the very epicenter of depression. It is increasingly difficult to control your temper. You really need help from a psychotherapist.
• From 6 to 10 points: Depression haunts you, but you still have a chance to escape from it by drug assistance. Refer to a psychologist who will help you understand your thoughts and feelings.
• Up to 5 points: You have a strong mentality and you can experience severe shocks with dignity. If you don’t feel like going to work, do not try to impute this to the “autumnal gloom”. You are just being lazy.