7 Things To Avoid When Depressed video


It is one of the great ills of our society. However, it is often confused with sadness or emotional bumps. It is misdiagnosed and treated only with psychotropic drugs. The alternative is a comprehensive treatment

"I'm depressed" has become a frequent phrase, almost popular nowadays . There is talk of being depressed more naturally than before, when it was almost a secret to keep in the most intimate family environment because it meant being in the hands of psychiatrists, Those specialists who treated "the crazy people." Aggressive techniques, such as social contempt, or biological techniques, such as various body techniques or electric shock, were sometimes applied to the person suffering from depression.

Nowadays, however, in part since the discovery of antidepressant drugs, the so-called "depression" and the description "I am depressed" have become so common that they tend to lose all their usefulness and, above all, to erase differences. between everyday events and life relationships, on the one hand, and psychopathology and psychiatry, on the other.

Thus, depression is diagnosed very frequently. So much so, that there are studies carried out in Catalonia that point out that up to 12% or 14% of women will receive this diagnosis at some point in their lives . Obviously, this means an overdiagnosis that leads to the interested "over-treatment" of depression.


When depression or "pathological melancholy" were defined as psychiatric disorders, they were assigned a series of criteria or characteristics that were later simplified and "relaxed" by modern psychiatric classifications with the stated objective of "diagnosing depression more."

But depression - unlike normal life states such as sadness , grief or grief - should define a person who is very sad, with deep and chronic sadness, in such a way that those feelings, together with guilt and the difficulty to get involved in pleasant relationships, prevent you from carrying out your daily activities, such as working, taking care of children, maintaining meaningful social relationships ...

There is no depression without moments of anger and rage, just as there is no depression without guilt

Conversely, comprehensive treatment of a disorder such as depression should include at least the following measures:

It is an "affective disorder", that is, of the deepest and most significant feelings of the human being: sadness, joy-pleasure, guilt ... and anger. However, today many people who react with submission, dependency or passivity to the adversities and injustices of life, or people with grief, losses, frustrations, disadvantaged social situations or with personality disorders, can be diagnosed as "depressive" and " pseudo-treated "as such. With the drawback that the exclusively pharmacological treatment of such vital problems has a frequent effect: aggravating the dependence of these people (they will depend on the doctor, the pills, society ...). In this way, in reality, their relationships and their vital development worsen.


We are dealing with a complex issue, much more complex than is usually explained, so we will treat only some of its aspects: what are the symptoms of depression, how it occurs and how it appears, whether it can be prevented or not, and how to treat it . The objective is to reflect on these issues with the intention of expanding and de-dramatizing what we understand by depression.

Like any other psychopathological disorder, depression is a particular way of communicating a person with himself and with others.

Unlike other mental health disorders or difficulties, the person suffering from real depression over and over again communicates their sadness, their grief, their deep hopelessness, often even with their body posture, their inability to pleasure, their stories full of sadness, loss, frustration, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide ... Those feelings are at the core of depression.


We should realize that a person is really depressed if these feelings predominate in most of their life days and activities.

But, in addition, this "low mood" is displaced to all areas of life, both by psychological mechanisms and by biological mechanisms. For this reason, the person with depression tends to show a series of symptoms or signs in their biology. , in his psychology and in his social life.

As the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) says, in typical depressive episodes the person suffering from them suffers from "a depressive mood" (what is defined in the definition?), A loss of ability to take an interest and enjoy things, and a decrease in their vitality that leads to a reduction in their activity and to an exaggerated fatigue that appears even after minimal effort.

Other manifestations (symptoms) are:

  • Decreased attention and concentration.
  • Loss of self confidence and feelings of inferiority.
  • The ideas of guilt and of being useless (even in mild episodes).
  • A bleak prospect of the future.
  • Thoughts and acts of suicide or self-harm.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Loss of appetite

All these "symptoms", or ways of behaving, that make up the depressive disorder interact and feed on each other, conditioning the relationship with others. For example, if we have a lack of interest in our daily activities, we will progressively stop relating to our surroundings and isolate ourselves even more from what depression itself (but not sadness) tends to isolate.


Depression almost never appears suddenly, completely abruptly ... This can happen with sadness, guilt and, of course, with grief. In fact, in almost all severe depressions we find vital factors that have favored them: repeated losses and frustrations in childhood, losses and bereavement in adolescence (death of family members, serious separations or conflicts between parents, other serious and repeated grief). ..).

So even severe depression, major depression, or "wistful" depression don't come on suddenly. And much less the "pseudodepresiones", which are usually based on chronic manifestations of dependency, insecurity or passivity of long evolution.


In severe, real depression, we often find ancient life factors, biological, and even genetic, and social factors . Therefore, certain unforeseen and serious events can trigger depression in a predisposed person if the social group does not help in those situations of frustration, helplessness, isolation ...

There are also people whose vitality and desire to live are gradually undermined "from within", for example:

  • For excessive guilt feelings.
  • For excesses of self-demand, for "doing everything well and alone" (a narcissistic attitude ).
  • For repeated failures in which they are not aware of how they have participated in such failure or loss ...

It is these feelings and experiences that undermine vitality little by little until succumbing to the "depressive bump".

But why do some people succumb and others endure similar external factors? Why are there people who mourn and recover after a few months after the death of a father, mother or close friend, and others sink into depression even for years?

The answer is the consistency of the person's overall personality, the degree of integration or vulnerability that he had previously reached. In other words, it depends on your ability to cope with frustration, loss and grief, both acute and chronic.


The three components of this vulnerability to depression are:

  • Psychological components . The integration and consistency of the personality of an individual begins in the first and primary experiences of life, when we are born, when we are babies and, later, in childhood and adolescence. A consistent "stable enough and close enough" bond with attachment figures is what provides a secure foundation. Hence the importance of affective care in the early years and of establishing secure attachment relationships, taking into account, furthermore, that from birth and the first weeks of life, the baby (not just the parents) struggles to establish these relationships thanks to their abilities and their nascent autonomy.
  • Genetic components . Some researchers in biological psychiatry postulate that there is a genetic vulnerability that is passed down through generations. It would be another way to facilitate this vulnerability: the establishment of particular neuronal and neurochemical circuits.
  • Social components . Certain social situations can favor the expression of depression or its inadequate or partial care: situations of chronic submission without possibilities of exit, alcoholism and other addictions, marginalization and social and affective isolation, socioeconomic deprivation, repeated affective losses that relatives and society do not help to elaborate, the cultural and ideological deteriorations that hinder the care of the affections or the care of children ...


This is why we often say that depression is preventable . Not all depression, not depression as a mental disorder, but many depressive disorders. How?

Well, with closer or continued care in childhood , with greater social attention to grief processes and their consequences, to the feelings and needs of children, and less emphasis on demand, compliance, blame ... .

Caring for bereaved or emotionally neglected, neglected, or poorly cared for children, rather than pseudo-diagnosing them as ADHD or as a "bipolar child" ... Those would be primary prevention and mental health promotion activities.

Secondary prevention implies early and adequate treatment , and this can only be achieved if we know its manifestations; especially if, when we are very sad or chronically sad, we are able to communicate, to talk about what we feel, instead of falling into isolation and despising the help of relatives, friends and family.

What does depression treatment consist of and what should it consist of? It is not a matter free from medical, psychological, social, moral and even anthropological controversies. For example, there are numerous studies, also carried out in Spain, which show that, at the same time that "depression" is diagnosed more and more and huge amounts of "antidepressant" drugs are administered to the population, severe depression is diagnosed and treated worse ... with sometimes tragic consequences.

A person with severe depression always has thoughts of suicide. It may carry them forward even if it is well treated, but especially if it is not treated or is poorly treated.

In our country, the latest published data (2012) say that more than seven people commit suicide for every 100,000 inhabitants : more than 3,500 people each year (probably more than 5,000). These figures represent 13.6% of general mortality between 15 and 24 years and 15% of general mortality between 25 and 34 years.

Fortunately, only a minority of depressed people attempt suicide , an even smaller minority in the case of misdiagnosed psychosocial suffering like depression ...

Although some of the "pseudo-depression" groups make many more attempts : it is estimated that for each completed suicide, there are twenty or twenty-five attempts, many of them more "communicative" than aimed at achieving death.

However, in some people, the hopelessness with respect to the world makes them not only want to commit suicide, but they also want family members or close friends or companions to leave "this cruel world", with the result of deaths caused by accidents (especially from circulation), homicides of entire families or crashed planes ...

Those are the extremes of severe depression, especially when it is not treated comprehensively.


The treatment that is usually given today to depressed and pseudo-depressed people basically consists of drugs and more drugs. We call it "one-dimensional."

It can be effective and, sometimes, necessary in certain people and depression, but when its results have been studied in large groups and over time, it has not been shown to be useful for the general population except in one specific section: the exponential increase in the sale and consumption of psychotropic drugs, especially antidepressants. However, on occasions and (numbered) cases, this "fast track" has to be used, although only from the start.

Conversely, comprehensive treatment of a disorder such as depression should include at least the following measures:

  • Psychotherapy , essential in all kinds of depressive and pseudodepressive disorders.
  • Psychopharmacology , but not in all cases, of course.
  • Helps the family , particularly in severe depression.
  • Body care : physical exercise, adequate sports, massages, relaxation (which were already included in the temples of ancient Egypt).
  • Friends and close friends who care about you , who are attentive to emotional needs.
  • Attractive, interesting work, social and training activities that promote the solidarity development of the person.

It is clear that neither real depressions nor pseudo-depressions have easy or quick solutions. But, for cultural reasons and economic interests, it is what is sought ... although in the medium and long term it is neither easy nor a solution (sometimes, chronic drug treatment causes added biological, psychological and social problems, for example at work).

The tendency to use "antidepressants" as the only solution is what dominates today: "Speed ​​is decisive," even their advertising says. "You have to sweep the symptoms of depression." "Within two weeks of acting, with an intersynaptic serotonergic reset, symptoms may improve."

Is so easy? Can you solve mental states that seriously compromise your feelings and your relationship with others in this fast track? Our answer is no, although in some cases, the speed of intervention is essential, as in some postpartum depressions .

Say what a "miracle" psychiatry says , fashionable today, to improve serious mental disorders time and treatments are needed not only professionals, but with the collaboration of the subject himself, his loved ones and social networks. That is the best treatment: the integral.

Patience and containment are needed. Elaboration of internal and interpersonal conflicts is needed. Very often, the company of an expert psychotherapist is needed who listens, contains and helps to find exits before the feeling of "marsh with no exit" that the depressed person lives.

That is the other way, which may seem "slow and laborious" to us . And it is: neither psychiatry nor psychotherapy today have other means that have been tried and are faster, sufficiently effective and, at the same time, safe.


What does this route consist of? In advancing the use of the drug and taking advantage of the beneficial effect of the antidepressant to get the person to accept psychotherapy to help him to elaborate the "emotional gap" with his active participation, and may have abilities to face other painful or frustrating life events in the future .

That is the goal of psychotherapy for the person with depression: not only to get out of their current slump, but to increase their repertoire of mental activities and in social life that help them face future conflicts . But it is not easy, and it is necessary to ensure that the psychotherapist is well trained and has experience in this type of complex situation.

Sometimes it is very necessary to use this "middle way": for example, before the capable and sensitive young man who is sinking into the depressive swamp and who, partly out of pride or narcissism, may refuse to go to psychotherapy or, even, to use drugs. There, the help of his family and close friends, guided by specialists, is essential: precisely when he is suffering, and not when he is just protesting or complaining, it is when we must recommend, without insistence or bad humor, "how well you It would come to share these feelings with someone: with friends, friends ... with a psychotherapist ... ".

Without insistence, but with clarity and firmness. Even if you get angry and reject those family tips. With love and care, family and friends can help you reflect ; Surely there are personal aspects that can be managed in another way in this situation and, especially, in future situations. For example, stopping work or studying should only be done at the worst times and, of course, for a few days.

Few things make depression more chronic than sick leave without comprehensive treatment. And in the case of "pseudodepressions", this is a serious element of worsening, chronification, since it increases passivity, submission, dependent personality traits, lack of self-esteem ...


Friends, relatives and relatives can do a lot for the person suffering from depression , especially at the beginning: accompanying them in their suffering, not insisting on supposedly simple or quick solutions, being by their side trying to understand their experiences and feelings, helping them to take decisions and, above all, to postpone them until their emotional state improves ...

Because although the depressed person isolates himself, he is actually looking for ways to maintain relationships with others and his self-esteem. Only, by definition, depression is a poorly adaptive way of overcoming the losses, pain and frustrations that accompany all human life.

There are psychological, biological and social means that can help us look for other ways, with the advantages that this entails for those affected, and the social advantages that it entails: let's think that various types of depression have suffered people who have made very important social contributions and cultural.

An endless list in which we could include painters like Vincent van Gogh and Edvard Munch, writers like Virginia Wolf and Miguel Delibes, musicians like Kurt Cobain, Mozart, Beethoven, Rajmáninov or Mahler (treated by Freud), politicians like Lincoln and Willy Brandt , Che Guevara ...

It is another argument to defend that helping people who are depressed is also another field in which we could choose solidarity, care and remedial activities instead of individualism and "save yourself who can": many of them are very sensitive, intelligent, compliant or creative, and can make contributions to humanity, as is the case with these and many other artists, creators and entrepreneurs who have spent significant periods of depression throughout their lives.

Anyone who knows how to get out of a major "emotional slump" or the "swamps of depression" is better prepared to face future conflicts.

And that is only possible in relationships with those close to you and in social relationships. However, whoever does not come out, or "goes wrong", is prepared to relapse.

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