Saturday, February 17, 2018

Four things you may be missing in long-lasting depression

I am involved in clinical trials of some newly developing drugs. For evaluating the effect of the substance (or placebo), I often interview with patients. In these cases, I assess the patient's status and daily life in the neutral position because I never intervene the treatment.

I found some common things that patients suffering from long-term depression have. Most of them are likely to be underestimated by the patients and even by the doctor in charge. Unfortunately, I cannot tell them directly to each patient because it will violate regulation of the clinical trial. Instead, I mention them on the web as a general description.

1. Many treatment-resistant depression is not depressive disorder

A major depressive episode lasts a half years or more if appropriate treatment is not provided. On the other hand, it is very rare that it lasts three years or more. If you are suffering from depression for more than three years, you might be misdiagnosed. Indeed, a-third of diagnosis of depression is incorrect, according to latest statistics.

You may have bipolar disorder, especially you always sleepy, tired, and anxious. It is quite questionable that antidepressants are effective for bipolar disorder. Talk to your doctor in charge as soon as possible.

2. Depressive patients seldom experience happy events due to their behaviors, not by depression

If your mood is elevated after a joyful event, your depression may be rather mild. Therefore, I ask patients, "Does your feeling get better after a happy event?" But most patients do not answer yes or no. They say, "A happy event never occurs to me."

But does it true? Of course, depressive patients hardly feel happy even if luck visits them. However, a more common reason is that depressive people seldom do light activity.

In a severe depressive state, you cannot do anything, and it is good to stay on the bed. But, in many cases, you should do more valuable things even if you feel depressed.

3. Lay on the bed is the last solution for anxiety

Depressive patients frequently feel anxious. It often causes a panic attack. They are frightened by anxiety and irritability. And most of the patients go to bed to keep their body and mind safe.

However, it is not a good treatment for anxiety. Lowered activity will enhance your ability to sense abnormal signs in your body. As a result, you will be sensitive to tiny stimuli. Also, the sleep-wake cycle will be disrupted. When you feel anxious, the best thing is to continue concentrating on what you were doing before. If it is difficult, light exercise, deep breathing, and showering are also beneficial.

4. Going to bed too early is no good

Patients with depression have insomnia. I wrote the treatment of sleep disorder before on this blog. Trying to go to bed earlier according to the fear of total insomnia is a very bad behavior. If you are not sleepy, you need not sleep immediately. Sit on the sofa, to read a novel or a comic book to kill the annoying time.

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