24.09.2023 – 14:32
Inflation, war and pandemics are currently challenging topics. But even in a private context, people are repeatedly confronted with situations that cause uncertainty, for example a job change, a separation or the birth of a child. Not everyone copes equally well with these challenges. For some, the stress is so great that they become mentally ill. This year’s European Depression Day on October 1, 2023 has the motto “Depression in uncertain times”. Prof. Dr. med. Christian Lange-Asschenfeldt, chief physician and medical director of the Oberberg Fachklinik Düsseldorf Kaarst, uses the day as an opportunity to provide information about the disease and point out the importance of mindful language when dealing with mental illnesses.
How depression can manifest itself
The typical signs of depression are, for example, persistent depression, a feeling of inner emptiness, listlessness and dwindling interest as well as sleep disorders and loss of appetite. Inner restlessness, feelings of guilt, negative thoughts that revolve around the same topics and are accompanied by a feeling of hopelessness can also be signs of depression. However, depression can also manifest itself in other ways, for example through an increased need for sleep and an increase in appetite. “Due to the different and often unspecific symptoms, depression can easily be confused with another illness,” says the specialist in psychiatry, psychotherapy and neurology. A medical evaluation and a differential diagnosis are therefore advisable if you notice such symptoms in yourself or in people from your family or friends, especially if the symptoms last longer than two weeks. The environment can support those affected by, for example, helping to arrange a doctor’s appointment or accompanying the doctor’s visit.
How to support people with mental illness
“Depression can affect anyone, regardless of whether they are young or old, have a previous illness or not, depending on seasonal changes, a genetic predisposition, drastic life events or even world events,” explains Prof. Lange-Asschenfeldt. But even if society’s view of mental illness is gradually changing in a positive way, those affected still have to deal with stigmatization, which often puts additional strain on them in addition to their illness. “By providing information about mental illnesses, existing prejudices can gradually be reduced,” said the expert. “Every single person can actively contribute to this, for example by checking their own language and avoiding using medical jargon in everyday life to describe conditions that actually correspond to the norm. This means that not every slump is a depression or every unpleasant situation a trigger,” demands the doctor. Even well-intentioned motivational sayings like “You just have to pull yourself together” or “I have a bad day sometimes, don’t drive yourself crazy” don’t help those affected. Rather, such statements ensure that mental illnesses are trivialized and those affected feel even less seen with their illnesses.
Can depression be cured?
Professional psychotherapeutic treatment, such as that offered at the Oberberg Clinics, can help people with depression.
The often still predominant focus on symptoms, complaints and deficits is addressed in the Oberberg clinics through a holistic approach with a view to supportive factors (support), resources (abilities, “healthy parts”) and in particular individual resilience (“resistance”, ” Stress resistance”) added. A remission, i.e. the extensive reduction of symptoms, can be achieved for a period of at least six months or even a recovery (symptom-free “recovery” with a normalization of the risk of new illness), depending on the individual medical history. “The holistic and individual view of people is our credo. Our evidence-based therapies are of the highest quality and state of the art,” explains the chief physician.
More about depression:
More about the Oberberg Specialist Clinic Kaarst Düsseldorf:
About the Oberberg Group: The Oberberg Group, headquartered in Berlin, is a clinic group founded more than 30 years ago with a large number of specialist and day clinics in the field of psychiatry, psychosomatics and psychotherapy at various locations in Germany. In the Oberberg Group clinics, adults, adolescents and children are treated in individual, intensive and innovative therapy settings. There is also a Germany-wide network of Oberberg City Centers, corresponding therapists and self-help groups.
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Original content from: Oberberg Kliniken, transmitted by news aktuell