[IRL] Guide to Depression, or How I Became a Patient at a Psycho-Neurological Dispensary and Handled the Problem (Almost)

Hi, my name is Mitya Dementy, I have a generalized anxiety disorder. Today I will talk about this problem and my experience in solving it.

How I became worried and stopped living

It all started in the spring of 2013. After a stressful situation, I became very worried. Survived mainly about health: his and loved ones. I think that medical education and years of work in the hospital played a role.

With medical knowledge, experience in intensive care and Internet access, you can make yourself a lot of interesting diagnoses. Within a few months, I visited various specialists to rule out several diseases.

All the invented diseases were quite rare, even exotic. Naturally, all the fictional sores were incurable.

For example, I went to a neurologist to rule out multiple sclerosis. Dialogue with the doctor looked like this.

- Hello, please see if I have multiple sclerosis.

- Why precisely multiple sclerosis?

- My mother died from this disease.

- Multiple sclerosis is not inherited. Let's get a look. You are healthy.

After visiting the doctor and excluding the next invented diagnosis, it became easier for a couple of days. Then there was a new occasion for experiences.

Two words about anxiety: it was so strong that it prevented normal life. There were panic attacks. Describe this state better by example.

During the walk I had to provide assistance and call an ambulance for an elderly person. What help: sat on the bench, checked the pulse, reassured, waited for an ambulance, left. A few minutes later covered: a state of wild fear, heartbeat, shortness of breath. To calm down, I had to sit on the bench myself and do breathing exercises.

In the summer of 2013, I realized that something was wrong with me, and that I could not cope with the problem myself. He turned for help to a psychotherapist with whom he had been in contact for many years. He is a psychiatrist by training, but I knew him as a trainer for holotropic breathing and body-oriented therapy. From this specialist for the first time I heard that I had an anxiety disorder.

Signed up for an appointment with a psychiatrist in the regional psycho-neurological dispensary. By this time, I understood that I could not do without medicines. At the reception, the doctor said that I had an anxiety and depressive disorder. He later changed the diagnosis to generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: What's Up

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental disorder that is manifested by anxiety. People with GAD constantly or periodically worry too much about different things: from the state of their health to the consequences of the barbaric attitude of mankind to the environment.

Reasons for alarm are always. But when the situation is resolved, it does not become easier. There are new reasons to worry.

Experiences are not the only manifestation of GAD. There are other symptoms:

  • Insomnia.
  • Increased heart rate, strong palpitations.
  • Feeling short of air.
  • Problems with the gastrointestinal tract (irritable bowel syndrome).
  • Chronic pain.

GAD code according to the international classification of diseases ICD-10 - F 41.1. In the United States, 3.1% of the population suffers from generalized anxiety disorder, according to the website of the Association to Combat Anxiety and Depression. I think in other countries the picture is similar.

GAD is often accompanied by panic attacks and depression. Strictly speaking, GAD and depression are different disorders. But in practice, people with anxiety disorder often have depression, and people with depression have increased anxiety. Moreover, GAD and depression have almost the same treatment methods and probably the same reasons.

GAD, depression, and panic attacks are neurotic disorders. The difference between neuroses and psychoses, for example, schizophrenia, is a separate topic. It is very voluminous and interesting, especially for specialists. I emphasize two important points.

First: neuroses respond well to treatment. Neurotic disorders are reversible, so for a person with neurosis, it is important to work on your problem and get expert help.

The second point: a person with neurosis is aware of or can become aware of the problem. A person with psychosis is not aware of the problem. This is perfectly shown by the creators of the film "Mind Games".

Beware, spoiler!

The hero Russell Crowe has schizophrenia, but the public understands this only at the end of the film. The spectator looks at the world through the eyes of the character. In this world, there are CIA agents, spies, and mathematical ciphers that do not exist in reality.

The exact reasons for GAD scientists do not know. Etiological factors are acute stress and environmental stress.

Very important moment! Anxiety, panic and depression can occur with serious somatic diseases, that is, with diseases of internal organs. Therefore, it is important for a person with such problems to consult a doctor.

I will ask Santa for antidepressants, or how I was treated

Treated with antidepressants. The first drug did not fit me, because of him constantly wanted to sleep. Along with anxiety, the pills removed all desires and motives. I wanted to lie on the couch for hours and look at the ceiling of Austerlitz in the sky.

The second drug came up. Within a few weeks, he stopped noticing slight sleepiness. Anxiety and depression were gone, panic attacks stopped.

Changed the doctor: found a private psychiatrist. The doctor wrote prescriptions for pills and adjusted the dosage. He also engaged in psychotherapy. It is impossible to count on an adequate psychotherapy in a psychoneurological clinic, because there the doctor during the reception does not pay the patient more than 15-20 minutes.

During therapy sessions, the most likely cause of my disorder was determined. The psyche did not cope with the work in intensive care. There I saw too many tragedies, it did not pass without a trace. The doctor compared the situation with post-traumatic disorder or "Vietnamese syndrome".

I drank pills a little over a year. I went to therapy sessions for several months.

Prescribe and cancel antidepressants should doctor. From drugs go gradually according to a special scheme.

What helps besides pills

Antidepressants really help. But tablets do not replace work on oneself. And hardly anyone wants to take them all his life. Below I list the things that help me live without medicine, panic and almost without anxiety.

Be physically active
The best antidepressant. Walking, running, doing physical exercise, chopping wood, digging in the ground - any activity helps. So we are arranged: the more we sweat, the less bad thoughts and emotions.
To be in the moment
Awareness and staying here and now remove anxiety. The mind constantly wants to slip into the past or the future where experiences live. Returning it to the moment is both a simple and complex recipe for GAD and depression.
Sleep enough
It sounds trite, but I notice problems when I go to bed late and get up early. I feel good if I sleep at least 7 hours a day.
Get involved
Hobbies are another powerful anti-depressant.
Do what you love
Everything is clear here, I will not explain.

I leave the list open, you can continue it in the comments.

What if you have anxiety, depression, or panic attacks?

Instead of a conclusion, I propose a guide to action. The first and most important step: consult a doctor. Not to a psychologist or psychotherapist without medical education, but to a psychiatrist.

The doctor will examine you: talk, ask to fill out questionnaires or pass tests. Most likely, the doctor will prescribe blood tests to rule out serious diseases of internal organs. Then the doctor will offer treatment. Ask your specialist what he prescribes, how many pills to take and what you can do besides pills.

Second step: consult a psychotherapist. This should be done a few weeks after the start of medical treatment. Need a specialist with whom you learn to work on yourself and your problems. My opinion - the psychotherapist must also be a doctor.

The third step: live. Love loved ones, work on yourself, stroke cats and dogs, do something useful, enjoy the moment. On this all, be healthy and calm!

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