Introduction of the Illness and Its Statistics
According to the estimation of World Health Organization (WHO), depression will top the list of disease incidence in the year of 2020. We may not realize the heavy impact of mental illnesses in today’s world, but try looking at the people around us, and we would notice that there are far more people experiencing sleeping difficulty, if compared the past. The rapid development of the world around us indeed has improved our quality of life; it also brought about various stress secondary to the competitive environment.
Realizing the severity of the problem, there was positive progression in the management of the depression in the recent years. This can be seen from the continuous development of new medications which are effective and tolerable. Up to date, there are more than 30 types of antidepressants in the market and these medications have significant therapeutic effects on depression. At the same time, these medications would not bring about excessively high emotion in those who are mentally health. This is due to the chemical structure of these medications. Therefore, no one would be ‘hooked on’ to antidepressant, like heroin and marijuana.
The lifetime prevalence of depression is 18%. In simpler words, out of 100 people, there is as many as 18 people will have depression in their lifetime.
The females are at higher risk of suffering from depression, at the ratio of 2 to 1 to the males. The peak age of onset is between 30 to 50 years old.
Antidepressants & the Correct Way of Taking It
There is a major difference in taking psychiatric medication as compared to other medications, this is due to the difference in the structure of the brain, as opposed to other organs in the body. The brain absorbs the medication slowly, unlike the medication for hypertension and diabetes. It takes some time for it to build up its concentration in the blood stream, before the desired response and effect is observed.
It takes about 2 weeks in order to see the effect of antidepressants, but the optimum effect would be observed after few months. Hence, patients with depression need to be patience for the medication to take effect. It would be a waste of effort and opportunity to get well, if antidepressant is discontinued due to lack of effect after a few days of use. Different people respond differently to medications. Some achieved premorbid functionality within few months, but some may take longer.
for Those Whom They Loved and Who Love Them
The major difference in between a psychiatric patient and other patient is the impairment in their thought process/ system. They have difficulty communicating with the people around them. The problem usually arises when their love ones try hard to help the patients and to understand them. Many a times, the love ones of the patients may feel that the patients are “out of their mind” and brought about a lot of frustration and conflict. The patients may feel that their love ones do not understand them, whilst the love ones feel that they are looking for trouble. This situation is referred as high expressed emotion and it can actually worsen the severity of the illness. It does not help to improve the illness, yet it compound to the emotional stress of both the parties.
When this happens, the patients and their love ones should stop discussing about the illness and get help from a psychiatrist and let the psychiatrist handle the task. The love ones shall provide care and concern, and not have argument with the patients. This is simply because both of the parties are living in a different world, which communication is difficult. At the same time, the patients can try to avoid feeling of frustration which arises from lack of understanding from the people around them, by writing down their thoughts and discuss with the doctor during the next appointment. By practicing this, conflict can be avoided and thence reducing the emotional stress of both the parties.
It is utmost important to know that you are not alone. There are plenty of people who are able to help you. You shall not carry the entire burden onto your shoulder, as this is not going to bring any benefit.