The risk of developing depression for each individual person in a lifetime is approximately 20%. According to scientists, this is due to the processes of urbanization, a multitude of stressful events awaiting a modern person literally at every step, migration and other social tendencies of our society.
It must be emphasized that the onset and development of depression entails a number of adverse medical and social consequences .
Depression, like no other mental illness, is associated with the risk of suicide – one of the most tragic outcomes, leading to the premature death of 15% of depressed patients. Depression seriously affects the quality of life and adaptive capabilities of a person, disrupting the usual way of life. The ability to work decreases, which can lead to the loss of work, its forced change and, finally, to complete disability.
The incidence of depressive syndrome in general medicine (studied on the contingent of patients who visit polyclinics) is 22-33% and exceeds in frequency such a common disease as hypertension. Having appeared once, depression aggravates manifestations, aggravates the course, worsens the prognosis of a bodily ailment and complicates its treatment. On the other hand, a somatic illness such as hypothyroidism, coronary heart disease, cerebral atherosclerosis, etc. can be the cause of depression. And finally, damage to internal organs (cancer, myocardial infarction) can be a mental trauma that causes depressive experiences.
Timely diagnosis of depressive disorders in many cases becomes a decisive condition for successful medical care, therefore, mental disorders should not be underestimated, even when depressive symptoms can be interpreted as psychologically understandable. The doctor can fall into this kind of “trap”, for example, in case of depression, which is regarded as a “everyday situation”. This is especially true when examining elderly people, in whom depressive disorders can be interpreted as a sign of “natural” fatigue from life, or in young people when separation, adultery, the departure of one of the spouses, the loss of a loved one, etc. when depression is accepted as an “adequate” response to life’s troubles. In any of these cases, the advice and assistance of a specialist working with depressive conditions is required .