Leliana Valentina Parvulescu

Masked depression and anxiety. How we recognize them and how we treat them.

Psychology Hour
Dr. Leli

Masked depression is classified as atypical depression and is one of the main causes of suffering from a psychological point of view, because it is not obvious but manifests itself with the appearance of somatic disorders, sometimes quite intense. Therefore, masked depression is also called hidden depression or latent depression (Lange J., 1928) and seems to be even more common than obvious depression. The depressed person feels himself, his life, the unpleasant and painful surrounding reality, but does not exhibit behaviors that may suggest a form of depression, because the discomfort and symptoms are felt almost only somatically and physically. Thus, the body expresses psychological suffering and does so in its own way, through these symptoms:
• Headache
• Poor digestion
• Abdominal cramps
• Tachycardia
• Suffocation
• Dry mouth
• Back pain
• Ulcer
• Osteoarthritis
• Colitis
• Palpitations
• Dizziness
• Heavy sweating
• Difficulties in joint work activities
• Apathy
• Irritability

In most cases, those who suffer from masked depression do not recognize their depressive experience and are convinced that the symptoms have an organic origin, that they are sick, that they suffer from serious illnesses. Masked depression is actually a mood disorder and, if not recognized and treated properly, can seriously affect and compromise life. Therefore, treatment consists of psychological support and psychotherapy. It may also be accompanied by specific pharmacological treatments, under strict medical supervision. Scientific studies have clearly shown that psychotherapy can help better manage masked depression. Includes weekly, one-on-one sessions that involve analyzing emotions, feelings, and thinking difficulties. Moreover, one of the fundamental roles of psychotherapy is to help the person learn more about the disorder and thus encourage the disruption of vicious mechanisms that are harmful both physically, mentally and emotionally. The worse the person becomes a victim of bad habits, the greater the risk of amplifying the symptoms of depression.

The risk of developing this pathology increases with the low quality of life that the individual leads. So, here are 5 variables to focus on and try to keep in mind:
Stay active and engage in physical activity that you enjoy every day
• Sleep at least 6-7 hours a night
• Follow regular life rhythms
• Do not take medicines without close medical supervision
• Respect your rights and don’t try to please others

In the following lines, I present to you the other common disorder in the current period, anxiety. Unfortunately, like depression, it is a condition that can seriously affect your health. There are times in every person’s life when they may feel anxious, but if they suffer from generalized anxiety, they perceive a state of fear and worry so deep and constant that they feel strong and oppressive emotions and sensations almost all day long, without a real motivation. The effects that this fear and worry can have on the person will keep him stuck in an endless vicious circle, worries about any problem in life, such as money, health, work, love, even for the little things in everyday life.

Also, in people who experience this type of anxiety, a form of restraint predominates, accompanied by negative and pessimistic thoughts, of a catastrophic type, such as:
• He can’t control his worries and blames himself for it
• In any situation he thinks that the worst and catastrophic thing is happening
• He cannot relax and has a sense of imminent danger without understanding why

Masked depression and anxiety. How we recognize them and how we treat them.
Leliana Parvulescu

Here are some of the symptoms, which may manifest differently in intensity, may improve and worsen even on the same day:
• Excessive concern for any common activity of life
• Inability to relax
• Irritability
• Difficulty concentrating or memory loss
• Muscle tension
• Sleep disorders, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

In addition, in generalized anxiety, somatic symptoms are also common, such as:
• Sweating
• Buffets
• Tachycardia

Also, those who suffer from generalized anxiety tend to worry too much about their performance and always anticipate the worst results. They may risk gradually isolating themselves, first from friends, then from work, minimizing their activities. It is quite common for people with generalized anxiety to sometimes develop severe depression. This type of anxiety, if not recognized and treated, can last for many years and can worsen in times of greater stress.

What are the causes of generalized anxiety? There are many possible reasons that can lead to generalized anxiety, but most of the time it is not possible to identify an external cause or trigger because it is closely related to a person’s thinking mechanisms. As in most psychological disorders and the mechanism of generalized anxiety is triggered by the way of thinking learned, through individual experiences, since childhood, by the models of adults that the child had around and by experiences that marked in one way or another. the person.

Psychotherapy is recommended in the treatment of anxiety, numerous scientific studies also identify the usefulness of relaxation techniques, such as autogenic training, which helps to break the vicious circle of anxiety and lower the general state of tension. Finally, I suggest you start working on recovering your self-esteem, which is a fundamental premise for starting to manage generalized anxiety.

Masked depression and anxiety. How we recognize them and how we treat them.

Psychology Hour
Dr. Leli