Depression grows 41% with pandemic: ‘support is essential to get off the bottom’, says comedian | Mental health

Comedian Diego Cardoso, 36, saw “rock bottom” during the pandemic, when he was diagnosed with depression. Conflicts he was already experiencing and the uncertainties in times of Covid-19 joined other factors that led him to therapy and medication. Cardoso’s picture reflects a scenario captured by a recent survey: diagnoses of depression grew 41% in Brazil between the pre-pandemic period and the first quarter of 2022 (learn more about the search below).

  • Depression: is there a cure? Where to get help? See 8 questions about the disease that affects 11% of Brazilians

“Everyone who says ‘the pandemic made me feel bad’ actually wasn’t well before. Of course, isolation has an absurd power in people’s minds, but if the foundation is well done, any weight can fall on top that doesn’t shake”, analyzes Cardoso.

Cardoso’s view on diagnoses matches the analysis of specialists on the subject: depression is a multifactorial disease, which in part is genetically determined, but which is also influenced by other “environmental” issues. (Read more at: Depression: is there a cure? Where to get help? See 8 questions about the disease that affects 11% of Brazilians)

The survey that captured the 41% increase in cases of depression in the country was carried out jointly by Vital Strategies and the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel). Released in April, it was named Covitel (Telephone Survey of Risk Factors for Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases in Pandemic Times) and its methodology based on phone calls to 9 thousand people.

The intention was to portray the magnitude of the impact of the main risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the adult population. Therefore, among other points, the survey also pointed to the growth in the use of electronic cigarettes and the increase in sedentary lifestyle, and showed that young people and adults up to the age of 40 were among the most affected by the increase in depression diagnoses.

As with many Brazilians, the impact on the pocket was one of the great dilemmas of the pandemic period for Cardoso. “I think financial deprivation was the main point, because from that comes everything else. The difficulty of raising the money brought me negative things”, vents the comedian who had his concert schedule completely canceled in 2020.

Living alone and looking for alternatives to work, he began to share his humorous content on the internet. “It changed everything, I completely left physical work and went to work online and everyone did the same thing, created a channel and started doing live”, he says. obvious path to take, even when hopelessness hit.

“In the midst of chaos, it’s easier to make the decision to want to be funny, you had several professionals from all areas doing things they thought were funny and that’s how they entered the comedy menu, in addition to professionals came an absurd crowd doing this”, remember.

The sudden increase in content producers added extra pressure to Cardoso’s routine, as many new names emerged and the public adhered to the new faces that stood out. The comedian notes that it was at this moment that the online, which was once just an alternative, became “a funnel where the most alternative doesn’t pass”.

Facing all these difficulties in secret, he isolated himself even more than the tax, withdrawing even from the virtual contact he had with friends. His experience made him recognize that there is no possibility of coming out of depression alone, either before or after diagnosis.

“It wasn’t even me who went after the therapist, it was a friend who brought it to me. I wouldn’t be able to leave without welcoming people and using medication. Depression is not just sadness. It’s not being happy or sad, it’s simply not be. An emptiness”, explains Cardoso.

In an interview with g1Humberto Corrêa, professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), stated that there is a message that must be clear to society when the topic is depression: the importance of support.

“Depression is a disease. The patient has no control over it, he needs help. Often, during the depressive process, the person has neither the courage nor the energy of their own to seek help – they will need someone to take their hand her and take it to that help, to the health professional, to the health center”, warns Humberto Corrêa, professor of medicine.

Psychoanalyst Luisa Lancelotti is a patient and scholar of the subject, 27 years old and living with a diagnosis of depression for seven years. She faces another facet of depression: the severe, chronic form of the illness. Although the condition has always been part of her reality, as it affects other family members, it was not easy for her to find support in her social circle.

“The support network is very precarious. I don’t think it’s intentional, but it’s a lack of sensitivity and information. I didn’t have a very substantial network. I had desperate and terrified parents, not knowing how to help and what to do. It hindered more than it helped because very simplistic things came, like ‘get out of bed and do what you like’, but people don’t understand that there’s not something you like during a crisis”, he reports.

In this regard, comedian Diego Cardoso is emphatic in saying that he lived the post. When the people closest to him found out what he was going through, the bonds grew closer.

“If I’m here today, it’s because I shared it with others. Have a problem? Look for someone, whoever it is. You need to express the situation giving due proportion when you speak”, advises the comedian.

However, there is a difference between seeking support and getting a welcoming space. Luisa says that she resents having lived many moments of this journey in a very lonely way, but that time has helped her to understand that it is not so simple to offer help in this context.

“It’s very difficult to be able to handle the emotional burden of being next to a person living this parade”, reflects Luisa.

And that’s when the stigma kicks in. Facing the matter alone, the psychoanalyst felt guilty and ungrateful. “I think depression has a lot of this mark of being sad people, but without reason to be sad. I was deconstructing it with myself because I understand that this is my reality and I need to organize and make sense of it within myself”, she points out. .

This perception helps to establish adequate expectations regarding treatment and progress. Not always the next step after getting a diagnosis and medication is for the person to go back to who they were, with the depression disappearing without a trace. Each case is different.

“People simply need to accept that this is a condition of the moment. (If I could) I would undo the idea that people (with depression) have a defect, as if they had failed in something”, concludes the psychoanalyst.

Scientists Create Brain Pacemaker to Fight Depression;  understand experimental study

Scientists Create Brain Pacemaker to Fight Depression; understand experimental study

(*With collaboration of Lara Pinheiro)

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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