Depression increases 41% with epidemic: comedian says: 'Support is necessary to get off the bottom'

Depression increases 41% with epidemic: comedian says: ‘Support is necessary to get off the bottom’

Comedian Diego Cardoso, 36, saw “rock bottom” during the pandemic, when he was diagnosed with depression. The struggles he was already going through and the uncertainties of times of Covid-19 joined with other factors that pushed him to treatment and medication. Cardoso’s picture reflects a scenario captured by a recent survey: Diagnosis of depression grew 41% in Brazil between the pre-pandemic period and the first quarter of 2022 (Learn more about research below).

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

“Anyone who says ‘the pandemic made me feel bad’ has actually never been well before. Of course, solitude has a ridiculous power in people’s minds, but if the foundation is done well, any unshakeable weight can fall on top,” Cardoso analyzes. .

Cardoso’s view of the diagnosis coincides with the analysis of specialists in the subject: depression is a multifactorial disease, partly determined genetically, but also influenced by other “environmental” issues. (Read more on: Depression: Is there a cure? Where do you get help? See 8 questions about the disease that affects 11% of Brazilians)

The survey, which recorded a 41% increase in cases of depression in the country, was conducted jointly by Vital Strategies and the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel). Launched in April, it was named Covitel (Telephone survey of risk factors for chronic noncommunicable diseases in times of a pandemic) and its methodology based on phone calls to 9,000 people.

The intent was to depict the magnitude of the effect of the major risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the adult population. Therefore, among other points, the survey also noted the growth in e-cigarette use and an increase in sedentary lifestyle, and showed that young adults 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 the financial deprivation was the main point, because from this everything else comes. The difficulty of raising money has brought me negative things,” the comedian explodes who has canceled his entire concert schedule in 2020.

Living alone and looking for alternatives to work, he began sharing his humorous content on the Internet. “I changed everything, quit physical work entirely and went online and everyone did the same, they created a channel and started streaming,” he says, which is an obvious path to follow, even when despondency strikes.

“In the midst of chaos, it is easier to make the decision to want to be funny, you have so many pros from all fields doing things they think are funny, and that’s how they got into the comedy list, plus the pros came this silly crowd,” he recalled.

The sudden increase in content producers added additional pressure to Cardozo’s routine, as many new names appeared and the audience committed to the new faces that emerged. The comedian notes that at this moment the Internet, once just an alternative, “has become a path where the most alternative does not pass.”

Faced with all these difficulties in secret, he isolated himself more from taxes, and even withdrew from the hypothetical contact which he had with his friends. His experience made him realize that there is no possibility of getting out of depression alone, either before or after the diagnosis.

“It wasn’t me who haunted the therapist, it was a friend of mine who brought him to me. I wouldn’t be able to leave without welcoming people and using medications. Depression isn’t just sadness. It’s not happiness or sadness, it’s simply not a void,” Cardoso explains.

In an interview with g 1Humberto Corrêa, Professor at the Medical School of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), stated that there is a message that should be clear to society when the topic is depression: the importance of support.

“Depression is a disease. The patient is out of control, needs help. Often, during the process of depression, a person does not have the courage nor the energy of his own to ask for help – he will need someone to take her by the hand and take her for help, to the health professional, to the health center ” Humberto Corrêa, professor of medicine, warns.

Psychoanalyst Luisa Lancelotti is a patient and subject researcher, aged 27 and living with a depression diagnosis for seven years. You experience another aspect of depression: the acute and chronic form of the disease. Although the condition has always been a part of her reality, as it affects other family members, it has not been easy for her to find support in her social circle.

“The support network is very risky. I don’t think it’s intentional, but it lacks sensitivity and information. I didn’t have a very large network. I had desperate and panicked parents, not knowing how to help and what to do. It hindered more than I helped because very simple things came, Like “get out of bed and do whatever you want,” but people don’t understand that there’s nothing to love during a crisis,” he says.

In this regard, comedian Diego Cardoso confirms that he lived in the position. When the people closest to him found out what he was going through, the bonds became even closer.

“If I am here today, it is because I have shared it with others. Do you have a problem? Find someone, whoever it is. You need to express the situation giving the necessary proportion when you speak,” advises the comedian.

However, there is a difference between asking for support and having a welcome space. Luisa says she is upset that she experienced so many moments of this journey in a very lonely way, but that time helped her understand that it is not easy to help in this context.

“It is very difficult to be able to take the emotional burden of being next to someone who is living this show,” explains Luisa.

That’s when the stigma begins. Facing it alone, the psychoanalyst felt guilt and gratitude. “I think depression has a lot of signs of feeling sad, but there is no reason to be sad. I was dismantling it myself because I understand that this is my reality and I need to organize and understand it inside of me.”

This visualization helps to create adequate expectations regarding treatment and progression. It is not always the next step after getting a diagnosis and medication is for the person to return to the way they were, with the depression gone without a trace. Every case is different.

The psychoanalyst concludes: “People simply need to accept that this is the state of the moment. (If I can) nullify the idea that people (depressed) have a flaw, as if they had failed at something.”

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(*in collaboration with Lara Pinheiro)

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