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12:27 PM  June 23, 2019

TSU student studied depression among the peoples of Siberia

© предоставлено Галиной СахаревичTSU student studied depression among the peoples of Siberia

TOMSK, Jun 23  RIA Tomsk. TSU student Ursula Tanabasova get a medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences for studying depression among the peoples of Siberia; she studied the influence of national culture on the development of disease for five years. How the project can help in the treatment of one of the most common mental disorders  in the material of RIA Tomsk.

As it is reported on the website the World Health Organization (WHO) website, more than 300 million people suffer from depression. It is curable, but so far about 50% of serious depressive states remain untreated. According to experts, by 2020 the depression will be regarded as one of the leading causes of disability of the population.

Depression causes mental suffering, affects a person’s ability to perform daily activities.

Unexplored Siberia

Tanabasova says that, according to medical statistics, in Siberia, the death rate from suicides against the background of depression is 41.5 cases per 100 thousand population. In Buryatia, this figure is 73.3, in the Republic of Sakha  48.3.

“Where the indigenous population lives, the level of suicides is 150-180 per 100 thousand population. Among the residents of the northern districts of the Tomsk region - 80 cases per 100 thousand people, among them the Narym Selkup dominate in percentage terms”,  says the young scientist referring to statistical data.

© РИА Томск. Таисия Воронцова
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According to her, existing methods for assessing depressive symptoms when working with the peoples of Siberia are not effective enough. The student wanted to reveal a profile of ethnic characteristics that can help in the early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression and provide unique knowledge about depression among representatives of various cultures of the Siberian region.

"The project "The influence of culture on the subjective experience of depression and the expression of its signs on the example of representatives of the peoples of Siberia" under the guidance of the doctor of psychological sciences Tatiana Bokhan began in 2014",  tells Tanabasova.

Altaians, Tuvinians, Yakuts, Itelmens, Chukchi, Koryaks, Russians with affective disorders and mental disorders with comorbid depression syndrome (several related chronic diseases) became the participants of the project. The total selection was 266 people.

© Андрей Чирков
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Doctors and employees of mental hospitals in the region helped the student to collect data. During the project, symptoms of the disease in patients with depression, their state of health, their beliefs about the causes and consequences of depression, features of the value system and social attitudes, cognitive ways of overcoming difficulties were investigated.

© Рубин Гайнутдинов
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"Some researches of scientists in this direction show that the symptoms of depression depend on the cultural context no less than on biological causes. Culture can determine the "symptomatic fund"  suffering within a given cultural circle, the dynamics of the course of the disease and the choice of the most culturally acceptable methods of prevention and therapy",  specifies the young scientist.

From loneliness to angedoniya

The main result of the study of a TSU student  is the first of its kind typology of experiencing and manifesting symptoms of depression among members of representatives of ethnic groups of Siberia. For example, it was found that a common probable symptom of depression in all groups except the Koryaks,  is a feeling of loneliness. For clinical groups of Altaians, Tuvinians and Yakuts, a feeling of depression is also characteristic.

"The lack of hope for the future is characteristic of residents of the Kamchatka Territory and Tuvinians. Reduced speech communication - is for Altaians, Yakuts, Itelmens and Chukchis. A sense of longing for lack of social support and a decrease in vitality  for Altaians and Yakuts",  says the student.

But anhedonia (decrease or loss of the ability to have fun) and a feeling of sadness are characteristic of Altaians and Tuvinians.

“Specific for the majority of Altaian respondents are sleep disturbances and diminished activity, for Tuvinians - reduced self-esteem, tearfulness; for Koryaks - decrease in appetite, a feeling that they are disliked”, – she adds. 

© Андрей Чирков
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For early diagnosis

"The project is interesting for me because it is an insufficiently studied topic, where you do not know what to expect from the results, what they will be. At the same time, the topic is extremely relevant and requires attention. I was born in the Altai Republic, and when I came to study in Tomsk I realized that the culture still makes a significant contribution to the psychological component",  says the student.

According to her, the project has practical significance: identifying patterns of cultural influence on depression in Siberia can help in developing methods for early detection of risk and psychological prevention of depression, creating optimal treatment methods.

© РИА Томск. Элеонора Черная
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Earlier, the press service of TSU reported that four students of Tomsk State University were awarded by the RAS for the best scientific work in the field of general biology, philosophy, sociology, and psychology following the results of a competition of 2018. Every year the RAS presents students 19 medals, each accompanied by an award of 25 thousand rubles.

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