If you (or a loved one) have been feeling really low for more than a couple of weeks, and if you have noticed problems such as a loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, difficulty concentrating and/or socializing with others, continually thinking negative thoughts, feeling tired all the time, seeing a significant change in appetite and/or weight, and more, depression might be the cause.
If this is the case, it is important to realize that you are not alone in these feelings. In fact, statistics show that major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, and affects millions of people every year, in a wide variety of ways.
If you’re suffering from depressions it is important to know that there are many strategies you can employ to start feeling well again. While there is no single proven way that people use to recover from depression, because symptoms, lifestyles, chemical structures in the brain are very different, there are multiple treatment options you can consider. Read on for some of these that you can test out today.
Medication is another very popular treatment option for people who are depressed. Antidepressants, in particular, are the most common choice. There are various types of antidepressant medications on the market. To find the best solution for your needs, you should discuss choices with your prescribing physician. You may also need to try various medications to find the one that presents less side effects and that helps you, personally, the most.
The antidepressants that you tend to hear about most often are called SSRIs. This stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This type of antidepressant is seen as safer and as typically causer fewer side effects than other styles. Some of the common brands of SSRIs are Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Celexa. But you still need to be careful about side effects.
Other types of antidepressants include serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs); norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs); atypical antidepressants (those which don’t fit into any other category); monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs); and tricyclics antidepressants. In addition, physicians may also sometimes prescribe other types of medications for people suffering from depressions, such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety, and stimulant medications.
Many people find they experience relief of some or all of their depressive symptoms when they speak with someone about what’s troubling them and how they’re feeling. In particular, engaging in “talk therapy” with a trained therapist is known to help. For people with low or moderate levels of depression often therapy by itself is enough, while for those with more severe depression, therapy may need to be utilized in combination with other treatment options.
You can choose to work one on one with a therapist in appointments, or attend group therapy sessions. You might decide to try a mixture of the two as well. Furthermore, keep in mind that it is also possible to speak with therapists over the phone or via computer if you don’t feel comfortable, or are unable, to chat with someone in person.
There are numerous types of professionals you can seek out for help (such as counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental-health practitioners), along with a variety of different types of therapies on offer. They all work slightly differently, but have similar goals.
One of the most popular techniques used for depression is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). This is a structured psychological treatment which works by getting patients to identify the ways in which they think and act, and how this affects the way they feel. With CBT, practitioners help their patients to work out which thought and behavior patterns tend to make them feel worse and contribute to their depression, and then to find ways to avoid these negative cycles by shifting them to more realistic, positive and problem-solving approaches.
Some other types of therapy that are often used to treat depression are interpersonal therapy (IPT), behavior therapy, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Interpersonal therapy is a structured psychological treatment that concentrates on problems that patients may have in their personal relationships, and helps people to learn the skills they need to deal with these issues effectively and to change patterns.
Behavior therapy is focused on getting depressed patients to engage in more of the encouraging activities that they find satisfying, pleasant or rewarding, so that they stop the typical pattern of withdrawal, inactivity, and avoidance that is common in depression. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy,, on the other hand, often gets delivered in groups, and teaches people mindful meditation that they can use to focus on the present moment, rather than getting stuck in negative and unpleasant thoughts and feelings.
Lifestyle changes can also be effective in helping to treat depression. For example, it has been shown that exercising regularly can help sufferers, as can eating a healthy diet full of green leafy vegetables and other foods full of vitamins and minerals. Practicing deep-breathing and other relaxation techniques (such as meditation) can also be very beneficial, as can getting enough sleep and avoiding cigarettes, alcohol, and recreational drugs.