What To Do If You Are Suffering From Depression?

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Depression is a mental illness characterised by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness. It is one of the most common mental illnesses. In fact, in 2014, nearly 15 million persons suffered from depression. It’s also predicted that 2 out of every 100 children and 8 out of every 100 teenagers suffer from depression.

Day-to-day life can be severely hampered by depression. However, there are a number of effective treatments that can assist you in managing your depression symptoms.

Continue reading to learn about the various types of depression drugs and treatment regimens available, as well as how to locate mental health providers in your region.

Treatments for depression

Depression medications are a common part of treatment. Some people use these medications for a short time, while others use them long term. Your doctor will take multiple factors into consideration before prescribing any medication, including:

  • its possible side effects
  • your current health concerns
  • possible drug interactions
  • cost
  • your specific symptoms

Medications that are commonly used to treat depression include the following: What To Do If You Are Suffering From Depression?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Also known as SSRIs, these typically have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants. Fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and escitalopram (Lexapro) all fit into this category.

Depression is linked to low levels of serotonin (as well as low levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and other brain chemicals). SSRIs work by preventing your blood from absorbing some of the serotonin from your brain. This leaves a higher level of serotonin in the brain, and increased serotonin can help relieve depression.

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors

Also known as SNRIs, these include duloxetine (Cymbalta) and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq).

It’s believed that SNRIs help treat depression by keeping up the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine — chemical messengers that affect mood — in your brain. They do this by stopping serotonin and norepinephrine from going back into the cells that released them.

Tricyclic antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants allow more serotonin and norepinephrine to stay in your brain, helping to elevate your mood. They can be very effective, but cause more severe side effects. They’re often used if you haven’t responded to other medications. These include imipramine (Tofranil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor).

Therapy for depression

If you’re experiencing symptoms related to mild to moderate depression, you may benefit from therapy with a trusted, qualified therapist. Many experts will try therapy prior to trying medication. However, if depression is more severe, many will try a combination of therapy and medication.

Talk therapy

Talk therapy involves discussing your problems and how you feel with a trained therapist. Your therapist can help you detect patterns of thought or behavior that contribute to your depression.

You may be given homework, such as tracking your moods or writing in journals. This will help you to continue your treatment outside of appointments. Your therapist can also teach you exercises to reduce stress and anxiety and help you understand your illness.

A therapist can also help you create strategies to identify and avoid any triggers that exacerbate your depression. This includes developing coping mechanisms for when you experience these triggers.

Talk therapy may resolve temporary or mild depression. It can often treat severe depression but not without other treatments such as medication.

Cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy aims to determine the negative thoughts and emotions that exacerbate depression. This type of therapy helps people identify these unhelpful though patterns and to turn them into more productive ones.

Usually, cognitive therapy is a short-term and last between 6 weeks to 4 months.

Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy seeks to identify and help change potentially self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors. It functions on the idea that all behaviors are learned and that unhealthy behaviors can be changed. The focus of treatment is often on current problems and how to change them.

This type of therapy usually focuses on helping patients engage in activities that will enhance their feelings of well-being.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy. This form of therapy modifies thought patterns in order to change moods and behaviors. It’s based on the idea that negative actions or feelings are the result of current distorted beliefs or thoughts, not unconscious forces from the past.

CBT is a blend of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. It focuses on addressing both the negative thought patterns and the behaviors that contribute to depression. What To Do If You Are Suffering From Depression?

Additional treatment options

There are a variety of alternative and natural treatments that are often used to treat depression. These treatments shouldn’t be used without consulting your doctor first, especially if you’re taking prescription antidepressants or other medications.

Natural remedies

Sometimes it can be helpful to use complementary or natural treatments for depression alongside traditional ones. Be sure to check in with your doctor before adding supplements or other complementary treatments to your routine.

Natural remedies include:

  • St. John’s wort
  • omega 3 fatty acids
  • acupuncture
  • massage therapy
  • relaxation techniques
  • meditation

Support groups

Organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offer support groups, education, and other resources to help address depression and other mental health conditions.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and treating a variety of mental illnesses, including depression. What To Do If You Are Suffering From Depression?

Lifestyle changes

Certain lifestyle changes can help you manage your depression. These can be used along with treatment from your therapist to get your best results.

Avoiding alcohol and substance use can make a big impact on your depression. Some people may feel temporary relief from their depression when consuming alcohol or taking drugs, but once these substances wear off, your symptoms can feel more severe. They can even make your depression more difficult to treat.

Eating nutritious meals and staying physically active can help you feel better all around. Exercising regularly can increase your endorphins and relieve depression. Getting enough sleep is also essential to both your physical and mental health.

How to find treatment near you

The first step in getting treatment for depression is making an appointment with your general practitioner. They can recommend doctors in your area. What To Do If You Are Suffering From Depression?

If you’re religious, ask your religious leader if they have counselors to recommend. Some people prefer faith-based counseling, which incorporates their religion into a treatment plan.

You can also check healthcare databases for therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors. These databases can provide you with information such as certifications, accepted insurance providers, and reviews left by other people. You can start with these databases:

  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • Psychology Today
  • GoodTherapy.org

How to find the right treatment

Sticking to your treatment plan is one of the most important things you can do. It’s easy to get discouraged in the first few weeks of treatment, and you may feel like you don’t want to continue. All types of treatment can take a few months before you notice a difference.

It can also feel like you’re doing much better, causing you to stop treatment altogether. Never stop treatment without consulting your doctor first. What To Do If You Are Suffering From Depression?

You should feel comfortable talking to your therapist. If you don’t, try switching to a new one. You may have to meet with several therapists before you find the one that’s right for you.

You should also talk to your therapist about your feelings toward your therapy sessions and your overall treatment plan. This allows them to work with you and make changes if your treatment plan isn’t working.

Finding the right treatment is often a trial-and-error process. If one doesn’t work, it’s good to move on. If 2 or more months have gone by and you’ve stuck to a treatment but don’t feel any relief from the depression, it’s likely not working for you. You should experience relief from depression within 3 months of starting a medication.

Talk to your doctor immediately if your:

  • depression doesn’t improve after several month of treatment
  • symptoms have improved, but you still don’t feel like yourself
  • symptoms get worse

These are signs that your treatment plan isn’t working for you.

The bottom line

Depression can be one of the greatest challenges in life. But there are many effective treatments available that can help you manage your depression symptoms. What To Do If You Are Suffering From Depression?

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your treatment plan may include a combination of medication, therapy, and complementary remedies. Make sure to talk with your doctor to figure out the best plan for you.

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