Dealing With Depression

OVERCOMING DEPRESSION

Dealing with Depression - A few tips

Before a sufferer can begin dealing with depression, they need to understand the patterns and symptoms of depression. Depression is mainly characterised by low moods and sadness. The symptoms of depression include loss of interest in activities that one would usually be interested in, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, activity levels and difficulty in concentration. Other symptoms include prolonged sadness, loss of energy and suicidal thoughts.

If depression is not dealt with promptly, the symptoms could go on for very long. Depression leads to physical and emotional pains and suffering. Out of 20 million people who suffer from depression in America every year, only 1% receives proper treatment.

When it comes to dealing with depression, one must know when to seek professional help. It is better to begin treatment sooner than later. The main methods of treating depression include psychotherapy and medication. Medication for depression are known as antidepressants. Antidepressants are fast acting and can bring about improvement within the first two weeks. Complete relief from depression as a result of taking anti-depressants may be seen within four to six weeks. It is however not a good idea to self medicate when it comes to antidepressants. Professionals prescribe medication that will achieve fast results with minimum side effects.

Antidepressants do not cure depression but rather provide relief from the symptoms. This is why medication is combined with psychotherapy. People who have been treated using antidepressants are more likely to relapse than those who have received a combination of both treatments.

Every individual responds differently to antidepressants and physicians usually chose the medication depending on the patients symptoms. Common antidepressants include Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft all of which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). These are the most commonly prescribed types of antidepressants.

Psychotherapy, another method of dealing with depression is usually carried out by trained professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors. It is sometimes called talk therapy since it involves the patient talking to the therapist. Psychotherapy deals with the causes of depression rather than the symptoms. However, if depression is as a result of chemical imbalance, psychotherapy will not be able to correct this. There are various types of psychotherapy. These include cognitive, behavioural and interpersonal therapy.

The most commonly used form of therapy is cognitive therapy which involves helping patients to discover their negative thoughts and therefore replace them with positive ones. Behavioural therapy involves recognizing and controlling unwanted behaviours. These two forms of psychotherapy may be used in combination for better results.

There are also several other ways of dealing with depression. These include exercise, yoga and meditation, joining a support group dealing with depression and eliminating stress triggers in their lives. During depression one should avoid drugs and alcohol. They may seem like a quick fix but they only make the problem worse. Comfort food is also in the category of things to avoid. One should instead eat healthy including taking nutritional supplements where necessary. Deficiencies of some nutrients such as chromium have been known to cause depression or make it worse. With the right kind of treatment patients can overcome depression and lead a normal healthy life.

Of course if you are under a doctor's care it is important to continue with their instructions.