All You Need To Know About Depression Treatment and Management
It is usual to feel sad and despair in response to life events such as significant life changes, stress, or disappointment. In most cases, the painful feelings resolve with changes in your life. In a situation such as loss, these feelings may last for months and return at significant times, such as anniversaries and birthdays to the lost loved ones. However, if you enjoy things, this sadness is no more a sign of depression.
Depression is a mental disorder characterized by excessive sadness, loss of interest in regular activities, and low motivation. It is common, and one in three people experience an episode of major depression in their lives at some stage. While most cases of depression are mild, and one in ten people has severe depression.
Treatment for Depression
Depression is unlikely to go away on its own. In reality, if ignored and left untreated, depression can last for months or years and can negatively affect a person's life. Every person should seek the proper treatment to cope with depression. It can require patience and time to find a treatment that works.
Different types of depression require different treatments. Mild symptoms may be relieved by:
- Learning about the depression
- Lifestyle changes such as exercise
- Psychological therapies recommended by mental health professionals
For moderate to severe depression, medical treatments are required with other therapies. Depression treatment should always start with consulting your doctor. Book a consultation to discuss depression symptoms and available treatment options. Your doctor may ask you to fill out a screening questionnaire or conduct some tests to prevent other conditions. Moreover, your doctor may refer you to a psychologist, counsellor, social worker, or psychiatrist.
Psychological Treatment for Depression
Psychological treatment or talk therapies are an efficient way to deal with signs of depression. They can help you change your thinking and improve coping skills to handle life's difficulties. They can also help you stay healthy by identifying and changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviour.
Some different types of psychological treatment include:
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
- Behaviour therapy
Antidepressants are the key treatment for depression. When a person experiences moderate to severe depression, antidepressant mediations may be prescribed with psychological treatment. People with extreme severe depression, such as bipolar disorder and psychosis, need to be treated with medication. It may include one or a combination of antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic drugs.
There are different types of antidepressant medication. Deciding which works best for you can be complex. However, the decision is made in detailed consultation with a professional doctor. Antidepressants require at least two weeks before they start to help, and it may also take some time for the doctor to prescribe the appropriate medication.
Some common side-effects of antidepressant medication are:
- Dry mouth
- Weight gain
These symptoms can be short-term, but people who have any of these symptoms should immediately consult a doctor. The period to take antidepressants depends on the severity of the condition. However, antidepressant medications are safe, effective and not addictive.
Depression – Coping and Recovering
As psychological and medical treatment can help in recovery, there are many other ways people can help themselves to get better.
When you're depressed, you may not enjoy activities you liked once. You may also think you won't enjoy something, and when you do it, you enjoy it more than expected. If you don't participate in activities, you lessen the number of things that may help you cope with depression. To increase the number of activities you like, you can:
- List your most-favourite activities
- Plan any activity each day
- Increase the time for activities you enjoy
- Think of write down what you enjoyed most
- Talk to others about what activity they like
Sleeping Patterns and Depression
Depression can disturb your sleep pattern. Therefore, it's imperative to maintain a regular sleep pattern for recovery. Here are some tips to restore normal sleep patterns:
- Make a habit of falling asleep and getting up at the same time every day.
- If you're depressed about things, keep them aside during nighttime and try to solve them during the day.
- Avoid consuming caffeine after 4 pm, and don't drink more than two cups of drinks having caffeine.
- Give yourself time to wind down before going to bed. If you’re working or studying, stop at least 30 minutes before sleep and do something comforting.
- Take a break from social media for an hour before bedtime.
Negative Thoughts and Depression
Thinking negatively and worrying are common in depressed people. It affects your ability to focus on getting better and makes you more vulnerable to unhealthy feelings.
Tips to control worry and reduce negative thinking include:
- List down what you're worried about. Go through each concern and think about how realistic your negative thoughts are.
- Don’t focus on things you can’t change.
- Live the present, and accept your thoughts without actively engaging with them.
- Note down your problems and brainstorm possible solutions. Make sure to choose the best solution.
Dealing with Irritability
People who have depression may experience irritability. These feelings can become worse due to changes in sleeping patterns and lifestyle. You can help yourself by telling your family and friends about what you face. Whenever you find yourself getting angry, take a break to calm yourself. You can also practice regular relaxation to lessen the effects of the irritating situation. Last but not least, you can talk to supportive people, and they will help you dealing irritability.