Depression Treatment and Management – How to Deal with Depression?
Depression, also known as depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves and leads to emotional and physical problems. You may also face difficulty doing regular activities and sometimes feels like life isn't worth living.
There are different types of depression. The symptoms of each type can range from relatively minor to severe. Some types of depression are:
- Major depression
- Dysthymic disorder
- Cyclothymic disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
What are the Signs of Depression?
Physical Symptoms of Depression
- Loss of appetite with change in body weight
- Loss of energy, even when not physically active
- Loss of sleep despite feeling tired
- Sleeping more than a routine
Psychological Symptoms of Depression
- Loss of interest in everyday activities
- Difficulty while decision making
- Recurring guilt and self-critical thoughts
- Inefficient thinking with a lack of concentration
Any of these symptoms can be the warning signs of depression. You tend to be experiencing at least five of these systems for two weeks to be considered having depression. Remember, only a certified mental health professional can diagnose depression by assessing the situation and circumstances.
How can I Cope with the Individual Symptoms of Depression?
The symptoms of depression can be addressed to help you feel better. Here are some ways to cope with individual depression symptoms.
Loss of Appetite
Eat small portions of your favourite food. Take your time and don't rush to finish your food when eating with others. Add a good quantity of liquids to your diet.
Unpleasant Thoughts and Emotions
Negative thoughts and emotions can divert your attention toward things you don’t like about yourself. You can also underestimate your positive capabilities to solve problems. These negative thoughts make your situation seem worse than they are. Different strategies may help you achieve a balanced view of things:
- Prepare a list of your top three features. Carry the list with you on the phone or paper, and read it when negative thoughts haul your mind.
- Keep a record of small pleasant things that happen and share these events with friends.
- Recall pleasant events or thoughts and plan the same for the future.
- Keep yourself engaged with valuable and pleasurable activities, and avoid sitting alone for too long a time.
Make a habit of getting up at the same time every morning and avoid napping during the daytime. Throughout the day, expose yourself to sunlight and reduce the use of coffee and tea intake. At night, don’t awake for more than 30 minutes.
Worry and Unhelpful Thinking
Try to put your worry into a useful purpose. Pick out your problems and decide to resolve them. For each of these problems, follow these steps:
- Think about your issues.
- List at the latest five or six solutions to each problem. If any good or bad idea comes to your mind, write it down.
- Choose the solution that best fits your problem.
- Plan the steps you will take to put the solution into action.
- Evaluate your efforts after attempting to carry out the plan. It's not a big deal if the solution does not work for the first time, and you can choose another solution.
What Causes Depression?
No one knows the actual causes of depression. Genetic factors seem essential in many cases where depression inherits in families. Stressful life events also play a role in triggering depression. Conflicts with family or friends can take a toll on your wellbeing, as can other environmental and social stressors such as retirement, finical problems, and the loss of something or someone important. These stressful life events may cause or worsen depression in vulnerable people.
Personality style is another crucial factor. When someone is depressed, they have a negative perspective about themselves and the world. They don't appreciate good things around, and bad things seem overwhelming. Some other possible causes of depression that shouldn't be overlooked are physical illness or medication.
How to Deal with Depression?
There are different ways to deal with depression, and often they are used in conjunction with each other. In severe cases, the topmost medical options are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), antidepressant medication, and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). Psychoeducation is also helpful when learning to manage depression.
Take a look to find out more about each option:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT, alone or in conjunction with medication, is a proven treatment for depression. CBT involves learning to:
- Combat the emotions of sadness, hopelessness, and energy loss, even when not physically active.
- Control the negative thoughts that cause a feeling of worthlessness and loss of interest.
- Respond to the behaviours relevant to poor concentration and thoughts of death.
Antidepressant medications are the primary treatment to avoid severe depression for some people. However, these medications are not recommended as a first-line treatment for mild to moderate depression.
Different antidepressant medications work in different ways. You may trial more than one type to find the proper medication for you. You should also consult with your physician during the early stages of taking medication, as the side effects can often be challenging to handle.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy is an effective depression treatment, especially when:
- There is an urgent need for improvement because of suicidal intent or refusal to eat.
- Somatic symptoms are prominent.
- There are medical contraindications to medication.
- The person has had a previous positive response to ECT.
Psychoeducation refers to an understanding of how depression develops and is handled. It provides a knowledge base that gives a person better control over the disorder. The most important thing to know about depression is that it is a common disorder, and there is effective treatment available to cope with the illness. Providing education for families is also imperative to help increase the support provided to the affected person.