Posted on: 17 May 2017
Depression is a complex mental health condition because it has numerous underlying causes and may occur alone or as part of another mental illness, such a anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Finding help and staying engaged in your treatment is the first step in waging a personal war against depression.
Place An Emphasis On Therapy
Being referred to a mental health professional is often the first step when there is a suspected diagnosis of depression or other mental illnesses. Some people are resistant to the concept of therapy, often because they are embarrassed to talk about their problems to a stranger. Therapy is critical for well-rounded depression treatment, regardless of whether medication is necessary. In some instances, especially when depression is a temporary problem attributed to a life event, you may find talking through your problems with a neutral party is helpful. A therapist can also offer insight to problems without being clouded by emotions.
The landscape for medication is always changing, which means there are numerous medications available to make it easier to manage depression symptoms. First-line medications in the treatment of depression are usually selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Since there are many medications classified as an SSRI, if the first one is not effective, a mental health professional can easily try a new one. For severe depression, other classes of medication may be more effective, such as serotonin-norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Medications that have effects on other neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and/or dopamine, can be more effective for severe and/or treatment-resistant depression. Adding low doses of antipsychotic medications can also be used in depression.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Sometimes your lifestyle can make depression worse or make treatment less effective. Try to find areas of your life that are not conducive to depression management and make changes. For example, if you engage in any alcohol or drug use as part of self-medication, it is time to stop. Drugs and alcohol can interact with medications and will make depression worse. If you have a substance use or abuse problem, mention this to your therapist. They can help you find resources to tackle dependence or addiction problems.
Your sleep patterns and diet can also make or break your treatment plan. Try to establish a sleep schedule so you are well-rested and minimize having an erratic daily schedule. Simple changes to your diet, such as limiting caffeine, drinking more water, and eating vegetables and whole grains, can make you feel better and less sluggish than consuming heavy amounts of carbohydrates and fats.
Everyone will have different needs when it comes to depression treatment and it may take several tries to find the right approach. Making positive lifestyle changes and being accepting of treatment options will give you the best chance at managing depression. Contact a counselor, like Dr Kuris Counseling Centers, for more help.Share