Treatment For Depression – How To Detect And Remedy Your Depression

Any man, woman, or child may feel down occasionally, but an unhappy mood that lasts for many days may indicate depression. Specifically, a generalized feeling of unhappiness or apathy that lasts for a minimum of two successive weeks and that is accompanied by disrupted daily activities likely indicates a major depressive episode. Unlike purely physical ailments, depression may be viewed as a negative or embarrassing trait, but being depressed should not be equated with having a weak personality. This is a highly treatable condition, and treatment for depression may be tailored to help you manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

While there is much debate in the medical community as to what causes depression, changes in brain structure and chemical action are widely considered as primary causes. Why people have so many diverse reactions to such brain alterations, however, may be due to many things, such as:

  • Traumatic events
  • Substance abuse
  • Seasonal changes
  • Medications
  • Hormonal changes

Losing a job or a spouse and the stress that often results from these traumatic events may trigger changes in the brain and therefore depressive episodes. Alternatively, depression may be linked to prescribed or even natural medications, alcohol or drug abuse, or the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy or menopause. Some people are strongly affected by the lack of sunlight during winter months, and may experience depression during this time of the year as well.

Major depression profoundly affects daily life, and the symptoms may be emotional or physical. A general lack of interest in ordinarily pleasurable or routine activities often results, and this cycle may lead to feeling guilty and unworthy of the positive aspects of life. Decreased energy, reduced appetite, physical ailments, and sleeping excessively may all be indicators of depression.

Diagnosing depression accurately greatly depends upon obtaining a thorough account from the patient. Any pertinent medical history, such as having a sibling or parent who has similar issues should be communicated as well. Women are much more likely to be diagnosed as being depressed, but men and children experiencing depressive episodes may also benefit from one or a combination of the following treatment options:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Talk therapy
  • Exercise
  • Light therapy
  • Herbal supplements
  • Pet therapy
  • Surgical procedures
  • Brain stimulation
  • Social support

There are many antidepressant drugs that may positively influence brain chemicals, including norepinephrine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are intimately linked to sleep and cognitive functioning as well as to feelings of depression, and the right prescription drug may play a large role in combating depressing feelings. Accordingly, the right drug or combination of prescription drugs along with talk therapy often curtails moderate or mild cases of depression. Such interpersonal therapy may help depressed individuals overcome feelings of loneliness, understand and rebuild relationships, and give them a new-found reason for reconnecting with others. While some patients continue with longer term therapy, several months of talk therapy may be sufficient for others.

Physical activity is often another valid avenue for dealing with moderate or mild depression, as exercise typically results in a release in endorphins in the brain. Accordingly, these released endorphins increase the threshold for pain and improve mood as well. Engaging in twenty to thirty minutes of exercise a few days a week may increase energy levels, reduce stressful feelings, improve sleep habits, and raise self-esteem in depressed patients. Light therapy may produce similar effects for those suffering from seasonal depression as well.

Although often considered less reliable than the aforementioned treatments, herbal supplements such as St. John’s Wort may help curtail mild cases of depression. The unconditional love and companionship that pets often provide, however, often gives depressed individuals a beneficial and positive focus. While more risky, certain surgical procedures such as brain implants and treatments including vagus nerve and skull stimulation may be indicated for patients with depression levels that are particularly resistant to other forms of treatment. Perhaps the best way to ensure good mental health is to stay connected to the positive influences around you, as a lack of social support is a major component of depression. Working with competent medical professionals, finding the right combination of therapy, and keeping a positive outlook helps the majority of patients effectively work through their depression.

Is There a Valid Alternative Treatment For Depression?

When people think of alternative treatments for depression, they are clearly thinking of what alternatives there are to prescription drugs, which are heavy on side effects and not as effective as they are made out to be. Prescription drugs are supported by powerful lobbies which penetrate every level of public and private life in Europe and America.

Depression can be devastating in the effects it can produce. As it is basically a neurochemical imbalance, this can affect our motivation, mood, will power, appetite, physical well being and our whole outlook on life and why we are alive. It can affect our sleep patterns and ruin relationships and careers. Depression is a major health problem in our modern society.

Let us look at an alternative treatment for depression from a holistic point of view and we can immediately widen our perspective and stop thinking in a rather blinkered way. The latter is the pharmacological approach. If we take the holistic approach, then we are looking outside the frame at a wide variety of ways and methods which can restore the balance, upset by the chemical imbalance in our brains. That seems to be the major cause of depression although other factors play a part too. However the lack of serotonin which is the major neurochemical responsible for our well being and our good mood, is the main target of the prescription drugs, such as Paxil, Zoloft and Lexapro.

Acupuncture is an excellent alternative treatment for depression when the anti depressants fail or cannot be tolerated. The World Health organisation (WHO) now recognises that acupuncture is safe and reduces depressive symptoms. There are no side effects.

Another lesser well known alternative treatment for depression is aromatherapy. Did you know that aromas can change our perception of pain ? It can certainly affect our mood and our whole outlook on life. It has been proved to help with cases of mild depression. Rose, clary sage, lavender and sweet marjoram can all help to relax and bring peace to a troubled mind and also enhance mood.

Other alternative depression treatments can include homeopathy, ayurveda, yoga and meditation. Again, these are very often overlooked or just not given enough attention.It is true that they are not universally effective but patients need to experiment and see which one brings most relief for their depressive symptoms.

Of all the alternative depression treatments, my favourite one is a herbal remedy which consists of St. John’s Wort and the passion flower. There are excellent results from this type of remedy especially when it is combined with a few simple lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Before getting your prescription drugs for depression, why not try this alternative treatment for depression ?