Depression is a serious mood disorder with the capacity to seriously disrupt a person’s daily life. If it goes unchecked, it may lead to even more serious consequences such as suicidal tendencies and attempts. A prolonged state of depression can also result in psychosomatic disorders or physical ailments caused due to mental causes such as stress and tension. If left untreated, depression can extend into months and even years.
Depression may often be confused with sadness and grief due to its inherently similar nature and symptoms. One way to distinguish between the two is the period for it will last. Grief is manifested usually as short spells of intense, painful emotions. Whereas depression tends to last for a much longer time, often altering the outlook of a person towards life making it increasingly negative.
Read What is Depression ? Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Risk Factors for general information about depression.
Treatment is a Necessity, not an Option
The general attitude of the society towards this condition is just to go ahead and deal with it. But the person suffering in silence from this condition may be unable to come out of this predicament on their own. Non-acceptance and repression may only contribute to worsening the condition, especially if it treated as such from the immediate circle of family and friends from whom support and understanding might be expected through the tough times.
It is necessary to understand that depression is a medical condition that can be treated and that there is no real need to continue to suffer in silence. The first critical step is to admit and accept the existing state, especially when others may not exactly understand what you are going through and where you are coming from. The next big step is summoning the courage to come out into the open and actively seeking help for the condition from mental health professionals. This helps to better understand the nature of the condition and also the available treatment options and coping strategies employed to deal with the condition.
Seeking Out Treatment
No two people are the same; and as such, the actual experience of depression differs from person to person. An individual may go through a gamut of emotions to just arrive at the decision to consider asking for help. There is a sense of uncertainty to deal with the hitherto unknown experience, and feeling anxious as to how exactly go about dealing with it. This is why it becomes a necessary requirement to recruit the help of a professional with a holistic understanding and prior experience in effectively dealing with the condition.
An effective treatment strategy can be devised from a variety of existing options to deal with the condition. If one is unsure as to which treatment option to pick, one can first consult the family doctor or a general practitioner to suggest a path or the right healthcare professional. One may have to try various options to figure out a method that works for them. The treatment for depression involves addressing the actual condition itself as also ways of continuing to manage it during the journey of the recovery period and maintaining a state of good health and wellness.
Actual Treatment Measures
There are both psychological and medical treatments that are available to treat depression. Psychological treatments are essentially talking therapy sessions. These treatments aim to identify unhelpful thoughts, behavior and patterns and help to alter and rectify them in order to develop better coping mechanisms to deal with life’s difficulties. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT for short, is one of the most popular and effective treatments available, found to be effective for people across all ages. It focuses to identify thoughts and behavior that negatively affect how we feel, and encourages reasoning based on rational, realistic, and problem-solving approaches to replace negative thoughts and behavior with more positive ones. A further component of this is the Behavioral Therapy that accepts existing beliefs and attitudes as they are, but instead strives to introduce more gratifying and pleasant activities as a medium of positive reinforcement to steer away from negative thoughts and behaviors. Some other treatments include the Inter Personal Therapy or IPT focuses on identifying issues faced in personal relations, which may be causing depression, and teaches ways to improve coping skills and find better ways to remain congenial in personal relationships; and the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy or MBCT, also known as ‘Mindfulness Meditation’, teaches one to focus and accept on the present moments without changing it, and serves to reduce anxieties from worrying too much either about the past or the future. All of these therapies strive to empower the person to remain in control of their own minds and reactions by providing the right kind of guidance and support. And now, it is increasingly becoming possible to register for therapy sessions online.
In depression cases of moderate to severe intensity, medication such as anti-depressants may be prescribed, along with psychological treatments. The most suitable anti-depressant is prescribed by the doctor after careful consideration of the patient’s medical history and other conditions such as age, gender and existing symptoms in this particular case of depression as also the current status of the physical condition. A proper diagnosis is helpful in preventing the occurrence of or minimizing side-effects that may arise from consuming such medication, while effectively aiding in the treatment.
Other measures that help to deal with depression are seeking support from friends, family and support groups, practicing relaxation exercises such as controlled breathing techniques and meditation, regular exercise, healthy diet, engaging in hobbies and in general, making active efforts to reconnect with the world.