What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
Depression can affect your emotions, mind and body. Depression symptoms include:
- Feeling very sad, hopeless or worried.
- Not enjoying things that used to give you joy.
- Being easily irritated or frustrated.
- Eating too much or too little.
- Changes in how much you sleep.
- Having a difficult time concentrating or remembering things.
- Experiencing physical problems like headache, stomachache or sexual dysfunction.
- Thinking about hurting or killing yourself.
If you or someone you know has thoughts of hurting themselves, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255. This national network of local crisis centers provides free, private emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Treating Depression Without Medication: Alternative To Antidepressants
Major depressive disorder affects a significant portion of the American adult population. Approximately 17.3 million American adults, equaling 7.1 percent of the population over the age of 18 each year, struggle with it. Depression is more common in women than men, and 1.9 million children between the ages of three and 17 are diagnosed with the condition. Adults with depression have a 64 percent greater risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Depression can range from minor to severe, and those living with it can experience devastating effects. Severe depression can be debilitating and cause a person to be chained to their bed and disturb the quality of their lives. It has the power to keep you from going to work or leaving your house altogether. Depression can be so severe that its considered a psychiatric disability under the American with Disabilities Act .
Get A Quality Bedtime
I have seen certain individuals brag about being able to pull just 3-4 hours of sleep every night. The rest of the night, as they say, is spent working. This ideology is very defective.
If you pull through anxiety or depression, you need to learn to reschedule your bedtime to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Yeah, you might consider than enormous but, it is the best for you. Sleep helps you relieve mental stress. Not only does sleeping boost your productivity, but it also makes you a more relaxed and gives you a calm mind- meaning, sleep says no, a big one, to anxiety.
So, you should take conscious actions by setting, and sticking to a bedtime routine as well as eliminating conditions such a bad mattress, that could disturb your sleep-time and then result in anxiety.
If you are having an uphill struggle about choosing a good mattress, I would recommend Purple Premium Hybrid mattress . You should always read reviews before buying a mattress to get the best one according to your sleeping pattern and needs to get good nights of sleep.
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St Johns Wort: A Possible Herbal Solution
St. Johns wort is a popular herbal treatment for depression in Europe. American physicians are more divided about its usefulness.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine , St. Johns wort doesnt appear to be effective in treating major depression. But it may benefit people with mild-to-moderate forms.
St. Johns wort may have serious interactions with medications, herbs, and supplements. To be safe, always consult your doctor before taking it.
Ways In Which Depression Can Be Treated Without Medication
Depression is a word that is thrown around very easily these days, but in reality, most people don’t understand what depression is. Life is a combination of moments, some are happy, and some are not. We all go through tough times that take an emotional toll on us, but sadness and depression are very different things.
In this article
Depression is much worse than simple sadness or a bad mood. It is a complete inability to feel happiness. Self-hatred, fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, and loss of interest in everything are staples of depression. In fact, in severe cases, depression can also lead to suicidal thoughts and self-inflicted harm.
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A Lack Of Confidence Keeps You Depressed
When you lack confidence in yourself and your abilities, you naturally have lower self esteem and feel worse about yourself, which makes you more prone to depression.
But when you lack confidence in your ability to get rid of depression, your situation gets even worse. This is because if you think you cant or wont get rid of depression, this kills your energy and motivation to do anything to stop being depressed.
Consequently, you predictably dont do anything that would help you stop being depressed, like changing your thinking or improving your lifestyle.
The end result is that you remain depressed. In this way, the belief that you cant get rid of depression becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and keeps you trapped in a state of depression.
Visiting An Emotional Support Group:
Another common and excellent way to combat depression is to join an emotional support group for depression patients. Though your friends and family members’ support is incomparable, it can be difficult for a person who has not been through depression to understand what you are going through truly.
At a support group, you will meet other people going through depression more importantly, you will meet people who have defeated depression. This will give you hope and be very beneficial for your treatment.
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Adverse Side Effects From Antidepressants
Antidepressants are in the class of drugs known as serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors and have been the standard treatment modality for major depression for decades now, to mixed reviews. In many cases, a double whammy effect is experienced by those who trial antidepressants for their depression symptoms. Not only are 50% of patients unable to find relief from symptomssometimes after trialling several different medicationsbut a wide range of highly unpleasant symptoms often accompany these drugs.
Struggling with the effects of depression is hard enough, and being disappointed in the lack of treatment response can lead to a deep sense of despair. Pile on top of that a long list of side effects from the drugs, and antidepressant treatment can become intolerable. These symptoms may include:
- Increased appetite and weight gain
Never Stop Your Antidepressant Without Guidance From A Doctor
Quitting the medication abruptly without professional support could potentially make your symptoms worse. If you dont notice improvement after taking your prescribed antidepressant for several weeks, or if you experience unwanted side effects, its best to ask the prescribing psychiatrist or clinician about alternatives.
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Tap Into Your Spirituality
Religion can be an impactful source of support for many people dealing with depression, but there is no need to join a church, synagogue, or mosque unless you wish to. Simple daily practices such as meditation or adding to a list of things you’re grateful can help boost mood and overall well-being.
Meditation can have a range of beneficial effects such as lowering stress levels and helping people to become more aware of their thoughts and reactions.
Research indicates that an intervention called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy , which combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness meditation, can be helpful in treating depression and preventing future relapses of symptoms.
Studies also suggest that different types of mindfulness meditative practices can also be effective in the treatment of depression.
There are many different types of meditation, but you can get started with a simple meditative exercise with these steps:
Deep Tms For Major Depression Without Medication
Deep TMS is an alternative treatment method that uses magnetic fields to reset brain chemistry, resulting in improved mood, concentration, and sleep. It works by delivering electromagnetic pulses through the scalp and targeting the mood centre of the brain. This results in electrical currents that stimulate the dormant or underactive brain cells often seen in MDD.
Deep TMS is very well tolerated with few if any, side effects. The typical course of treatment requires five treatments per week for 4-6 weeks. This non-invasive treatment requires no sedation and no downtime. Benefits begin to be reported after about the tenth session.
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Lifestyle Changes To Treat Depression
Exercise.Regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. Not only does exercise boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do. Best of all, you dont have to train for a marathon in order to reap the benefits. Even a half-hour daily walk can make a big difference. For maximum results, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity on most days.
Social support. Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression. Keep in regular contact with friends and family, or consider joining a class or group. Volunteering is a wonderful way to get social support and help others while also helping yourself.
Nutrition. Eating well is important for both your physical and mental health. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. While you may be drawn to sugary foods for the quick boost they provide, complex carbohydrates are a better choice. Theyll get you going without the all-too-soon sugar crash.
Sleep. Sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you dont get enough sleep, your depression symptoms will be worse. Sleep deprivation exacerbates irritability, moodiness, sadness, and fatigue. Make sure youre getting enough sleep each night. Very few people do well on less than seven hours a night. Aim for somewhere between seven to nine hours each night.
Looking For A Boost Or Alternative To Antidepressant Medicines Here Are Four Therapies That May Help Relieve Your Symptoms
Many people suffer bouts of mild or moderate depression as they age. Health issues and the loss of a spouse, family member, or friend are common triggers that can lead to persistent sadness and loss of enjoyment.
While antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be helpful to relieve and control symptoms, they are not always the right choice.
“Many older adults don’t want to be dependent on antidepressants, or are sensitive to their common side effects, such as dry mouth, dizziness, sleepiness, and weight gain,” says Dr. Darshan Mehta, medical director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Fortunately, there are nondrug options available to help treat and manage mild depression. “These are also ideal as a preventive measure for people who have yet to experience depression, but may have a family history of the disease and are at high risk, as well as those who have had past episodes and want to avoid future ones or be better prepared if they occur,” says Dr. Mehta.
Always consult with your doctor if you experience symptoms of depression. Depending on the severity of your condition, medication may be appropriate, at least in the short term. Otherwise, you may be able to manage and even prevent episodes of depression with these four nondrug strategies.
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Psychotherapy Focuses On Thoughts And Behaviors
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is designed to help people identify and effectively deal with the psychological, behavioral, interpersonal, and situational aspects of their depression.
Each type of psychotherapy has different goals. According to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, these goals include helping people in these ways:
- Adjust to a crisis or other current situational difficulty.
- Identify negative or distorted beliefs and behaviors, and replace them with positive, healthy ones. Or create a list of more realistic beliefs to balance out the distorted ones when they occur.
- Identify life problems that contribute to depression and change behaviors that worsen it.
- Address relationships and experiences to improve interactions with other people.
- Develop skills to better cope with stress and solve problems.
- Identify issues in life that feed into depression and learn how to avoid behaviors that make these problems worse.
- Regain a sense of control and satisfaction in life to counter symptoms of depression such as anger and hopelessness.
- Learn how to set realistic life goals.
- Develop healthier behaviors that enhance the ability to tolerate and accept stress.
There are four common types of psychotherapy used to treat depression:
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Can Meditation Change The Structure Of The Brain
Meditation will most likely help your brain handle strong emotions better, which can be valuable when trying to treat depression without medication.
In 2010, Dr. Norman Farb and his colleagues wanted to find out if people who meditated regularly reacted differently to sadness than those who didnt. As it turned out, they did. People who meditated regularly used the present moment network in their brains when feeling sad. Meaning, they could experience the feeling of sadness, without becoming caught up in it or making it worse with worrying thoughts. The non-meditators used the evaluation network of the brain. Meaning, they got caught up in thoughts about sadness, such as why do I feel this way?, how can I stop this? theres something wrong. Heres a picture of their brains:
The study by Dr. Farb can probably explain some of the reasons why mindfulness meditation can decrease depressive symptoms and work as relapse prevention for depression. If youre searching for holistic way to treat depression without medication regular meditation practice is definitely recommended.
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Healing From Depression The 6 Proven Non
Depression steals people. So far, despite the colossal investment of resources, there is still no reliably effective treatment. What we know for sure is that antidepressants just arent working. According to Dr Stephen Ilardi, respected psychologist, university professor and author of The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs, antidepressants only have about a 50% success rate. Out of the people who do find relief, half of them will relapse, taking the actual recovery rate to 25%. Then there are the side effects, such as emotional blunting, weight gain and sexual dysfunction.
When antidepressants fail to deliver, the hopelessness that lies at the heart of depression becomes even more brutal. If we could immunise ourselves and the people we love against depression, wed be lining up. There is no immunisation, but a growing body of research is finding that there are ways to protect ourselves from depression and alleviate any existing symptoms, particularly for mild to moderate depression.
Its about certain lifestyle factors six of them and the difference they can make to each of us, depressed or otherwise, is phenomenal. The claims may sound extravagant, but science is proving them over and over. The evidence is too compelling for us not to take notice.
Does Depression Always Come Back
Some mental health professionals describe recovery from all or most depression symptoms as remission. Youll also find this term in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . Other experts object to this term, as it implies that depression will eventually return.Depression does, in fact, have a high risk of recurrence but it doesnt return for everyone.
Psychiatrists may recommend antidepressants for children or adolescents when they have severe symptoms that:
- significantly affect daily routines and overall well-being
- make it difficult to attend or succeed at school
- dont improve with other treatments
Keep in mind that medication isnt necessarily a life-long commitment. If your symptoms keep you from going to therapy or taking care of basic everyday needs, medication could relieve symptoms enough to make it possible for you to try other treatments.
Once you find a treatment approach that works for you, you may be able to stop taking medication.
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Can Anxiety And Depression Be Cured Without Drugs
Answered by: Dr Ashu Gandhi | Lead Psychiatrist, Adult Mental Health Program,Australia
Q: I am 50 years old male suffering from anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar mood disorder for the last 25 years. Can the above diseases be cured after sometime automatically, if I stop taking medicines?
A:The current understanding regarding treatment of any illness under any school of thought whether it is homeopathic, allopathic, naturopathic, yoga etc. is consistency, regularity, continuity, and practice under prescription. As they say Rolling stone gathers no moss – continually changing, modalities of treatment don’t allow any particular treatment to be tried adequately, which leads to incomplete remission and thus loss of productivity and functionality. Continually changing treatment can itself be an indication of poor judgment, hopelessness and doubt about the treatment, which can be an indication of ongoing symptoms. Any mental disorder can be helped best under a bio-psychosocial umbrella of assessment and treatment, which includes psychological help from a psychologist as well as medications besides supports in the community. It would be most helpful to visit a Psychiatric department in a medical college or hospital to get a comprehensive, assessment and further rationalisation of treatment. But, treatment needs to be pursued with persistence, perseveration and under a prescription.
How Does Cognitive Therapy Help Individuals With Depression
Cognitive therapy can help individuals with depression by teaching them how to control their thoughts and feelings.
They learn to identify negative thoughts and change them before they become worse.
For instance, if you think, I’ll never be successful, the goal is to make a new thought like, It’s not up to me whether I’m successful or not.
Working on these thoughts can also help people feel better about themselves.
Cognitive therapy also teaches people skills that have been shown to decrease unpleasant feelings, such as learning how to avoid problematic situations before they arise.
The skills learned in cognitive therapy can be used every day, making it easier for people with depression to manage their symptoms when they occur-even without medication!
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