Common Symptoms Of Clinical Depression
There are different forms of clinical depression with different combinations of the following symptoms:
- Sleep disturbances-insomnia, oversleeping, waking much earlier than usual
- Changes in appetite or eating: much more or much less
- Headaches, stomachaches, digestive problems or other physical symptoms that are not explained by other physical conditions or do not respond to treatment
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, such as going out with friends, hobbies, sports, sex, etc.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Neglecting responsibilities or personal appearance
- Persistent sad or empty mood, lasting two or more weeks
- Crying for no reason
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, guilty or worthless
- Feeling irritable, agitated or anxious
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression Typically Lasts For Several Months But It Can Also Develop Into A Chronic Condition That Lasts For Years In Some Cases Fortunately Treatment Can Help
Depression is a serious mood disorder characterized by a low mood . Those affected by depression may wonder, how long depression lasts. Every case is different, but on average, a depressive episode can last several months. For some people, an episode may be shorter or much longer. If left untreated, depression can become long-lasting or chronic. It is important for individuals with depression to seek treatment as soon as possible.
What Are The Side Effects Of Antidepressant Medications
The provider prescribing your medicine will discuss its potential side effects with you. He or she will try to prescribe drug with the least number of side effects for your health condition. Sometimes, more than one medicine may be tried before the desired benefits are achieved.
You will be monitored closely so that your provider can detect the development of harmful side effects and make the necessary changes.
All medications not just antidepressants can cause side effects. Keep in mind that your provider prescribes the medication only if its expected benefits outweigh the risk of side effects.
Side effects, if they occur, are usually mild. Some side effects decrease after you have taken the drug for a while. However, if side effects don’t go away, they will once the drug is stopped. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your provider before taking any medicine.
Classes of antidepressant medications and common side effects
Currently there are six different classes of medications approved to treat depression. These are:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors .
- Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors .
- Tricyclic antidepressants .
- Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors .
- Non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Increased sweating.
Non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists
- Feeling drunk.
- Lack of energy.
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The Depression Epidemic: Our Stone Age Brains
There is an undeniable connection between lifestyle and depression. A modern lifestyle is making us sick. The more modern a society, and the more removed it is from the primitive hunter-gatherer way of life, the higher its rate of depression. Our world has changed phenomenally and our lifestyles have changed along with it, but our brains have hardly changed at all. They remain remarkably similar to the ones that powered people in the Stone Age when sleep was abundant, food was nutritious, and people wandered in groups, constantly on the move in the sunshine.
Our Stone Age brains just werent designed to handle the sedentary, isolated, indoor, sleep-deprived, fast-food-laden, stressed-out pace of twenty-first-century life. -Dr Stephen Ilardi
Our brains are beautifully crafted to support Stone Age bodies that live Stone Age lives. When Stone Age brains are forced to live a modern lifestyle, the effect can be devastating. The brain and the body become depleted of the very things that have been fuelling them for thousands of years before now.
Can You Get Rid Of Depression Forever
If you find yourself struggling with depression off and on over the years, like I did all through my 20s, rest assured that depression is not a mysterious, invisible condition that is always inside you, just waiting to rear its head.
Instead, depression is a condition that is regularly coming and going, depending on how youre thinking and living.
Just like you can blow up a balloon with air, and then squeeze all the air out of it, you can improve your thinking and lifestyle and feel better and happier, and then revert back to thinking and living in ways that make you feel depressed again.
So to get rid of depression for good and never deal with it again, its just a matter of not doing that anymore. Indeed, its just a matter of learning how to regularly think and live in ways that make you feel happier and depression-free, so that you never feel depressed again.
And that is exactly what you are learning how to do in this course step by step, by making the 6 Depression-Free Changes a regular part of your lifestyle, and by making changes in thought like the one youve just learned.
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Sleep Helps Naturally Treat Depression Without Medication
Better sleep brings better mood
Its true. Another thing that can decrease depressive symptoms and serve as regular maintenance for your mood is sleeping. And, there are many things you can do at home to create healthy sleeping habits for free. According to the latest sleep research, sleep can act as a form of overnight therapy, making us better at handling strong emotions.
The Dangers Of Abruptly Stopping Antidepressants
Are you feeling better and think youre ready to stop taking your antidepressant? It may seem like you no longer need the medication, but in most cases, its contributing to your improved feelings. Thats why its important you stick with the treatment prescribed by your doctor. If you think youre ready to stop taking an antidepressant, ask your doctor to create a plan of action that will help your body slowly adjust to being without the medicine.
Antidepressants help balance brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These brain chemicals affect your mood and emotions. An imbalance can cause major depression or anxiety disorders. Antidepressants correct this imfbalance, but it can take four weeks or more to get the maximum effect.
If you feel like stopping your medicine because of bothersome side effects, remember that finding the right treatment may take trial and error and some tweaking. Dont stop taking the medicine until you have spoken with your doctor. It might seem like you dont need the medication anymore, but if you stop taking it, the medicine will leave your body and your symptoms might return. Quitting without consulting your doctor can be life-threatening. Suicide is a serious concern. It can also trigger withdrawal symptoms and relapse of your depression. If you relapse and start taking an antidepressant again, it can take weeks for the drug to rebalance your mood.
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Vitamins And Supplements For Depression
The jury is still out on how well herbal remedies, vitamins, or supplements work in treating depression. While many supplements are widely available over the counter, in many cases their efficacy has not been scientifically proven. If your depression symptoms are in part due to nutritional deficiency, you may benefit from vitamin supplements, but this should be on the advice of your healthcare professional.
If you decide to try natural and herbal supplements, remember that they can have side effects and drug or food interactions. For example, St. Johns Worta promising herb used for treatment of mild to moderate depressioncan interfere with prescription drugs such as blood thinners, birth control pills, and prescription antidepressants. Make sure your doctor or therapist knows what you are taking.
Why Do You Want To Stop Taking This Medicine
Write down all of the reasons you want to stop taking the medicine.
Do you still feel depressed? Is the medicine not working? If so, think about:
- What did you expect would change with this medicine?
- Have you been taking this medicine long enough for it to work?
If you have side effects, write down what they are and when they happen. Your provider may be able to adjust your medicine to improve these problems.
Do you have other concerns about taking this medicine?
- Are you having trouble paying for it?
- Does it bother you to have to take it every day?
- Does it bother you to think you have depression and need to take medicine for it?
- Do you think you should be able to deal with your feelings without medicine?
- Are others saying you do not need medicine or should not take it?
Do you think the problem may be gone, and you wonder if you could stop the medicine now?
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What Its Really Like Going Through A Deep Dark Depression
I thought everyone Googled suicide methods from time to time. They dont. Heres how Ive recovered from a dark depression.
How we see the world shapes who we choose to be and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective.
In early October 2017, I found myself sitting in my therapists office for an emergency session.
She explained that I was going through a major depressive episode.
Id experienced similar feelings of depression in high school, but they were never this intense.
Earlier in 2017, my anxiety had started to interfere with my daily life. So, for the first time, Id sought out a therapist.
Growing up in the Midwest, therapy was never discussed. It wasnt until I was in my new home of Los Angeles and met people who saw a therapist that I decided to try it myself.
I was so lucky to have an established therapist when I sunk into this deep depression.
I couldnt imagine having to find help when I could barely get out of bed in the morning.
I probably wouldnt have even tried, and I sometimes wonder what wouldve happened to me if I hadnt sought professional help before my episode.
Ive always had mild depression and anxiety, but my mental health had rapidly declined that fall.
It would take me close to 30 minutes to coax myself out of bed. The only reason I would even get up was because I had to walk my dog and go to my full-time job.
My spark just seemed to fizzle.
How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
If someone you know has depression, help them see a health care provider or mental health professional. You also can:
- Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Invite them out for walks, outings, and other activities.
- Help them stick to their treatment plan, such as setting reminders to take prescribed medications.
- Make sure they have transportation to therapy appointments.
- Remind them that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift.
Take comments about suicide seriously, and report them to your loved ones health care provider or therapist. If they are in immediate distress or thinking about hurting themselves, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
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Depression: How Effective Are Antidepressants
Like psychotherapy, antidepressants are a key part of treating . They aim to relieve symptoms and prevent depression from coming back.
Opinions vary on how effective antidepressants are in relieving the symptoms of . Some people doubt that they work well, while others consider them to be essential. But, like with many other treatments, these medications may help in some situations and not in others. They are effective in moderate, severe and chronic depression, but probably not in mild cases. They can also have side effects. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of antidepressants with your doctor.
The main aim of treatment with antidepressants is to relieve the symptoms of severe , such as feeling very down and exhausted, and prevent them from coming back. They are meant to make you feel emotionally stable again and help you to follow a normal daily routine. They are also taken to relieve symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety and sleep problems, and to prevent suicidal thoughts.
This information is about using medication to treat the most common form of , known as unipolar depression. The treatment options for manic depression aren’t discussed here.
How Long Does Depression Last
Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder. Different than just feeling blue or down in the dumps, clinical depression is believed to be caused by imbalances of chemicals in the brain.
To be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, you must experience at least five depression symptoms, once a day, for at least two weeks. Symptoms include being less interested in most activities you once enjoyed, feeling worthless or guilty , feeling unusually tired and lacking energy, and more.
Major depressive disorder can be highly recurrent, with at least half of the people who experience one episode having one or more additional episodes in their lifetimes.
How long your depression lasts depends on lifestyle factors and whether or not you receive prompt treatment. It can last for several weeks, months, or years.
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Create The Right Environment For Recovery
When we go through depression, its easy to let even basic things like housework fall by the wayside. The result is that our environment becomes messy, dirty, chaotic and that only makes our state of mind even worse.
So we continue to ignore the housework and thus the vicious cycle continues.
You can break that cycle, and doing so will help create the ideal environment for recovering from depression.
You dont even have to do it all in one go.
Focus on one thing at a time, even if its only one corner of one room. Do what you feel you have the energy for and before you know it, youll have a clean, tidy, clutter-free space thats far more conducive to overcoming your depression.
Whats more, the sense of accomplishment you get from tidying up can do wonders for your self-esteem and provide a powerful boost to your mood.
Listen To Upbeat Music
There’s no doubt that music can have an impact on how you feel, so choosing the right music when you’re feeling down might be an effective way of lifting your mood.
Research has found people who are depressed may have a tendency to choose music that intensifies rumination, sadness, and emotion-focused coping. So while you might be tempted to turn to somber tearjerkers when you’re feeling down, consider listening to more upbeat songs to boost your mood and inspire positive feelings.
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It Can Take More Time Than You Think
We werent kidding about the slowly part. Many people expect to feel back to normal in a couple of days after quitting medsmuch like people expect starting antidepressants to make them feel better in a flashwhen really it can take several weeks. Typically, the drug is out of your system two weeks after stopping, but effects can linger for two months. It depends on how long you were on the meds to begin with, Valuck says
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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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:
Risk Factors For Depression
Depression can affect anyoneeven a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
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