What Are The Different Types Of Depression
Two common forms of depression are:
- Major depression, which includes symptoms of depression most of the time for at least 2 weeks that typically interfere with ones ability to work, sleep, study, and eat.
- Persistent depressive disorder , which often includes less severe symptoms of depression that last much longer, typically for at least 2 years.
Other forms of depression include:
- Perinatal depression, which occurs when a woman experiences major depression during pregnancy or after delivery .
- Seasonal affective disorder, which comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in late fall and early winter and going away during spring and summer.
- Depression with symptoms of psychosis, which is a severe form of depression where a person experiences psychosis symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations .
Individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder also experience depression.
How To Tell If You Have Depression
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.
There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.
Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.
Get Plenty Of Restful Sleep Each Night
Restful sleep makes you feel more calm, relaxed, clear-headed, energetic, and better, overall, which makes it very important for eliminating depression and staying depression-free.
The amount of recommended sleep varies according to who you ask. While 8 hours of sleep is a common recommendation, you might require more or less.
Ideally, aim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
Later in this course, you will learn more about how each of these positive changes helps you become and remain depression-free.
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Treating Depression At Home With 3 Basic Techniques
Treat depression at home
Treating depression at home, by your own effort, is not an impossible task at all. There are many ways of reducing depressive symptoms by making a few changes to everyday life. This text will show you how to start treating your depression with three well-used techniques from behavioural psychology.
Treat depression at home
Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be extremely useful in counteracting depression and is based on the principle that certain ways of thinking can trigger certain health problems, such as depression. The counselor helps you understand your current thought patterns and identify any harmful or false ideas and thoughts that you have that can trigger depression or make it worse.
The aim is to change your way of thinking to avoid these ideas, as well as help your thought patterns be more realistic and helpful.
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Can Depression Medications Help
Taking medications is one way that you can help your depression. Antidepressants are medications specifically used to treat depression. They can be prescribed by a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, primary care doctor, or OBGYN. In some states, such as New Mexico and Louisiana, psychologists that have received additional training can also prescribe these medications.
Medications for depression work by changing the levels of different chemicals in your brain, which can help you feel better. Some people start to notice changes within a few weeks, but for others it may take 2 to 3 months to feel the effects of the medications. Experts recommend that you stay on antidepressants for 4 to 9 months or more after your depression has resolved. Staying on these medications for a longer period of time can prevent future episodes of depression.
Antidepressants are non-addictive, but you should not stop taking them without first speaking with your provider. In some people, antidepressants can also trigger suicidal thoughts. If you experience suicidal thinking while on these medications, speak to your provider immediately.
There are several different types of antidepressants that can help with depression. If you decide to take medication, your provider will consider what type is best for you based on your own individual needs.
Get A Good Amount Of Omega 3 In Your Diet
Omega 3 is brain food that helps create a happier brain.
In The Depression Cure, Dr. Stephen Ilardi recommends daily taking omega 3 supplements that are molecularly distilled, combine EPA and DHA in a 2:1 ratio, and that provide enough EPA and DHA so that you can get at least 1,000 mg of EPA and 500 mg of DHA daily.
Of course, its a good idea to be smart and consult with your doctor before taking any supplements or significantly altering your diet.
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Whats The Difference Between Grief And Depression
Given that the primary symptom associated with depression is sadness, it can be easy to think of grief or bereavement as depression. But grief is a natural response to specific experiences, such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. While you might feel regret or remorse, and you might withdraw from usual activities if you are experiencing grief, youre unlikely to feel the overwhelming sense of worthlessness, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and other symptoms of depression. Another important difference is that in grief, painful feelings usually come in waves and are often mixed with positive memories.
In some cases, however, grief and depression do coexist, or grief can trigger depression, according to experts writing in the journal American Family Physician. Having a mental health professional help you distinguish between them can ensure you get the support you need.
Reaching Out To Others
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Signs And Symptoms: How To Identify Depression
If sadness alone isnt a good gauge of depression, what is? According to the American Psychiatric Associations current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which is the diagnostic guide used by most mental health professionals, if youve experienced at least five of the following symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be , also known as clinical depression.
- Constantly feel tearful, empty, or worthless?
- Have little interest or pleasure in your work, hobbies, friends, family, and other things you once enjoyed?
- Notice dramatic changes up or down in your appetite or your weight not related to dieting?
- Often feel listless or fatigued for no obvious reason?
- Have trouble concentrating or making decisions?
- Find yourself wringing your hands, pacing, or showing other signs of anxious restlessness or the opposite, moving or speaking more slowly than usual?
- Struggle with or sleep too much?
- Have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death?
To be diagnosed with MDD, one of your symptoms must be a persistent low mood or a loss of interest or pleasure, the DSM-5 states. Your symptoms must also not be due to substance abuse or a medical condition, such as thyroid problems, a brain tumor, or a nutritional deficiency.
Of course, its normal to have any or all of these symptoms temporarily from time to time. The difference with depression is that the symptoms persist and make it difficult to function normally.
How Is Depression Treated
Depression treatment typically involves medication, psychotherapy, or both. If these treatments do not reduce symptoms, brain stimulation therapy may be another treatment option. In milder cases of depression, treatment might begin with psychotherapy alone, and medication added if the individual continues to experience symptoms. For moderate or severe depression, many mental health professionals recommend a combination of medication and therapy at the start of treatment.
Choosing the right treatment plan should be based on a persons individual needs and medical situation under a providers care. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you. You can learn more about the different types of treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies on the NIMH’s depression webpage. For information on finding a mental health professional and questions to ask when considering therapy, visit NIMHs psychotherapies webpage.
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Know That Today Isnt Indicative Of Tomorrow
Todays mood, emotions, or thoughts dont belong to tomorrow.
If you were unsuccessful at getting out of bed or accomplishing your goals today, remember that you havent lost tomorrows opportunity to try again.
Give yourself the grace to accept that while some days will be difficult, some days will also be great. Try to look forward to tomorrows fresh start.
If You Need To Wallow Wallow But Do So Constructively
Suppressing your feelings and emotions may seem like a strategic way to cope with the negative symptoms of depression. But this technique is ultimately unhealthy.
If youre having a down day, have it. Let yourself feel the emotions but dont stay there.
Consider writing or journaling about what youre experiencing. Then, when the feelings lift, write about that, too.
Seeing the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms can be instructive for both self-healing and hope.
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There Are More Than One Depression Treatment
Treat depression at home
Get our psychologists tips
Is it possible to cure depression without antidepressants? There is a simple answer to this question: Yes. Yes, it is. Most people dont know that you can treat depression at home, medication-free. If they do, most people dont know how. The fact is, you dont need pills to reduce depressive symptoms or even to recover from depression. By making a few lifestyle changes at home, your symptoms may decrease significantly or disappear altogether. This text introduces five different treatments for depression and none of them includes antidepressant medication.
Treat depression at home
So, what are the five treatments for depression?
Well, similar to a car engine, the human body needs a few basic conditions to stay in a good mood. According to health research, there are at least five different ways to treat depression at home, without medication, by making lifestyle changes. Fortunately, four out of five ways are completely free. Here they are:
Should You Worry About Antidepressant Withdrawal
No, but its easy to see why some people might think so, because of a medical condition called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome , which can occur if you abruptly stop taking medication rather than tapering off as is generally advised. ADS is marked by a wide range of responses, including but not limited to flu-like symptoms, insomnia, worsening mood, and stomach distress, according to a March 11, 2019, report in Psychiatric Times.
Current estimates are that about 20 percent of patients whove taken an antidepressant for at least a month will experience ADS symptoms if they abruptly stop their medication instead of lowering their dose gradually. Tapering under the care of a doctor can prevent ADS by allowing the brain to adjust to changes in neurotransmitter levels.
More to the point, while you should slowly stop your antidepressant with the help of your doctor, antidepressants do not cause dependence and withdrawal like other substances. Unlike substances that are known to cause addiction, such as alcohol, , and , people don’t crave antidepressants. You dont get high from them, and they arent intentionally or compulsively overused. Serious reactions like the seizures and agitation that can follow sudden withdrawal from addictive substances are unheard of when these antidepressants are tapered gradually, note the authors of the Psychiatric Times report.
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Connect With Friends And Family
This can be one of the hardest things to do when feeling depressed, but it is one of the most rewarding activities. Isolating oneself from others may seem like a good idea, but put a limit on it and then get out there again.
Confiding in friends and family members can have a huge positive effect on your mood.
Meditate To Protect Yourself From Depression
Another tool that will help you treat depression without medication, is regular meditation exercises. Regular meditation practice can prevent you from falling back into depression a second time. It will help you handle emotions better so they dont trigger another depression. You can think of it as maintenance for your mood. Just as a car engine needs to be checked every once in a while, meditation will help you discover early signs of depression and make it easier to stop depressive symptoms from worsening. This might seem more complicated than it is. Meditation can basically be defined in three simple steps:
This is great exercise for your brain and it will help you treat depressive symptoms. At the bottom of this section, youll find more information about where and how to begin.
Mindfulness meditation and depressive thoughts
Can meditation change the structure of the brain?
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 a medication-free depression treatment, regular meditation practice is definitely recommended.
Explaining how mindfulness meditation can be antidepressant
How much meditation is enough to decrease depressive symptoms?
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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.
Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
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