How Is Depression Treated
Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.
Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency . The evaluation will identify specific symptoms and explore medical and family histories as well as cultural and environmental factors with the goal of arriving at a diagnosis and planning a course of action.
Youre Less Interested In Things You Usually Enjoy
Someone struggling might lose interest in doing the things they used to be passionate about, Heinemann says.
For example, if you used to lovegoing for walks, playing sports, or painting, but now you dread the idea of doing any of those things, thats a big red flag for depression.
Depression can also impact your desire for sex, according to research.
Seek Support For Symptoms Of Depression
Depression is often not recognised and can go on for months or even years if left untreated. Its important to seek support as early as possible, as the sooner a person gets treatment, the sooner they can recover.
Untreated depression can have many negative effects on a persons life, including serious relationship and family problems, difficulty finding and holding down a job, and drug and alcohol problems.
There is no one proven way that people recover from depression. However, there is a range of effective treatments and health professionals who can help people on the road to recovery.
There are also many things that people with depression can do for themselves to help them recover and stay well. The important thing is to find the right treatment and the right health professional for a persons needs.
Read Also: Nutrition And Depression And Anxiety
Electroconvulsive Therapy Electric Shock Treatment
If you have severe depression and other treatments, like medication, haven’t worked, ECT might be recommended for you.
When receiving ECT, you will be given an anaesthetic and medication that relaxes your muscles to begin with. Electrodes will be placed on your head that give an electrical “shock” to your brain.
ECT is given over a series of sessions, normally twice a week for three to six weeks.
ECT can cause side effects including nausea, headaches, aches in the muscles and memory problems.
Most people find that ECT is good for relieving severe depression, but the beneficial effects tend to wear off when several months have passed.
Changes To Your Psychomotor Activity
One of the physical signs of depression is the slowing of your psychomotor activity – the tasks that your body and brain work together to complete. This can cause you to speak, think and move a little slower than usual. This can be seen in the following ways:
- Speech greater pauses in speech, quieter in volume, less articulation, more monotonous and delayed responses in conversations
- Eye movement a fixed stare and reduced eye contact
- Facial movement a flat expression, seeming not to react to emotions
- Bodily movement slower movement of your body, where you struggle with fine motor tasks such as writing, doing up buttons, zips or shoelaces and handling money. You may also feel weighed down when walking or changing positions during the day, and have a slow reaction time
Read Also: How To Tell The Doctor Your Depressed
Take Care Of Yourself
You can also improve symptoms of depression by taking care of yourself. This includes getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, avoiding negative people, and participating in enjoyable activities.
Sometimes depression doesnt respond to medication. Your healthcare professional may recommend other treatment options if your symptoms dont improve.
Risk Factors That Can Make You More Vulnerable
Depression most often results from a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. Those factors combined could then trigger depression.
The following are examples of risk factors that can make you more susceptible:
Loneliness and isolation. Theres a strong relationship between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk, but having depression can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems alone.
. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for depression.
Recent stressful life experiences. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing depression.
Chronic illness or pain. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
Recommended Reading: Is Ritalin Used For Depression
What Can I Do If I Have Depression
If you have symptoms of depression, see your healthcare provider. They can give you an accurate diagnosis, refer you to a specialist or suggest treatment options.
If you or someone you know is thinking of hurting themselves or taking their own life:
- Go to the emergency department of your hospital.
- Contact a healthcare provider.
- Speak to a trusted friend, family member or spiritual leader.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Depression is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. Anyone can experience depression even if there doesnt seem to be a reason for it. Causes of depression include difficulties in life, brain chemistry abnormalities, some medications and physical conditions. The good news is that depression is treatable. If you have symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can feel better
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2020.
Looking After Someone Who Has Depression
If you’re close to someone with depression, their condition can affect you too. Your relationship, and family life in general, can be strained, and you might not know what to do or how to help.
Talking about the situation can help. Finding a support group, or talking to other people in a similar situation, can make it easier to cope. If the condition is causing difficulties in your relationship with your partner, you could contact a relationship counsellor who can talk things through with both of you.
When suffering from depression, men are less likely to ask for help than women. They’re also more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms.
Read Also: What Factors Led To The Great Depression
What If My Symptoms Dont Improve
If youre not responding to treatment, you may live with treatment resistant depression. This is when your symptoms have not improved after at least 2 standard treatments. This can also be known as treatment-refractory depression.
There is currently no official criteria used to diagnose treatment resistant depression.
What treatment is available for treatment-resistant depression?There are treatment options for treatment resistant depression. Even if antidepressants have not worked already for you, your doctor may suggest a different antidepressant from a different class.
The new antidepressant you are offered will depend on the first antidepressant you were given.
Sometimes your doctor can prescribe a second type of medication to go with your antidepressant. This can sometimes help the antidepressant work better than it does by itself.
Where antidepressants have not worked, your doctor may suggest talking therapies, ECT or brain stimulation treatments. See the previous section for more information on these.
What is an implanted vagus nerve stimulator, and how is it used in treatment resistant depression?If you live with treatment resistant depression, and youve not responded to other treatments, you may be able ask for an implanted vagus nerve stimulator.
Please speak to your doctor if youre interested in this treatment and for more information. You may be able to get this treatment funded through an Individual Funding Request.
- NHS – Your Rights by clicking here.
What Are The Physical Signs Of Depression
Depression is something that can impact both the body and mind. While many people understand and recognise the emotional symptoms, many misinterpret the physical signs of depression and believe that they stem from illnesses related to the body rather than the mind. This misinterpretation can result in people with depression remaining undiagnosed and not getting the treatment that they need in order to feel better.
If you are worried about someone, or think that you may be experiencing depression, this blog focuses on the physical signs of depression. We have outlined the different signs and symptoms as well as the treatment for depression that is available at Priory Group.
Read Also: Cheek Swab Test For Depression
Depression And Suicide Risk
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Deep despair and hopelessness can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch for the warning signs:
- Talking about killing or harming ones self.
- Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
- An unusual preoccupation with death or dying.
- Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish .
- Getting affairs in order .
- Saying things like Everyone would be better off without me, or I want out.
- A sudden switch from being extremely down to acting calm and happy.
If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
If you are feeling suicidal
When youre feeling suicidal, your problems dont seem temporarythey seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better, especially if you get help. There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out!
Signs Of Mania In Bipolar Disorder
- Heightened energy
- Buzzing around or racing from one idea or project to the next
- Easily distracted and unable to concentrate
Manic episodes can cause reckless behavior, but then again, so can depression. When you do reckless things as a result of depression, its more likely because youre feeling those symptoms of helplessness and hopelessness.
The difference is that when you experience mania, you feel powerful, in charge, and even invincible or destined for greatness. In manic episodes, these increased feelings of self-esteem post-depression can be a catalyst for impulsive or foolish decisions including gambling, cheating, or engaging in unprotected sex with a stranger.
A person with bipolar disorder, in severe cases, may also experience psychosis in the form of delusions or hallucinations.
You May Like: Depression In Women’s Health
Body Pains That Cant Be Otherwise Explained
If you have new body pains or physical symptoms that arent better explained by another diagnosis, it could be a sign of depression. It can be particularly difficult to tell if your pain is from depression or some of the other common causes like stress, trauma, injury, chronic pain, bad posture, poor sleep or bed position, arthritis, or simply from being tense and working seated in an office.
Put your body pain into perspective with your lifestyle and see about making some adjustments like gentle stretching and increasing your overall movement, posture, etc.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Get Ssi For Depression
Physical Symptoms And Outcome Measures
In addition to choosing the most appropriate pharmacotherapeutic approach to treating the symptoms of depression, clinical management of depression should include the screening and monitoring of all symptom domains. All symptoms, including physical ones, must be measured in order to be treated fully. The symptoms still present in incomplete remission are important markers of vulnerability to relapse, and if all types of symptoms are not included in assessments, physicians cannot fully assess the treatment response and follow up on unresolved symptoms. Physicians and patients need to become aware of the broad spectrum of symptoms in depression in order to evaluate treatment effectiveness.
Reliable and effective assessment of Axis I disorders often includes utilization of a variety of rating scales used for both diagnostic purposes and follow-up evaluation. Recently there has been a call for including on rating scales all the symptom domains and social functioning/quality of life measures in the requirements for remission, but physicians may not be aware that there are already numerous standardized scales that measure these aspects of depression.
Mild And Moderate Depression
These are the most common types. More than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression can interfere with your daily life, robbing you of joy and motivation. Those symptoms become amplified in moderate depression and can lead to a decline in confidence and self-esteem.
Recurrent, mild depression
Dysthymia is a type of chronic low-grade depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood.
- The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time .
- Some people also experience major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, a condition known as double depression.
- If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like youve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is just the way you are.
You May Like: Can You Get Workers Comp For Depression
Learn More About Our Program For Depression
Alexis Lexi Thomas serves as Admission Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. Holding a Bachelors degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona, Lexi lends passion, knowledge, and insight to the admissions process. Treating every inquiry with a sense of tenderness and empathy, Lexi knows first-hand what the family members experience of addiction feels like. After losing her own family member to addiction, Lexi dedicated her life to helping others find the freedom they deserve. A native of Tucson, AZ., Lexi is happily married and expecting a baby. She counts one dog and a cat amongst her growing family.
Patty Raymer serves as Sr. National Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. Active in the national recovery community since 1992, Patty has enjoyed over 30 years of sobriety, service, and excellence in her personal triumph over addiction. Today she helps guide families and clients in their own quest for meaningful, individualized treatment solutions. As one of the most recognizable names in our industry, Patty believes that enrolling in ones own personal work is the best way for the family to heal from the wounds of addiction. Subscribed to the mantra of Trust God, Clean House, Help Others, Patty and her husband reside in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
Major Or Clinical Depression
Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate and is characterized by severe, relentless symptoms.
- Left untreated, major depressive disorder typically lasts for about six months.
- Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.
You May Like: Is Celebrex Used For Depression
Why Can Depression Go Undiagnosed In Men
While discussions around mental health seem to be expanding in reach and compassion, theres still some cultural and social stigma around depression particularly among men.
Generally, men are socialized by society to hold in their emotions, though we know doing so isnt healthy. In their efforts to maintain these social norms, many men may be compromising their emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
In addition, many men are never taught to recognize the less typical signs of depression that theyre more likely than others to experience.
Some men never seek help for their depression because they never recognize the signs. On the other hand, some men who do recognize the signs may struggle to discuss their experience because they fear the judgment of others.
As a result, when many men experience the signs of depression, they begin to work long hours or otherwise fill their time to stay busy, instead of addressing the depression itself.
Diagnosing depression and seeking treatment can help save lives. Suicide rates are high among men, especially those who have served or currently serve in the military. Additionally, men are three to four times more likely than women to complete suicide.
In continuing to open up the conversation, we can help men with depression recognize the signs. By seeking treatment, men with depression can live their fullest possible lives.
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.
Read Also: Daily Routine To Help Depression