What About Anti Depressants
Anti-depressant medication plays a critical role in the treatment of depression. In the right patient, anti-depressants reduce the symptoms of suffering exceptionally well and can be literally life-saving.
It is important to understand that anti-depressants only treat the symptoms of depression, therefore they cant actually make anyone happy. Happiness isnt merely the absence of suffering. Many experts feel that the best approach is to treat the symptoms of depression with anti-depressants at the same time as addressing the underlying cause of the depression itself.
Learning More About Clinical Depression
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe, and they can be temporary or long-lasting. Clinical depression is also referred to as major depression or major depressive disorder, and its a more severe type of depression than temporary sadness that doesnt prevent you from participating in your daily activities.
Clinicians rely on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , published by the American Psychiatric Association for the criteria to diagnose someone with clinical depression symptoms.
Depression symptoms must be present for at least two weeks to be considered clinical depression. Clinical depression is a serious mood disorder because it interferes with normal functioning. People with depression experience symptoms that affect how they feel, think, and handle their daily lives. The symptoms of depression often interfere with sleep, diet, and work.
Certain types of depression develop under specific, unique circumstances.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
A persistent depressive disorder is also called dysthymia. This type of depression requires the presence of symptoms of depression that last for at least two years. The persistent depressive disorder causes symptoms that alternate with major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms. This diagnosis holds as long as the symptoms continue for at least two years.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Why A Mental Health Professional Is Best
It’s very importantespecially if this is your first time seeking treatment for depressionthat you obtain a referral to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional if your general practitioner suspects depression.
Though your family doctor or general practitioner may offer to prescribe you an antidepressant, they are not always the best-qualified doctor to treat depression. They do not possess the training to offer you psychotherapy nor are they experienced in the nuances of prescribing psychotropic medications the way that a psychiatrist is.
Psychiatry is a blend of art and science. Treating depression is not quite as simple as giving someone a prescription for Zoloft or Prozac and sending them on their way. Some individuals will need several trials of different medications to find one that best relieves their symptoms with the least amount of side effects.
Some people will need more than one medication to counteract side effects or to boost positive effects. Most will likely benefit from adding psychotherapy to the mix. Discussing options with your psychiatrist will determine the best path.
Depression Discussion Guide
Besides the medication specifics, you may have a completely different mental health condition and not depression. Bipolar disorder is one such disorder that may be initially misdiagnosed as depression but requires a very different course of treatment.
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Do Things You Used To Enjoy
If youre depressed I know you dont feel like doing anything right now.
However, one of the best things I did to start to recover was to make myself spend time doing the things I used to enjoy.
I spent time with friends, went on long bike rides and took my dog on walks even though I didnt want to.
What I felt like doing was staying in bed for weeks on end and giving up.
Fighting against my depression just felt so hard and I felt almost completely hopeless.
However, I knew the only way to ever get better was to get up and do things and staying in bed would only make it worse.
I made the decision to make myself do some activities every single week and I slowly started to add more and more to my calendar.
I really tried to add activities that I thought I would enjoy if I wasnt depressed. I started channeling my alter ego and I would ask myself if I wasnt depressed what would I do?.
Acting how I would act if I had already recovered from depression helped me think of other things to do besides just giving up and staying in bed.
If you want some ideas of things you could do check out my list of free self-care activities.
Do I Have Depression Take The Quiz
Are you depressed? Are you wondering if your behavior, sadness, and emotions are related to this disease? This is the question most people ask themselves in their lives. All of us have ever experienced mood swings, states of sadness, or anxiety. The ‘do I have depression quiz’ was created to help every person that is still not sure whether they’re depressed or it’s just gehenna.
Depression is a disease that affects many people and can be successfully treated. The first step to recovery is to diagnose your symptoms. The first symptoms of depression often go unnoticed, and we put our mental state on too much work or duties. However, if you have a mental disorder for at least 14 days that you cannot explain, you should contact your doctor. It could be depression. Over 250 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Depression affects people of all ages, even children and teenagers. The first step to finding out if you are depressed is to answer a dozen questions in our ‘do I have depression quiz’.
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Can Depression Be Prevented
You can help prevent depression by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and practicing regular self-care activities such as exercise, meditation and yoga.
If youve had depression before, you may be more likely to experience it again. If you have depression symptoms, get help. Care can help you feel better sooner.
What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
- get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
- ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.
You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.
You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.
Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.
- Advocacy by clicking here.
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Feeling Depressed Or Suffering From Depression
We often get mixed up between low mood and unhappiness and depression. The two things are very different. Depression isnt about feeling unhappy, its feeling youll never be happy again, explains Colin Grange, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Lifeworks.
If youre feeling low, is it starting to interfere with your day to day life? Are you not doing things that you used to do? Are you losing motivation in and enjoyment of life? Are you starting to not enjoy your hobbies? Is everything becoming an effort?
People suffering from clinical depression often experience a range of symptoms both physical and emotional which can interfere with day to day life. Discovering whether you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms could be an important step towards getting the help you need.
Quiz: Am I depressed?
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.
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Information For Family Carers And Friends
You can get support if you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with depression.
Being a carer might mean you can claim certain benefits that might help you and the person you care for. For more information, please see the Mental Health and Money Advice services website:www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/what-benefits-are-available-for-mental-health-carers/
You could also get in touch with carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area online or ask your GP.
You can ask your local authority for a carers assessment if you need more practical support to help care for someone.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which may make it difficult for you to get all the information you need in some circumstances.
You can find out more information about:
How can I support the person that I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with depression if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills. You can use this to support them to get help and stay well.
Below are some initial suggestions for providing practical day to day support to someone with depression.
You can find out more information about:
You can find more information about:
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.
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Depression
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is considered to be one of the leading psychological treatments for depression. All of our online courses use CBT strategies to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Click below to see if CBT can help you tackle your symptoms to improve the way you feel.
Strategies for Dealing with Depression
People who are depressed generally have a negative thinking style.
They often think of themselves as worthless and of the world as being a bad or unfair place, and they find it hard to hope that their lives will improve in the future.
When something bad happens, they blame themselves, but when good things happen, they tell themselves they are just lucky.
Furthermore, people with depression are less likely to recognize and appreciate positive events when they happen rather, they tend to be more tuned into the bad things in their lives and brood over those events.
The aim of a cognitive approach is to help people identify and correct their distorted and negatively biased thoughts.
This approach identifies and challenges underlying assumptions and beliefs.
With encouragement to reframe the way they think about life, people are able to recover from failures more effectively and to recognise and take credit for the good things in their lives.
People learn that they have some control over what happens to them. As with behavioural strategies, having these skills reduces relapse and recurrence of depression.
Depression And Gender: Is It Different In Men And Women
When it comes to depression, there is a distinct gender gap. Depression is nearly twice as common in women as in men, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Hormonal and other biological factors play a role in this disparity. After all, only women can have premenstrual or postpartum depression. The same is true of antepartum depression which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates affects one in seven women.
But women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder, note Harvard Health experts. The reasons for this are cause for speculation. Some researchers believe that environmental factors, such as the different and expectations that society places on women, are an important factor. Others theorize that men and women actually have depression at similar rates, but that women are more likely to talk about their feelings and seek help.
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How Do I Know If I Have Depression Or Not
An online depression test is not enough to get a diagnosis. The only way to receive a diagnosis of depression is to contact a healthcare professional. A psychologist or physician can make sure all of the criteria for depression are met.
There are some clinics that provide remote consultations through their apps. You can receive the first consultation at home, without having to visit a clinic. Here are two of the most popular online clinics:
- For people living in the UK, contact Babylon.
- For people living in Sweden, contact Kry.
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.
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Most People With Depression Need Treatment To Feel Better
If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your health care provider. This could be your primary doctor or a health provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions . Certain medications, and some medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A health care provider can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. Your health care provider will examine you and talk to you about treatment options and next steps.
Talking to Your Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health
Communicating well with your health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Read about tips to help prepare and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, including questions to ask your health care provider, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Getting Out Of A Funk: How To Help Yourself Through Depression
Everyone has off days where they feel tired, irritable, and sad. Its normal to feel sadness as a response to challenging life events, loss, or changes, but sometimes these feelings can stick around for a while if left unaddressed and make it difficult for you to get through each day.
Heres how you can tell when youre in a funk or maybe even experiencing a mild depression as well as what you can do to help yourself feel better.
When Should I Seek Help
Talking with a mental health counselor or doctor can help prevent things from getting worse, especially if your symptoms stay for any length of time.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, get help right away.
It’s important to understand that feeling depressed doesn’t mean you have depression. That condition involves not only changes in mood, but also changes in sleep, energy, appetite, concentration, and motivation.
If you have physical symptoms like these and find yourself feeling depressed much of the time for days or weeks, see your doctor.