Five Different Ways to Treat the Symptoms of Depression


Five Different Ways to Treat the Symptoms of Depression

What Is Depression Therapy?

Once you have received a diagnosis for your depression, you are going to need some type of treatment or depression therapy.

Depression therapy is often in the form of prescribed drugs and/or a variety of counseling sessions from professionals. However, there are many more self-help therapies that you can learn to do alongside traditional treatments.

The type of treatment you receive will depend on your diagnosis and the length and severity of your illness.

Types and Benefits of Depression Therapy

There are several different types of depression therapy you can try, keep on reading to discover which one may be beneficial for you.

Medication

Antidepressants are usually prescribed for long-term and moderate to severe depression. There are many different types and makes of antidepressants, and what works for one person may not work for another.

They usually take antidepressants between four to eight weeks to work and sometimes you may need to try a couple of different types until you find one that starts to help. These work by elevating your mood and increasing serotonin production. They should reduce your anxiety levels allowing you to cope with day to day life.

Antidepressants are not said to be addictive, although a weening off schedule is needed to stop taking them. This reduces any potential side effects of antidepressants.

A positive impact when you stop taking antidepressants is that they stay in your system for a further six months which gives less chance for a relapse. It can be quite frightening taking away that “crutch.” Knowing that you have a further six months support, may give you the confidence to get fully well again.

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St Johns Wort (or Hypericum perforatum) is a herbal medicine and can be beneficial for mild depression. It doesn’t seem to take longer to work and can be stopped without the need for weaning off. There are usually fewer side effects for most people who take it compared to regular antidepressants.

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy is a very important part of depression treatment. It can be used in conjunction with medication or on its own.

It may be used to get to the cause of your depression or find ways to move forward and deal with any problems that are preventing you from getting better.

Depending on the level and type of depression you may need cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, or some other form of counseling.

CBT works by helping you to understand why you deal with things the way you do and teaches you to look at and treat problems in a different, more positive way. This can be extremely effective at making you feel stronger as a person, thus reducing depression caused by circumstances.

Psychotherapy is the form of psychiatry that we associate with lying on a couch and pouring out our innermost thoughts to be analyzed. This helps to discover underlying traumas that we are not aware of.

Counseling can be in varying formats dependant on the problem. It may be specific to deal with loss, grief, drug and alcohol addiction, or as a way to talk out your depression.

Counseling may feel less daunting to a depressed person. It is unusual in a relaxed, informal setting, and the counselor will talk with and listen to you. They usually ask questions which allow you to identify what the problem is and come to a solution for a way for you to solve your problems.

They do not prescribe medication or tell you how to address situations, and they simply ask the right questions to guide you. This can leave you feeling stronger as a person. It is more rewarding to have worked it out yourself.

Talking informally to other people suffering from depression can also be accessed on forums and in social media groups. Just finding someone who knows what you are going through can be a massive help.

You can also get talk support via charitable mental health organizations.

Exercise and Diet

Eating a healthy balanced diet is of utmost importance, so a good mix of fruit and vegetables, nuts, oily fish, white meat, with some wholemeal carbs. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and recreational drugs.

If you are normally fit and healthy and partake in regular strenuous exercise, then you will be aware of the positive effect that this type of exercise has on the brain. As the heart rate increases so does oxygen to the brain. It releases serotine and other feel-good hormones, leaving you feeling happy and more energetic.

Depending on the severity of your depression you just might not feel up to working out and exercising. If you can’t quite face anything too strenuous, then try relaxation exercises such as yoga, tai chi, and qi gong. They can be beneficial as they stretch out your body but also improve your mental wellbeing. They all incorporate slow, focused deep breathing which brings more oxygen to the brain and focuses to the mind.

Keeping your body physically fit is a huge aid to the recovery of your mind.

Self Care

When your brain is depressed, it is important to de-stress your mind and body. With mental illness becoming more apparent, people realize the need for more self-care. We all lead such busy lives now, and it is important to give ourselves some time to relax.

Try to give yourself some time out from work and chores and enjoy some “me time.” Quiet past-times such as reading, coloring and watching television or listening to music can help calm you.

Having a long soak in the tub can soothe your mind and body. Add some luxury with bubbles or aromatic oils and scents. Epsom salts can be wonderful for relieving those aching muscles and joints that have tightened up with stress.

Meditation can be especially helpful in balancing your mind. It may seem very daunting to a stressed mind, but you could try a guided meditation to help you to focus on something apart from your worries.

The Takeaway

These are some of the most common forms of depression therapy. You should always seek medical advice to work out the most suitable type of therapy for your depression.

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Depression has become too much to ignore any longer. It may be time to seek professional help, but how do you know what therapist is right for you?
by Eric Patterson on September 16, 2014
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