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What is Depression And What Are The Treatment OptionsDepression, a term often talked or discussed about, is a mental health disorder that can affect a person both emotionally & physically. There are different types of depression that can have mild to severe impact on a common person; however the most common form is responsible for isolating one with overwhelming sadness. Depression, if not treated properly, can last for days, months or even years.

Causes of Depression

Depression is generally caused due to activation of a pre-existing vulnerability, due to occurrence of some stressful events in life. The pre-existing vulnerability may be schematic or genetic in nature. It has been observed that depression can be biological, social, psychological or evolutionary. Drug abuse can also result into depression for a human being.

Different Types of depression

Atypical Depression: This is mainly characterized by mood reactivity. When a certain good thing happens, the person suffering from atypical depression may experience positive mood change though. This type of depression is also identified through over-eating and over-sleeping of the concerned person.

Postpartum Depression: By the name itself it is evident that this type of depression is experienced by women after the delivery of the baby, the main reason being hormonal changes that a human body experiences post pregnancy. This kind of depression is mild in nature and most of times; it won’t require any special treatment. However, in rare occasions, such depression can turn into psychosis and under such extreme situations; the patient should seek professional help.

Major Depressive Disorder: Also known as Clinical Depression, the symptoms of Major Depression Disorder was first classified in the diagnostic manual of American Psychiatric Association (1980 edition). People suffering from clinical depression generally lose interest in any kind of activity. The symptoms may disappear or reappear in gap of a few weeks. At certain times, major depression disorder may be caused by guilt of some wrong doing in the past. To diagnosis this, patients generally have to undergo mental status examination. 20-40 years is the peak time when people experience this depression disorder. At extreme situations, such patients can even commit suicide.

Neurotic Depression: The symptoms last for longer time period (Sometimes more than 2 years); however, it is a less severe than major depression disorder. This is a chronic disorder and many times, the patient tends to believe that depression is part of his character and may not even understand that he is a victim of neurotic depression. As the patient generally withdraws from all social activities, it’s even tougher to identify the symptoms.

Manic-depressive Disorder: Also known as Bipolar disorder, this is identified with one or more episodes of extremely high energy levels. One who faces mania (the elevated moods), also experience depressive episodes in life, separated by periods of normal mood. However, in case of rapid cycling, mania and depression may alternate. Severe Manic-depressive Disorder may also result into hallucinations and delusions. Certain subtypes of Manic-depressive disorder include Cyclothymia, Bipolar II and Bipolar I.

Treatments Options for Depression

Medication: The most common form of depression treatment. The doctors often prescribe antidepressants to the patients. These enhance the necessary chemical ranges in human brain. Certain antidepressants that are prescribed are: Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, Tetracyclic Antidepressants, Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors, Tricyclic Antidepressants, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors etc. A word of caution, never take an antidepressant unless it is prescribed by a professional.

Talk Therapy: Apart from medication, doctors even advise the patients to go through some talk therapy sessions. Depending on the exact type of depression, either interpersonal therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy can be applied on a patient. Through the former, the counselor tries to work on a problematic relationship that may have been the cause of depression. At certain times, this is done to enhance communication among family members as well, so that depression can easily be identified.

On the other hand, cognitive-behavioral therapy is done to help a person break the depressive cycle. It is designed to alter one’s negative way of thinking.

Shock Therapy: This is only done in case of extreme situations. The results are often short term and associated with side effects. The number of sessions required depends on the severity of the condition of a patient.

Natural Treatment options: Herbal supplements acts as base for natural depression treatment. Some of the most effective herbs are: Ginkgo Biloba, Passionflower, St. John’s Wort, Schisandra etc. For proper chemical synthesis of the human brain, certain natural therapies such as: Acupuncture, Music Therapy, Light Therapy, Flower Therapy etc. are also prescribed by the doctors.

Healthy Lifestyle is Important

No matter, which form of depression treatment you go through, for better results, a healthy lifestyle should be adopted by you:

  • Make sure to have enough sleep everyday (At least 7-9 hours). A sound sleep will help you live a stress free life.
  • Do exercise regularly. Heavy exercises are not required, until you want to; however certain physical activities such as jumping, walking, running, jogging, swimming etc. will help you a lot.
  • Proper diet is also very important when you try to beat depression. You should have small meals, but at regular intervals throughout the day. Try to avoid foods that contain high cholesterol or sugar. Vitamin C, Magnesium, Omega 3- Fatty Acids are certain elements that help you to stay away from mental stress.

Without help from your friends and family members, it’s tough to get over depression. But, know one thing; no help is better than self-help. It’s important to reduce stress in life. To do so, identify the elements that cause you stress and try to minimize the effects.

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