Different Types Of Depression
There are different types of depression, and there are some conditions where depression is a symptom. These conditions include:
- Bipolar disorder people with bipolar disorder, which is also known as “manic depression”, experience times of depression, where the symptoms are similar to clinical depression. They also go through phases when they have excessively high moods . Bouts of mania can include harmful behaviour like unsafe sex, spending sprees and gambling.
- Seasonal affective disorder is also called “winter depression”. It’s depression that is related to weather, usually winter, so it happens seasonally.
- Postnatal depression happens to some women after they’ve had a baby. It’s treated similarly to other types of depression, with antidepressant medication and talking therapy.
Learn more about how depression is diagnosed here.
Can Meditation Change The Structure Of The Brain
Meditation will most likely help your brain handle strong emotions better, which can be valuable when trying to treat depression without medication.
In 2010, Dr. Norman Farb and his colleagues wanted to find out if people who meditated regularly reacted differently to sadness than those who didnt. As it turned out, they did. People who meditated regularly used the present moment network in their brains when feeling sad. Meaning, they could experience the feeling of sadness, without becoming caught up in it or making it worse with worrying thoughts. The non-meditators used the evaluation network of the brain. Meaning, they got caught up in thoughts about sadness, such as why do I feel this way?, how can I stop this? theres something wrong. Heres a picture of their brains:
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 holistic way to treat depression without medication regular meditation practice is definitely recommended.
A Lack Of Confidence Keeps You Depressed
When you lack confidence in yourself and your abilities, you naturally have lower self esteem and feel worse about yourself, which makes you more prone to depression.
But when you lack confidence in your ability to get rid of depression, your situation gets even worse. This is because if you think you cant or wont get rid of depression, this kills your energy and motivation to do anything to stop being depressed.
Consequently, you predictably dont do anything that would help you stop being depressed, like changing your thinking or improving your lifestyle.
The end result is that you remain depressed. In this way, the belief that you cant get rid of depression becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and keeps you trapped in a state of depression.
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Diet As Depression Treatment
Our first medication-free depression treatment is about changing your diet.
In 2017, Esther Vermeulen and her colleagues found that people who eat a lot of red meat, added sugars, high-fat dairy products, fried foods and creamy sauces experience more depressive symptoms and depressed moods than others. 4969 people participated in the HELIUS study. This means that sugar and fat equals low mood. It also means that a meal at our nearest fast food restaurant is not as cheap and convenient as it seems. We eventually pay for it with our mental health.
You get the point. Its a good idea to stay away from too much fat and sugar when depressed. But what foods will act as a depression treatment?
Can Depression Be Without Medicine
Depression cannot be cured but the effect can be minimized to the barest minimum without medicine and with therapy.
Can depression be treated without drugs?
Yes, for mild depression, it can be treated without drugs. For severe depression, it has to be treated with drugs.
Can mild depression be treated without medication?
Yes, mild to moderate depression can be treated without medication.
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You Have Every Reason To Be Confident
You dont need a sugar pill to be confident! After all, youve already got everything it takes to eliminate depression for good, so it makes complete sense for you to be completely confident that you can and will eliminate depression with enough time and effort.
Think about it: the most important factor for getting rid of depression is to change your thinking, and you are fully capable of changing your thoughts. After all, this is what learning is all about.
Also, you are getting step by step guidance in this course about what thoughts to change and why, as well as what other things to do to get rid of depression even faster. This makes it even easier to eliminate depression.
The logical conclusion of all this is that by taking the kinds of steps youre already taking, you will inevitably eliminate depression. Its only a matter of time.
What Does The Treatment Involve
Antidepressants are usually taken daily. The goal in the first few weeks and months is to relieve the symptoms and, where possible, make the go away. Once that has been achieved, the treatment is continued for at least four to nine months. This continuation therapy is necessary to stop the symptoms from coming back. The medication is sometimes taken for longer to prevent relapses. The duration of treatment also depends on how the symptoms continue to develop over time and whether the depression is likely to return. Some people take antidepressants over many years.
It’s important to have regular appointments with your doctor when taking antidepressants. There you can talk about whether the symptoms have improved and whether there are any side effects. The dose will be adjusted if necessary. By no means should you reduce the dose or stop taking the medication on your own. That can make the tablets less effective, or they may cause more side effects.
Towards the end of the treatment, the dose is gradually reduced over the course of several weeks. You may experience temporary sleep problems, nausea or restlessness when coming off antidepressants. These symptoms are especially likely if you suddenly stop taking antidepressants. Sometimes people stop taking their medication as soon as they start feeling better, but that increases the risk of the coming back. Unlike many sleeping pills and sedatives, antidepressants don’t cause physical dependence or addiction.
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Lets Learn As A Society To Better Treat Anxiety And Depression Without Medication
Perhaps depression is inherent to the human condition. That doesnt mean we cant heal or that healing always requires drugs. From diet to exercise to meditation there are natural interventions that can help treat depression without medication or antidepressants.
At Flow we believe the best way to fight depression is a combination approach. If you are finding it difficult to know where to start, why not try out a few of the approaches listed here and see what works for you. Committing to a few habits can help you discover what approaches, whether it is tDCS, or medication, or perhaps both, will help reduce your depressive symptoms.
Remember there is no single best and fail safe treatment for depression. What works for you will be individual to your experience and the unique balance of chemicals in your brain. We are rooting for you.
Before you go, dont forget to check out our free depression app.
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Why Treatment Is Important
While many medications, such as antibiotics, cure the illnesses they are designed to treat, antidepressants do not cure depression. Their effect is only temporary. This is because antidepressants work by changing the brain’s chemistry, but only for as long as the person is taking them. They do not address the underlying causes of depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health shares that depression has a number of potential, and oftentimes complex, causes. Some may be genetic or biological and others may be environmental or psychological.
No matter the cause, untreated depression can be extremely debilitating to an individual, interfering with every part of life. In addition, severe depression can potentially lead to suicide if it does not receive immediate attention.
Depression has also been linked to a variety of physical health issues, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic disorders. In the case of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, depression may accelerate the progression of the disease.
Having depression can even make it more difficult to treat other medical illnesses because the lack of motivation and energy associated with depression makes it more difficult for patients to comply with their treatment regimens.
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Psychotherapy Focuses On Thoughts And Behaviors
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is designed to help people identify and effectively deal with the psychological, behavioral, interpersonal, and situational aspects of their depression.
Each type of psychotherapy has different goals. According to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, these goals include helping people in these ways:
- Adjust to a crisis or other current situational difficulty.
- Identify negative or distorted beliefs and behaviors, and replace them with positive, healthy ones. Or create a list of more realistic beliefs to balance out the distorted ones when they occur.
- Identify life problems that contribute to depression and change behaviors that worsen it.
- Address relationships and experiences to improve interactions with other people.
- Develop skills to better cope with stress and solve problems.
- Identify issues in life that feed into depression and learn how to avoid behaviors that make these problems worse.
- Regain a sense of control and satisfaction in life to counter symptoms of depression such as anger and hopelessness.
- Learn how to set realistic life goals.
- Develop healthier behaviors that enhance the ability to tolerate and accept stress.
There are four common types of psychotherapy used to treat depression:
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What Is Cognitive Therapy
Cognitive Therapy is a type of Psychotherapy that deals with the cognitive distortions and schemas in people’s thinking.
The goal is to help people recognize negative thoughts and problem-solve them before they have a chance to negatively impact their life.
Cognitive therapy can also help people learn how to avoid problematic situations before they arise.
Cognitive therapy can help people through the steps, which are as follows.
- Identify the negative thoughts to be changed.
- Develop alternative thoughts to replace negative thoughts.
- Pretend the thought is someone else’s and reply to it with a different thought.
- Work on related issues that have not been addressed.
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How Effectively Do Antidepressants Relieve The Symptoms
There are a lot of different medications for treating . But it’s difficult to predict how well a particular medication will help an individual. So doctors often first suggest taking a drug that they consider to be effective and relatively well tolerated. If it doesn’t help as much as expected, it’s possible to switch to a different medication. Sometimes a number of different drugs have to be tried before you find one that works.
Studies show that the benefit generally depends on the severity of the : The more severe the depression, the greater the benefits will be. In other words, antidepressants are effective against chronic, moderate and severe depression. They don’t help in mild depression.
The various antidepressants have been compared in many studies. Overall, the commonly used tricyclic antidepressants were found to be equally effective. Studies involving adults with moderate or severe have shown the following:
- Without antidepressants: About 20 to 40 out of 100 people who took a placebo noticed an improvement in their symptoms within six to eight weeks.
- With antidepressants: About 40 to 60 out of 100 people who took an antidepressant noticed an improvement in their symptoms within six to eight weeks.
In other words, antidepressants improved symptoms in about an extra 20 out of 100 people.
Antidepressants can also relieve long-term symptoms of chronic depressive disorder and chronic , and help make them go away completely.
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How To Recognize Negative Thoughts And Solve Them Before They Become A Problem
When we focus on a thought, it just becomes stronger and more believable.
One of the goals of cognitive therapy is to use this knowledge and identify negative thoughts before they become a problem.
If you notice that you’re thinking about something that’s not productive, then it’s time to change your thoughts. The next time that negative idea comes up, try one of the following:
-I’m feeling sleepy.Maybe I’m tired?
-I’ll never be successfulIt’s not up to me whether I’m successful or not.
-I can’t stop worryingWhat would happen if I stopped worrying?
-I’m feeling sleepy.You’re right, I should get some sleep!
-I’ll never be successfulIt sounds like you’ve had that goal for awhile, what will happen if you don’t achieve it?
How Do Antidepressants Work
The nerve cells in our brain use various chemicals to pass on signals. Even though not all details are known, experts believe that is caused by an imbalance of certain chemical messengers like serotonin, which means that signals can’t be passed along the nerves properly. Antidepressants aim to increase the availability of these chemicals. The various drugs do that in different ways.
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Find Reasonable Goals That Provide Accomplishment
In most cases, those with depression will feel guilty when they talk about goals because they set unworkable and unreasonable goals. Goals are workable only if:
- Its something you can control and doesnt depend on others
- Its something thats manageable and not overwhelming
- Its something realistic for you and not someone else
- Its measurable, and you know whether its getting finished or not
If something goes wrong with the goal, adopt a what can I learn from this type of attitude instead of judging yourself. You should never compare your progress to others.
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Depression: How Effective Are Antidepressants
Like psychotherapy, antidepressants are a key part of treating . They aim to relieve symptoms and prevent depression from coming back.
Opinions vary on how effective antidepressants are in relieving the symptoms of . Some people doubt that they work well, while others consider them to be essential. But, like with many other treatments, these medications may help in some situations and not in others. They are effective in moderate, severe and chronic depression, but probably not in mild cases. They can also have side effects. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of antidepressants with your doctor.
The main aim of treatment with antidepressants is to relieve the symptoms of severe , such as feeling very down and exhausted, and prevent them from coming back. They are meant to make you feel emotionally stable again and help you to follow a normal daily routine. They are also taken to relieve symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety and sleep problems, and to prevent suicidal thoughts.
This information is about using medication to treat the most common form of , known as unipolar depression. The treatment options for manic depression aren’t discussed here.
Tend To Your Social Life
When you’re depressed, there’s no reason to go it alone, and there are all sorts of reasons to reach out to friends and family. Make plans with loved ones and keep those dates. Join a club or sign up for a group activity such as a local dodgeball league or a French class.
Other things you might try:
- Join a support group. Talking to other people who are going through similar experiences and challenges can be informative and helpful.
- Schedule activities. Having routines can be helpful when you are going through depression. Create a daily schedule that includes spending time with others. You are more likely to stick to it if it’s a scheduled event.
- Volunteer.Joining a cause that you care about is a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle.
The problem is that depression often causes people to withdraw, which only further exacerbates feelings of isolation and loneliness. Even when you don’t feel like going out or being social, try reaching out in whatever way is most comfortable for you. Enlist a few of your closest loved ones who understand what you are experiencing.
Doing the things you used to do might not bring you quite the same enjoyment when you are depressed, but getting out of the house and spending time with people who care about you can help you feel better.
What Are The Side Effects Of Antidepressants
Like all medications, antidepressants can have side effects. Over half of all people who take antidepressants have side effects. They usually occur during the first few weeks of treatment and are less common later on.
Some of these side effects are believed to be a direct consequence of the medication’s effect on the brain and are relatively similar among various drugs within the same group. Examples include a dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, restlessness and sexual problems. These kinds of problems are often perceived to be side effects of the medications. But some of them may be caused by the itself.
Whether or not someone has side effects, which side effects they have, and how frequent they are will depend on the drug, the dose used, and whether they have just started taking it or have been taking it for some time. And everyone reacts slightly differently to drugs too. The risk of side effects increases if you are also taking other medication. One of the drugs may make the side effects of the other worse. These kinds of drug interactions are common in older people and people with chronic illnesses who are taking several different kinds of medication.
For this reason, it’s important to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of the various medications with your doctor.
Some side effects are more common with particular drugs:
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