Identify Any Underlying Conditions
I would venture to say that most people with treatment-resistant depression are also suffering from undiagnosed conditions. My list was long: Crohns disease, small intestine bacteria overgrowth , hypothyroidism, low stomach acid , adrenal fatigue, Raynauds phenomenon and connective tissue problems, pituitary tumor, aortic valve regurgitation, and certain nutrient deficiencies .
Its really best to work with an integrative or functional doctor. Many are listed on the website for the Institute of Functional Medicine, but you need to proceed with caution, because some of them are very expensive and will run unnecessary tests if youre not careful. At the very least, I would ask your primary care physician or psychiatrist to run these four blood tests: a complete blood count ; comprehensive metabolic profile ; a thyroid full panel, including TSH, free T4, free T3, and thyroid antibodies ; and the 25-OH vitamin D test, as well as B-12 levels. It may also be worth finding out if you have a Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene mutation , because we need the MTHFR enzyme to convert folate to its active form, methylfolate and folate deficiencies make it difficult for antidepressants to work. In fact, many studies link low folate levels to depression.
How Can I Take Care Of Myself
Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try to do things you used to enjoy. Even if you dont feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:
- Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
- Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
- Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are;feeling.
- Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.
- Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.
What Can You Do If A Loved One Has Depression
If someone you care for is depressed, the best thing you can do is help the person get or stay in treatment. Learn about the disease. Talk to the person, and gently encourage him or her to do things and see people. Don’t get upset with the person. The behaviour you see is the disease, not the person.
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Start A Walking Program
Walking just 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce your risk for major chronic diseases, including anxiety and depression. Read these tips to get started.
Use the following ideas to start your own walking program.
- Wear the pedometer for a few days and see how many steps you average.
- Set a daily goal and work up to it. A good goal is to increase your average daily steps gradually so that you get used to the increased distance. Recommendations vary on how fast to increase steps. Anywhere from 500-2,000 steps a week is reasonable.
- Record your daily steps in a log or notebook.
There are many ways to increase your daily steps:
- Choose a more distant parking place
- Take the stairs
- Walk over to a friend’s dorm room or a colleague’s office instead of using the phone or e-mail
- Walk the dog
- Walk with a friend each day
Find ways to walk even during the winter months or other inclement weather.
- Walking in the malls
- Local school track or fitness center
- 3-5min “walk breaks” during study time/work/etc
If you experience pain or discomfort, check with your primary care provider.
Remember, it takes about six months to “lock-in” a new behavior. Think of your walking program as a permanent change in your behavior. If you maintain your walking program for a minimum of six months, you are much more likely to maintain this change long-term.
Supplements Used To Avoid Or Treat Depression And Anxiety
1 . Omega 3-fatty acid is a great help for health in general and for depression in particular.
2.Vitamines B complex is a great option to avoid and adjuvant in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
3.Vitamines D can help in alleviating depression symptoms, not exceeding 600 international units per day.
4.Saffronn is used for centuries in herbal medicines for relaxation
5. SAMe is a dietary supplement that proved useful in depression, osteoarthritis, heart diseases, ADHD, and seizure.
6.Tryptophan is a protein builder block increase serotonin levels and eases the symptoms of depression.
7.St.Johns wort has been used for centuries in herbalism including for depression.
8.CBD Oil is one of the newest options in treating depression but is one that looks very promising.
9.Ginseng is known to regulate the immune response and the hormonal change due to stress, helping in this way in depression.
10.Coenzima Q10 helps in depression, increase energy and well being.
11.Reverastrol is another antioxidant that shows promising results in treating depressions ad anxiety.
12.Blue-green algae, is also helpful in controlling the depression and anxiety.
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Dosage And Side Effects
It is rare for a person to stay on the same dose she is initially prescribed. Instead, doctors adjust dosageonce every week or every two weeks in the beginning, as the medication builds up in the brain to reach an effective level. During this time your childs clinician will ask questions about how she is tolerating the medication, including side effects she might be experiencing.
Most uncomfortable side effects will present early, says Dr. Nash. I tell patients you might experience side effects before the desired effects. Clinicians should stay in touch with families during these first several weeks, monitoring how children are feeling and providing guidance because, as Dr. Nash says, It can be a hard time for patients, who might feel headaches or insomnia, but not feel better yet. She says the side effects can go away after one to two weeks.
It can take a while for a patient to start feeling the full effect of an antidepressant medication. The medication might start to work at two to four weeks, but you can still be feeling more benefit at six weeks further out, says Dr. Nash.
Exercise To Pump You Up
Regular physical activity might not be the first thing your doctor prescribes when they diagnose you with depression. However, maybe it should be part of your therapy.
A Duke University study found that 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise three times a week was as effective at relieving symptoms of depression in the short term as antidepressant medication.
The study also found that depression was less likely to return in people who continued to exercise after the initial trial.
Depression can make you feel disconnected from the things you love. It also can cause fatigue and sleep problems. Unwinding can have a positive effect on your mood.
Relaxation techniques include:
- reduce stress
- promote relaxation and emotional wellness
Though more research is necessary, some studies, including studies by the University of Westminster, show that yoga may be beneficial for improving depression symptoms.
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Natural Remedies For Depression
1. Healthy and Well-Balanced Diet
You may be surprised to learn that your food choices can have a significant impact on your mood. Its key to eat foods that support neurotransmitter function, which are the brains messengers that control your mood, energy levels, appetite and many other processes in the body. Neurotransmitters are significantly influenced by the foods you put into your body.
Research including a 2018 study published in the journal Primary Care also shows that eating an anti-inflammatory diet, such as one that closely mimics the traditional Mediterranean diet, can reduce your risk for depression. When compared to other balanced diets including the Healthy Eating Index diet , the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet , and the Dietary Inflammatory Index diet, the study found that the risk of depression was reduced most with adherence to a healthy Mediterranean-type diet.
that should be part of your diet to prevent and treat depression:
2. Limited or No Refined Carbohydrates and Sugars
To reduce depressive symptoms by supporting the health of your brain and balancing your hormones, avoid eating packaged and processed foods that are made with refined carbohydrates and sugars. Stick to real, whole foods that are in their natural forms.
3. Fish Oil
5. Vitamin D3
What To Expect From A Clinician
Having a good relationship with your clinician is essential, because the more engaged and committed a person is in treatment, the more likely it is to be successful. A good clinician should make sure you understand the goals of treatment and make you feel like your questions are being taken seriously. You should also feel like you can be honest about how you are doing.
Jill Emanuele, PhD, senior director of the Mood Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute, says one of the first things she does with a new patient is try to establish a good rapport. You get to know the person, you make them comfortable. You establish a safe space where you show them that youre listening and you care. Often enough were the first person thats actually listening to them in a way they havent experienced before, or have not experienced often.
If a person is resistant to treatment, Dr. Emanuele says she tries to address that. Maybe theyve had a difficult experience with therapy before, or they dont really trust adults, or perhaps they are shamed by their behavior or what theyre feeling, and they dont want to show it to another person. Dr. Emanuele says these are some common reasons why someone might be reluctant to start treatment. Good clinicians will try to address this resistance, explain how treatment works , and gain the trust of their patient.
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What Alternative Therapies Are Recommended For Depression
No alternative therapy is guaranteed to cure depression, but the same can be said about several Western medicines and psychotherapies. To be safe, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before you try one or more of these recommended therapies:
- Herbal remedies: Herbal remedies are made from plants. Of the wide variety of available herbal therapies, St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba are the products most often used for treating depression.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of healing that prevents and cures specific diseases and conditions.
- Reflexology: For this treatment, the reflexologist applies pressure to different pressure points on your feet, hands, ears and face.
- Exercise: In general, exercise is a safe and easy way to improve your well-being.
- Meditation: Meditation is a form of relaxation and introspection.
- Massage: Massage uses touch to promote relaxation while decreasing tension and stress.
- Guided imagery: Guided imagery is a form of focused relaxation that helps create harmony between the mind and body.
- Yoga: Yoga is a type of exercise and spiritual practice.
- Deep breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths in, then slowly exhaling, while your mind focuses on the breath.
Or Spend Time With Loved Ones
Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family, but face-to-face time can help wash away those tendencies.
If youre unable to spend time together in person, phone calls or video chats can also be helpful.
Try to remind yourself these people care about you. Resist the temptation to feel like youre a burden. You need the interaction and they likely do, too.
When you do the same thing day after day, you use the same parts of your brain. You can challenge your neurons and alter your brain chemistry by doing something entirely different.
Research also shows doing new things can improve your overall well-being and strengthen your social relationships.
To reap these benefits, consider trying a new sport, taking a creative class, or learning a new cooking technique.
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
When you do something you love, or even when you find a new activity you enjoy, you may be able to boost your mental health more by taking time to be thankful for it.
Research shows gratitude can have lasting positive effects on your overall mental health.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability, frustration or restlessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not ease even with treatment
- Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening.
- Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
- Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
- If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.
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Psychotherapy For Depression Treatment
If there is no underlying medical cause for your symptoms of depression, talk therapy can be an extremely effective treatment. What you learn in therapy gives you skills and insight to feel better and help prevent depression from coming back.
There are many types of therapy available. Three of the more common methods used in depression treatment include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. Often, a blended approach is used.
Some types of therapy teach you practical techniques on how to reframe negative thinking and employ behavioral skills in combating depression. Therapy can also help you work through the root of your depression, helping you understand why you feel a certain way, what your triggers are for depression, and what you can do to stay healthy.
Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
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Talk About Your Depression
One of the best things someone with depression can do is to find people they trust and discuss their depression with them. Support systems are needed and admitting depression and the need for help is a huge step forward in the healing process.
According to Beliefnet,
The most basic and simple reason talk is important is that it lets you give voice to your pain. Perhaps up to now you havent told anyone you are depressed. Maybe you havent even admitted it to yourself. It might even be that you dont know you are depressed. No one can help you if you wont give voice to your pain.
Talk To A Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Talk therapy can help in the treatment of depression. This can help you learn more about your depression and help you discover methods to manage your symptoms.;
While you may not want to talk about your depression, talk therapy is an effective means of treating it. Depression goes beyond your feelings and also looks into your thoughts, actions, and overall lifestyle. A licensed mental health counselor will help you pinpoint what area you need to work on to help cope with your depression.;
Along with your therapist, you can create new tactics to successfully handle your needs and regain control of your life. Your therapist will give you additional support in your endeavors, offering an unbiased opinion and professional advice.;
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Individual Or Group Therapy
When you hear the word therapy you might automatically think of one-on-one sessions with a therapist. However, group therapy can be very useful in depression treatment as well. Both group and individual therapy sessions usually last about an hour. What are the benefits of each? In individual therapy, you are building a strong relationship with one person, and may feel more comfortable sharing some sensitive information with one person than with a group. You also get individualized attention.
In group therapy, listening to peers going through the same struggles can validate your experiences and help build self-esteem. Often group members are at different points in their depression, so you might get tips from both someone in the trenches and someone who has worked through a challenging problem. As well as offering inspiration and ideas, attending group therapy can also help increase your social activities and network.
When the going gets tough in therapy