Are you wondering how to deal with depression? Depression is an incredibly common mental condition, affecting nearly 17.3 million people in the United States from age 18 and up. This condition can be disruptive to your life and make you feel as if there is no help to feel any better.
The good news is that there is hope for treating your depression. Keep in mind that depression often takes a combination of resources to help make you feel better, allowing depression to stay at bay for as long as possible.
First, let’s talk about what depression is in the symptoms that go along with it.
In simple terms, depression is a mental health disorder. It’s classified by a persistent low mood that can interrupt daily life. It affects the way you think, feel, and act. Many feel they have little-to-no control in their lives when they are overcome with depression.
Depression is a blanket statement for this mental health disorder. This is because there are several types of depression that one can have, including:
Chronic Depression: this is a depressive disorder that is ongoing and moderate in nature. You may feel depressed for years, and there may be few and far times in between where you feel good or happy.
Dysthymia: this is a low-grade and mild form of depression that lasts a long time. People with dysthymia, also known as persistent depression, typically experience symptoms for at least two years or longer.
Postpartum depression: this occurs when a baby is born and the mother experiences ongoing depressive symptoms. The first two weeks are typically called the baby blues and are caused by a shift in hormones. However, depressive symptoms lasting after that time period will typically be classified as postpartum depression. If postpartum goes untreated, it can last for years to a point that it’s considered as chronic depression.
SAD: Seasonal affective disorder is a common occurrence during the winter when there is lack of sunlight and shorter days. This disorder usually resolves itself when longer days and sunshine arrives.
Manic depression: also known as bipolar disorder, manic depression will have patients experiencing periods of low mood and periods of high or euphoric mood.
Regardless of the type of depressive disorder that a patient may have, symptoms are mostly the same. The patient will experience symptoms of the following, but not necessarily all of them.
Important note: if you are having suicidal thoughts, please call 911 or somebody that you trust. There is help for depressive disorders, no matter how unbelievable this may seem at the time. You may also call the national suicide hotline number at 800-273-8255. The hotline is open 24 hours a day and trained professionals are on standby for your emotional support.
There are several theories as to what causes depression. A lot of this depends on the individual, and a combination of internal and external factors.
One reason for depression to occur is faulty mood regulation in the brain. This is also seen as a chemical in balance, which can be corrected with medication.
Another reason may include an abusive home or relationship. Environmental factors can play a key role in mental health. In some situations, removing oneself from a negative environment can yield an improvement in depressive symptoms.
Dealing with loss of life with a loved one is also a common reason for depression. Stressful life events such as a cross-country move, having a baby, or getting divorced can also result in depression.
The truth is that depression is a complex disorder. There may be a combination of reasons that is contributing to a patient’s depressive episode.Sometimes, patients may not even know why they feel depressed in the first place.
There is almost always a reason why a person becomes depressed, whether they are aware of it or not. A therapist can help work out any underlying issues that may be causing the depression. Meanwhile, a doctor can help prescribe proper medication to help patients feel like themselves again.
Just like there are a myriad of reasons that a person can become depressed, there are also many different ways that the pressure can be treated.
Not to mention, it will typically take more than one change or solution for treatment.
Keep in mind that depression is not curable. A person who has depression will typically have it for their entire life at some point, as it may come and go throughout the lifetime. However, depression is treatable and you can alleviate or even illuminate symptoms.
How does this happen? First, a doctor will need to evaluate your condition and diagnose depression.
The doctor will typically put you on a low-dose of an antidepressant, otherwise known as an SSRI. Some of the common SSRIs that you may come across include Zoloft and Prozac.
The purpose of this medication is to regulate any imbalance in the brain that is causing the depressive episode.
However, know that the medication is only one piece of the puzzle. If you think you have depression, there are other steps to take to get you feeling better as quickly as possible.
Do you think you have depression, the first step is to reach out for help. Delaying this step will only make it longer to get treatment as you suffer unnecessarily.
It may feel difficult to admit that you need help, but this is the only way to get you moving in the right direction.
Who should you call if you think you have depression? Start with your primary doctor. A doctor such as Hillendate Primary Care can schedule you an appointment to talk about your depression and get you on the right track to treatment.
Are you wondering how to deal with depression? It’s important to consider self care. It can feel difficult to care for yourself when you are feeling your worst. It’s important to remember that even very small acts of self care can make a big difference.
These are a few self-care ideas to consider when you have depression.
It’s not uncommon for depressed people to forgo bathing or even brushing thier teeth. The truth is that this can make you feel worse. If you have severe depression, you can aim to take a shower and not do anything else for the day. Sometimes a shower can take an incredible amount of energy for depressed patients, but it’s important for your physical health and well being.
Meanwhile, keep up with brushing your teeth as normal. Set an alarm on your phone if you have a hard time remembering to do so. Keeping your teeth brushed is also important for your oral health.
Many patients with depression avoid depression because it takes an incredible amount of energy to exercise. How are you supposed to exercise when you don’t have the energy?
While it sounds strange, exercise will help give you more energy. Remember that exercise doesn’t mean that you need to run a 5k. You can try some yoga, which is an excellent self-care activity. You can also take a short walk. Stretching can even get your muscles moving and help you feel better.
Spending time in nature is an excellent way to help alleviate depression. Nature has a calming effect on depressive symptoms, which can help you feel a boost in your mood.
Meanwhile, exercising outdoors can give you an even bigger impact for helping with depression. This is because exercise boosts endorphins, and the natural sunlight aids in this process.
If you aren’t up for exercising, you can always try a hobby such as gardening or even painting while outdoors.
Depressed patients may not feel motivated to think about eating healthy, but this is one of the best acts of self care that you can do for yourself.
When you eat a lot of processed foods, it can make you feel sluggish. In recent years, omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and flaxseed, is believed to help depression. Very low carb diets can also contribute to fatigue and lack of motivation to exercise after 2 weeks.
The best approach is eating a balanced diet and being mindful of the freshness of your food.
Do you know how to deal with depression? Hillandale Primary Care is here to help. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment, getting the treatment you need to live the life that you deserve.