When you are suffering from depression, it can feel overwhelming and hopeless. You might feel like you will never feel better, so what’s the point of going through the motions? But it is important to remember that even the worst cases of depression can be treated. With the right treatments and support, you can feel better. The road to feeling better won’t always be a smooth one, and sometimes you might feel like giving up, but if you keep working at it, you will find yourself out of the oppression of depression sooner than you might think.
Depression treatment can take many different forms. The key is to find what is effective for you, and it will most likely be a combination of the things in this list that follows:
- Natural supplements
- Lifestyle changes
Therapy is probably the most common treatment for depression. Even though you might automatically assume that therapy means you’ll be lying on a couch, telling a stranger about your childhood, the truth is that there are lots of different kinds of therapy. Sure, you may choose solo sessions, but group counseling can also be quite effective. The benefits to individual therapy include personal attention and a stronger relationship with your therapist. However, group counseling can be validating as you listen to others voice the inner struggles you also personally go through. You can hear tips from people who are farther along in the healing journey than you are, and you can assist others in their first steps. Therapy, and in particular talk therapy, is a tremendous component to successful depression treatment.
Medication for depression is quite popular. You see television commercials for it often. While depression often has a biological component (imbalance in the brain chemistry), medication does not simply wipe out the underlying problems of depression, though it may help alleviate some of the debilitating symptoms. Of course, for many people, depression medication gets them to a stable point so they can do the hard work of getting better through other options, like therapy. Discuss any medication with your doctor and know what the side effects are.
Exercise can surprise many people who are just starting to research depression and its treatment. While, like other avenues, it will not cure your disease on its own, it does play a valuable role. Exercise increases endorphins, the release of which is often referred to as a high. Exercise further increases self-esteem, improves sleep patterns, reduces stress and wards off anxiety. Add in the numerous health benefits and it is easy to see why exercise is often prescribed as a treatment for depression.
Natural Supplements and Vitamins
Many people have considered natural and herbal depression remedies. They are available over the counter and many report easing of symptoms after their use. However, the verdict is still out on their efficacy. Vitamins, minerals and herbs may be promising, but the research is still being conducted. If you do decide to try any natural supplements or vitamins, please take note of any side effects. Also, make sure your doctor is aware of everything that you take so they do not affect any of your other medications.
Lifestyle changes may sound simple, but they really pack a powerful punch. While they won’t usually cure depression on their own, but they often can help ease depression symptoms. One common change you can make is nutrition. Good, healthy eating isn’t just important for your physical health, but it also plays a significant role in your emotional and mental health. Eating well keeps your energy up and minimizes mood swings.
Another change you can make is with your sleep. You cannot underestimate the importance of sleep. Similar to nutrition, sleep also has a profound effect on your mood and your general health. When you’re deprived of sleep, you are more irritable and moody. When you don’t get enough sleep, your depression symptoms worsen, so try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. It can be easy to ignore this aspect of your life, especially with today’s busy pace, but make sleep a priority.
When you’re depressed, the temptation is to withdraw from your friends and social circle. Unfortunately, with drawing from people who care about you will only exacerbate your condition, sadness and feelings of isolation. Make an effort to reach out and stay active. Social situations and support keep you from being isolated, and they keep you feeling that you have people in your corner.
Depression does not go away without some hard work – you must take action. With the help of your medical professional, friends and family, you can create a treatment plan to incorporate lots of different strategies. Whatever your journey, it is time to get started on the road to mental health.