A lot of people in today's world will have at least one depressive episode in their lifetime.
But how do you know when it's time seek medical help for being depressed?
a Story about *Jane (Jane's name was changed to protect her)
Jane at the age of 40 was surprised when she was diagnosed with clinical depression.
She kept thinking that she does not have anything to be depressed about.
She was a very busy self employed mom of two.
She kept feeling down and tearful for no reason.
She began to eat more, especially comfort foods, and had no energy to get up in the morning.
She wanted to sleep all the time, but never woke up feeling refreshed
She lost interest in things that used to bring pleasure and felt terribly guilty when she struggled to interact with her children.
She found that she was worrying about things totally out of her control like global warming.
She found herself in this negative spiral and couldn't get out of it.
Jane is not alone.
Depression can affect all of us and it's on the increase.
It is predicted that by 2020 depression will be the second leading illness in the world.
Why are we depressed?
- Modern living is stressful and everybody faces situations of new stress every day - this happens more than ever before.
- We try keeping the same job, staying in relationships or keeping up with information and technology. Nothing is certain anymore.
- People are using interpersonal relationships less. More technology and less person to person contact.
- The dramatic change in the current economy all over the world.
- There is allot more uncontrollable, chronic stress and we feel more helpless and hopeless.
- These feelings are a recipe for depression and add to this the fear of losing your house of car to the bank and you have a winning formula for stress and depression.
- Genetics can also make some people more vulnerable to depression.
- All of these factors can contribute to the increased need for treatment of depression.
Luckily, depression responds well to treatment and no-one needs to suffer from it.
There are two main treatment options for depression, they are psychotherapy and medication:
1. How therapy works in depression
One-on-one therapy can help a depressed person realize that there is hope and things will change.
Before the medication starts to help, one-on-one therapy teaches new coping skills and helps to find ways to make changes.
When you are depressed, it is difficult to make decisions, so it is a safe place to get guidance and to talk about the things that bother you - that one else seems to understand.
Cognitive behavior therapy has life changing results - it changes your patterns of thinking. If you are interested to read more about it, click on CBT.
Once you become aware of the process behind your thinking - that you are in control of your thoughts, you can choose which patterns you want in your mind and you can begin to change them.
CBT can help to prevent you from getting depressed again, because it changes your thoughts and beliefs.
You start to realize that the situation you are in at this stage, although it might not seem that way today, it will change again. And that life in the end -considering all- is not as bad as you thought.
You will also learn not to be so hard on yourself and that life and think more realistic.
2. When to medicate:
Therapy can be a great help to treat depression, but you have to be open to it, otherwise it will not help you.
It can be that you are heavily depressed and that it has affected the function of your brain completely in such a way that your brain shuts down and does not accept the therapy.
In this case you will need medication first.
To get medication, you must go to a psychiatrist, he or she will assess you and give you the prescription for the medication that is the best for you.
Depressive illness - this is caused by certain chemicals or neurotransmitters decreasing in the brain and that is responsible for your mood.
The prescription for medication (antidepressants) the psychiatrist gives you will stimulate chemical changes and this will increase the levels of these neurotransmitters.
Different antidepressants affect one or more of the neurotransmitters.
When you start to take antidepressants you must continue to use them for at least six months after you get better.
The medication may help to reduce the symptoms quite quickly, but it does not mean that you are healed and if you stop with the medication too soon, the depression will return.
What are neurotransmitters:
Basically there are three main neurotransmitters that are associated with your mood and they are: dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. To find out more about norepinephrine, you can read this awesome, free PDF. (when you click on this link, it will start to download)
What to expect from the medication:
As mentioned earlier, the medication will help to normalize the neurotransmitters, this will let you start to feel that you can face life again.
Soon after you have taken the medication, you will start to feel drowsy and you will fall asleep, so it is best to take it at night before you go to bed.
Like any other medication, and this is very important, DO NOT MIX THE MEDICATION WITH ALCOHOL.
Conclusion: if you are depressed, what should you do?
Firstly you should evaluate and make sure that this is depression and not just PMS.
The ideal treatment is to use medication as a booster to get your brain to function normally and then the therapy will be effective.
The therapy will give you the tools to improve and help you to stay well.
The sooner you get help - the better!!
You can also consider using natural remedies which can be found at HerbsPro:
IF YOU TYPE THE WORD DEPRESSION INTO THE SEARCH BOX, YOU WILL GET 160 ITEMS WHICH YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM THAT WILL WORK FOR YOU.
Don't forget to get yourself some dark chocolate.
Also an article to read is "Are you in desperate need of mood enhancement and anxiety relief?"
Over to you:
1. Do you have any good information to share with us, because depression is increasing and any help will do.
2. Was this article helpful?
This article: depressed, should you medicate was written by Linda Pretorius and because so many of my friends have depression and for me, this is a very serious subject. Thank you for sharing.