Finding Relief from Symptoms of Depression
The challenges of daily life can take a toll on a person’s sense of well-being. The stress associated with work, managing a family, going to school, and other challenges can lead to a sense of hopelessness that can undermine your ability to live an enjoyable life. Depression is a common problem that has a broad range of causes, but there are available treatment solutions that are effective in most situations.
If you are struggling with depression, you should recognize that you are not alone and that there are treatment options available. To find relief from the symptoms of depression, you should start by understanding the treatments that can be effective in your unique situation.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel little interest in doing activities that you normally enjoy. People who have depression often lose interest in taking care of their family, excelling at work, or pursuing their favorite hobbies.
Depression can be a serious problem when it inhibits a person’s ability to carry out their responsibilities in an effective way. In severe cases, people who suffer from depression quit their job, isolate themselves from friends, or even abandon their family. People cope with depression in different ways, so some people show few outward signs of depression while other people appear sad, irritable, and detached.
The reduced motivation that people struggling with depression experience can have a snowball effect that leads to deeper feelings of hopelessness. A salesperson who struggles with depression, for example, might receive fewer bonuses when his performance declines. Reduced performance can damage a person’s sense of self-worth, and this feeling can lead to even lower performance. The depressed salesperson might lose his job as a result of poor performance, and the consequences of this could lead to problems at home.
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Eventually, a person struggling with chronic depression might give up on trying and start engaging in reckless behaviors. Some people even contemplate suicide. The goal of most depression treatments, therefore, is to improve a person’s motivation and sense of self-worth to reverse the downward spiral of depression.
Signs and Symptoms
Depression can be caused by a wide range of factors, such as a traumatic event, a sense of failure, or a severe personal loss. In other cases, depression can have no clear cause, but it can still have a serious impact on a person’s ability to live a fulfilling life. If you think you might have depression, you should look out for the following symptoms.
Feelings of Sadness
People who are depressed often feel sad at all times. In some cases, you might feel sad even though you are with friends doing an activity that you used to enjoy. When you are alone, you might find yourself unable to do anything except to contemplate your sadness.
It is not uncommon for people who are suffering with depression to feel severe anxiety throughout the day. You might feel tense about problems at work or within your family. Paradoxically, anxiety can also be experienced as a result of reduced performance due to a decline in motivation caused by depression.
People who experience depression often have little interest in sleeping. Some sleep problems are due to lack of motivation since people who are depressed tend to have little interest in following a routine. You might also have sleeping problems if you are struggling with trauma or experiencing severe anxiety.
You might feel a need to lash out at your friends or family after only a minor provocation. In many cases, people who become irritable as a result of depression have no history of angry outbursts during other periods of life. You may even feel irritable in situations where it is inappropriate to express anger, such as at work or when talking to teachers.
Lack of Energy
Low motivation can lead to lethargic feelings that cause people who suffer with depression to feel as though they lack the energy to do anything. Feelings of low energy might cause you to ignore your alarm clock, skip meals, or arrive late for appointments.
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Common Treatment Options
Since depression has a wide variety of causes, there are many different treatment options that are available.
Meeting with other people who are struggling with depression can reduce your sense of isolation and help you to find solutions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
You can meet with professional psychoanalysts who will work with you to eliminate negative thought patterns and develop coping mechanisms.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
SSRIs are a class of antidepressant medications that help to increase your serotonin levels and improve your mood.
There are over 50 antidepressant medications that are available, and many of these drugs are designed for special cases. Bupropion, for example, can help depressed patients with ADHD symptoms, while monoamine oxidase inhibitors can help patients with extreme cases of depression.
Specialized computer programs have been developed to help patients cope with the symptoms of depression. You can identify a computer program that could help with your depression symptoms by working with a licensed therapist.
Some people believe that alternative remedies found outside the formal clinical setting can be effective for treating depression.
Mixtures of herbs, flowers, and tea are often recommended by people who claim to offer alternative remedies. You may also find some relief from your depression symptoms by finding a close friend or family member who you can talk to about your problems. A new job, sport, or hobby can sometimes give depressed patients a new sense of belonging and achievement.
You should, however, keep in mind that alternative remedies are often only helpful as supplementary treatments that are used in addition to treatments that are recommended by a licensed doctor.
A universal cure for depression is unlikely to be found in the near future because of the wide variety of circumstances that can lead to depression. Patients can, however, expect that new drugs will continue to be developed that will feature fewer side effects and faster results.
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Doctors are also likely to become better at diagnosing depression as it becomes more recognized in medical literature. Family doctors will be able to recognize the signs of depression at an early stage and refer patients to care providers who can provide effective treatment. Fewer people, therefore, will have to endure the effects of depression without medication or therapy to mitigate their symptoms.