We all have our ups and downs in our lives, it is pretty much common because life is not just a bed of roses. However, when you know someone who has been on the intense low notes for quite a while, for no apparent reason, he/she might be needing help to move on in life. Depression is not just feeling sad or moody from time to time.
There are several factors that could trigger an attack of depression. Difficult situations such as unemployment or stressful work situations, isolation, relationship issues, trauma, mental turmoil etc., can often result in depression. How depression differs from normal sadness is mainly in terms of duration and how it affects the person’s behaviour. An episode of major depression can go for over weeks, months and even years. Many people label depression as an indicative for a negative personality, but that is not the situation. It is a serious disorder that affects both the physical as well as mental health of that person, and can be treated with the help of proper counseling and medication.
The tell-tale sign of depression is a loss of interest in daily activities that the affected individual otherwise performed with ease. They may also be haunted with lack of hope and guilt and in extreme cases, may experience thoughts of giving up on life. Depression also affects the physical conditions of the person as he/she might experience constant fatigue and sleep disorders, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, body pains and digestive disorders that usually do not ease with treatment. This is because of the deficiency of brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine that affect the moods of the individual.
Treatments for depression
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
This form of treatment is one of the most effective treatments for depression and starts with counseling the patient. It focuses on analyzing their way of thinking and aims at improving their behavioural patterns in order to bring forward a realistic and positive outlook towards life.
The main medications given for depression are antidepressants, alongside interpersonal therapy. These antidepressants may consist of a combination therapy of mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics and antidepressants.
Antidepressants do not start to show their effects immediately, and usually take a minimum of two weeks to work. The therapist may prescribe the medication for a short duration of over 6-12 months or in extreme cases, for longer periods.
Every individual takes his/her own time to recover from this disorder. The main aim of recovery treatment is to focus on a positive approach towards stressful situations in life. Other methods that aid in recovery include meditation, yoga and exercises.