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Depression treatment

Learn effective methods to cope with and overcome depression to improve your mental health.

Depression, at first glance, can seem like a death sentence. The trap with depression is the permanence it exudes. Skills and strategies can be brought in to help with this well-known mental health concern.

 

The bed feels like both a sanctuary and a cage. 

 

Energy drains away when doing even the simplest tasks, such as laundry. 

 

Playing softball with friends on a warm sunny day can feel daunting, especially when socializing is involved.

 

Everything looks dull, gray, and lifeless. 

 

The ability to feel into yourself feels diminished. 

 

If you've ever experienced depression, you know how hard it can be. Fortunately, there are skills, tools, and strategies available to learn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

 

The Mayo Clinic has listed the following as potential symptoms of depression (1). It is important to keep in mind that everyone's experience with depression is unique, and you may not necessarily experience all of these symptoms. Additionally, how you experience a particular symptom may differ from how someone else experiences it.

 

1. Having feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness during the week.

2. Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over trivial matters in life.

3. A loss of interest or pleasure in most or all ordinary activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports

4. Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or oversleeping.

5. Tiredness and decreased energy, so even small tasks seem to require additional effort.

6. Feeling less of an appetite, weight loss, or an increase in craving food. Weight gain can also happen with depression.

7. Feelings anxious, agitated or restless. 

8. Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements, often referred to as psychomotor retardation. 

9. Feeling unworthy or guilty, perseverating on past failures or self-blame.

10. Difficulty thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things; memory is impacted.

11. Ongoing thoughts involving death and suicidal thoughts. Suicide attempts may recur.

12. Physical symptoms such as back pain or headaches that have no clear explanation.

 

Who is more susceptible to depression?

 

According to Woody et al. (2017), depression is around 50% more prevalent in women than in men. On a worldwide scale, 10% of women who are pregnant and women who have just birthed will experience depression (2). Based on findings from the Insitute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, an “estimated 3.8% of the population experience depression, including 5% of adults (4% among men and 6% among women), and 5.7% of adults older than 60 years. Approximately 280 million people in the world have depression (3).”

What decreases the risk of depression?

 

According to a study by Zhao et al. (2023), the following factors can help prevent depression no matter your genetic risk. A healthier diet was seen to decrease the risk of depression by 6%. Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol decreases risk by 11%; therefore, abstinence would be a higher percentage of decreased risk. Being less sedentary decreases the risk of depression by 13%. Regular physical activity decreases the risk of depression by 14%. Frequent connection with social supports decreases risk by 18%. By never smoking, someone decreases their risk by 20%. Having a healthy sleep regimen decreases the risk of depression by 22%. What is important to note is that these lifestyle parts compound, which means the healthier your lifestyle, the lower your risk of depression (4).

 

 

What are the treatments for depression?

 

A few of the interventions are listed below.

 

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

  3. Reality Therapy - Choice theory

  4. Accelerated Resolution Therapy

  5. Neurofeedback

  6. Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing 

  7. Expressive arts

  8. Equine therapy

  9. Eco-therapy

  10. Positive psychology

  11. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

  12. A comprehensive treatment approach with interventions like those listed above, including but not limited to top-down (cognitive) and bottom-up (somatic) interventions for depression, cultivating healthy supports in the environment, sleep hygiene, motivational strategies, addressing dietary needs, building on strengths, creating an exercise regimen, and proper self-care techniques. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you experiencing depression? Please reach out today for a consultation to see how I can best help with your needs. 

 

 

References

 

1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

 

2. Woody CA, Ferrari AJ, Siskind DJ, Whiteford HA, Harris MG. A systematic review and meta-regression of the prevalence and incidence of perinatal depression. J Affect Disord. 2017;219:86–92. Taken from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression#:~:text=Depression is about 50% more,–29-year-olds.

 

3. Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx).  https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-results/ Taken from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression#:~:text=Depression is about 50% more,–29-year-olds.

 

4. Zhao, Y., Yang, L., Sahakian, B.J. et al. The brain structure, immunometabolic and genetic mechanisms underlying the association between lifestyle and depression. Nat. Mental Health 1, 736–750 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s44220-023-00120-1

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