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• Treating Depression Arguably the most prominent therapy in treating depression, the cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used for handling the condition. There has been extensive research and medical studies that conducted to check or assess the safety as well as the effectiveness in treating depression using this type of therapy.
• Natural Treatment For Depression - It Is Possible! Are there any solutions and treatments available to stem this unfortunate tide? Fortunately, the answer to this is yes. Unfortunately again, many of these treatments involves a soup of medicines that may have some form or side effect. Psychotherapy is another solution that is gaining popularity due to the favorable results they have exhibited.
• Depression - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment options The main symptom of depression is sadness or low mood level, but many other mental and physical symptoms also occur. Here are symptoms, causes and treatment options explained. Depression is a complex of psychological and physical symptoms. Low mood level or sadness is often the most prominent symptom.
• Antidepressants There are several types of antidepressant medications used to treat depression disorders. These include newer antidepressant medications-chiefly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)-the tricyclics, and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The SSRIs-and other newer antidepressant medications that affect neurotransmitters such as dopamine or norepinephrine-generally have fewer side effects than tricyclics. Sometimes the doctor will try a variety of antidepressants before finding the most effective antidepressant medication or combination of medications.
• Can Antidepressant Medications Ever Cure You? Why antidepressants cannot provide a cure and how they can help a sufferer take the first step towards recovery. Stress, depression and anxiety are on the increase every year and they show no signs of ending their relentless onslaught. Over 40 million people are affected by these illnesses annually, and for the majority, powerful antidepressant drugs offer the only solution.
• St. John's wort - Alternative Depression Treatment Why is St. John's wort used as an alternative treatment for depression? Some patients who take antidepressant drugs do not experience relief from their depression. Other patients have reported unpleasant side effects from their prescription medication, such as a dry mouth, nausea, headache, or effects on sexual function or sleep. Sometimes people turn to herbal preparations...
• Basics of a Healthful, Antidepression Diet For some people, the phrase healthful diet is enough to send their mood tumbling. "Guess I'll have to give up everything I enjoy, like chocolate and hamburgers and french fries," sighed one patient. "That's enough to make me even more depressed!" But healthful need not be equated with unappetizing or boring. Different, perhaps, and for some people a change to a more healthful diet requires big adjustments -- in the foods they buy, where they eat out, and how they prepare their choices. The rewards, however, are many, including improved mood, more energy, enhanced immune system, better concentration, and invigorated sex drive, to name but a few.
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Depression Help

What is depression?

Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depression cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate depression treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

Types of Depression

Depression comes in different forms, just as is the case with other illnesses such as heart disease. This pamphlet briefly describes three of the most common types of depression. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.

Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms (see symptom list) that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Such a disabling episode of depression may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime.

A less severe type of depression, dysthymia, involves long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good. Many people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.

Another type of depression is bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness. Not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual. When in the depressed cycle, an individual can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic cycle, the individual may be overactive, overtalkative, and have a great deal of energy. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, the individual in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes that might range from unwise business decisions to romantic sprees. Mania, left untreated, may worsen to a psychotic state.

Symptoms of Depression and Mania

Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time.

Depression

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Mania

  • Abnormal or excessive elation
  • Unusual irritability
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Grandiose notions
  • Increased talking
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Markedly increased energy
  • Poor judgment
  • Inappropriate social behavior

Causes of Depression

Some types of depression run in families, suggesting that a biological vulnerability can be inherited. This seems to be the case with bipolar disorder. Studies of families in which members of each generation develop bipolar disorder found that those with the illness have a somewhat different genetic makeup than those who do not get ill. However, the reverse is not true: Not everybody with the genetic makeup that causes vulnerability to bipolar disorder will have the illness. Apparently additional factors, possibly stresses at home, work, or school, are involved in its onset.

In some families, major depression also seems to occur generation after generation. However, it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression. Whether inherited or not, major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function.

People who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, are prone to depression. Whether this represents a psychological predisposition or an early form of the illness is not clear.

In recent years, researchers have shown that physical changes in the body can be accompanied by mental changes as well. Medical illnesses such as stroke, a heart attack, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and hormonal disorders can cause depression, making the sick person apathetic and unwilling to care for his or her physical needs, thus prolonging the recovery period. Also, a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful (unwelcome or even desired) change in life patterns can trigger a depression episode. Very often, a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder. Later episodes of illness typically are precipitated by only mild stresses, or none at all.

Depression Treatment

The first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is a physical examination by a physician. Certain medications as well as some medical conditions such as a viral infection can cause the same symptoms as depression, and the physician should rule out these possibilities through examination, interview, and lab tests. If a physical cause for the depression is ruled out, a psychological evaluation should be done, by the physician or by referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist.

A good diagnostic evaluation will include a complete history of symptoms, i.e., when they started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, whether the patient had them before and, if so, whether the depression symptoms were treated and what depression treatment was given. The doctor should ask about alcohol and drug use, and if the patient has thoughts about death or suicide. Further, a history should include questions about whether other family members have had a depressive illness and, if treated, what treatments they may have received and which were effective.

Last, a diagnostic evaluation should include a mental status examination to determine if speech or thought patterns or memory have been affected, as sometimes happens in the case of a depressive or manic-depressive illness.

Depression treatment choice will depend on the outcome of the evaluation. There are a variety of antidepressant medications and psychotherapies that can be used to treat depression. Some people with milder forms may do well with psychotherapy alone. People with moderate to severe depression most often benefit from antidepressants. Most do best with combined depression treatment: medication to gain relatively quick symptom relief and psychotherapy to learn more effective ways to deal with life's problems, including depression. Depending on the patient's diagnosis and severity of symptoms, the therapist may prescribe medication and/or one of the several forms of psychotherapy that have proven effective for depression.

How to help yourself if you have depression?

Depression make one feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings make some people feel like giving up. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and typically do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. Negative thinking fades as depression treatment begins to take effect. In the meantime:

  • Set realistic goals in light of the depression and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility.
  • Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can.
  • Try to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive.
  • Participate in activities that may make you feel better.
  • Mild exercise, going to a movie, a ballgame, or participating in religious, social, or other activities may help.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time.
  • It is advisable to postpone important decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition-change jobs, get married or divorced-discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • People rarely "snap out of" a depression. But they can feel a little better day-by-day.
  • Remember, positive thinking will replace the negative thinking that is part of the depression and will disappear as your depression responds to treatment.
  • Let your family and friends help you.

How Family and Friends Can Help Person with Depression

The most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate depression diagnosis and depression treatment. This may involve encouraging the individual to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. On occasion, it may require making an appointment and accompanying the depressed person to the doctor. It may also mean monitoring whether the depressed person is taking medication. The depressed person should be encouraged to obey the doctor's orders about the use of alcoholic products while on medication. The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to the depressed person's therapist. Invite the depressed person for walks, outings, to the movies, and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not push the depressed person to undertake too much too soon. The depressed person needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure.

Do not accuse the depressed person of faking illness or of laziness, or expect him or her "to snap out of it." Eventually, with treatment, most people do get better. Keep that in mind, and keep reassuring the depressed person that, with time and help, he or she will feel better.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

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• What Is Depression? When a person starts to feel depressed, the brain is releasing a mixture of chemicals into the bloodstream and changing the way the brain functions. It is also caused by other external factors, for example a particular situation, what another person had said, and more. A person can feel slightly depressed or can feel extremely depressed depending how seriously they are affected by depression.
• Coping with Depression Often a person who's suffering from depression will feel disconnected from society and reality. It can cause isolation and can also pull them away from friends, family, work and can lead to loneliness. However there are a few things depression suffers can do to lighten things up.
• Depression And Suicide Eighteen year old Catherine had everything: the most supportive family, a loving boyfriend, awesome set of friends and a comfortable life. But all of these things took a backseat when she was diagnosed with depression.
• What Causes Depression? Depression is deemed a disorder that requires treatment and attention first because it may be a cause for withdrawal from society as it gives a semblance of suffering, pessimism, and low self-esteem. Secondly, depression may cause changes in physical behavior (like eating or sleeping) that may disrupt regular daily activities or may be mortally dangerous for whoever suffers from it.
• When Do You See A Doctor If You Have (Or You Think You Have) Depression? If you have depression, or at least you think you have one, you must realize that you should not diagnose yourself. You need to have a healthcare practitioner that is skilled to give you a correct assessment and professional diagnosis of your condition.
• Depression - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment options The main symptom of depression is sadness or low mood level, but many other mental and physical symptoms also occur. Here are symptoms, causes and treatment options explained. Depression is a complex of psychological and physical symptoms. Low mood level or sadness is often the most prominent symptom.
• Depression in Women Women Are At Greater Risk For Depression Than Men. Major depression and dysthymia affect twice as many women as men. This two-to-one ratio exists regardless of racial and ethnic background or economic status. Men and women have about the same rate of bipolar disorder (manic-depression), though its course in women typically has more depressive and fewer manic episodes. Also, a greater number of women have the rapid cycling form of bipolar disorder, which may be more resistant to standard treatments.
• Child Depression Before adolescence, there is little difference in the rate of depression in boys and girls. But between the ages of 11 and 13 there is a precipitous rise in depression rates for girls. By the age of 15, females are twice as likely to have experienced a major depressive episode as males.
• Depression In Elderly Women and Men Research and clinical evidence reveal that while both women and men can develop the standard symptoms of depression, they often experience depression differently and may have different ways of coping with the depression symptoms.
• Bipolar Disorder overview of the symptoms, treatments and research findings Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a serious brain disease that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Cycles, or episodes, of depression, mania, or "mixed" manic and depressive symptoms typically recur and may become more frequent...
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