Depression Help and Treatment
The word ‘depression’ is often casually used by people to describe their low mood, and the severity of this mental illness thus gets lost in this casual reference. But depression is a very serious mental health condition that affects physical as well as mental well-being of an individual. Negative thoughts, loneliness and self-hatred often hold the person suffering from depression captive in its clutch. They start to lose interest in the activities that were dear to them once upon a time and withdraw themselves from their friends and family members. The decline in academic and work performance is also a common symptom of depression.
Also, there is a lot of stigma and taboo surrounding this mental illness due to which many choose not to seek help or talk to someone about what they are going through which can lead to serious health consequences. Therefore, it then becomes the responsibility of a friend or family member to convince the depressed person to get some help. Unlike physical injuries and illnesses, mental disorders like depression do not have one standard medicine or way to cure it. Though, there are various depression help and treatment methods and which treatment will be suitable for who is subjected to every person. The following are the various forms of treatment for depression:
1. Psychological treatments
Psychological treatments for depression include talking to a therapist/ counsellor/ psychologist about one’s feelings. A therapist helps the person by helping him identify the cause behind his depression, alter his thinking patterns and improve his coping skills so that he is able to handle stress and conflicts in a better way. One can choose to get psychological treatment either by talking to a therapist alone or support groups. Nowadays, one can even opt for e-therapies and seek help from real psychiatrists through online forums.
Below mentioned are some of the effective psychological treatments:
- Cognitive Behaviour therapy
This structured treatment is associated with two aspects: cognition (how we think) and behaviour (how we feel). In this therapy, a therapist helps the person identify his thoughts and behaviour patterns and the cause or the factor that is a hindrance in the path of recovery. It is the most effective form of treatment and helps the person think rationally and deal efficiently with stressful situations.
- Behaviour therapy
Though, a major component of cognitive therapy, instead of trying to alter beliefs and attitudes, this form of therapy aims to encourage the individual to take part in pleasant and satisfying activities that prevent him from withdrawing or isolating himself socially.
- Interpersonal therapy
This therapy is based on the thought that personal relationships significantly impact the life of a person with depression. Therefore, the therapist helps the person identify the patterns in one’s relationships that render them vulnerable to depression and also help them cope better with such situations so that they can improve their relationships.
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
MBCT as a form of depression help and treatment therapy encourages the individual to live in the present and deal with the pleasant and unpleasant situations at the time itself without trying to alter them. This way a person would stop thinking about the unpleasant situations of the past or the future and will be able to cope with stressful situations in a better manner.
2. Medical treatments
- Use of antidepressants
Many psychiatrists recommend their patients to take antidepressants along with psychological treatments as they are effective for treating of depression ranging from moderate to severe and also anxiety disorders. Though the effectiveness of antidepressants differs in each and one should never take these medicines unless they are prescribed to them.
- Electroconvulsive therapy
When other treatments fail to work, ECT is used to treat severe, psychotic or manic depression. Here, controlled electric currents are passed through the brain which changes brain activity that serves to relieve depressive symptoms.
- Deep TMS therapy
Depression help and treatment is also given to patients suffering from depression through Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment, also known as Deep TMS therapy. Here, special coils combination that can reach 4 cm beneath the skull surface is set on the scalp. These coils then generate magnetic fields and stimulate the brain which activated neuronal circuit and improves the symptoms of depression.
3. Self-help and other forms of support
If not seeking help individually through psychological or medical treatments, one can also seek help through support groups or e-therapies. Other than that the following are some steps that a person can take themselves to lead the path to recovery:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Following a proper routine, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can induce a person to have much more positive thoughts. Engaging in activities also distracts a person from thinking unpleasant thoughts and make their life much more satisfying to them.
- Seek relaxation training
Depressed people can also benefit greatly from relaxation training where they are encouraged to think of relaxing and peaceful scenarios, so that they feel better. Several breathing and muscle exercises are also taught to these patients so that they are better equipped to deal with conflicts.
- Learn more about your illness
The first step towards recovery is acceptance of your mental illness. After this, the patient should learn more about their illness and work out what helps them feel better so that they know how to handle stressful situations. They should also seek reference from mental health booklets of health organisations, so they know the correct way of dealing with such situations.
- Talk to your friends and family
While a person suffering from depression may be tempted to avoid interaction and group settings in general, talking to one’s friends and families may help that person a lot. One may not realise it until they try it, but a listening ear and support of a loved one can make a person feel much better.
Therefore, a depressed person now can seek depression help and treatment through various ways like psychological or medical treatments or can opt in some natural ways to improve their symptoms. While psychological involves interacting with the psychiatrist about one’s problems, the medical treatments include the use of antidepressants and methods like ECT and deep TMS therapy. Also, if one is reluctant to seek help professionally, they could always opt for self-help methods like practising a healthy lifestyle and sharing their feelings with their loved ones when they want to vent out.