3 Ways to Stimulate the Vagus Nerve

Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Qualified Clinical Supervisor. She received her PhD in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida in 2002. In addition to being a practicing clinician, she has provided training to counselors, social workers, nurses and case managers internationally since 2006 through .com

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Depression – What You Need to Know

Depression is a long-lasting condition that affects how you feel and think. It is a serious illness that is treatable with medication and psychotherapy. People with depression usually respond well to treatment and can live a full life afterward.

Major depressive disorder is the most common type of depression. This involves episodes of intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness or worthlessness that last at least two weeks and interfere with your daily life. Symptoms can also include low energy, sleep problems, appetite changes and difficulty concentrating.

The most important thing is to find help. A mental health expert can diagnose depression and help you with treatment. Your doctor may perform a physical exam, take your medical history and do a psychiatric evaluation. They may use the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” to confirm the diagnosis.

Symptoms are very different for every person, but some of the most common symptoms are fatigue, sleep disturbances, poor concentration, and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. They can also include thoughts of suicide, thoughts of hurting yourself or others, or thoughts about dying.

Your doctor will check your overall health to see if you have another condition that causes the depression, such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies. They will ask you questions about your thoughts, feelings and behavior patterns. They might also do tests to look for other problems, such as a heart condition or high blood pressure.

Genetics, brain structure and medical conditions can all play a role in your risk of developing depression. For example, people who are born with a low-functioning frontal lobe (the part of the brain that controls emotions) are more likely to develop depression than those who have normal functioning in this area. Early childhood trauma can also increase your risk.

If you have a family history of depression, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor. You might need to have a test, such as a blood or saliva test, to find out if you have a gene that makes you more likely to get the disease.

You can lower your risk of depression by taking a course of antidepressants or using other treatments such as exercise and a healthy diet. These treatments work by changing the chemicals in your brain that cause you to be depressed.

There are many types of antidepressants. Some work better than others, so you might need to try several before finding one that works best for you.

Medication can be used to treat a range of symptoms of depression, including anxiety and fatigue. You can start with a low dose of medicine and gradually increase it over time. It can be hard to decide on the right medication, but it can make a difference in how you feel and how quickly your symptoms improve.

Treatment for depression is a complex mix of medication, therapy and lifestyle changes. Your doctor will recommend the best course of action based on your symptoms and how severe they are. Some people may need to be treated on a long-term basis, while others will improve after a few months or even years.

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