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Depression – What Are the Symptoms and Treatments For Depression?
Depression is a mental health condition that can cause severe emotional and physical problems. It’s a common disorder that affects about 264 million people globally and 17.3 million adults in the United States.
Depressive symptoms vary from person to person. Some people have symptoms only once or twice in their lives, while others have them daily. Symptoms may be mild or intense, and they can last for weeks or even months.
Many symptoms of depression are common, such as feeling low or hopeless most of the time, lack of energy and a loss of interest or pleasure in things you once enjoyed. Some symptoms are more serious, such as thoughts of suicide or death.
If you think you might have depression, talk to your doctor or therapist. Getting the right treatment will help relieve your symptoms and lead to a better quality of life.
Depression can be caused by a number of factors, including brain chemistry, genetics, stress and medical conditions. It can also be triggered by environmental and social factors, such as losing a loved one or experiencing an abusive relationship.
Antidepressants can be helpful for treating depression, especially if other treatments haven’t helped. They work by changing the way the brain uses chemicals called neurotransmitters. These drugs are available in different forms, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.
They are usually started at a low dose to minimize side effects, then slowly increased until the ideal dose is found. If your doctor prescribes an antidepressant, be sure to follow the instructions and take it exactly as prescribed. If you don’t get any relief from the drug, you can try a different one or stop taking it and suggest a different type of treatment approach.
SSRIs and other antidepressants are often combined with talk therapy. These therapies help people learn to manage their feelings, identify and address negative thinking and coping skills, and change their behavior.
Group therapy is also a common treatment for depression, and can be very effective. During sessions, you share your experiences with others who are going through similar struggles. Listening to the stories of other people can help you understand how they coped and what worked for them.
Self-care: Healthy living habits can reduce your risk of depression and keep you mentally and physically healthy. Regular exercise, for example, can help you feel more energized and improve your mood. Eating a balanced diet can also lower your risk of depression.
Vitamins, herbs and supplements can also be used to treat depression. Be sure to ask your healthcare professional about which vitamins, herbs and supplements are safe for you.
Nutritional deficiencies, such as low levels of vitamins B-12 and D, can increase your risk of developing depression. You can boost your vitamin D levels by spending more time in the sun, or by using a dietary supplement that contains enough of these vitamins.
You can also try acupuncture, meditation, yoga and other practices that involve stretching or breathing exercises to improve your mental and physical health. These practices can also help you relax and ease your symptoms of depression.