What is depression?
Depression is a serious medical illness and it affects thousands of people around the world. People who suffer from depression will find that life can be a constant struggle, it affects your mood, your interests and the people around you. According to the American Psychiatric Association, one in six people will experience depression at some point in their lives. Generally, it affects women more than men. It can strike at any time.
A lot of people compare depression to just being sad, playing it down like it’s not a real illness. This is not the case, trying to battle depression is a completely different issue and usually won’t get better without some sort of treatment.
How is depression treated?
People can benefit from many different forms of treatment, the most common treatments are antidepressants and/or counseling. Treating depression has a good success rate, with most people finding some sort of treatment that helps them. One important thing to remember is that there isn’t just one type of treatment that you can try, I have had times in the past when certain antidepressants haven’t helped me, or I have tried dealing with it on my own without success. This is no reason to give up hope, there are plenty of options open to you. Here is a list of treatments I am aware of and a brief description of each one.
These are tablets that you can ask your GP about, they can usually take around a month before they start taking effect.
This is a method that helps a lot of people, it involves talking to a person about your depression to help you to find coping methods by helping you recognize distorted thinking and then giving you methods to change this type of thinking.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
This method is usually used when patients with major depression haven’t responded to other forms of treatment. It is done by using electrical stimulation in the brain, this is done while patients are under anaesthesia and under the supervision of trained health professionals.
I have often used methods of self coping myself, it’s a great thing to try to see if you can find ways of battling depression yourself. There are many very simple things you can attempt, such as getting into a better sleep routine, cutting alcohol out of your diet and getting regular exercise. These small changes in your lifestyle could change how your feeling and get you started towards a life without depression. There are other things you can try, and I recommend these strongly as they have worked for me. I will include links to these items and videos.
I had a black dog.
The video below is a very hard-hitting and descriptive expression of depression. In the video they describe depression as the black dog, explaining how it affects your feelings and your lifestyle. It’s a great thing to watch if you are new to experiencing these feelings and want to understand it better for yourself. It can be upsetting to watch, but I do highly recommend it. It’s also a fantastic video to show any family or loved ones who aren’t really aware of what you’re going through.
It’s very surprising just how much having a healthy diet can effect on your mood. You want to make sure that you’re getting plenty of nutrition into your diet and eating all of the right sorts of food. I have written a blog about fruits that are great for you, I will put the link underneath. It’s very easy to get into bad habits with food and not even think about how they might be affecting your mental health. Have a good look at your diet and see if there is anything you can change to make it a little bit healthier. It just might be all you need to get past your depression.
Easy listening music
Listening to this kind of music when you have depression is a great way to block out some of the feelings your having. I’ve spent many hours just laying down listening to music to unwind, this is especially useful if you have any kind of added stress in your life which isn’t helping your depression. Even if you only have half an hour to listen to it, or if you play it in the car on your way to and from work, I guarantee this will work as a great coping method. I have included a link to 3 of my favorites that i listen to.
When I was struggling with my depression. I read a book called The Depression Cure: The 6-step program to depression without drugs. I personally found this book incredibly helpful in my time of need. It’s written by author Stephen Ilardi. The book is full of brilliant insights into the world of depression. In this book, the author highlights certain points of our lifestyle today that may contribute to us getting more depressed. such as things that humanity doesn’t have to do anymore and as a result, we lose some of the essential things in battling depression. He splits this into 6 categories which are as follows:
Omega 3 fatty acids
– Ilardi states that people these days aren’t getting enough omega 3. Omega 3 is essential for the brain to function properly. He explains that as a result of this lack of omega 3 it causes more people getting mental illness. Of course, this includes depression.
– This section explains that people these days don’t get involved in enough engaged activity. People are spending more time at home, not going out simply because they don’t need to. His logic behind this is that when you are involved in engaging activities your brain won’t have time to dwell on repetitive thoughts.
– This part of the book explains that basically, we don’t get enough exercise these days. Ilardi explains that due to the lack of exercise our body doesn’t produce enough of the brain’s essential hormones. Such as serotonin, consequently, this causes depression. He backs this theory up with examples from research that has taken place.
– Ilardi explains in this section that we don’t get enough sunlight. This upsets our internal body clock, which causes our bodies to drop in hormone levels. He goes on to say that this is what causes clinical depression. He gives some examples of how much sunlight you should be getting and for how long.
– In this part of the book, Ilardi states the well-known fact that if people don’t have a decent amount of social support. Then this increases the risk of them becoming depressed. He then explains ways in which people can become better supported socially.
– The last section is about sleep or the lack of it. How lack of sleep can stop our brains from thinking clearly and lead to us having depression. He explains that this has been well-known to be a leading contributor to the illness. That our moods are significantly affected if we don’t get enough sleep for more than a couple of weeks.
The descriptions I have given here are just a very brief example compared to the amount of detail in the book. Ilardi explains everything in great detail and backs up his theories. I personally felt after reading this book that it was a complete game changer in coping with my depression. I am not claiming that by reading this book you would avoid needing medication. However, I do recommend it to anyone that I know who has depression. It’s 304 pages that could change your life. The link to the book is underneath.
That is the best advice I can give to people fighting depression, check out some of the links I’ve posted and see if what worked for me works for you. Getting medical advice from your GP should be the first thing you do. In my experience, although medication does help me, having some methods for coping by yourself is a great thing to do. There are always times with depression when you’re going to feel low no matter what medication you’re on. It’s all about trying to find the motivation to fight it, as long as you stay one step ahead you will be fine, don’t let the depression win.
I hope you found this information useful, I know it helped me. Please comment and like if you enjoyed the content and want to pass on your thoughts. Check out some more of my content as well if you liked this. I am trying to help people to feel better in themselves. Thank you for reading.
Author: James Burch
James is a health and fitness enthusiast who loves to try and help people. He writes from both knowledge and experience to give people guidance in all areas of health and fitness.