Depression is a mental disorder that affects mood, thoughts, behavior and therefore physical and mental health. It is the disorder that people avoid talking about because not many people understand depression very well. Some people even think that problems are all imagined or exaggerated and one can just simply snap out of it. Others put labels on people with depression and the stigma can be disheartening.
Sometimes daily stress triggers depression and people slowly forget the coping skills that they have. Their problems may not seem compelling enough to build up to depression, but not having the tools to cope with daily stress can easily lead to depression.
Depression may happen once or could be a repeating event. When it is chronic, a serious treatment or therapy may be needed. People at any age can be affected by depression. Medication and therapy are both available and effective. There are some alternative treatment like supplements, meditation, yoga, art and music therapy, etc. which can also be effective.
Only your psychiatrist (a medical doctor) can prescribe medication for your depression. First choices are usually Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft or Lexapro. Other medications may include Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) such as Nardil, Parnate, etc. Doctors may also prescribe Lithium in some cases.
Your psychologist or psychotherapist (also known as mental health counselor) can start your therapy, which is vital, especially if taking medication. There are several types of therapy and therapists. One needs to find the right method and the right person to be their therapist. Every therapeutic relationship is different. Your therapy might be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychoanalysis or Psychodynamic Therapy, Integrative Therapy, and many others. This would be a decision between the client and the therapist.
For people who are following a more holistic approach in life, there are some alternative to medication that have great results. Supplements like St. John’s Wort, SAMe, 5-HTP, Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Saffron are the some of the most common. St. John’s Wort works very well as an antidepressant if the depression is moderate or mild. SAMe is actually a chemical substance that humans produce but taken as supplement shows effective as an antidepressant. 5-HTP is needed by the human body to produce serotonin which is needed for a variety of psychological body functions like mood, sexual desire, sleep, etc. Omega-3 Fatty Acids which can be found in fish oil and in certain nuts are mood stabilizers and can be helpful in depression treatment. Saffron, is said to improve symptoms of depression, however more study is needed to confirm.
Additionally, Traditional Chinese Medicine including acupuncture, herbal remedies, and massage can provide relief for depression. Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Meditation and Yoga are the best first choices when battling with depression. One of the most important but greatly forgotten remedy for depression is the right diet. While certain food types can provide great relief for depression, a certain diet, if followed closely, can totally boost your happiness level.
Disclaimer: The comments and suggestions in this article are intended to be helpful in developing a treatment plan with the guidance of a physician. Please consult a medical doctor about which options would be best for you. Do not take any supplements or medicine without discussing the effects with your physician. The author is not responsible for any affects or the effectiveness of these treatments.