Clinical depression is an often misunderstood diagnosis. Mainly because the problem can manifest itself differently from person to person and require different treatments and approaches. Although this diagnosis can be scary or intimidating, there are many options to help alleviate symptoms and treat the underlying causes.
In this blog, we’ll discuss some potential causes of depression and ways you can treat it.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mental illness that affects people differently. Clinical depression can be caused by a variety of things, such as:
- environmental triggers
- physical or emotional trauma
- chemical imbalances in the brain
Many doctors try to find the cause of depression before they move on to treatment. This helps them choose the type of treatment that is most likely to help the patient.
Depression can cause debilitating symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, lack of interest in activities and withdrawal from friends and family. This often makes it difficult for people to notice that someone is depressed and help them find the help they need to heal.
There are many treatments for depression, the following are four popular options.
For many people suffering from depression, medication is a simple way to alleviate their symptoms. Doctors will likely run tests to determine which chemicals are missing in the brain and accurately prescribe an anti-depressant.
There are two main types of anti-depressants: SSRIs and SNRIs.
SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. These medications help to regulate the serotonin levels in a person’s body and encourage a healthy balance that promotes good moods. SNRI stands for serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, which affect both serotonin and norepinephrine levels.
Different people react well to different types of medication. If you choose this method of treatment, remember that you might have to try a few different medications to find one that works for you.
Another option is to find a licensed therapist and choose cognitive behavioral or talk therapy as a means for treating depression. This option is particularly helpful for people who don’t want to use medication or for whom medication isn’t an option.
In both types of therapy, patients sit with a licensed counselor or psychologist and can talk through their feelings and fears. The doctor will give them suggestions on how they can stop negative thought patterns, address their emotions and create habits that support their mental health.
In some cases, combining therapy and medication is the best approach. Patients who take this route usually see a psychiatrist — a type of psychologist that can prescribe medication — to ensure they’re receiving the type of medicine that’s most likely to help their situation.
3.) Diet and Exercise
Finally, keeping a balanced diet and getting enough exercise each day can significantly improve the efficacy of your depression treatment and your mental state overall. A clean diet and regular work outs will help the body produce “happy chemicals,” such as serotonin and dopamine, that are often low in depression patients.
For a clean diet, some people opt to use an app or tech like a Thrive patch to help them stay on track. Aim to eliminate processed foods and sugars, as those can trigger drastic spikes and crashes in the reward center of your brain. This often also create gut dysbiosis, which has been linked to anxiety and depression in many scientific studies.
Exercise is a great way to combat depression because it helps you promote the chemicals in your brain that fight depression. Additionally, it gives you a sense of confidence and a goal to work toward. The more you dedicate yourself to a goal and start making gains, the more you’ll feel happy about your focus and get to enjoy the rewards of your effort.
Depression is a complex issue and affects everyone differently. These are three ways you can try to combat depression in yourself or a loved one. Remember, if you suspect you’re suffering from depression, contact your doctor and ask for help.