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Friday, July 17

Learn How to Manage Depression

Depression can be a debilitating disorder that comes with as many physical symptoms as mental ones. While many people feel occasionally depressed due to unfortunate life circumstances, there are thousands of severe cases every year caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, and that combined with hard times can yield a strong depression that may take weeks or months to get out of. Thankfully, the medical community has recognized depression as a problem, and pharmaceutical industries have developed a wide variety of drugs to fight the disorder.

As with most conditions, it is possible to avoid taking medicine. This case is especially apparent with depression, and there are a wide range of alternative therapies available that do not include traditional medicine. The primary non-medicinal treatment of depression is psychotherapy, in which the affected individual talks to a psychologist to help with their disorder.

For many people, this can be enough to help them overcome their problems, although it can take as long as several years for a complete cure to occur. Psychotherapy is often used in conjunction with medication, and psychotherapy is usually the first thing considered when treating someone with depression. As with any disorder, it is best to see if it can be resolved without drugs first.

There are some forms of depression that require advanced treatment because of their severity. The biological causes of depression are thought to be a lack of certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. If levels become too low, people may become unable to be happy, and that is the time where medication is needed.

Medications usually focus on increasing the levels of important neurotransmitters, and different medications work on specific neurotransmitters, depending on the type of depression the patient has. Depression can become so severe that sufferers commit suicide. In fact, over sixty percent of people who commit suicide had some form of depression. Therefore, it is not to be taken lightly, and if medication is needed, it should be used.

The most recommended medicines for depression fall under the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These medicines do not directly increase the amount of serotonin in the brain; instead, they block an activity that neurons engage in. Whenever a neuron communicates with another neuron, it releases neurotransmitters. If there is an excess of neurotransmitters, and there usually is, then the transmitting neuron absorbs the extra neurotransmitters in a process called reuptake. By blocking reuptake, the medicine ensures that users maintain the proper amount of serotonin.

Another technique for managing depression is diet based. Since what you eat can influence neurotransmitter levels, simply changing your diet can be the solution. The foods that help best with combating depression include fruits and vegetables, as many of them contain serotonin and they are generally uplifting.

It is rare that just one method alone is enough to make a difference in a patient. Combining methods creates synergy; in other words, the sum is greater than its parts. Psychotherapy and medication go great together, and eating healthy certainly helps as well. Depression does not have to be with someone their whole lives, and in some cases it can be defeated in a few weeks. As long as one stays confident and makes an attempt to be happy, they are bound to be successful. -Daniel Millions

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