Depression and Its Treatment
Life has not been the same for a lady who went through a messy divorce. She cries often, feels low in life. She has lost interest in daily activities, and her work production in office suffers. There is loss of appetite, and she is having sleep troubles. If you are having such symptoms, it is very likely that you are suffering from a condition known as depression.
Depression and its treatment
Certain stressful situations in life leave us depressed which is common, but if we are unable to come out of it then it becomes a major cause of concern. Depression has become the leading cause of disability worldwide in the 21st century affecting nearly 120,000 million people worldwide according to the reports of the World health Organization.
Depression is caused due to stressful situations in life like losing a job, going through a messy divorce, heartbreak or the death of someone you love. Being sick for a long time or taking drugs and alcohol can also lead to depression. What actually happens in a depressed person is that in the brain there is a chemical imbalance due to which the cells in the brain cannot communicate properly with one another. During a depressed condition the areas allotted in the brain for appetite, sleep, thinking and behavior do not function properly. Depression is also known to run in the family. Depression is a combination of environment, biochemical, psychological, and genetic factors.
The treatment of depression is a combination of psychotherapy and medication. During counseling, the patients are taught skills that they need to cope with their depression. Positive thinking is developed in the patients through psychotherapy.
Medications to treat depression- Antidepressants
The medications that are used to treat depression are called antidepressants. The chemical messengers that help in proper functioning of the brain like norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine increase due to antidepressant medications.
To choose the right antidepressant for you, the doctor has some criteria. If a particular antidepressant has worked well for you in the past then the doctor may prescribe the same antidepressant again. If you never took antidepressants before, then the doctor will ask you if any of your family members like parents or siblings have taken any antidepressant that has worked well for them. Certain antidepressants are bad for you if you have any other health problem. The antidepressant with fewer side effects is prescribed by the doctor. Certain foods don’t work well with antidepressants. The doctor will let you know about your diet restrictions when he prescribes antidepressants. The other criteria the doctor has in mind while prescribing antidepressants is the cost of the medication, doctor’s experience in prescribing the medication, antidepressant that reduces symptoms like anxiety, fatigue and sleeplessness and an antidepressant that works well with other medications.
Mechanism of action
When you take antidepressants you will notice that your appetite has improved and you are feeling energetic. You will be able to do your normal day to day activities and take care of yourself. Interest in life will be renewed. If you are being treated for the first time for depression, you will have to continue to take the medication for 6 months after you have started feeling better. If depression has occurred to you the second time, then you have to keep taking the medicine for one year. You have to take the antidepressants for a long time if you have got depression for the third time. It is not advisable to consume alcohol when you are taking antidepressants as it will aggravate depression and also cause seizures in combination with certain antidepressants.
Antidepressants are not tranquilizers and they do not give you a ‘high’. You cannot get addicted to them but they do have side effects. The side effects of antidepressants are blurred vision, anxiety, problems with bladder, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, hand tremors, heart rate increases, excessive sleep, sexual dysfunction, nausea, muscle twitching, and weight gain. You must talk to your doctor if side effects are not decreasing. The doctor may change the medication.
Keep depression away
To keep depression away, involve yourself in activities or hobbies that will interest you. The support of your family and friends is very important at this point. Never be alone and always keep the company of someone who cares about you. You can also join support groups that will help you overcome depression. It is also important to eat healthy and stay fit by doing regular exercise. This will give you motivation and energy to move ahead in life.