Friday, May 24, 2013

How to Spot and Treat Ongoing Depression

When it comes to depression, treating it can range from a cocktail of medications to something as simple as increasing the amount of exercise you're getting. To learn more about clinical depression and how it's treated, keep reading.

Identifying Clinical Depression

Feeling down in the dumps or a little blue is very normal. However, if these feelings of sadness or desperation continue for a period longer than two weeks or start to interfere with your day-to-day life, then it may be time to seek professional help.

Because depression can adversely affect your physical health and possibly lead to thoughts of suicide, it's considered a very dangerous and sometimes deadly condition.

To identify clinical depression, doctors look for signs of sadness, melancholy, impatience, trouble concentrating, a withdrawal from life and regular activities, weight loss or weight gain, excessive drinking or drug abuse, decreased sex drive, poor self-esteem, self-deprecating thoughts or behavior, thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, a feeling of overbearing built and problems sleeping.

Causes of Depression

Unfortunately, depression doesn't have one simple cause that can just be rooted out and done away with. This disease will vary with each individual, but can often be triggered by a stressful event like the death of a family member, a family tragedy or a financial or career crisis. Depression is also linked to certain health issues, both physical and mental.

Depression - Treating It

First, the doctor needs to diagnose clinical depression. Once a diagnosis is reached, he or she must then establish the extent of the depression and its root causes. With some cases of depression, your doctor may simply recommend a better diet and increased exercise. With other more severe forms of depression, a patient is often referred to a therapist and prescribed certain antidepressants and other drugs.

Conventional treatment of depression involves protecting the patient from self-harm, relieving the symptoms and preventing recurrence. A combination of therapy that includes psychotherapy, nutrition and lifestyle changes, plus medication as needed tends to work best.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

If you're suffering from depression, something as simple as getting regular exercise, drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet can do wonders for your mental health. As your body and physical health improve, so may your mental health. In addition, exercise and many healthy foods are proven to boost serotonin levels, therefore improving the mood.

Common Medications

Typically, the drugs used in depression treating are called Selective Serotoninc Re-Uptake Inhibitors (SSRI's), and there are hundreds of them on the market, both branded and generic. The common side effects of these anti-depressants include decreased sex drive, nervous system problems, gastrointestinal issues and weight gain.

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