It goes without saying that severe depression is a serious condition that should be treated by a trained professional. While this may seem obvious to a person not in the throes of depression, for a person struggling with severe depression making this decision may not be all that clear. Regrettably, more than half of the people who need help for depression don't seek help. In one large study conducted in the United States only about 4 out of 10 people sought help within the first year of their depressed state. Perhaps even more unsettling is on average people struggling with depression tended to wait 8 years before finally seeking treatment.
Basic depression is problem best described as an overly sad mood that lasts for along period of time and a lack of pleasure in doing things that usually make you happy. Someone who is depressed likely will experience sleep irregularities, fatigue, weight fluctuations, problems with concentration and feelings or nervousness and agitation. While those experiencing severe depression likely have many of the same symptoms as those with mild to moderate depression they tend to be much more severe and evolve into a sometimes scary and often dangerous problem that must be treated by a skilled professional immediately.
In very severe cases, depressed people develop psychotic symptoms, such as hearing voices that tell them to kill themselves or others. This advanced form of depression impedes ones ability to hold a job, maintain a healthy relationship, or be a productive student. Depression may also alternate with periods of high euphoria and energy (mania); in this case, the disease is Bipolar Disorder. The most serious complication of sever depression is without a doubt suicide.
It is worth repeating that severe depression must be taken seriously and medical attention should be a top priority if any of the following symptoms are present:
*Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
*Psychotic symptoms, such as hearing voices, delusions, or hallucinations
*Extreme lethargy or fatigue that affects ones ability to complete simple tasks, such as eating, getting out of bed, or showering.
While antidepressant are normally the treatment of choice for most cases of depression, for those suffering with severe chronic depression, that does not respond to medication, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used. This procedure consists of inducing a seizure by running a small electrical current through the brain. ECT has shown to be only a temporary fix with a high rate of recurrence.
In the end there are not easy answers. For this reason many people are considering natural remedies for depression as a tool in their arsenal of depression fighting solutions. Herbal remedies for depression are safe and free from the side effects that are so prevalent with many well known antidepressant medications. As always check with your doctor to make sure that natural remedies are compatible with any prescription medications you are already taking.