Often by the time that friends or family members intervene to help a loved one with depression, things have already started to fall apart and others have been negatively affected. Depression can be life-threatening for a wide variety of reasons and should not be ignored. People experiencing depression symptoms may not realize that something is wrong or that help is readily available.
Depression is very common and its severity is often underestimated. About half of people surveyed who had major depression did not realize the severity of their symptoms. Many don’t want to “burden” their family or friends with their “problems”, so they isolate – a very scary and dangerous place to be. Talking with others about troubling thoughts and feelings can multiply strengths and divide weaknesses. In doing so one can find treatment program that much faster.
Proper care begins with accurate and thorough diagnosis. Individual treatment plans vary, but generally include a multi-disciplinary approach to restoring wellness. Medication, physical and mental therapies, lifestyle changes and treatment of underlying disorders all combine to reverse the cycle of depression and begin the healing process.
Medication can be helpful to stabilize and improve symptoms until other treatments take effect and quality of life improves. There are many classifications of drugs used to treat depression and many different drugs in each classification group. These classifications can include:
- SSRI’s: selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, like fluoxetine
- SNRI’s: serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors, like duloxetine
- NDRI’s: norepinephrine and dopamine re-uptake inhibitors, like buproprion
- TCA’s: tricyclics like nortryptyline
- MAOI’s: monoamine oxidase inhibitors like selegiline
- Atypical antidepressants: other mechanism of action like mirtazapine
- Other medications: mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, atypical antipsychotics like quetiapine
Each individual responds to each medication differently, so it takes time to find the right drug or medication combination. A new technique being used is called pharmacogenetic testing, which sometimes helps doctors know which medication will be effective based on genetic analysis.
Individual, group and family counseling are the typical platforms used for therapy. Psychotherapy focuses on resolving past experiences that bring unresolved issues into the present through patterns of behavior. There are several different types of therapy that can be helpful to those struggling with depression. One example would be Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT examines the translation of thoughts and feelings to behaviors to promote healthier patterns. Another example is Dialectical behavioral therapy or DBT. DBT focuses on resolving conflicts by finding a common ground. Other valuable resources can include support groups and other forms of psychological therapy and alternative therapy as well.
Placing an emphasis on physical and mental health
Medication and therapy are extremely helpful when it comes to combating the symptoms presented by depression. However, making sure one creates and keeps up daily activities that emphasize a healthy balance of work, play and self-care activities are also crucial in preventing recurring bouts of depression or other mental and physical problems attached to the disorder. Daily requirements of sleep, nutrition, exercise, sun-exposure, purpose-driven activities, intimacy and privacy should be incorporated into the lifestyle. It may also be beneficial to practice relaxation methods like mindfulness training, meditation, yoga, prayer, music, art, and other hobbies.
Making sure all issues are addressed
If a person is struggling with depression they should find treatment immediately to deal with the disorder. However they should also make sure they identify and address any and all underlying disorders. Underlying or co-occurring disorders can include drug abuse, alcohol abuse or other mental health disorders like anxiety. Treating other psychiatric conditions can be tricky and requires professional expertise and will normally require dual-diagnosis treatment. Treating these underlying conditions will improve the recovery from depression, reduce the risk of relapse if the individual was struggling with substance abuse and further ensure that they are able to lead a happy and healthy life.
Find treatment center today
Too many people struggle with finding the right treatment for their depression either because they don’t recognize when they are struggling with a problem or because they don’t know where to find help. The FLorida Depression Helpline is here to nullify these issues. We seek to educate you on identifying depression so you know when to get help and providing you with access to some of the best rehab centers in your area.
If you or your loved one is struggling with depression and would like to learn more about finding treatment for depression you can call the Florida Depression Helpline at (866) 267-5177 to speak to a member of our team.