You might find yourself feeling down, tired, unmotivated, sad, and just lacking that enjoyment in life that you once felt. You might even ask yourself “Am I depressed”? This may be the very reason that you clicked on this icon and why you continue to read at this very moment. So, what is depression, you ask? Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness accompanied by a loss of interest. Depression affects how you feel, think, and behave. If left untreated, depression can lead to feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and social isolation. Depression can impact your levels of energy and can even impact your desire to have sex. Depression can impact your ability to focus and concentrate and diminishes your capacity for short-term memory. Lastly, suicidal thoughts can occur because of depression. Suicide continues to be on the rise in the United States. Part of this rise may be due to the stigma regarding the disease itself and seeking treatment for depression.
Let’s talk about the existing treatments for depression. First, let's talk about medications... Specifically, antidepressants. Are medications the only option for treating depression? Absolutely not. But when warranted, antidepressants have shown to be effective at treating depression. They have been proven to be even more effective when taken in conjunction with therapy. Note that there are a myriad of options for the treatment of depression. Treatments for depression such as individual therapy, group therapy, exercise, dietary modification, increased social engagement, and identifying the root cause of the depression (whether it be biological, environmental, or a combination). A combination of interventions will be necessary as there is no such thing as a solitary silver bullet to treat depression. What matters is that you are seeking the help that you need. If you are interested in enhancing your life potential and ability to cope with depression, getting treatment at the onset of the earliest symptoms will help prevent depression from worsening.
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