Saturday, April 28, 2012

5 Tips For Controlling Depression

cc licensed flickr photo shared by IPOXstudios
You may believe that you are depressed because occasionally you feel sad or gloomy. However, depression is a treatable illness that affects your mind and body and every aspect of your day-to-day life and activities for a period of time. This clinical condition often requires help and treatment from a mental health professional or a doctor as well as the support of family and friends.
About 19 million people in the US suffer from some form of depression. As a common medical condition, clinical depression may result from a number of factors, including your brain’s chemical imbalances, medications, genetics and hormonal and major life changes, including critical illness and divorce. People from all socio-economic backgrounds suffer from depression, with women being affected more than men. The illness also impacts the patient’s family and friends, many of whom neither understand the condition nor are able to help with the challenges it presents. However, knowing about depression and being able to control it is important to your overall health and functioning effectively.
Types of Depression
Some forms of depression are more severe than others and the most common types include:
•Major depression
•Dysthymia or melancholy
•Bipolar disorder formerly called manic depression
•Season Affective Disorder (SAD)
•Postpartum Depression
Symptoms of Depression
Some Signs of depression may include:
•Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt
•Thoughts of hurting yourself or others
•Empty, sad and anxiety filled moods
•Too much or too little sleep
•No interest in activities previously enjoyed
•Restless and irritable feelings
Treatment of Depression
One of the important ways of controlling depression is to get the appropriate medical treatment from a professional such as a psychiatrist, a psychologist or mental health provider. This involves both medication therapy as well as psychotherapy. Antidepressants are the main drugs prescribed and include popular brand names such as Prozac, Paxil and Tofranil. Getting professional treatment by talking about your symptoms with a trained therapist may help you to understand as well as cope with this disorder.
Five Tips for Controlling Depression
Since external factors, events and your health may trigger or aggravate your depression, it is important to have guidelines that may help you to control this illness. Some useful tips that you may consider in managing depression are as follows:
1. Thinking and Being in a Positive Environment
Having a positive outlook about yourself and life in general may be helpful in building hope and reducing negative attitudes. Avoid being alone and in isolated settings and surround yourself with people who have uplifting moods. Aim to build healthy relationships and spend quality time with family and friends who care about you.
2. Joining a Support Group and Sharing your Feelings
Talking about how you feel and getting support from others may help you cope and address problems you may be facing. Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings and share these with a close friend or therapist.
3. Managing Stress
Making lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and rest and maintaining a well-balanced diet may help to reduce anxiety. You should also set realistic goals, manage your time effectively and accept that you cannot control everything. Participating in relaxation techniques, including meditation and yoga may also help to decrease tension.
4. Avoiding Illegal Drugs and Alcohol
Using illicit drugs and drinking alcohol beverages may worsen your depression. They may also interact with your antidepressant medications that you are taking.
5. Seeking Professional Treatment
Having drug or talk therapy from a psychiatrist or psychologist is encouraged if your depression is continuing for a long period of time or if you have suicidal thoughts.