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The life of an average person is a mixture of joys and sorrows. But everyone longs for a happy life. But think of a situation where no matter how hard you try, you can not bring happiness in your thoughts, feelings and actions. Wouldn’t it be sorrowful, you could not get that old joy now when you are doing the things you once enjoyed.

We are now talking about a state of mind of the humans known as Depression. When someone suffers from this disease they not only become unable to lead a normal life but also lose the desire to live. This serious medical illness, also known as depressive disorder and clinical depression, can affect you emotionally and physically in many ways.

Here we have ways to calm down and relax. The reassuring fact is that it can be cured with timely diagnosis and treatment. But as a matter of concern, some people may not even be able to diagnose their disease as depression. On the other hand, it is not seen as a serious problem that needs to be treated properly.

But they ignore the fact that it has the potential to complicate our other medical conditions and, above all, lead us to suicide. In this article, we aimed to make some awareness among readers about the seriousness of mood disorder called Depression and help you understand how dangerous it can be. And most importantly Some alternative depression treatments or natural remedies to treat this mood disorder.

 

Is depression really a disease?

 

What is the word “really” meant by this question here is whether depression is a disease that needs treatment or not. A huge number of the world population think it’s just a personal disability or weakness, and there is no need for a particular treatment to heal it. Some have the illusion that they can treat all this on their own.

Our World Health Organization (WHO) have defined it as the leading cause of disability worldwide. We can establish without further debate whether this condition is a disease that can lead to death if not treated properly enough. Wealthy countries such as the United States and France are at the forefront of depression patients compared to developing countries. Over 16 million young Americans suffer from depression each year.

It is considered a biopsychosocial syndrome that requires something more than a pharmacological intervention. The root causes of this decease are abandonment. 

betrayal. discouragement, repressed hatred, anger, rage and resentment, etc.

Depression is not just a disease but a systemic disease. It has all the characters of systemic disease. It affects not only one particular organ or part of the body but the whole body. This is what differentiates it from other localized diseases. In addition, it can make the patient serious if he or she already has heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Because depression can upset the balance of your antioxidants and free radicals, resulting in damage to the cells in the patient’s body.

This disease is something, which affects everyone irrespective of caste, religion or age is never a normal state or condition in life. That’s why this chronological mood disorder is considered as one of the priority conditions covered by WHO’s mental health Gap Action Programm (mhGAP). It can be treated with the most modern and effective treatment methods. Mental health professionals offer various kinds of psychological treatments. Such as interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), 

behavioral activation, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).

 

Major depression symptoms

 

In the treatment of depression, it is essential to monitor the symptoms. Because it is necessary to identify the stage of depression, Such as mild, moderate or severe. Depression symptoms vary from person to person depending on age, gender, and degree of depression.

These symptoms are also monitored to ensure that you are not depressed. If the five or more of these symptoms persist for more than 12 days, it is called depression.

Let’s take a look at some of those depression symptoms

  • A depressive mood that lasts for days.
  • Loss of interest in everything that was constantly being done with interest.
  • The low energy level and severe fatigue.
  • Feeling an emptiness and sadness overall.
  • Feeling angry, crying, and frustrated, without any particular reason.
  • Feel yourself a worthless.
  • Inability to concentrate and make decisions.
  • Sleep difficulties, like insomnia or sleep too much.
  • Occasionally thinking about death and suicide.
  • Your actions are slowing down.
  • Your body weight also gets damaged, Sometimes it increases or decreases badly.
  • Severe body aches, like headache, back pain, etc.

 

Depression causes

 

Brain chemistry

Neurotransmitters found in the brain are said to be a major cause of depression. The way these work in our brains and interact with neurocircuits all lead to depression. And it even affects its treatment.

Hormones

Hormonal changes in the body are said to be another major cause of depression. It is caused by the action of hormones that cause depression and increase and decrease it.

Inherited traits

Studies show that people with depression in their family or blood relatives are more likely to get the disease.

Biological differences

Many changes in the brain are caused by depression. 

It remains to be seen how far these changes will lead to depression. But studies on them are incomplete.

 

Depression Treatments

 

Depression is not preventable, but it can be treated to a great extent. It is one of the leading mental illnesses that can be cured. The important thing is to get rid of the symptoms they are experiencing, which is possible to some extent with these alternative therapies. Of these, 80 to 90 per cent of patients respond positively to treatment.

The first step is the diagnosis, for which it is essential to gather as much information about the patient as possible about his or her condition. 

This includes the patient’s medical and family history, cultural factors and environmental factors. Of these, treatment can be said to be effective if the symptoms are best managed

 

Medication

Even small changes in the chemistry of the human brain can lead to dementia. Therefore, depression can be controlled by making the necessary changes through the Antidepressants in the same brain chemistry. Antidepressants are one of the easiest and most effective treatment options.

There is a general perception that these drugs are sedative and addictive. 

But they are all just misconceptions. 

Inadequately, it does not provide any stimulus to non-depressed patients. These make positive changes in the patient very quickly, hereby the improvement begins to appear in the patient within one or two weeks. Similarly, a tendency to stop taking the drug if you start noticing minor changes in symptoms is extremely dangerous.

It’s to be said that medication has some kind of side effects also, especially SSRIs and SNRIs. Sometimes patients face difficulties like nausea, 

constipation, diarrhoea, low blood sugar, weight loss, etc.

Let’s get acquainted with some present-day antidepressants,

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs is a medication that is regularly prescribed by psychiatrists for controlling depression symptoms. This is a way to give results faster and less side effects than other antidepressants.

Atypical antidepressants

This antidepressants, which contains bupropion, nefazodone, mirtazapine, trazodone and vortioxetine is completely different from the others.

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors antidepressants mainly contain desvenlafaxine, venlafaxine, duloxetine and levomilnacipran, and so on. 

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

These drugs come to the rescue of depression patients when other drugs do not work. However, they are said to have more side effects than other antidepressants. It can interact with many other foods, medications, and medicines and cause side effects in the patient’s body. This worsens the patient’s condition. These include phenelzine and tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, etc. Newer ones like Selegiline have been shown to have fewer side effects than others.

Tricyclic antidepressants

Medications in this category are highly effective and fast-acting. But it has been found to have a lot of side effects compared to newer types of antidepressants. The main Tricyclic antidepressants drugs are nortriptyline, 

imipramine, nortriptyline, amitriptyline, doxepin, trimipramine, protriptyline and desipramine. 

Psychotherapy

This treatment, popularly known as Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,”, is given to the patient along with medication. In this way, the mental health of the patient can be improved to some extent. Here the focus is mainly on engagement. By interacting with others you can make visible changes in their behaviour and reduce their stress.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)

Mental health professionals and psychiatrists use a variety of therapies for this purpose. Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is one of the leading and effective ones among this. This therapy works with the behavioural technique of the human mind and is an asset to the treatment of depression. This speech therapy is suitable for people with moderate depression. In this, the therapist frees you from false negative thoughts and fills you with positive and realistic thoughts.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT) 

This short term psychotherapy for the underlying problems of the individual is counted as a highly effective way of treating depression. It deals with the socio-economic circumstances that led the individual to such a state, or the wounds and inconsistencies that linger in their minds. It enables patients to improve their relationships and to express their inner emotions in the right way. Its main use is the rapid change seen in depression symptoms and thereby improved social adjustment skills.

Psychodynamic therapy 

Psychodynamic therapy treatment improves the patient’s self-awareness and helps to get rid of some old- patterns that cause mental stress. This therapy is based on the general principle that childhood mental experiences and inappropriate subconscious thoughts greatly influence a person’s mental health and behaviour.

Supportive therapy

In this, the therapist enables individuals to face reality and face their emotional and life difficulties with courage. In this way, therapists can bring back and improve the patient’s self-esteem and abilities. Talk to the patient and ask his or her concerns and give them the motivation and suggestions they need to address those particular issues. 

Dialectical behaviour therapy

It controls people’s wildest emotions and enables them to lead a normal life. It mainly focuses on those who live with suicidal thoughts and those who live a disordered lifestyle and PTSD. Besides, Trappist imparts a lot of good life lessons, enabling people to take responsibility and move on from negative thoughts to positive ones.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) 

Electroconvulsive therapy is helpful in situations where depression is uncontrollable and unresponsive to medication. This is a brain stimulation therapy that has been around for many years. In this, 

a carefully-controlled electric current is passed through the brain to wipe the depression out of the brain. It affects the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain and regulates it.

It is used not only for depression but also for the treatment of other serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia.ECT can easily make the necessary changes in their phytochemistry to control the symptoms of depression. It is commonly used in patients with high levels of depression and even suicidal tendencies. A major problem with this is that it may not work for everyone.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

This treatment, also known as Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), stimulates the brain cells with magnetic fields. Generally, this non-invasive procedure is used when no other treatment for depression is effective.

This is a neuromodulatory technique that transmits magnetic waves through a coil into the brain. That will stimulate nerve cells in your brain and act as a mood regulation mechanism.

 

What are Alternative therapies or treatments?

 

In addition to the above-listed treatments, there are many alternative treatments or nonconventional approaches available. This includes both medications and therapy. Alternative or complementary therapies or medications are available instead of traditional methods of counselling and or therapy sections.

So let’s take a look at some of the popular alternative depression treatment methods currently in use. Instead of face-to-face sessions in depression therapies, online sessions, workbooks, computer programs, videos And medical apps are becoming increasingly popular. When it comes to alternative medications for depression, Unlike conventional medications, there are some remedies available in the market that use herbal supplements. 

One of the disadvantages of this method is that it does not provide significant evidence of the extent to which depression can be controlled in many ways. Therefore, such dietary supplements have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, it is essential to ensure its authenticity before using them. It cannot be considered as a substitute for traditional medical treatment and can be used to supplement the treatment.

 

Self-care Tips of depression

 

Set a daily schedule

Once you have depression, you are forced to break all your routines. So it would be beneficial to make a routine to straighten it all out and keep it the same. You must bring your life on track. Planning your days as you did before your depression will have far better results.

Ensure that treatment plans are working properly

It is very dangerous to be careless in treatment plans even when you start to see little improvement in the disease. This way when you stop medication and psychotherapy sessions the symptoms will come back stronger than before and the patient’s condition may get worse. In some cases, the patient has to go through withdrawal-like symptoms. Therefore, treatment options should not be compromised

Get acquainted with Depression.

To cope with depression, it is important to have a clear idea about it. The patient and relatives should be aware of the disease and its symptoms. Having an awareness of your current condition empowers you and inspires you to take your treatment properly. Proper help and support can be given only if your family and friends are well aware of the disease.

Set goals in your life.

Once depression sets in, the patient loses the desire to live. This will help you to avoid the thought that you have nothing left to do in this life anymore. The thought of having goals makes a big difference in the patient. Set small goals, and then the thought of having to accomplish it will motivate the patient to live.

Always pay attention to the symptoms.

It is necessary to monitor your symptoms carefully and discuss them with your mental health professional so that you and your relatives can have a better understanding of your symptoms. This will help you to find the cause of the worsening of the symptoms and how to control it if it gets worse. Symptoms can tell a lot about your depression. It is therefore imperative to inform the therapist immediately of any changes in them.

Make necessary changes in your diet

Diet plays an indispensable role in depression. Controlling your diet can make a big difference in the treatment of depression. Depression makes some people obese but makes some people slim. But if we can control our diet, we can think that we have halved our depression. We can expect positive results in our health if we include vitamins and acids in our diet plan, Thereby we can easily alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Avoid alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and recreational drugs are often used by many patients to mild depression symptoms. Although these can provide a slight relief quickly, it can increase the symptoms and lead the patient to a condition where it is difficult to even treat depression. So use it only as directed by your doctor or therapist.

Make sure you get enough sleep

Depression affects your sleep just as badly as your other routine. This can make you less sleepy. Sleep deprivation can adversely affect your depression symptoms. So it is imperative to set up your bedroom in such a way that you can sleep well and make sure that nothing is disturbing your sleep.

Mind-body remedies

  • Exercise
  • Relaxation techniques such as yoga or tai chi
  • Meditation
  • Massage therapy
  • Music or art therapy
  • Aerobic exercise

 

Bottom line

Some psychiatrists compare depression with a Hydra. No matter how hard you try to kill it, It keeps being born again and again. The same is happening in the case of depression. We may not always be able to cure it completely. This will be a great relief to the patients even if the symptoms can be controlled. 

It can be said that it treats the symptoms not the disease. Thus, many medications and therapies are available to treat depression. The few auxiliary methods that can accelerate these treatments, that is what meant by alternative treatment methods. They should never be seen as an alternative to the proper treatment of depression. This is because most of these treatments may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, all these should be used only under the strict supervision of a psychiatrist. 

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We have adopted a unique and specialized approach based on the Biopsychosocial Model for effective diagnosis and treatment.