Depression is a mood disorder that affects millions of people, regardless of age. Though relatively common, no two individuals experience symptoms the exact same way. It’s normal to feel random bouts of sadness or to lose interest in activities or events every now and then. Usually, these feelings go away without treatment.
However, for individuals living with depression, these symptoms tend to persist and, in some cases, become darker. To them, it may seem as if there’s a neverending cloud of doom hanging over them that they can’t seem to escape. Without treatment, depression symptoms can be disruptive and interfere with the ability to live and enjoy life. Fortunately, there are treatments available for depression. Even those who experience severe symptoms can benefit.
Risk Factors for Depression
According to the World Health Organization, depression can be so disruptive that it’s a leading factor in those with comorbidities and disabilities globally. Surprisingly, there is no single cause of depression. Depression often stems from various social, biological, and psychological factors unique to each individual. For some people, depression is unavoidable. Specific life and medical events can create so much stress and dysfunction that depression develops and persists indefinitely, such as the death of a loved one, psychological or physical abuse, or health issues.
The more significant the impact of the triggering event, the harder it can be for those affected to overcome the condition. Depression symptoms can be quite challenging to manage. Untreated, the symptoms can lead to additional feelings of frustration and stress, causing many to fall into a seemingly neverending depression spiral.
Common risk factors that lead to depression include:
Health – Many health and mental disorders contribute to feelings of anger, sadness, and depression. Individuals suffering from autoimmune or chronic health issues are vulnerable due to the disruptive toll their conditions have on their daily lives.
Genetics – Many mental disorders, including bipolar and clinical depression, tend to run in families. According to the Lancet, developmental and psychological disorders are common in children born to mothers with untreated depression.
Lifestyle – Stress and frustration are often unavoidable in certain situations. It’s not always easy to control emotional reactions to life’s many events, as some of these effects happen unconsciously. However, it is possible to minimize the impact of depression and adverse reactions with proper lifestyle choices.
Nutrition – Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are extremely common in many children and adults living with depression.
Gender – Women, due to hormonal irregularities, are more likely to experience depression than men, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Hormonal risks of depression tend to peak during the reproductive years before declining after menopause.
Subconsciously, depression is a reaction to an unpleasant, stressful, or traumatic event. It can also occur due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Though there are many known and unknown causes of depression, there is no cure.
Treatment for Depression
Depression can be hard to recognize in some people, especially children, who often exhibit the symptoms differently than adults. There are safe and effective treatments available for mild, moderate, and severe forms of depression.
Treatment involves medication, therapy, or a combinational approach and is highly dependent on the patient and their circumstances. People suffering from depression tend to manage their symptoms with the following:
Antidepressants are the most common type of medication prescribed to people with depression. Antidepressants work by targeting specific neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain to improve its chemistry. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) enable many people with depression to have happy and productive lives.
However, there are side effects to consider. SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), Tricyclics (TCAs) and tetracyclics (TECAs), NDRIs (noradrenaline and dopamine reuptake inhibitors), MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), NDMA (N-methyl D-aspartate antagonists), ketamine therapy, etc. are often prescribed for patients with intolerances to SSRIs.
Although antidepressants effectively treat many forms of depression, sometimes different treatment considerations are necessary to improve their efficacy. Also, some individuals have treatment-resistant depression and benefit from nonmedical solutions, such as psychotherapy or counseling.
People suffering from depression often believe that no one understands their feelings or what they are going through, causing them to avoid social situations or act out in anger in order to be left alone. Keeping negative emotions pent up can have a debilitating effect on daily life.
Talk therapy is a highly effective treatment option for people living with mood disorders. Speaking with a professional therapist who is genuinely committed to positive outcomes is often empowering for patients.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no one-size treatment for depression. With medication, the effects of treatment are not always immediate. In some situations, it can take weeks or even rarer, months before treatment effects become noticeable.
Depression symptoms from health or chemical irregularities tend to respond favorably to medications. But depression triggered by the loss of a loved one, family changes, and other traumatizing situations tends to respond more favorably to the following types of therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy involves becoming aware of toxic behavioral and mental thought patterns that trigger adverse personal and external reactions. Patients learn to retrain their brains to harness the power of happy, positive thoughts to keep negative thoughts away.
Dialectical behavioral therapy is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy but differs in the way patients apply the principles they learn in their sessions. Patients learn to accept their negative feelings as a sign of change and utilize them to adapt, grow, and overcome challenges.
Psychodynamic talk therapy involves developing a deeper understanding of childhood experiences and their effects. This insight is necessary to help patients develop healthy, positive coping mechanisms they can use in their daily lives.
Not everyone experiences an improvement in depression symptoms with medications or psychotherapy alone. Though each option offers distinct benefits and risks, many people, especially children, have better results with a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and medication when necessary.
Treat Depression With The C.U.B.E.
The C.U.B.E. is a safe place for anyone exhibiting the signs of depression or other mood disorders to work through their challenges with counseling. Medication therapy is also available, depending on the patient’s unique needs.
To learn more about treatment for depression at The C.U.B.E., call (213) 433-2823 to schedule a session.