Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Treating #Depression

When you have a physical ailment you know exactly what to do.The situation changes radically when we enter the realm of mental afflictions.They leave us jittery & perplexed.

Let us talk about depression here.It's onset is slow & insidious.There is a lot of stress,something happens to shatter your equilibrium,you become anxious,worries give way to fears & this goes on for weeks,you lose interest in activities which used to enthuse you,your daily routine takes a beating,your sleep & appetite are disturbed,the future seems dim,your facial expressions denote unhappiness & then you decide you have to do something about it.But what?

Let us first decide whether you are depressed or just sad.You can take the help of this site to find out.If it turns out that you are depressed & if you are the lucky owner of certain warm,dependable relationships, you can pour your heart out & seek advice.This alone will restore your cheer to some extent.But what if this option does not exist or it does not suffice? Seek a counselor?Many of us avoid doing that.Time passes & the gloom refuses to lift.Should you see a psychiatrist?Again,no one wants to be labeled a nut--however wrong this stigma may be!!Besides, ill effects of psychiatric medicines are a major deterrent.There is also the fear that they are habituating.Above all there is this reluctance to see a psychiatrist & be viewed as a mental patient.

Major Depression
So what should you do?Let me state at the outset that major depression with or without suicidal thoughts requires prompt medical attention.A  family doctor will refer you to a psychiatrist if he sees the need.The psychiatrist will prescribe you medicines but along with this, psychotherapy & some other changes too will be required.The stressful situation which triggered the onset needs to be rectified. 
If you believe in Homeopathy then you can see a Homeopath.The homeopaths say that mental disorders can be cured if early help is sought.Either way,treatment is essential.

Mild or Moderate Depression
These cases are relatively easier to treat through self help incorporating life style changes.This approach is preferable to medication because the arena of antidepressants is fraught with ambiguity & unpredictability.All patients do not respond in the same way to a particular drug & the same person may react differently at different times.The patient may show improvement with one medicine but not with other medicines of the same category.Ill effects of a drug too vary from person to person.On the whole careful monitoring is needed to zero in upon the best line of treatment.

"The Myth of Overmedication
As many as 50% of cases of depression will lift over time with no treatment, according to some studies — a fact that contributes to the persistent perception that antidepressants are overprescribed. Such data suggests that it makes sense to start with non-drug therapies like exercise and psychotherapy, at least to treat people with first-time mild or moderate depression and especially those whose sadness is directly caused by a recent setback or personal loss.Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1991841,00.html#ixzz2T8exp300"

Shift to the method of self help through life style changes--there is a marked decrease in negative repercussions & the thought that you do not require medicines is very reassuring.You have nothing to lose.Admittedly,it is demanding for a depressed person to get out of bed and start a physical routine but the rewards are gratifying.The first time you attempt this during a depressive bout, you may find it very taxing to leave your bed, but as you continue,your stamina will increase,sadness will subside & you will soon begin to appreciate it's benefits.

The support of family is very important in extricating the patient out of his trough.These are some measures i would suggest:---

Non Drug Supportive Measures
*1)  Get a physical check up to rule out any disease.

*2) Consult a psychotherapist,counselor or psychologist.

*3) Talk to family or friends.

*4) Try to work out a viable solution to the problem which is       
       intimidating you.

*5) Take a break from stressful occupations when depression is 

*6) Chart out a program of physical fitness,it will aid the secretion
       of dopamin & serotonin.

*7) Stick to a normal daily routine,don't let lassitude overtake you.

*8)Take part in group activities or hobby classes to meet like-
      minded persons.

*9) Take a healthy diet.Abstain from alcohol or substance abuse. 

*10)Have a good sleep,do not take tea or coffee before bed time.

*11)Set small achievable targets for yourself.

*12)Celebrate your successes with gusto.

*13)Learn a new skill to augment your confidence.

*14)Take sufficient rest.

*15)Take the support of spirituality if it works for you.

*16)If all these efforts do not give desired results,go for C B T.

It is worthwhile to shake off depression through these life changes.But if you feel yourself worsening then please see a doctor.In case you are put upon medication, give regular feedback to him about how the medicine is affecting you.Those who have taken psychiatric medicines for a length of time but want to discontinue them for some reason,should do it under a doctor's guidance.Immediate cessation can be harmful.

If you like this post you may also like to read the following"

Both pics & excerpt courtesy google.


  1. The parallel with a physical problem continues into the solution as well Indu! When the cast went off my right hand, to do the physiotherapy was not a thing that I was eagerly looking forward to every day - but it had to be done :) Likewise, what needs doing needs to be done no matter how reluctant you are to start doing it in mental depression as well.

    1. Yes physiotherapy after a fracture is very painful,but so many times,the difficult way is the best way.

    2. What I meant to say was that abandoning the solution because it is difficult to start and results cannot be seen immediately in the case of depression is like abandoning physio after the cast is removed merely because it is painful and you cannot see any improvement immediately.

  2. very well researched and insightful article, Indu, both this one and the previous one....i hope this article reaches out to a bigger audience so that someone who is really suffering may benefit out of it. well done.

    1. Princess thanks for this generous praise,it made my day.

  3. Good post Indu. In this stressful life the 16 points you mentioned are very useful

  4. very very nice post indeed !!
    Depression is lack of excitement about life and its ways and your article says it all ...
    Somehow I feel medication for mental state should ideally be avoided

    1. Thank you mysay,what you say carries a lot of weight.

  5. Nice read with tons of info about depression.Depression is a silent killer and the pity is most of us can't identify its on set equating it with sadness.

    1. Arumugam your praise means a lot to me-thanks.

  6. I would say staying positive is the key. Yoga and meditation can help too. All your points are very well valid.

    1. Yoga & meditation are certainly very good,thanks for visiting.

  7. The suggested method of self help by slowly getting into lifestyle changes and not by medicines is very promising. I agree.. with the help of family and loved ones, it is surely one of the best things to do to revive oneself and come out of a black hole. Very educative and insightful article as always. :)

    1. Thank you Arti for supporting my views.
      Love n hugs!

  8. Depression can kill.
    Last week,a lady 62 years,jumped off 15 th floor at 1.30 in the morning in our condo.
    She had a history

    1. It is very sad,this gruesome end after a period of misery.

  9. Wish this no one gets afflicted with this!A nice post with suggested remedies!!

  10. Yes i too think likewise.
    Thank you !

  11. It’s hard not to trust your mind and it’s hard to sit and mull over what is true!! And it is true that admitting you have a problem is the first step in making a change. Acceptance is difficult, especially in a world where depression is still a stigma word. But it is crucial ...Great remedies...!!!
    And a wonderful article, Indu.

    1. You describe perfectly,the dilemma of a depressed person.
      Thank you Panchali.

  12. very informative..today people use the word depression so easily,..

    1. Yes that we all do,thanks for visiting & welcome here.


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