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Depression is a disorder of mood which is caused by amalgamation of genetic, environmental, biological and emotional factors. It affects the mind as well the body thus impacting a person’s feelings, conduct, physical condition and thoughts. Depression affects millions of people around the world. Depression results when certain chemicals in the brain get out of balance that helps to transmit messages from the neurons (nerve cells). Physical illness, hereditary, other mental disorders, persons’ environment, emotions, feeling of lonesomeness and remoteness often can lead to poor self-worth and depression.
About Depression statistics:
Depression is not a weakness or a personality problem it is an actual disease. There is good news that person with depression can be helped, and there are a number of treatments available. Although antidepressants are not perfect treatments for depression most people find relief with medication. About 50-70% of people with depression have at least a 50% improvement when treated with one antidepressant. There is also powerful evidence that antidepressants, if taken constantly reduce the risk of repetition of depression. Research has shown that the combination of antidepressants plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be more effective than either treatment alone for severe depression. Common side effects during initiation of depression treatment include nausea, stomach upset, restlessness and insomnia.
Treating depression with drugs:
It is accepted that everyone now accepts that antidepressants are a potent treatment option for depression. As per the recent research in the recent years, it is clear that medications pose a genuine risk of increased suicidality in children and adolescents. Some of the drugs which are commonly used in treating mental illness carry the potential to trigger depression and they can also maintain the disorder once it’s begun. Drugging people to change their moods teaches them that to feel good they should take drugs whereas it does not teach them that to feel good they need to take drugs. Drugging the people depend upon the power of chemistry to change moods, which makes people dysfunctional and depressed.
Person suffering from depression may feel better while on drugs, however, depression is depressed and deactivated behavior. This drug induced feeling better does not address the real causes of depression. Becoming active and engaging in life and receiving optimistic strengthening. Behavioral activation is a standalone treatment for depression which produces access to natural antidepressant reinforcers. Long term happiness is much more likely to result in behavioral treatment. There is much decrease in depression in the patients receiving behavioral activation treatment and is much more effective than the standard psychotherapy. As per the research drugs increase unhappiness and have a host of unpleasant side effects. Negative side effects are a major factor in patient refusal to take medication. The most modern drug clozapine has adverse side effects including life threatening ones. About 75% patients refuse to take medication during treatment and then it becomes hard to argue that these medications are very helpful.
Treating depression with natural remedies:
Natural medicines are very efficient and influential, but they take some time to work, often multiple changes in diet and way of life are needed to create an overall effect. While natural medicine therapies address the lifestyle and psychology and spirit, medications are needed to help to stabilize the patient along with nutrient and supplemental therapies which could be considered for the longer term. Alternative traditional remedies like herbal therapy (phytotherapy) are widely used to obtain undeniable health benefits, provides a complete image of understanding and treating depression which increases the chance of an effective treatment.
Clean water, air, healthy food, living space and the way of thinking can stimulate the most powerful healing resources in the body. In depression, the relaxation techniques, aromatherapy, reflexology and massage do not conflict with any of the conventional treatments which usually involve the administration of an antidepressant. With the popularity of pharmaceuticals the successful products can have unwanted side effects while herbal products are safe and free of side effects. Natural therapies are the most successful in rebalancing the brain, releasing traumatic experiences, or increasing the level of neurotransmitters and mind/body communication. Instead of treating the symptoms of disease with drugs or surgery naturopaths look into ways to eradicate the root causes of illness and also support and rebuild the body’s natural healing systems. Natural therapies are very effective when compared to conventional treatments, although not as quick or easy as taking a pill.
Treating depression with therapy:
Individual psychotherapy has been identified as beneficial for working with children and adolescents which are diagnosed with depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective therapy for children with mild to moderate depression. Group therapy, psychodynamic theory, and interpersonal therapy are some of the suggested forms of treatment for childhood depression. Psychotropic medication has been well documented as an effective treatment for adult depression. Medication therapy for childhood depression continues to be a controversial topic. Recent studies suggest that treating children with depression using pharma-logical agents is beneficial while medication is very beneficial for children with severe depression. Family based treatment is another type of intervention that appears to be effective for depression.
Factors to decide between a therapy and a medication:
The constant and intermittent character of depressive syndromes and the unpleasant impact of residual symptoms indicate the significance of reducing susceptibility to depression, moreover psychotherapy and medication may be additive in their impact on this vulnerability. Not all patients require medication and psychotherapy to achieve remission of symptoms or prevent recurrence. Therefore combination treatments may expose patients to more treatment and side effects than necessary. There are questions of cost effectiveness which arise in the expense of medication and psychotherapy.
The goal of behavior therapy is to increase engagement in activities that extract positive support or avoid negative reinforcement from the environment. Medication treatment can often aid patients in engaging in psychotherapy by reducing disturbances in concentration and inspiration. Symptom relief through medication can reduce some patient’s interest in addressing broader intrapsychic and interpersonal problems and lead them to discontinue the analytic treatment.
Here are the best treatments available for depression:
There are several treatment options which are available for depression, but the treatment depends on the type of depression and its severity.
- a) Psychotherapy: This is an anxiety provoking therapy which is based on psychoanalytic techniques. On number of occasions couple therapy proved to be more effective and acceptable than antidepressant medication. Patients participating in couple therapy were less depressed at the end of treatment and on follow up for 2 years. A health economic analysis showed that antidepressant treatment is not cheaper than systemic couple therapy. Improvement in psychotherapy may best be accomplished by learning to improve one’s ability to relate to clients and tailoring the relationship to individual clients.
- b) Cognitive Behavior therapy (CBT): This is an evidence for the treatment of depression. It has become one of the most researched modalities in the treatment of mental illness, with demonstrated efficacy for a wide range of clinical difficulties. Depression has a number of highly differentiating characteristics. It starts off mild and then reaches a peak of severity and declines in intensity until its time limited characteristics have been observed by clinicians. The effectiveness of this therapy has been demonstrated only with unipolar, non psychotic and depressed outpatients.
- c) Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor: All antidepressants that produce substantial serotin uptake inhibition can cause anorgasmia, decreased libido and delayed ejaculation. Sexual dysfunction occurs in 30% patients treated with SSRI’s. The SSRI’s can produce withdrawal syndrome when they are stopped which include symptoms like flu (fatigue, nausea etc), dizziness, restlessness, sleep disturbances and headaches. SSRI’s have demonstrated good safety in overdose because of their wide therapeutic index and no complete toxicity has been demonstrated after considerable overdose of SSRI.
Antidepressants are often taken on a large term basis to prevent recurrence of depression and studies found that there is no evidence of long term safety problems with SSRI’s. As per the research the effectiveness of SSRI are seen in both major depression and in anxiety disorder. This is especially important because of the high incidence of comorbid anxiety disorders in depressed patients.
Cannabis increases serotin and dopamine levels. Some research suggests that at low doses cannabis decreases depression but at high doses it increases it. Significant studies suggest that the psychoactive component of cannabis THC may be beneficial in use as an antidepressant and anxiolytic. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) which is found in two forms ubiquinol and ubiquinone are effective and important nutrient beneficial for the treatment of bipolar disorder, fatigue and depression. The neural network of the endocannabinoid system works similarly to the way that serotonin, dopamine and other system work. As per the research cannabinoids have an effect on serotonin levels. CBD might be effective for depression related to chronic stress which has been shown to cause a decrease in endocannabinoid levels. The main role of CBD is to restore balance through inhibition when the levels are too high and enhancement when they are too low and in general CBD specifically is able to regulate depression and anxiety.
It refers to the leaves of Mitragyna, a plant traditionally used for pain, anxiety and depression. There is also some recent use of opiate withdrawal. As per the study depressed individuals were more often prescribed opioids and more likely to take opioids for long term than non depressed persons. The risk of depression increased significantly with the duration of the opioid prescription. In most situations kratom is ingested intentionally to attain the desirable effects and for the opiate withdrawal. White vein kratom can be used as an anti-depressant while red vein kratom and green vein kratom have totally diverse effects. White vein kratom enhances a person’s mood ironically being calming stimulant.
Anti-depressants: Xanax, Valium and Klonopin:
|The benzodiazepines act on the central nervous system to produce sedation, hypnosis and decreased anxiety. Xanax, Valium and Klonopin are mainly used as sedatives. When these are used for sedation, benzodiazepines are referred to as minor tranquilizers and because of their dependence producing properties, they should not be prescribed for longer than 2 to 4 weeks.
These drugs may worsen or mask the symptoms of depression. This consequently may refute the patient the prospect of effectual antidepressant medication, as this may result in disinhibition which may lead to suicide attempts. Based on the dosage of these drugs, the therapy of these antidepressants can give rise to physiologic and psychological dependence based on the drug’s dosage and duration of therapy.
Even though certain depressants including SSRI helps to relieve anxiety, most women treat their anxiety symptoms with benzodiazepines like Valium, Klonopin and Xanax. Many women with severe anxiety symptoms particularly those with panic disorder must use these antidepressants during their pregnancy in order to control their symptoms. Most recent studies and reports suggested that there has been no association between exposure to benzodiazepines and reproductive safety of these medications.
As per the experts there is no risk and if it is there it is estimated to be less than 0.6 percent. Some women based on this controversy, were uncomfortable taking these medications during the first trimester. Many drug interactions can also occur with these anti-depressants, while it is rare that an overdose of benzodiazepines itself could be fatal, when it is combined with other drugs which depress the central nervous system. They may also cause cognitive impairment which mianly involves memory disturbance and subtle learning impairment. These tranquilizers are not suggested in treating antisocial, because they are potentially addictive and may ironically lead the antisocial to act out on his impulses.