When Treatment for Depression is More Effective than Medication
Providing natural relief
It is totally normal to feel sad from time to time; people cannot control the outcomes of certain life situations. However, it is not normal to feel sad all the time; this is known as depression and it should be treated immediately. Most people begin taking medication to treat their symptoms; however, this only masks the problem and does not treat it. Proper treatment for depression is more effective, lasts longer and is healthier than medication.
Causes and Effects of Depression
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports, depression is one of the most common mental health disorders among Americans; in fact, over 14 million people suffer from its symptoms. Medical experts believe depression is caused by brain functioning, genetics, family history and immediate environment.
Scientists use positron emission tomography (PET), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and functioned magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track changes in all regions of the brain and map the distribution of neurotransmitters. These new imaging tools allow experts to better understand how each brain region affect mood and other functions.
The National Institute of Mental Health, “some research suggests that people with certain genes are more likely to develop” depression than others. Although it is not 100 percent that two parents with depression will pass it on to their children, it does increase the risk of it. In fact, when one parent has depression, their child has a 15-30 percent increased chance at developing it.
In 2009, CNN reported, “ the more family members you have who have been found to have major depression, anxiety disorders or drug or alcohol dependence, the greater the chances that you will too”. In fact, family history “is one of the most important predictors of outcome”.
Immediate environment can have a significant impact on whether or not someone will develop depression; these causes have nothing to do with brain functioning or genetics whatsoever, these causes are based off of things that happen in everyday lives, such as:
- Prolonged stress at home or work
- Coping with the loss of a loved one
- Experiencing a traumatic event
For those who suffer, feeling sad is just one of the many symptoms of depression. Other symptoms include:
- Feelings of anxiety and hopelessness
- Feelings of inappropriate guilt or worthlessness
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Changes in appetite, accompanied by either significant weight gain or loss
- Suicidal thoughts, intent or behavior
- Aches, pains and headaches
- Psychomotor or retardation
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
A lot of people who do seek help for depression often meet with a psychologist first, where they will be prescribed with medication to help ease their symptoms. While medication can help, it can also cause uncomfortable side effects, such as:
- Muscle aches
- Trouble falling asleep
- Weight gain
- Suicidal thinking
- Decreased sexual desire
People who are already suffering from the symptoms of depression do not need to increase their pain with the potential side effects of medication. There are natural ways to treat depression which do not mask the symptoms, but actually help patients change the way they think, feel and behave.
Treating Depression with Therapy
There are over five different types of treatments that significantly decrease the symptoms of depression, including:
- Interpersonal therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Electric shock therapy
Each therapy helps patients understand their illness and gives them strategies and tools to deal with their mental disorder. Patients can manage their symptoms and learn how to function normally. Patients are also able to recognize their negative behaviors in order to replace them with positive coping mechanisms.
The treatment of depression will significantly increase the chances of a healthy and happy life free from debilitating symptoms.