Classified as a mood disorder, depression can be described as a feeling of sadness, loss, or anger that interferes with your life. People experience it in various ways, and it can interfere with your work and personal relationships and lower your productivity. In many cases, it can also make chronic health conditions worse.
What Is Depression?
When speaking about depression, it’s important to note that feeling sad is normal and there are many events in life that can be upsetting. Yet, if you’re feeling down in the dumps or completely hopeless regularly, you might be depressed.
Without proper care, depression can get worse quickly. Knowing when you have depression can help you seek help and treatment and improve soon. It’s important to realize that feeling low sometimes is a normal part of life. Sad and upsetting events happen to everyone. But, if you’re feeling down or hopeless regularly, you could be dealing with depression.
Major depression can affect your body and mood with symptoms that ebb and flow through the days. Men, women, and children experience depression differently.
Depression can be broken into Major depressive disorder, also called clinical depression, which is the most severe form of depression and Persistent depressive disorder called dysthymia. It’s a milder, but chronic, form of depression that can last for years.
Living with depression can be difficult, but several treatments can help improve your quality of life. Often multiple kinds of treatments are combined to help manage the symptoms better.
Medical treatments for depression include:
- Medications: Antidepressants, antianxiety & antipsychotic medications
- Light Therapy: Exposure to doses of white light to help regulate mood and improve symptoms of major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.
- Alternative Therapies: Acupuncture, meditation, and some herbal supplements St. John’s wort, SAMe, and fish oil are used to treat depression.
- Exercise: 30 minutes of physical activity 3 to 5 days a week to increase endorphins and improve your mood.
- Take Care Of Yourself: This includes saying no to drugs and alcohol, setting boundaries in your personal and professional life and getting plenty of sleep and healthy food.
At times when you don’t respond to medication, your healthcare provider may recommend repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to improve your health.