If you’ve recently received a diagnosis of depression, don’t take that to mean the end of the road for you. Depression treatment is available.
While it won’t be easy, educating yourself about the disorder and the many treatments that can be available to you, will go a long way. Being aware of your symptoms and making sure to get the help you need, are all critical steps to recovery.
All of this and more can make it possible to ensure your best quality of life, despite the diagnosis.
Unlike a physical illness, depression is not something that can be easily seen to the common eye.
Yet, the impact depression has on the mind can be colossal, coloring even the way one feels, thinks and acts. Due to its prolonged effects (symptoms must last two weeks or longer for a diagnosis), it’s more than just experiencing temporary feelings of sadness or grief.
If left untreated, the worst-case scenario has deadly consequences. Professional help should be consulted, way before thoughts of suicide or attempted suicide start to enter into the picture.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life.
Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder is the most common form of depression.
Getting the Right Depression Treatment
For 80% of people affected by depression, treatment can make a difference, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
So, there is hope that you can improve your life drastically by getting the right kind of help. Making the choice to no longer suffer in silence and reaching out is a first big step in your journey of depression treatment.
You know yourself best, so ultimately you are the only one that can give yourself the life you desire. If you are not getting the results you need, don’t give up on treatment.
Instead, talk to your healthcare professional about what other treatment options might be available to you. Do your best to attain the tools you need to improve your symptoms as fully as possible.
You have a life to live, and the right treatment plan can help you live it.
When dealing with depression, you may also feel tempted to isolate yourself and go at it alone. However, give yourself permission to let people help you.
Be intentional about surrounding yourself with supporters —whether it is your therapist, peers, or family members —who can assist you in setting goals in order to reach your recovery.
We at Paradigm Austin, are here to walk with you on this journey to wholeness and healing.
Recovery Will Not Always Look the Same
Every individual in this world has unique needs, and so the way one deals with the pain they experience will be different.
Depression is a complex, multi-genic illness, so the way it affects your mind and further your recovery will not look the same as the next person.
Recognizing this is crucial in seeking the help that you need. As you battle this illness, ensure to set regular appointments with a licensed healthcare professional, so that you can both be on the same page when it comes to your treatment.
Also, be patient with your support team, and most importantly, with yourself. It’s normal to want to get better right away, but don’t expect healing to happen overnight. It may take weeks or even months to recover. In some cases, the symptoms you feel may last even longer, especially if they are re-occurring.
The worst thing you can do for yourself, is feed into feelings of guilt and shame, because you are not where you think you should be in your recovery journey.
Common Forms of Depression Treatment Therapies
Outside of just medication, there are other forms of therapies that may be useful to you.
If you are already on medication but want to stop them, take these necessary next steps while closely consulting with a healthcare professional. Drastically cutting off your meds could end up worsening your depression.
Since our brains are susceptible to external influences, consider how factors — such as lifestyle—might be contributing to your current state of mind. If you find that you are not in the best shape currently, there is always room for change.
Some common types of therapy that you might try incorporating include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that the way an individual thinks and feels affects the way he/she behaves. Ultimately, the goal is to use problem-solving to change thought patterns, in order to change how one responds in difficult situations. CBT is known to be highly effective in the treatment of depression, and other mental health disorders.
- Light Therapy – Studies have revealed that Vitamin D in moderate doses, as directly retrieved from sunlight doesn’t just benefit your skin. Best used early in the morning, light therapy can work to invigorate the system by replacing lost sunlight exposure and resetting the body’s internal clock.
- Positive Lifestyle Changes– Research released by the University of Kansas has shown that when healthy lifestyle choices are implemented —including making positive changes to diet, accessing social support and exercising regularly —a reduction in depressive symptoms almost three times over antidepressants can occur. If the idea of changing up things in your routine overwhelms you, start with just a few small changes. We know you may not always feel like getting out of bed to exercise, for example, but we encourage you to keep at it even on the hard days.
- Intuitive-Focused Therapies – In order to promote your best self and what we hope can be a full recovery from depression, we recommend also exploring the wonders of nature for your mental health. Equine-assisted therapy provides an opportunity to get out in the fresh outdoors, and better process your emotions on equal ground with the horses. The beauty of journaling and creative arts therapy (journaling and expression through art) is another one that could prove useful in helping you sort out your thoughts and achieve resilience, if you’re seeking to overcome past experiences with trauma.
Practicing any of these under the guidance of a healthcare professional may help to radically boost not only your mental but your physical health.
Taking the time to educate yourself on the signs of depression, causes, and risk factors, will make the treatment period easier for you, even well afterwards. Ask your healthcare professional the necessary questions about your depressive disorder and what it means for you.
Ignorance is not bliss, so making sure to access the right information for yourself and your family is paramount.
Although depression does impact the mind to high degrees, it doesn’t have to take over your life. Equipping yourself with valuable information will give you the ammunition you need to prepare for this ongoing battle. No matter how many times you have to face it.
Know what it is and what it is capable of, but don’t allow your newfound knowledge to contribute to your fears.
Instead, keep fighting for your best life, and choose to rise above them. We believe you can.