Treating clinical depression can take dedication and a deep understanding of how the mental illness affects the body and the mind. Finding the right treatment—or combination of treatments—that works for you takes close collaboration with your doctor or mental health specialist. If you are suffering from clinical depression, it can be difficult to stay proactive about your personal well-being. But, hopefully, this list will give you some insight into the number of treatment options available when it comes to depression. If you are not suffering from the disorder, then let this list better inform you about how you can help others handle their mental illness. Without further ado, here is a list of 27 essential tips to treat clinical depression.
Treating depression is an individualized process
Clinical depression affects all individuals differently. Treatments that works for others might have little effect on your own depression. Often, a patient’s road to recovery will include different forms of treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to treating clinical depression.
Little can be done for those who know nothing of the causes of their clinical depression or what they can do about it. By staying informed you can take the mystery out of your depression, helping you tackle the illness head on.
Stay in touch
If you think you, or someone you know, is experiencing clinical depression, you do not have to struggle against the illness alone. Reaching out to loved ones and medical professionals can help you avoid and minimize episodes of clinical depression.
Primary signs of major depressive disorder
Before treatment can begin, we must identify clinical depression. The American Psychiatric Association states the two principal signs of clinical depression are overwhelming emotions of grief or sadness and loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy, with these symptoms lasting two weeks or longer.
Anhedonia is simply the word for the loss of interest in activities you regularly enjoy. Whether it be photographing the sunset, watching kitten videos, or enjoying your favorite pastime, losing interest in the things that we love doing is a primary signal that you could be experiencing clinical depression.
There are countless amounts of symptoms of clinical depression, that generally fit into three categories. Symptoms of clinical depression are usually considered to be either physical, behavioral, or emotional.
Some people are simply more genetically prone to experiencing depression, but the exact causes of why that happens are not yet fully known. Factors such as a person’s brain chemistry, genetics, and hormones can all contribute to that person’s depression diagnosis.
Roughly 40% of adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder do not respond to medication and develop treatment resistant depression, or TRD. If you have unsuccessfully dealt with clinical depression, do not give up. There are still several options and treatment routes for you to take.
Working with trained medical professionals
Working with the right professionals can greatly reduce—and sometimes end—your symptoms of clinical depression. If you think you are suffering from the mental illness, letting your primary physician know about your symptoms is a good point to start treatment.
Working with mental health specialists
Once a person gets diagnosed with clinical depression they will want to seek the assistance of a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or a licensed mental health counselor. Mental health specialists are trained to help you regain your life.
Traditional treatments of clinical depression tend to involve medication, psychotherapy, or some combination of the two.
By discussing your symptoms, feelings, thoughts, and behavior patterns with a mental health specialist, patients suffering from clinical depression can talk through issues or memories that could be causing or exacerbating the illness.
Antidepressants relieve clinical depression by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine levels. Along the spectrum of antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are used initially in treating clinical depression.
Alternative forms of therapy
Psychotherapy and medication are no longer the only ways to treat clinical depression. As our understanding of the illness advances, so do our methods of treating it. Transcranial magnetic stimulation, for example, is a relatively new type of treatment that is seeing great success with some patients.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an FDA-approved therapy that targets brain irregulates by magnetically stimulating the areas of your brain responsible for mood regulation. TMS is a non-invasive, outpatient treatment that doesn’t require sedation or anesthesia.
TMS was approved by the FDA in 2008 and has been recommended by the American Psychiatric Association since 2010 for use in people with clinical depression who have not responded to at least one antidepressant medication.
There are natural ways to address your clinical depression, but these methods should not be used to self-manage major depressive disorder without a doctor’s supervision. Simply eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep are great ways to naturally address clinical depression.
Foods containing omega-3
Some studies have shown that foods which contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can increase serotonin in the brain. Groups of people with high omega-3 diets tend to have fewer occurrences of depression.
A great way to help improve your episodes of clinical depression is to exercise. When we exercise our bodies produce higher levels of endorphins which can elevate our moods. Runner’s high has long been reported by long-distance runners, and recent analysis of brain scans has shown that during any exercise the prefrontal and limbic regions of the brain create great amounts of endorphins.
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—DSM-5—is the definitive source for understanding mental disorders like clinical depression. If you are just starting your journey to recovery, knowing what DSM-5 says about clinical depression can make the process much easier.
Get a depression-focused mobile app
Depression-focused mobile apps can help integrate real-time mental health data into clinical practice. Similar to keeping a mood log, apps let you track clinical depression trends with the assistance of biometrics.
Keep a mood log
On days when clinical depression clouds your positive moods, it is nice to have a mood log to look back through and remember sunnier days. Documenting your moods throughout the years helps you track progress and observe your personal trends.
When we remove ourselves from the stress and bustle of our busy lives, even if it is for just five minutes a day, we gain a perspective that can help reduce symptoms of clinical depression. Mediate and allow yourself to wash away any self-judgement in a comfortable and quiet place.
Take three deep and controlled breaths as you read this paragraph. Breathing can help you combat the symptoms of clinical depression by oxygenating your blood and relaxing the mind. Yoga is a good way to improve breathing habits and get an endorphin-boosting exercise in. Take three more deep breaths. How do you feel?
TMS patient experience
TMS therapy is a relatively relaxing procedure. During a TMS treatment session, patients experience a slight tingling on the left side of their scalp while electromagnetic pulses stimulate neurons within the prefrontal cortex. Many patients fall asleep during the 30- to 60-minute session. A typical full course of therapy includes 30 to 36 sessions spanning over four to six weeks.
TMS as a long-term solution
TMS therapy not only stimulates existing neural circuits, it encourages new neural circuits to form, creating lasting relief from depression for some patients. TMS is particularly effective against treatment resistant depression but results may vary.
TMS Health Solutions
If you are looking for TMS therapy in the Sacramento Area, then look at TMS Health Solutions. Founded in 2007, TMS Health Solutions can customize a multi-faceted treatment strategy to tackle your clinical depression.
Well, that concludes the list, but this list is non-exhaustive and may not include other treatments that could work, or have already worked, to treat your personal clinical depression. No one can offer guaranteed remission of clinical depression, but TMS Health Solutions seeks to provide a comprehensive and compassionate approach to treatment. The company’s team of professionals can customize a multi-faceted treatment to address your symptoms. Whether you think you may be suffering from clinical depression, have been recently diagnosed with clinical depression, or have been suffering from the illness for years, TMS Health Solutions urges you to reach out for help.