It is important to heed the first signs of clinical depression before it can disrupt your life. Everyone feels blue occasionally, and it is normal to feel depressed for short periods of time, especially after a particularly traumatic or stressful event. When these feelings do not resolve themselves after a reasonable period of time, however, it can become difficult to deal with day-to-day living and you may find you want to turn to professional help in order to get your life back on track.
Signs Of Clinical Depression
We could talk about a major depressive episode when you experience some of the following signs of clinical depression at least for two weeks, persistently. You feel emotionally upset, sad, irritable and depressed, see yourself as worthless. Physically, you are lacking energy, have experienced a significant weight gain or loss and have sleeping disorders. You may also have various pains, and perhaps, as a major sign of clinical depression, you may have had suicidal thoughts recently, or have a way planned out to kill yourself. Quite obviously, if these feelings persist, they will interfere with the normal course of your daily life, you will not be able to work and these signs of clinical depression will also have an effect on your social interactions. They also need not to be confused with bipolar disorder or manic depression (Bipolar Test) since many symptoms of the two mood disorders overlap.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Contacting your doctor when experiencing signs of clinical depression is of major importance. As a first step, he/she will perform a complete medical exam (Depression Test), to make sure that your symptoms do not have a medical cause. If no medical cause can be found, a psychological evaluation will take place, that will explore your psychiatric history, any substance abuse and suicidal tendencies. You may also complete a psychiatric survey to assess your situation and explore all the signs of the clinical depression. Drug therapy is one common way of treatment; the patient may be given antidepressants, that should be taken for at least a few months to prevent the reutrn of depression. However, besides antidepressants, it is advisable to attend individual or group psychotherapy sessions to take care of the underlying emotional causes of the depression as well. These psychotherapy sessions may help the patient to develop his/her interpersonal skills or may explore for example underlying behavioral problems. To treat severe signs of clinical depression, electroconvulsive therapy may be used. In this kind of treatment, also called electroshock, seizures are electrically induced in the patients. Electroconvulsive therapy is only used if no other treatment is effective, as it can have some side effects as well, like short-term memory loss or disorientation.
A Humane View Of Depression Treatment
In ancient times depression was treated with painful methods like removing a patient's colon, or even teeth, in order to provide a cure. We are lucky today to have access to drugs like Prozac and non-invasive therapies such as behavior modification or psycotherapy. However, in the past recovering from depression, or trying to, wasn't as simple as it is today.
Bloodletting And Euthanasia
Depression treatment as it was practiced in the Western world was was based on how depressed a person was, and in fact, for long it was believed that manic depression patients were actually possessed by devils and thus the practice was to chain them and also to physically restrain them. Some of the different types of depression treatment being used in the past included bloodletting, euthanasia as well as application of electric eels to the person’s skull.
However, once science began to make inroads into finding more humane methods for depression treatment the old inhumane treatment methods were soon abandoned. In any case there is special kind of depression treatment used for manic depression patients though which type of treatment method is to be used depends on symptoms as well as severity and even the illnesses’ duration, as too stressors that precipitated the condition.
The Modern Approach
Today, depression treatment can include use of medication psychotherapy as well as electroconvulsive therapy. Among the common medications used to treat depression are anti-depressants, lithium as well as tranquilizers. In the case of electroconvulsive therapy use is made of giving patients electric shocks in order to create a momentary seizure which in turn causes release of a number of different chemicals (neurotransmitters) into the brain that transmit messages to different brain cells and in fact help in improving the functioning of the brain causing an improvement in the brain and better working of it as well.
We haven't completely forgotten ancient cures though. Greek as well as Roman physicians have for long recognized how spa waters could soothe a person’s nerves and now thousands of years later, lithium salts provide us with these same waters. A regiment of relaxing, trying new foods, trying to eat less high cholesterol foods and other external ways to refresh yourself still prove very useful today.
Although for many being at home is the most relaxing place in the world, if you are affected to such an extreme degree by depression or anxiety (the two are often found together) you may do better by being admitted to a depression treatment center where you can be exposed to more intense and ongoing therapies. Successful methods of depression treatment include medications, psycotherapy, cognitive therapy (which is very successful when used together with behavioral therapy) and occasionally anti-psychotic medications. If you are in a facility which is dedicated to depression treatment you will have the benefit of constant monitoring of your condition as well as combination of doctors and therapies, and hopefully a better chance of recovery.