The Different Approaches to Depression


Woman excercising to improve her lifestyle habits and treat depression

Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is one of the most common mental health diagnoses.


Everyone requires a specialized treatment plan using a combination of methods, including non-therapy or medications.


Talk to a counsellor

A counsellor will teach you how to manage your depression and reduce symptoms. They will help you understand the cause of your depression, understand your feelings and thoughts, manage your depression, learn important skills, and teach you how to develop coping strategies for difficult times.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is a structured type of therapy that helps you to:

  • Understand how your thinking and behaviour affect your mood.

  • Identify the negative thought patterns that may contribute to depression and replace them with more positive thoughts.

  • Learn to challenge the automatic judgments and interpretations you make about yourself, others, and situations

Medication

Medication is a treatment option for depression. It can be used alongside other treatments, such as psychotherapy or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and it may reduce symptoms of depression. Medication can also be used to prevent relapse, which is when people experience a return of their symptoms after they have recovered from an episode of depression.


People who take antidepressants can expect them to take several weeks before taking effect and they should continue with regular doses unless advised otherwise by their doctor.


TMS

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment for depression. TMS uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It may be a treatment option for people with depression who are not responding to other treatments.


Healthy lifestyle habits

It's important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. You may want to consider adding meditation, which can help with both depression and anxiety.


Eat healthily

You can take steps to manage your depression by making minor changes to your diet. Research has shown that eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less processed foods is associated with better mental health. Additionally, avoiding refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine (including coffee), nicotine (cigarettes), or other drugs/medications can help reduce symptoms of depression.


Exercise

Exercise can help you manage depression by increasing endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain. It will also increase norepinephrine and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which are neurotransmitters that help regulate mood.


Nature

Nature will help release the feel-good chemicals like exercising. When you can, go outside to enjoy nature. Go for a walk at your local forest preserve. Listen to the sounds, feel the sun on your skin, and watch for birds and animals. The exercise from the walk plus the peaceful environment will improve how you feel.


Healthy diet

Diets high in fruits and vegetables are associated with lower rates of depression, along with diets high in fish. It's also possible that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is found primarily in seafood, may have anti-depressive effects; supplementing with DHA has been shown to improve symptoms in people experiencing major depressive disorder (MDD).


It is important to add whole grains (quinoa or barley) instead of refined carbs (white bread or pasta) to your diet. Choosing healthy snacks like nuts (almonds and walnuts) instead of fried or sugary foods will keep your body and mind feeling good.


It is best to eliminate processed foods, sweetened drinks, caffeine, alcohol, and fast food from your diet. These items are often high in sodium or sugar, which can leave you feeling sluggish and mentally foggy.


Social life

It is important to maintain a social life, as this will help you feel less isolated. Try to surround yourself with supportive people. Another option is to join a club or take up an interest that will help bring about new healthy friendships.


Sleep

Sleeping can be a challenge, but you need about eight hours of sleep every night. Sleeping is important for your mental health because it helps your body recover from the day and prevents stress and anxiety from building up in your system.


In fact, research shows that people who get enough restful sleep tend to have fewer symptoms of depression than those who don't.


Self-care

Self-care is a way to take care of yourself. It's doing things that make you feel good and help you relax, like getting a massage or reading a book. Change your way of thinking: don't think that self-care is selfish. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and help treat depression.


Vitamins

Depression is a complicated disorder, and many factors contribute to it. However, certain vitamins may help reduce your symptoms of depression.


Vitamin B12 is effective in treating depression when used in combination with folic acid and vitamin B6. Vitamin B12 supplements have been shown to reduce symptoms such as irritability and fatigue within 2 weeks after beginning treatment when combined with these other nutrients.


Meditation

Meditation is an effective, additional method to add to your treatment plan. It will help you relax, stay calm and focused, feel more positive about your life, and less stressed. It can also improve sleep.


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