Saturday, May 06, 2006

Depression Needs To Be Treated - By Michael Russell

Depression is not something you can just ignore and hope it will go away on its own or think that you will just "snap out it". Depression is a serious medical condition and needs to be taken seriously. It is caused by chemical changes or imbalances in the brain coupled with other different factors.

Many people who are diagnosed with depression wonder how and why it has happened to them, but the truth is that depression can happen to anybody. Debilitating depression can be triggered by many factors, but the good news is that treatment is available to help you cope. These treatments will help stabilize the chemicals in the brain and make sure all the vital messages to the brain are sent and received correctly.

Your first step in the fight against depression is to understand how it affects you, its causes and the treatment options available to you. Learn about the different types of medications, psychotherapy or "talk therapy" and other treatments.

Major depression can severely disrupt your life, affecting your relationships, your sleep pattern, appetite and even your daily work. Some of the symptoms that help the doctor to make a diagnosis of depression are:

- Feelings of sadness

- Losing interest in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy

- Low energy despite lack of activity

- Poor appetite

- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping excessively

- Poor concentration and ability to make decisions

- Feeling hopeless or not worthy

- Suicidal thoughts

Symptoms of depression may also include severe mood disorders. Some mood disorders include but not limited to postpartum disorder and Bipolar disorder.

Postpartum depression affects women who have recently given birth and it normally occurs within the first months after delivery. This type of depression affects the mother's ability to bond with her newborn despite all the joy surrounding the birth of a new baby. It is extremely important that the new mother seeks medical attention if she experiences these symptoms. Postpartum depression can sometimes be confused with the "Baby Blues" which normally occurs within the first few days after the birth of the child but usually goes away spontaneously.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder, affects millions of people every year. For sufferers life can have intense highs (mania) and crippling lows (depression). Patients suffering from bipolar disorder describe life as being one giant emotional roller coaster. The good news here is that there are treatments that help control these intense mood swings.

Even though there is no known cure, people with bipolar disorder can live normal lives with proper treatment and management. Patients must manage their condition very carefully just like if they had another illness such as diabetes or heart disease. Building a strong support network can be extremely helpful in treating bipolar disorder.

Living with depression may mean that you have try different types of medications over time until you find one that responds or works best for you. Therapy and lifestyle changes may also be recommended to help elevate depression symptoms.

Change will not happen overnight, but with the right treatment, therapy and lifestyle changes, you can keep depression from overshadowing your life.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Depression

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