Depression is a serious mental health condition, and oftentimes, people who suffer from it feel as if there’s no way of getting better. For people who are diagnosed with depression, symptoms can take a toll on their daily lives to the point where they can no longer function properly and their relationships become adversely affected.
First, the cause of your depression must be determined, as some types of depression have a genetic component, while others spring from trauma, fear, personal and family issues, etc. Once the root is identified, you will be in a better position to have the condition treated.
To give you some help, here are a number of ways and resources that can help you manage your depression symptoms:
- Seek Professional Assistance
Depression can affect many areas of your life. This includes work, relationships with your family and friends, school, finances, and other aspects. One important thing to do in managing your depression symptoms is to seek professional help. Consider consulting with a mental health professional from a reputable depression treatment center like Jackson House to help you identify the root cause of your condition.
A professional counselor will be able to give you the tools and information you need to deal with these problems. A counselor can also help you set up a plan for managing your depression symptoms so you can enjoy a happier and healthier life. Though it may take quite some time to fully recover and overcome depression, it is indeed very possible.
Check the following benefits of seeking professional help to manage your depression:
- Proper Diagnosis: A medical professional, like a psychiatrist, has been trained to make sure that all patients get a proper diagnosis depending on signs and symptoms and that all medications are safe and effective for them to take. If there are questions or concerns about any aspect of the patient’s condition, it’s his responsibility to provide educated responses and to help the patient overcome the problem.
- Professional Treatment: Your doctor will suggest and help you discover the right type of treatment for your specific condition. Some of these may include cognitive behavioral therapy, rehabilitation for alcoholism, or drug abuse problem. With a psychiatrist by your side, you’re guaranteed to receive proper treatment.
- Encounter With A Patient Advocate: A psychiatrist can recommend ways on how to handle and deal with depression properly. He might not have the control to make you heal holistically, but he can at least point you in the right direction. It may take some work on your part as the patient, but you can rest on the fact that your doctor is always finding the best way to help you get back to your normal state of mind and well-being.
- Prescription Medications: Only a licensed medical professional like a psychiatrist can prescribe anti-depressant medication. If you’ve been suffering from depressive episodes for two weeks or more, your doctor will consider prescribing the right drug.
- Better Coping Skills: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by depression symptoms, you may need to take a break or go to a therapist. A good therapist will be able to help you see the problem from a different perspective.
- Support Groups And Community Agencies
Other resources that you may want to consider are support groups and community agencies. There are several different groups that can provide a great deal of support to those dealing with any type of mental illness.
Depression support groups are usually sponsored by major mental health organizations, such as the Mental Health America (MHA) and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). These organizations work with people who are going through a variety of mental health issues. They can provide you with the information you need to treat your depression symptoms. It is important that you don’t neglect the importance of seeking the help you need.
Here’s how support groups can help you manage your symptoms:
- These groups are specifically created to help those with any type of depression. They would keep you in the loop with people who have experienced the same things you currently experience. This way, you won’t feel alone in your journey to getting better. You may also get advice and comfort from these people, especially in overcoming little battles that you face each day.
- These groups are made to give people with depression a place to go and talk about their thoughts and feelings. As you involve yourself in a support group, you’ll be able to unload your burdens and seek understanding from those who know how it feels to be in your position.
- These groups are also created to help prevent depression in future individuals because some members of these groups are people who were diagnosed and treated for depression. The first-hand experience of the members of these support groups and community agencies will make it easier for new members to gain tips on how to prevent depression from worsening and determine what are the available treatment solutions.
- Family And Friends
When managing symptoms of depression, friends and family can become your biggest support system. Regardless of how severe your symptoms are, they’ll be present 24/7 to offer a helping hand and ensure that you get through this difficult phase in your life. In fact, your friends and family will be the very first persons to encourage you to seek professional treatment so you can beat depression and get back on track once again.
Your friends and family can significantly help you manage the symptoms of your depression, which is why it’s best if you open up to them once you suspect that your mental health is starting to get the best of you. Doing this can be very challenging at first but your friends and family will definitely understand what you’re going through and will be with you throughout your treatment.
Here are some ways family and friends can help people with depressive symptoms:
- They Will Listen To You: One of the best ways to help someone suffering from depression is to listen to their problems or thoughts and show empathy for what they’re feeling. When you open up to your friends and family about your depression, they’ll have a better idea of what you’re going through and will be happy to listen to your sentiments.
- They Won’t Make You Feel Alone: Aside from encouraging you to seek professional treatment, your friends and family will likely look for solutions or simply be with you to make sure that you don’t feel alone as you’re battling depression. Your friends and family will encourage you to engage in physical activities or try out new hobbies with them, so you’ll never feel as if you’re going through depression alone.
- They Will Help Ease Your Burden: Many times, family and friends will be able to take some of the pressure off of you, helping you light up whenever you’re feeling depressed. This can be very helpful because, with a family member or friend by your side, you won’t have to feel anxious or nervous about going to therapy and the group setting. Your family and friends can help you become more comfortable by simply listening to your stories and empathizing with your burdens.
Telemedicine has been around for years, but its current expansion has made it a viable option for many people with mental health problems. Telemedicine is a consultation method wherein a physician provides clinical services to a patient through a video-conferencing system instead of an in-person meeting. It may be arranged by a private company or by an individual physician. The doctor may ask questions and give advice while the patient is at home.
Telemedicine can be used in conjunction with other treatment options such as group therapy, medication, or psychotherapy. Many patients are using the technology to get the treatment they can’t receive in person due to limiting circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic. There are some reasons why people might use telemedicine to treat depression.
The benefits of telemedicine include the following:
- Quick Access To Professional Help: Depression is often difficult to treat. For those who do get help, it’s usually for short periods of time and may not last. With telemedicine, however, a patient can go from seeing a doctor occasionally to when they want to and have the option to do so without the expense of travel.
- Convenience: Because of the advent of technology, you can now speak with a medical professional without having to leave the comfort of your home. Telemedicine is very convenient as you can consult with your physician regardless of where you are in the world. The convenience of telemedicine can do wonders, especially for individuals whose physicians aren’t always available locally. This also means that people who are currently dealing with depression won’t have to struggle with the pressure of having a face-to-face conversation with their psychiatrist.
- Improved Quality Of Life: It’s also possible for depression to result from other health conditions that cause emotional distress to a patient. Virtual therapy through telemedicine may also help with going towards a better quality of life while having to deal with depression.
- Space to Speak More Freely: Using telemedicine to help manage depression has been effective for many patients. It can be difficult to talk about mental health when a patient is in a stressful situation. A telemedicine session can allow you to speak more freely and be in a safe space while discussing your concerns. This can help reduce your triggers of fear and anxiety. A professional therapist can help you cope and gain control of your emotions through a virtual consultation session.
- Become Socially Active: Telemedicine can also be used to help the patient to feel less lonely. There’s this stigma of having depression and too often, this badly affects patients who are not socially active. Telemedicine is a great way to encourage you to talk not only with your psychiatrist but with your family as well. Through this type of consultation, you can be encouraged to become a socially active person as you understand how it could help you manage your symptoms.
- Effective For Children: Children are not exempted from mental illness. Parenting a child with mental illness can be challenging; this is why parents try to exhaust all means and resources so that their children would be spared from social stigma and judgment. Telemedicine is also very effective in treating depression that occurs in children. Children are more likely to experience symptoms than adults, and they are often in less of a position to get proper counseling due to their young age. Telemedicine can be very helpful in teaching a young patient how to be transparent with his doctor and family for better progress in treatment and medication.
- Suitable For The Elderly And Patients With Disability: Telemedicine can be a great way to provide medical assistance to the disabled and elderly patients who are struggling physically and mentally.
- Online Self-Help Resources
Depression can be extremely disabling. It can keep a person from getting jobs, taking care of himself, making friends, and just plain being productive. Sometimes, depression might couple with having to face problems at work, relationships, or finances that you need more help than usual in dealing with your symptoms. If you can find online resources to help you manage your depression, that’s a brave act right there.
What are the available online resources to help manage depression? If you are a parent that has been diagnosed with a mood disorder or depression, it’s a good idea to begin by finding the right type of depression advice blog or a website that advocates mental health wellness. There are several available sites that can provide you with information and recommendation on depression. Many of these sites offer articles for free as well as more in-depth studies and reports.
Take a look at the following examples of other online resources to help manage your depression:
- Mental health guides
- Mental health intervention how-to’s or tutorials
- E-learning activities for mental health assessment
- Online educational videos created by mental health experts
- Social media mental health awareness groups and organizations
Importance Of Prompt Treatment
Everyone experiences low or even depressing feelings at times, but those feelings usually fade away with time. However, if you have depression, those feelings will continue to linger for weeks, months, or years, even in the face of treatment for depression.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes distressing emotional symptoms, lethargy, and loss of grit or interest. These include the following:
- Constant sadness and hopelessness
- Mood swings
- Decreased interest in things that used to make you happy
- Lack of concentration
- Poor judgment
- Poor work performance
- Loss of interest in hobbies or social activities
- Decreased productivity
- Others: Poor-quality sleep, weight gain or loss, trouble concentrating, loss of appetite, decreased libido, sexual dysfunction, or lack of interest in sex
People with depression are usually self-conscious about their symptoms and can even begin to avoid situations where they may be embarrassed. These feelings and behaviors often lead to low self-esteem and low self-confidence.
If you think that you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, talk with your doctor about treating your depression. Your doctor will likely ask you a series of questions to determine if there are any physical and/or emotional signs of depression and will order an assessment to identify your condition. Your doctor may also want to run a physical test on you in order to rule out any physical causes of depression that you may not be aware of.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone in your depression. You don’t have to go through depression on your own, as there are many others who are willing to help you overcome your condition. Some of them have experienced the same symptoms and struggles that you are currently dealing with.
The next time you experience depression symptoms, you may want to consider talking to someone about your situation. If you have tried to help yourself and still feel like something is not right or lacking, then you might want to consider seeking professional help to better manage your depression.