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Ways to Cope with Depression

Ways to cope with and treat Depression


Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. It's also the world's leading cause of disability. The diagnostic criteria stated in the DSM-5 for depression are: the individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either: depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day. People may experience: anxiety, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, agitation, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation, insomnia or restless sleep, lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide, changes in weight. Some times these symptoms are not easily noticed by the people surrounding the affected and this can make them feel even more alone. There are different ways to cope and treat depression; psychotherapy, medication, brain stimulation and mind-body medicine. 

For psychotherapy a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or licensed clinical social worker uses a variety of techniques to help you with shift your negative thinking. For medication we have antidepressants, mood stabilizers or antipsychotic pills. Some FDA approved medications are Fluoxetine and Escitalopram. Some mood stabilizers used for depression are Lithium and Valproic acid. The FDA has also approved Aripiprazole and Quetiapine slow-release tablets as adjunctive treatment for depressive disorders, and the combination of Olanzapine and Fluoxetine for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression. Some patients for who medication, or psychotherapy has not been successful may want to try electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Other first-line indications for the procedure include people who are catatonic or suffering from a form of depression known as psychotic depression (depression associated with delusions and hallucinations). Research has shown that lifestyle changes like exercise, good nutrition, improving sleep and avoiding procrastination by keeping up with chores can boost the effects of therapy or medication. It is always important to develop a strong support network, reduce stress levels, and learn to curb any negative thinking.


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