Psychologist explains how depression is more than sadness and how it’s treated

It is important to know that depression is more than sadness. It could be the next mental health epidemic, if we don’t manage it diligently, says Samar Hafeez, psychologist and certified holistic health coach. Because mental health issues affect not only you, but your loved ones as well. Additionally, the negative impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on people with pre-existing mental health conditions has increased.

The pandemic has increased the global prevalence and burden of depression, it is sad to know that people with pre-existing substance use disorders, mental and neurological conditions have a higher risk of SARS infection -CoV-2 and even death.

So how is depression managed or treated?

It is difficult to live with depression. About 80% to 90% of people respond well to its management, and almost all patients achieve symptomatic relief. A groundbreaking study from the Indiana University School of Medicine sheds new light on the biological basis of mood disorders (which includes depression) and offers a promising blood test aimed at a precision therapeutic approach. The study describes how the team developed a blood test, made up of RNA biomarkers, that can distinguish the severity of a patient’s depression, their risk of severe depression in the future, and their risk of future bipolar disorder. or manic-depressive illness. The test also informs patients about tailored drug choices. It is indeed a great service rendered to humanity.

Some of the management and treatment approaches include:

  1. Psychological treatments: Psychotherapy shows promising results in the treatment of depression and the prevention of relapses/recurrences. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most effective psychological management/treatment. CBT helps people understand negative thought processes and improve their coping skills. Early detection and intervention are crucial for rapid recovery. Psychotherapy can involve individual or group sessions. A therapist can teach life skills that help to deal effectively with negative thoughts and emotions.
  2. Medication: The primary medical treatment for depression is antidepressants, depending on psychological assessment and the severity of the existing disorder. (Please contact a psychiatrist for more information).
  3. Get moving: We all know that regular exercise has various physical health benefits, but few know about its effectiveness in improving mental health. Exercise has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants in some cases. Exercise releases endorphins (powerful mood-enhancing chemicals) in the body. And a regular exercise regimen can help rectify the sleep cycle, sharpen memory and learning abilities. You may also think that you won’t appreciate something, but when you do, you appreciate it more than expected. So executing something is necessary for success. Play sports or list activities you used to enjoy. It can be daunting at first, for beginners a few minutes of exercise is better than nothing. Start with sessions of 5 to 10 minutes 3 to 4 days a week and then increase slowly. Pleasant and meaningful activities will help relieve depression.
  4. Restore sleep patterns: Sleep patterns are greatly disrupted in depressed people. In order to restore and break the vicious cycle, one should follow certain sleep hygiene practices, including: maintaining regular sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning, avoiding the use of smartphones or social media at night, avoid stimulants like coffee. , alcohol, nicotine and heated arguments, say no to heavy meals 2 hours before bedtime.
  5. Practice mindfulness meditation: Most of our suffering comes either from our past past or from our unseen future. Mindfulness teaches us the art of living in the moment by avoiding judgment and building a compassionate way of looking at ourselves and others. It helps to fight against the ruminating, negative and deviant thoughts that are often present in a person diagnosed with depression. Mindfulness-based stress reduction therapies also help manage anxiety, chronic/acute stress, anger, and irritability that may be present in people with depression.

better quality sleep

The techniques mentioned above are among the most effective and exploitable. Always consult a mental health professional if you feel your life is spiraling out of control. Therapists are empathetic people who are active, reflective listeners with a non-judgmental attitude. Feel comfortable contacting them for your own mental well-being and that of others around you. You take action now and take control of your life, because you deserve a better future.

Also read: 7 things to include in your bedtime routine for restful sleep

About Margie Peters

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