Treatment of depression without antidepressants
Drug use causes irreparable harm to health and is life threatening!
When something in life does not go according to plan and there is a reason for sadness, many people immediately say: “I am depressed. But in fact, this statement is not always true. Let’s find out what depression really is and how to get rid of it.
Is depression a disease?
Depression is not moping or a bad mood. It is a disease in which the biochemical processes in the brain are altered. Symptoms of a depressive disorder last from 2 weeks or more. Sometimes the condition lasts for years, and the person does not even suspect it.
True clinical depression is the result of impaired absorption or production of neurotransmitters – substances responsible for brain function and emotions. As a result, the person becomes apathetic and often has a bad mood.
Depression can be triggered by a traumatic event or prolonged severe stress. Risk factors include psychological abuse in childhood or adulthood.
Depression often occurs against a background of a lack of biologically active substances. Such symptoms are experienced by people with a deficiency of vitamin D, ferritin, and iron. Signs of depression are also noted when there is an imbalance of hormones against the background of a malfunction or endocrine pathology.
In some cases, the depressive state is caused by taking certain medications. This side effect should be recorded in the instructions.
Decreased mood and other symptoms of depressive disorder are sometimes associated with a lack of sunlight. These complaints usually peak in the spring and fall.
Is depression permanent?
Because of the long course of the illness, there are fears that depression is permanent. In fact, this is not entirely true.
You can get rid of mild depression on your own – by experiencing a traumatic event, living through the emotions, and recovering. Without therapy, the condition that appeared against the background of the use of certain medications also goes away. After their withdrawal, everything returns to normal.
Without treatment, depression can progress.
Moderate to severe conditions need to be monitored by a doctor. The behavior of the sick person often exacerbates the symptoms, leading to the progression of the pathology and the deterioration of the condition. This is related both to the workings of the brain and to the patterns formed during life.
With the right therapy, depression can be treated or managed at any stage and for any duration. If the condition is caused by hormonal disorders or deficiency of biologically active substances, the symptoms will disappear after the imbalance is corrected. In the case of psychogenic (caused by unpleasant events) and endogenous (caused by mental malfunction) conditions, specific treatment is required.
Treatment without antidepressants
People are afraid of psychotropic medications because of side effects or their own prejudices, so they avoid going to a specialist. But in fact, most cases of depressive disorder can be treated without pharmacotherapy. Pills are only a means to a faster and more pronounced effect, and a support for psychotherapy. Most patients are able to cope without them if they see a knowledgeable specialist in a timely manner.
The basis of therapy for depression:
- Psychotherapy sessions.
- Sleep hygiene.
- Relaxation practices (Jacobson method or progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises).
- Observance of the daily routine.
- Physical activity.
If the patient does not feel strong enough to study and comply with the recommendations, he needs medication support.
Are antidepressants dangerous?
There are almost as many fears around antidepressants as there are around antibiotics. But if everyone is accustomed to the latter, then the former still cause doubt and anxiety among patients. And for good reason.
Modern antidepressants work quite gently.
The drugs allow the body to compensate for the lack of neurotransmitters, so that the person starts to feel good again.
At the beginning of taking antidepressants, the body adapts. For the first 2-3 weeks, side effects may occur. Because of this, they often cancel them on their own, telling each other tall tales about the deterioration. But you should only listen to your doctor and consult with him.
It is important to choose the right dosage: it increases gradually. Therefore, in the beginning of admission may have no effect. The doctor adjusts the dosage. As a rule, specialists always stay in touch with the patient. If there are any doubts about how you feel, you should inform your doctor. By following these rules, antidepressants will only make you feel good and speed up your recovery.
Antidepressants and addiction: myth or truth
Addiction to antidepressants is only partly a myth. Some drugs that were previously used to treat depression may have been addictive. But they have not been used for a long time.
The latest generation of antidepressants are not addictive.
Some patients have to take antidepressants for several years. This is not due to addiction, but to a serious illness. When seeing a doctor with depression in its early stages, long-term pharmacotherapy is not necessary for most patients.
Gradual withdrawal of antidepressants is also not associated with the development of dependence. It is necessary for the smooth adaptation of the body and the patient himself to life without drugs.
The most frightening consequence is irreversible mental degradation
It is necessary to recognize the addiction as early as possible and start treating it.
Is it possible to cure depression forever?
The question of getting rid of depression for good is quite complicated. It is possible to cure this illness, but the risk that it will reoccur always remains. It is important to monitor your condition and notice its deterioration in time.
Avoiding a repeated depressive episode will help to observe preventive measures. Taking care of yourself, refraining from alcohol, physical activity and sleep hygiene will keep your body in good shape. You should try to avoid severe stress and fatigue.
In some cases, depression is chronic. Then the patient will take medication for the rest of his life. In this case, he gets the opportunity to live without mood swings and other unpleasant symptoms. Antidepressants perform the same role as insulin in diabetes, so there is no need to be afraid of it.
How can a specialist help with depression?
Seeing a doctor for depressive symptoms is necessary. It is best to immediately visit a psychotherapist: he owns the methods of diagnosis, will prescribe the necessary tests, can conduct both medication and psychotherapeutic treatment.
Clinical psychologists are also able to diagnose depression. They see patients in outpatient clinics. If a doctor suspects a depressive episode, he or she will refer the patient for examination and refer the patient to a specialized specialist.
There is no need to fear being placed on the register when applying to state clinics.
People with this diagnosis are not subject to registration. Doctors do not have the right to tell the patient’s employer or other people about the patient’s diagnosis, it is protected by medical confidentiality.
Treatment of mild to moderate depression often occurs without medication support. The doctor corrects the patient’s condition only with psychotherapy. It includes individual sessions and obligatory fulfillment of the therapist’s recommendations at home.
Medication support is the administration of prescription medications according to a regimen selected by the doctor. It is not possible to change the dosage and type of medication by oneself.
It is not necessary to wait for depression to go away on its own, or to live with it for years. If your loved one has similar symptoms, it is worth gently bringing him or her to the help of specialists. Depression is the same pathology as a cold or a broken leg. After all, no one tries to wait for bones to heal on their own. There is no need to wait for depressive symptoms either, it is better to seek help and start enjoying life again.
Depression – causes and tips to avoid it
“I’m depressed,” – how many times have I heard this complaint from acquaintances on different occasions. In fact, this medical term is a serious illness that requires professional help, but not a sudden rush of sadness or a temporary apathy. This insidious enemy of our health cleverly disguises itself, depriving us of vitality and health
How does depression manifest itself?
The main manifestation of depression is a stable low mood, the cause of which is usually impossible to explain. The depressed mood itself is different from the grief you experience with various misfortunes. A person suffering from depression usually cannot formulate his experiences due to the unusualness of the sensations, their difference from anything that he has experienced in his life before. Such people often resort to comparisons: “my soul feels heavy, stony, dark”, “everything has lost its meaning, joy”, “it has become hard to live”, “I feel as if I have had a super-heavy flu”.
What are the causes of depression?
Depression is caused by inherited biochemical disorders at the level of the central nervous system. And also certain types of personality: hypersensitive, meticulous, pedantic, overly sensitive to failure, impressionable, vulnerable people are more susceptible to depression than others. We can talk about the risk group for depression: women suffer from depression much more often than men. If we talk about age, the lower limit for this group – 18-20 years, the upper – 35-40. There is also a special form of depression that begins in the menopausal period.
Can I diagnose myself?
It is not an easy task to recognize depression, but it is possible to suspect it based on a combination of the following factors:
- diurnal fluctuations in mood with deterioration in the first half of the day, especially in the morning, and improvement in the evening;
- A sharp decrease in mood combined with lethargy of movements and thoughts;
- persistent, gratuitous lowering of mood over a period of weeks to months, or periodically in the fall and spring;
- cases of prolonged, gratuitous, depressed mood if there have been suicide attempts in close relatives in the family, especially on the maternal side, or periodic situations of binge drinking in close relatives;
Appearance is characteristic: a bent posture, people look much older than their years, they have dry, flaky skin, split hair, fall out, often graying, brittle nails are noted.
How does depression affect sleep, and are nightmares a sign of depression?
Depression is characterized by the following sleep disorders: early awakening, difficulty falling asleep, lack of a sense of sleep. Nightmares can be a symptom of fear and anxiety, but not of depression.
Is increased appetite a symptom of depression?
It is characterized not by an increase but by a persistent decrease in appetite, especially in the morning and during the day.
Does depression affect sexual relationships?
Yes. In typical cases, depression leads to a persistent decrease in desire up to its disappearance. The disappearance of orgasm is most typical.
If depression is combined with a somatic illness, do you need to see a psychotherapist?
Yes. It should be noted that depression can manifest itself in different “masks”, such as: pain of various kinds, respiratory disorders (reminiscent of asthma), binges, attacks of the so-called vascular dystonia. Mood swings throughout the day, typical for typical depression, as well as other manifestations such as heart palpitations, dilation of the pupils and dry skin can help in the diagnosis in this case. Lack of appetite and constipation, also characteristic of depression, can be deadly because they last for months at a time.
If you suspect depression in yourself or a loved one, how will your doctor diagnose it?
It is very important to identify the disease at an early stage and begin timely treatment. There are certain tests in the arsenal of specialists, pharmacological tests, which show changes in blood hormone levels and with a high degree of reliability allow you to confirm or refute the diagnosis of depression. In addition, psychological tests help in the diagnosis of this disease.
Many antidepressants are sold in pharmacies. Do they help, and what does taking them yourself lead to?
Do not forget that taking antidepressants without a prescription, not only unacceptable, but sometimes even deadly. This is due, firstly, with the side effects, which can take into account only an experienced doctor. Secondly, the duration of the course of treatment and the dose of the drug is chosen strictly on an individual basis. That is why serious antidepressants are sold in pharmacies only with a doctor’s prescription. Most over-the-counter medications have no significant therapeutic effect.
Can depression be cured?
Yes, but it won’t happen overnight. Depression is treated successfully in most cases. Depending on the type of depression and the severity of the illness, the treatment and time needed for recovery can vary widely. Severe cases of depression are treated in a psychiatric clinic setting with antidepressants and tranquilizers. Moderate and mild depressions are treated with a combination of antidepressants and various methods of psychotherapy, or with psychotherapy alone. In severe cases, complete recovery from depression is possible within six months to a year. If medications are used in treatment, periods are reduced to 3-5 months. There is also supershort psychotherapy, which allows for 5-10 meetings with a psychotherapist (psychotherapeutic sessions) to significantly reduce symptoms of depression.