Strategies to Improve the Management of Depression
Depression is a common mood disorder in the US. It is the most common cause of persistent sadness among American citizens and limits their ability to go about their daily activities comfortably.
Fortunately, depression is treatable, and with the right strategies, one can recover from it. Medical treatments and lifestyle changes will help individuals feel much better. However, management of depression is an ongoing process.
In most cases, the things that make you depressed are those you can't control like chemicals in your brain, genes, and your environment. For some, depression begins after a severe life change or trauma. Sometimes it happens when you have a health problem like diabetes, cancer, or Parkinson's disease.
Hence, it may not be easy to protect yourself from some of the things that lead to depression. However, you can change how you react to or handle stress. Hence these management strategies in this article can help depression from getting worse.
Management of Depression
Though we still dont know if its possible to prevent depression, there are ways you can be able to keep it from coming back if you had an episode. Hence, therapists use the mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) approach.
The approach combines cognitive therapy to help change the way you think with mindfulness. Mindfulness is meant to help you focus on what happens in the present. The method is supposed to help people suffering from depression to be aware when negative thoughts start cropping and know how to change them.
Therapists also use psychotherapies like Interpersonal Therapy. These therapies focus more on relationships and are also useful. Therapists also help prevent recurrent depression episodes by prescribing medicine, encouraging lifestyle changes and nutrition.
These steps are meant to help reduce depression episodes by 25% or more; however, research is needed to prove the effectiveness of these approaches. However, depending on the type of psychotherapy, it could help someone:
- Set goals
- Find coping strategies
- Identify negative thought patterns and know how to replace them with constructive or positive ones
- Learn problem-solving techniques
- Identify issues causing their depression
- Understand the effects of relationships and life experiences
- Deal with a crisis
Even though there are no sure ways to prevent depression entirely, there are ways to help you handle stress and also improve your self-esteem. Taking good care of yourself, eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are some of the ways to manage depression.
When things get hard, you should also reach out to family and friends. If you are aware of your depression, you should also get regular medical checkups and make sure to always reach out or see your provider if you don't feel right. If you think you could be depressed, we recommend getting help instead of waiting for it to get worse.
To make sure the depression doesn't keep recurring, you should also stick with your treatment plan. If you are on antidepressants, you should make sure you take it as prescribed by your doctor, whether you feel okay or not.
Avoid skipping therapy sessions and always allow your doctor to know the therapies that work for you and those that don't. You should also avoid recreational drugs and alcohol if you are on medication. Even though it may seem like alcohol and drugs make you feel better, they actually make it harder to treat depression.
Rather than pouring a glass of wine when under pressure, try ways to fight stress, like yoga and meditation. Spend time with friends and family and think about joining a support group. We recommend that you regularly do things that will keep you connected to others.
It helps to know yourself and pays attention to things that tend to make symptoms worse. Keep a journal and keep notes to let your therapists know your progress at all times, whether you're okay or not. Avoid making big life decisions whenever you're feeling down. Always wait for an episode to pass before making important life decisions.
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