health and wellness

Dealing with Depression

Dealing with Depression

Sadness is a regular aspect of being human. When a loved one dies or when facing a difficult situation in life, such as a divorce or a severe illness, people may experience sadness or acute depression.
Usually, these emotions pass quickly. Some people may experience these feelings of sadness over a long period of time and have prolonged, intense, and persistent sensations of melancholy. Those are diagnosed with depression (Major Depressive Disorder).

Credit: The Conversation

Credit: The Conversation

What is Depression?

MDD, known as clinical depression, is a severe medical illness that can impact many aspects of your life. It affects many bodily processes like eating and sleeping, as well as mood and behavior. According to data, more than 7.8% of individuals in the United States had severe deep depression in 2019.

Some MDD sufferers never get help. With treatment, most individuals with this illness can understand how to cope and lead healthy lives. People with MDD can manage their symptoms and seek effective treatment through medications, psychotherapy, and other techniques.

What signs and symptoms point to major depression?

A medical or mental health specialist can determine your major depressive disorder based on your symptoms, feelings, and actions.

For medical specialists to better identify whether you have MDD or another problem, you will typically be asked particular set of questions or given a questionnaire.

You must meet the symptom criteria provided in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)” to be given an MDD diagnosis. This guidebook aids in the diagnosis of mental health disorders by medical experts.

According to its requirements, at least one symptom must be either “a sad mood” or “a loss of interest or pleasure”, and symptoms must last for two weeks or more.

Additionally, within the two-week timeframe, at least five of the following symptoms must be present:

Feeling generally depressed or disturbed during the day, almost every day.

Most of the things you used to enjoy are no longer as appealing to you.

Experiencing a sudden change in appetite or weight loss.

Finding difficulty sleeping or desiring more sleep than usual.

Feeling restless.

Experiencing extraordinary fatigue and a lack of energy.

Frequently feeling guilty or unworthy about things that otherwise wouldn’t make you feel that way.

Having trouble focusing, thinking, or making choices.

Contemplating suicide or self-harm.

Parents should monitor for these symptoms in their teenager kids:

Beginning or increasing use of drugs (i.e., alcohol, smoking).

Issues with classmates and worsening academic performance.

Massive social disengagement and isolation.

What contributes to major depression?

It is unknown what specifically causes MDD. However, several things can make you more likely to get the disorder.

The interaction of genes and stress can hamper the ability to sustain a stable mood.

Changes and hormonal imbalances might also influence the development of MDD.

MDD can also be brought on by:

Drug or alcohol misuse.

Some illnesses, such as cancer or hypothyroidism.

Consumption of specific drugs, especially steroids, in children.

How is major depressive disorder treated?

Both medication and psychotherapy go hand in hand to treat MDD. A few lifestyle changes may also be able to reduce some symptoms.

Those with severe MDD or suicidal thoughts may need to stay in a hospital while receiving treatment. Some might also need to participate in an outpatient treatment program until their symptoms go away.


Depression treatments

Depression treatments

Mainly, antidepressant drugs are prescribed as the first step in treating MDD by primary care doctors.

The type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is usually suggested by doctors. They increase Serotonin levels in the brain by aiding in inhibiting this neurotransmitter’s breakdown.

As a brain chemical, Serotonin is in charge of mood. SSRIs might contribute to mood improvement and promote sound sleep habits.

Serotonin levels are frequently low in people with MDD. By boosting the amount of serotonin accessible in the brain, an SSRI helps reduce MDD symptoms.

Well-known medications like fluoxetine (Prozac) and citalopram (Celexa) are examples of SSRIs. The majority of people tolerate their relatively rare side effects.

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), another class of antidepressants frequently given, are similar to SSRIs. These impact serotonin and norepinephrine.

Additional Medications:

When previous medications haven’t worked, tricyclic antidepressants and so-called atypical antidepressants, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin), may be taken.

Weight gain and drowsiness are only two of the adverse effects that these medications may have. As with any medication, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages carefully with your doctor.

Some MDD drugs are not safe to take while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you become pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding, make sure you talk to a healthcare provider.


People with MDD can benefit from psychotherapy, sometimes called “talk therapy” or “psychological therapy”. It entails having regular therapy sessions to discuss your ailment and associated problems.

The following are some benefits of psychotherapy:

Adapting to a crisis or other distressing occurrence by striving for a balanced understanding of the situation and behaving according to ideals rather than moods.

The need to improve communication.

Resolving issues to handle difficulties for a better approach.

Achieving peace and control over your life, and boosting your self-esteem.

Your healthcare provider might suggest other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral or interpersonal therapy.

Changes in lifestyles to help Depression (Major Depressive Disorder):

In addition to taking medication and attending therapy, making changes to your daily routine can help lessen the symptoms of MDD.

Diet modifications:

While no meal will cure depression, healthy food choices can improve your mental health. Nutritious foods are suitable for both your body and mind.

Foods to consider:

Salmon, which contains omega-3 fatty acids.

B vitamin-rich foods including whole grains and legumes.

Yogurt, seeds, and nuts enriched with magnesium.

Stay away from alcohol and some processed foods.

Alcohol is a nervous system depressant that intensifies your symptoms; thus, avoiding it is advised.

Get plenty of physical activity.

Physical activity is crucial, even though MDD might make you feel exhausted. Exercise can lift your spirits and make you feel better, especially if you do it outside in a bit of sun.

Get a good night’s sleep.

It’s essential to get adequate sleep every night. The hours required differ from person to person but usually it varies between 7 and 9 hours.

Sleep issues are common among those who suffer from depression. If you have difficulties falling asleep or oversleeping, consult a doctor

Nakhla Sheilali

I am a self-driven individual who's main aim is to make life easier for women.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Carson Anekeya

    Thank you for addressing such an important topic! Your insights on dealing with depression, especially the emphasis on psychotherapy, are invaluable. Recognizing the significance of seeking professional help is a crucial step toward healing. Your article serves as a beacon of understanding and support for those navigating the complexities of depression. Let’s continue to break the stigma and encourage open conversations about mental health. 🌟

  2. Nancy Wambui

    I I wish more was done on depression awareness..people out here are sick

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