Depression can make you feel sad and low for no particular reason. It can make you lose interest in the things you enjoyed doing and may ruin your relationships, and negatively affect your work performance. It is essential to seek help to treat and manage depression before it leads to severe irreversible effects like suicide. North Chelmsford depression specialists at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC offer holistic, integrative therapies to address depression to help you live fully and productively.

Before learning how to tackle depression, it is essential to learn more about depression and its causes.

The meaning of depression

Depression is a mental condition that affects your mood. People suffering from depression usually experience persistent feelings of sadness. Depression can make you lose interest in things you previously enjoyed doing, leaving you feeling hopeless and lost. This mental disorder can affect people of all ages. Depression is not a condition that can be fully treated. The condition occurs in episodes that can last for weeks, months, or years.

Causes of depression

Most times, the underlying cause of depression is unclear. For people suffering from depression, some of the things that can trigger an episode include;
  • Having a family medical history of depression: The existence of specific genes can lead to depression. Therefore, if you have a family history of depression, you are more vulnerable to the condition.
  • Hormone levels: Changes in hormone levels, which mostly occur in women, can cause depression. Certain neurotransmitter levels in the brain cause mood swings.
  • Environmental and social factors: Traumatic life events can cause or trigger depression, for example, the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, or getting a low grade in school.
  • Additional health conditions: Suffering from other mental conditions like bipolar disorder can cause depression. Complications like paralysis, cancer, or HIV can also cause depression.

Treatment of depression

It is essential to understand that depression is a mental condition or disorder. Therefore, it does not entirely go away. However, institutions like Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates offer services that can help manage the symptoms of depression.

Some of the treatment options for depression include;

1. Therapy

The use of therapy can be of different forms, including;
  • One-on-one counseling
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy

2. The use of medication

For depressed patients, your care provider may recommend the use of medication to manage your symptoms. Antidepressants are the most prescribed depression medication. Antidepressants are usually used to manage moderate-to-severe depression.

Different antidepressants act on different neurotransmitters in the brain. They include:
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • atypical antidepressants
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • tricyclic antidepressants

3. Brain stimulation therapies

Brain stimulation therapies are treatment options for severe depression. They involve:
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Sending magnetic pulses to the brain through repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

4. Lifestyle changes

Regular aerobic exercising can help to raise endorphin levels and stimulate norepinephrine, relieving mild depression.
Avoiding a lot of sugary or processed foode, which have been linked to mental health conditions in young adults, can help reduce depression symptoms.

5. Taking supplements

Some supplements, such as 5-hydroxytryptophan, can be used to normalize neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Another popular supplement that works like this is CBD. A compound found in the cannabis plant, CBD can affect how your brain’s chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that’s already in your system. It is very similar to another compound found in cannabis, THC, which you could also try using. However, THC (which is associated with a “high"), has a lack of regulation and so, as mentioned on LA Weekly, you should do your own proper research into THC products before trying them.

Depression is a severe condition that can lead to severe effects. Learning about depression is the first step in tackling the condition. Visit Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC's website to learn more about depression.