If you are struggling with depression, you are well aware of the helpless feeling that often accompanies it. You feel like nothing is ever going to get better, and that feeling saps your energy and drive. It is easy to get caught up in the self perpetuating cycle of despair, but you don’t have to. Depression doesn’t have to be a life sentence. As science learns more about this distressing condition, more and more treatments become available. Depression is no longer the enigma it once was, and you don’t have to be ashamed of seeking treatment.
The first step to treating your depression is admitting that you have it. How long have you been feeling “down?” Everyone feels sad or despondent occasionally, however if the feeling lasts more than a week or two, or returns frequently, it might be something more. Many people find themselves struggling with depression without even knowing what is wrong.
Next you need to evaluate your life. If a certain situation is triggering your depression, it may be possible to find a solution. For example, if you are unhappy because you are stuck in a dead end job, consider taking a few college courses. Not only will it make you more marketable for a better job, it can help you feel like you are accomplishing something. If loneliness is troubling you, consider joining a group for something that interests you. If you like animals, you could also rescue a pet in need from your local shelter. The unconditional love of a pet combined with the knowledge that you saved a life can do wonders to make you feel better.
If your situation cannot be helped, consider counseling. Being able to talk about your situation with an impartial third party can make you feel better, even if it doesn’t directly solve the problem. In addition, a counselor can help you determine if you need medical intervention for your depression.
It is important to realize that depression doesn’t always have a direct cause. Sometimes depression can strike even when it seems like you have it all. This is often because of a chemical imbalance in the brain. When your body becomes unable to properly regulate dopamine and serotonin levels, the result can be depression. This can often only be treated properly with medication, so don’t be afraid if your doctor prescribes antidepressants.
If you prefer a more natural approach to medicine, there are certain herbal and vitamin supplements that may help treat depression. St. John’s Wort, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid have all been shown to help with some cases of depression. A word of caution, always let your doctor know if you are taking any supplements, as some can interact with prescription medications and cause severe complications.
You don’t have to continue struggling with depression. There are treatments available to you that can help lift the weight off of your shoulders and get you back to your life again. All you have to do is start taking action.