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What is Depression?
Depression is a mental illness often born from a chemical imbalance in your brain.
It can have a severe impact on your life thanks to its ability to completely take a person over. It is dangerous and destructive if left to grow on its own.
Opening up and seeking help for your mental health problems can be difficult. Very few enjoy being vulnerable with people they care about, let alone people they don’t know. But depression cannot be overcome through sheer force of will.
It could be caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain, meaning that you need medical intervention and depression treatment to try and correct this.
It could be caused by trauma, meaning you will need therapy to help you learn how to safely manage your mood. It could be attached to a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, which requires specialised treatments.
Or it could be that you are in a bad situation, negatively impacting your mental health. You can dig in your heels and tell yourself to tough it out until things seem better. Often you need to be willing to make a change to make real progress with your depression.
Depression is a mental illness that, if not properly treated, can lead to danger for yourself, including:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Suicide attempts
- Self-destructive behaviour
There is help available to you. You are not alone in your struggles, as millions of people also struggle with depression. It can affect anyone, whether young or old, rich or poor, man or woman, gay or straight.
And amongst these millions of people, now more than ever, people are coming forward to ask for help and treatment for mental health. Talking about depression is simply not taboo. It was only a couple of decades ago now.
Identifying that you might have a problem is the first step towards overcoming it.
Symptoms of a Depressive Episode
A depressive episode is when you are experiencing depression for at least two weeks.
There are some symptoms that you can look for to identify if you are experiencing depressive episodes or not:
- Lack of energy leaves you not wanting to move
- The desire to avoid people and to just lie in your bed or on your couch doing something mindless
- A crushing sadness that makes you feel numb to everything but sadness and hopelessness
- Insomnia despite feeling very tired
- Oversleeping despite not doing anything
- Lack of interest in your hobbies
- Withdrawing away from your friends and loved ones
- Not having the energy to properly clean yourself
- Sitting down in the shower
- Irritability and mood swings
- Lack of appetite
The exact length of a depressive episode varies from person to person, but in most circumstances, it can last anywhere from six to eight months.
This can be something people live with their whole lives, and they must make adaptions so that they can minimise the effects their depression has.
This can be through treatment plans and trying to do everything they can to avoid depressive episodes – call today on 0800 012 6088 for advice.
What Causes Depressive Episodes?
The route cause behind depressive episodes can include:
- Childhood trauma
- Bipolar disorder
- Postpartum/hormone changes after giving birth
- Attention Deficit Disorder or ADHD
- Family history of depression or mental illness
- Chronic pain and fatigue
- Loss of job
- Loss of relationship
- Long-term sleep problems
- Chronic health conditions
- Lack of interpersonal relationships
- Lack of steady work or housing
- Drug or alcohol abuse
A depressive episode can be triggered by any of these factors, even if you are unaware of it. Triggers are unique to each person and require personalised care to help you understand yours. Left untreated, depressive episodes can cause drug or alcohol addiction if you attempt to self-medicate, requiring drug or alcohol rehab.
Once you know the cause of your depressive episode, you can start incorporating ways to safely deal with it to minimise its impact on you.
5 Ways to Cope with Depressive Episodes
There are five main ways that you can learn to cope with your depressive episodes. It may feel difficult to consider doing some or all of these when you are experiencing a depressive episode, but they can help you to feel better.
Maintaining good mental health isn’t easy, but it is much better for you in the long run. You just have to be willing to put in the work and try.
The five ways to cope with depressive episodes include:
- Stay active. You don’t have to do lots of exercise, but just a short walk outside where you can be around people and nature can really help improve your mood.
- Eating a balanced diet will help you to avoid weight fluctuations that can put your body into panic mode. Staying healthy can help you feel happier.
- Talking about your feelings, both the good and the bad, can help you feel more confident and like your emotions are validated. Share with people you trust and who actually listen to you.
- Avoid self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. At best, they can offer you short-term relief and at worst, they are only making your depression worse.
- Try to identify the factors that lead to your depressive episodes. By identifying them, you can work to avoid or change them.
You do also have the option of getting professional help. For example, a therapist can offer you treatment for your depression so you can live a full and happy life.
How is Depression Treated?
Depression is often treated through a combination of therapy and medication, depending on your needs. It will provide you with the opportunity to learn coping mechanisms and develop strategies to minimise the depressive episodes you experience.
You may be referred to any of these treatment plans:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Group therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
- Problem-solving therapy
- Holistic therapy
At Addiction Advocates, we are here to help you get the treatment and support you need so that you can overcome your depression.
It is important that you remember that no one is really hopeless. There is always help available for you if you are willing to ask for it.
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This is done to assess what sort of help is needed so we can recommend an addiction treatment service that can provide the best help possible.
All calls are strictly confidential and are carried out by a trained healthcare professional.
No obligation recommendations are made after a full assessment of yourself or loved ones situation is fully made.
Recommendations include specialist addiction treatment programmes in CQC regulated facilities based throughout the UK.
If you are unable to afford private treatment then public healthcare and charities would also be recommended to you.
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Just some of the services we can offer includes:
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The help and advice we can provide includes making sure that your journey towards recovery is one that can definitely be achieved.
Taking the step towards recovery can be incredibly tough but we are here to put your concerns at ease by giving you insights into the safety of undertaking residential addiction treatment and how it can put you on the path towards long lasting recovery from addiction.
Our team of advisors have extensive experience and knowledge about the subject of addiction and the treatment provided so if you have any questions then they will be more than happy to help.
Get started today by calling our friendly team today on 0800 012 6088.