Depression and other mental disorders have a serious effect on both the individuals suffering from these conditions and their loved ones. When left untreated, major depressive disorder can negatively impact a person’s work or school performance, family relationships, sleep, and overall health. In severe cases, it can even lead to suicide.
But there is hope in the fight against the negative effects of the major depressive disorder, anxiety, and other mental conditions. Whether depression and other mental disorders come as the result of biological changes, social factors, or psychological conditions, the abundance of resources available today makes getting help easier than ever before.
While prescription medications continue to dominate the treatment methods for depression and other mental conditions, an increasing number of individuals are turning to alternative treatments such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS). TMS uses magnetic pulses to electrically relieve symptoms of depression, either activating or inhibiting neural activity in different parts of the brain to deal with the effects of depression. This non-invasive procedure has been found to be highly effective in clinical studies, with few side effects reported among individuals who have used this treatment.
Other similar technologies—such as Dynamic Neurofeedback and Electrotherapy Stimulation—also deliver gentle pulses that help the brain cope with symptoms of stress and anxiety. These treatments have even been found to help with conditions as diverse as ADHD and auditory hallucination schizophrenia. While continued medication is sometimes required to manage the effects of chronic depression, these alternative technologies serve as a great way to help individuals find mental healing.
The advice of a professional counselor is often sought when an individual is suffering from anxiety or depression. Psychotherapy (also referred to as cognitive behavioral therapy) in particular has become especially popular, as this method assists individuals in recognizing and dealing with unhealthy thoughts and behaviors on their own.
By working with a professional counselor, individuals are able to more easily identify when they are falling into negative thought and behavioral patterns. Counselors work with their clients to develop healthy coping mechanisms and ensure that they don’t fall back into the self-destructive habits that fuel chronic depression.
Recognizing You Need Help
Of course, none of these methods of dealing with depression will be of much use if a depressed individual and their family members fail to recognize the symptoms of the condition. Regardless of the root cause of the depressive disorder, there are some common symptoms that most people suffering from the condition display.
One of the most noticeable signs of major depressive disorder is a low mood that lasts for two weeks or more. This low mood pervades everything in a person’s life, even causing them to no longer enjoy their favorite activities. This often manifests itself as a person withdraws from social activities that they usually enjoy. An affected individual may become lethargic or easily agitated, or complain of frequent headaches and fatigue. Changes in weight are also fairly common. Trouble sleeping—or alternatively, oversleeping—are another common side effect of major depressive disorder.
Perhaps most telling is the way you feel about yourself. Individuals suffering from major depressive disorder often focus excessively on feelings of guilt, regret, worthlessness, or even self-hatred. If you have noticed these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, don’t wait to get help. Talk with a doctor or another trusted individual to determine what should be done.
Whether an individual suffering from major depressive disorder decides to work with a professional therapist, use prescribed medication, seek treatment using new alternative technologies, or perhaps combine these services, the most important thing is to seek help. The sooner you act, the sooner you will be able to receive the vital assistance that is needed to return to a normal lifestyle.