Depression can be a disruptive mental disorder that impacts a person's daily life, sleep quality and even their ability to properly communicate with others. They also report that more than 80% of individuals who suffer from this mental disorder never receive any kind of depression treatment. At the same time, the number of individuals who experience symptoms of depression increases by approximately 20% every year. This has led to more than 121 million individuals suffering from depression at some level around the entire world, with the United States, France, India and Netherlands having the highest prevalence of the mental disorder.
The Dangers Of Depression
When suffering from depression, it may become a part of a person's life. They get used to coping with the symptoms and often forget to consider the dangers of depression. While sessions of depression may come and go, the mental disorder does not only affect the brain, but can also have a significant impact on the entire body's wellbeing over time. Health Grades report that depression has been linked to dangerous health conditions:
- Several studies have proven that depression, when untreated, can eventually lead to the development of heart disease. Individuals who have already been diagnosed with heart disease may experience worse symptoms due to depression.
- Due to the effects depression can have on a person's daily life, it can also lead to type 2 diabetes. Individuals who are depressed often eat poorly and do not participate in regular exercise. They also tend to gain weight quickly due to an unhealthy diet.
- Depression can also lead to a decline in mental health. It not only increases an individual's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, but can also cause certain parts of the brain to physically shrink.
- Individuals who suffer from depression are more likely to participate in substance abuse activities, such as drinking too much alcohol and using illegal drugs.
- Depression can make pain worse when it is not treated. Individuals who have been diagnosed with depression are more likely to experience headaches and physical pain.
- One of the most dangerous factors that have been linked to depression is suicide. Depression makes a person feel helpless. Health Grades explain that as much as 66% of individuals who commit suicide had been diagnosed with depression.
Antidepressants As A Treatment Option
A visit to the therapist or local doctor's office can often help a person better deal with their emotions and may even help them overcome the symptoms depression is causing in their lives. Different kinds of depression medication are available to help treat depression and reduce its severity. NPS explains that the most common kinds of antidepressants prescribed by doctors include SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, RIMAs, MAOIs and more. These are all chemically formulated drugs that introduces artificial ingredients into the body in order to help reduce depression. Unfortunately, different kinds of drugs are available and what works for one person may not work for another. This is also why doctors often need to prescribe different types of antidepressants for a patient over a period of time in order to determine which type works best.
While antidepressants can be an effective treatment option, they also come at a price. WebMD explains that many people who take antidepressants experience weird dreams, diarrhea and jitters. They also explain that many of these experiences go away after the body gets used to the new chemicals of the drugs. These, however, are not the only experiences users have noted while taking antidepressants. They continue to explain that antidepressants are often linked to sexual problems. Men have experienced symptoms of erectile dysfunction while taking antidepressants, while both genders can experience a lower sex drive as well.
Alternative Depression Treatments
Many people are becoming aware of the side-effects antidepressants can cause and are looking at alternative treatment options in order to avoid these side-effects. Fortunately, alternative remedies are available that may help individuals reduce the symptoms of depression and even help them lead a happier life. Mayo Clinic explains that some individuals who have been diagnosed with depression find that supplements are an excellent alternative to antidepressant drugs. Some individuals have also found that yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapy, music therapy and aerobic exercise helps them stay in control of their depression.
Since stress is one of the leading factors that causes depression, taking control of a stressful life becomes essential when symptoms of depression start to develop. Here are 5 ways to manage stress:
- Avoid or limit the intake of nicotine products, alcohol and caffeine.
- Gain an adequate amount of sleep every night.
- Participate in regular exercise routines.
- Try talking to a friend, family member or even to a therapist.
- Know your limits and say no when you are unable to take up additional responsibilities.
Living with depression can lead to an unhappy life. Individuals may feel sad, irritable and helpless most of the time. All of these symptoms can lead to additional mental and physical health problems, which may also worsen the symptoms of depression. Taking control of such a situation and refusing to be enslaved by depression is often the best step to take. While medication is also available to treat depression, many people prefer alternative methods in order to avoid side-effects of the medication.