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How Do Psychiatrists Go About Treating Depression

Visiting a psychiatrist for the first time might be overwhelming for some people, mainly, because sometimes you don’t know what to expect, what is going to happen and hot to go about it. The unknown might prevent you from getting the help you need.

It is commonly believed that mental illnesses are different from the physical ones. This article will help you understand better what really entails visiting a psychiatrist.

To begin with, you would be surprised to find out that the visit is similar to any medical consultation that you might have experienced. The professional should remind you that what you discuss in the session is confidential (unless what you discussed is dangerous to themselves or someone else.)

Generally, the first visit is just a consultation where you and the psychiatrist get to know each other. You might discuss what brought you to visit the professional and you will continue working together from that point. Then, a series of questions might be asked you to help the psychiatrist get some information about your mental health, general health, and your family history.

When a patient goes to a clinic with a psychiatric/mental health concern, it is important to identify the medical causes. Depression, mania, anxiety and thought disorders might be caused by and may mimic medical problems such as thyroid disease, infections, medication side effects, hormone abnormalities and many other treatable medical conditions.

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How to Plan  a Treatment

When a patient suffers from depression, there are several treatments that can be applied. Each patient is different, unique and she or he attends with a history of treatment failures, treatment successes and treatment options which were not solved in the past.

The professional also has to rule out conditions like bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, psychosis, and addiction, as these conditions influence which medications would be suitable for the patient. A proper diagnosis is necessary to plan effective treatment.

The treatment might be based on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, how much the depression impacts their ability to function at work and/or home and their history of previous treatments.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is one the most common initial treatment tool that is employed with my patients who suffer from depression. The type of therapy implemented should be specific to what the patient discussed during the session and subsequent follow-up visits. At the same time, it should be based on the type and intensity of therapy on the patient’s stressors, symptoms, and preference for the frequency of upcoming visits.

It may be quite enriching for patients to receive supportive therapy. At each appointment, the professional should provide an empathic environment in which any number of concerns and stressors in a supportive, non-judgmental and non-critical atmosphere can be discussed.

There are other types of psychotherapy including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). As well as intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) for those who are most negatively impacted by depression and whose functioning is the most severely impaired.

Upset soldier talks with therapist
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close Attention to Behavioral Changes

Sometimes depression is associated with behavioral changes, that is why it tends to lead to social isolation and a decreased interest in things like nutrition, exercise and enjoyable activities. Therefore, your psychiatrist will encourage you to take an inventory of your current behaviors. You will have to pay attention to your diet, physical exercise, recreational activities, chores, bill paying and your hygiene.

After evaluation these areas, you might find that you have significant deficits in comparison to your pre-depression behavior this is due to depression keeping you from having the motivation to do what makes you feel better.

When in treatment, you will realize that the plan elevated will motivate you. Small victories and accomplishments are important to lift your mood when depression has caused so much pain and struggle.

Psychopharmacology

Some patients just look for “a pill” to make them feel better, and some others argue they do not believe in medication. However, every decision should be based on information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to every treatment option. The professional might work with you to help you decide what is best. At last, you will have the final word on whether you will have the medication or not.

Symptoms serve to target for the right treatment and align better with some medications. Targeting the most severe and urgent ones is a must to help you get better and assert the correct medication.

Today, it is possible to find a lot of proved medication that can benefit the patient in the depression treatment. When assessing the correct one, the psychiatrist must consider your history of medication successes and failures.

What is more, some patients need a combination of medication to suit their personal and current necessities. At each visit, the professional should evaluate if a medical adjustment should be made if the dose should be changed or some other medication should be added to achieve optimal outcomes.

Other Complementary Treatment

Medication for depression might take some time to take effect, around a week or two, and it might take up to 6-8 weeks more to get a maximal effect. Thus, you should consider doing other treatment options simultaneously until the medication starts working. This modality may have a significant positive impact on your depression immediately.

Conclusion

Psychiatry is a part of medicine which focuses on mental diseases including depression. If you suffer from depression or you know somebody who does, you need to know that a single consultation can help you clarify the diagnosis, treatment options and so that you can begin with your healing process. Besides, your symptoms, feelings, and struggles are going to be understood and treated by the psychiatrist you choose.

If you need more information or assessment in connection to this or any other mental problem or psychotherapy contact us. We are more than willing to help you get the right treatment for you.

6 Steps to Beating Depression

Sad woman looking through the window

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy. It is a debilitating disorder that drains your energy, your motivation, and your self-worth. The major difference between depression and unhappiness is that depression is a persistent feeling. 

It can be as frustrating dealing with someone who has depression as it is dealing with depression yourself. But know that one of the worst things you can do is tell someone who is depressed to “just snap out of it” or something similar. Just like any disorder, it takes time to work through it, so it’s important to be patient. 

However, part of having depression means losing sight of how much control you actually have. While feeling better does take time, and it’s a gradual process, being persistent about your healing process is what will get you through. 

The following are six steps to taking control of your emotions and overcoming your depression.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Someone in a depressed state of mind tends to hyperfocus on the negative. This can breed anxiety and further support the miserable cycle of worthlessness that comes with depression. It’s not a helpful habit to fall into when trying to overcome your depression. 

The first and most simple thing you can do is breathe. Mindful breathing is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, as it helps your nervous system shift from the animalistic “fight or flight” response to the parasympathetic nervous system which is far more relaxed.  

Zen moment

Bringing your mind into the present moment takes your mind off of the negative thoughts. This can be accomplished through meditation. Try using your senses– sight, smell, touch, sound –to anchor yourself in the present. Practicing this helps you regulate your negative thoughts, and it gets easier to shift into the present moment. 

Another mindful practice you can use is gratitude. By recognizing the good in your life– the people, things, and experiences you’re grateful for –you reinforce positivity. If you practice this enough, it becomes easier to focus on the positives in your life rather than the negatives. 

Writing in a journal is also mindfulness practice. It can help move your negative thoughts out of your brain, and it also helps you gain some perspective when you’re able to read back your thoughts from a piece of paper.

2. Get More Active

It can be incredibly difficult to even roll yourself out of bed when you’re depressed, much less exercising. But exercise is highly combative of depression. It’s proven that working out on a regular basis can serve as effectively as medication for relieving symptoms of depression. 

Finding peace

Because your body releases endorphins when you exercise, working out naturally boosts your mood. It can be hard to get started when you’re drained of energy, and all you want to do is lay in bed. But if you can just manage to begin and stick with it, that feeling of fatigue will dissipate, and your energy levels will rise. 

This consistent practice of exercising also improves your immune system. It’s recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be 30 consecutive minutes. If you can manage a 10-minute walk, three times a day, you will be doing your mental health a huge favor.

3. Reach Out and Connect with People You Trust

This seems like a simple act, but it is often one of the hardest things to do when you’re depressed. The nature of depression keeps you feeling isolated and uninterested in connecting with others, even your closest friends and family members. But social support is vital to overcoming depression, and anxiety too. 

Connecting with others when you’re depressed can help you with your perspective, and even if it’s just for a little while, it can help you feel better. There’s even research that shows people with close friends are more likely to survive traumatic life events. If you feel like you don’t have anyone to reach out to, it’s never too late to build that support network– yes, even if you’re depressed. 

Here are some suggestions for how you can reach out and connect with people when you’re down:

  • Talk to someone trustworthy and good at listening about your feelings
  • Ask a loved one to check in with you on a regular basis
  • Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club
  • Call or message an old friend
  • Volunteer and support somebody else
  • Love on a pet 

If you’re worried someone you know may have depression, they may not reach out to you. Remember that this is characteristic of depressed individuals and that you don’t have to wait for them to connect with you. In many cases, you can help someone by reaching out to them first.

4. Eat a Healthy Diet

Surely you’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat.” In a way, that’s true. What you eat has a direct effect on how you feel. That’s why it’s so important to be mindful of what you eat, especially if you’re depressed. 

Fruits and vegetables overhead assortment on colorful background

According to research on depression, many sufferers of depression are frequently lack in a fatty acid called EPA. Omega-3 fatty acids have proven to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression like sleep disorders, suicidal thoughts, and lacking sex drive. You can find these healthy fats in foods like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, walnuts, and flaxseed. Shoot for two servings of Omega-3 per week. 

Another good idea for eating healthy is to cut down own sugar and carbs. Comfort foods like pasta or baked goods will make you feel good in the moment, but give you drops in your energy later on. 

If you lack in B vitamins, this can also make your depression worse. Make sure you either take a B vitamin supplement or eat more leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans, or eggs.

5. Seek Treatment

If you’ve taken all the steps you can to try to overcome depression and find it’s getting worse rather than better, it may be a good idea to seek professional help. There is no shame in pursuing treatment through therapy or medication.  

Couple with a psychiatrist.

A therapist can help you find healthy coping skills and to understand thought patterns and beliefs that may be hurting you. 

A psychiatrist can prescribe medication that will help relieve your symptoms. If you’re not comfortable taking medication, a visit to a psychiatrist may still be helpful in understanding other treatment options out there.

6. Don’t Give Up

If you start all of these steps today, it’s highly unlikely you will feel completely better tomorrow. Overcoming depression takes time. But by building better habits, such as eating better, exercising, practicing mindfulness, and connecting with others when you’re sad, you can gradually recover from this disorder. 

If you are prescribed medication, it’s important that you are committed to taking it every day. The same goes for therapy. If you’re investing in it, commit to going and working through your issues, however painful it may be. It will take time before you start seeing the effects of professional treatment. 

Many people experience depression; you are not alone. The key to overcoming it is not to get rid of it but to learn how to manage it. Hang in there and keep persevering. 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3998282

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/15-ways-to-overcome-depression-and-sadness.html

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm#help

http://www.businessinsider.com/tricks-to-overcome-anxiety-and-fear-2016-2/#talk-to-yourself-to-perform-better-in-stressful-situations-14