Treatment for Depression
Depression, its causes, symptoms and treatment
Depression is thought to affect as many as 1 in 10 people at some point in their lives. It can be described as being sad or in low spirits in its mildest form yet, at its most severe, it is a life-altering illness that can cause acute melancholy, suicidal thoughts and loss of the will to carry on. Despite being a difficult condition, depression can be treated. If you're struggling with any of these feelings, do seek professional advice and help such as that offered by The Wave Clinic.
What is depression?
In simple terms, depression is a mood-altering illness that can have a detrimental effect on your quality of life. It ranges from mild to acute and the level of severity can alter over time. Often, depression is accompanied by anxiety and some sufferers turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to blot it out. Mild depression is defined by feelings of sadness, an overall low mood, hopelessness and lethargy. You might feel tearful for no reason or find that you aren't enjoying the things that you used to.
Severe depression has been described by some sufferers as 'like walking around inside a black cloud'. It is a daily trial and its persistence exacerbates the condition. People with severe depression find it difficult to cope with everyday life. Sometimes they cut themselves off from friends and family or find ways to avoid seeing people. At its most extreme, severe depression can lead to self-harming, suicidal thoughts and death.
Sadly, many sufferers don't seek professional advice or treatment, yet depression disorders can be treated very well. If you're worried about any form of depression, it's always worth seeking professional help.
What are the causes of depression?
There are so many types of depression that it can sometimes be difficult to find a cause. Some forms of the illness are caused by chemical alterations in the brain, sometimes as a result of substance or alcohol addiction. Others have their root in childhood trauma or genetics while some types can be the result of traumatic or life-altering events such as pregnancy and childbirth, moving to a new city or changing career, becoming unemployed or losing a loved one. Doctors tend to classify depression as one of three types:
What other conditions are related to depression?
Although doctors use these main three forms of depression when making a diagnosis, this is a complex condition that can manifest in many ways. Other conditions that can be defined as depression or which co-exist with mild, moderate or severe depression might include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Post-natal depression
- Atypical depression
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Because of the gruelling aspects of the condition, many sufferers turn to alcohol or drugs in search of relief. Before long, they very often find that they feel worse rather than better and, if substance abuse continues, they can become addicted. What began as a depressive disorder is now accompanied by a potentially life-threatening addiction. That's why, at The Wave Clinic, we treat the complete person. Our qualified team address all underlying or co-existing issues through an extensive programme that can be adapted to meet the specific and personal needs of each client.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Although we mentioned a few symptoms when discussing types of depression, there are many more ways that the illness can affect people. With over 300 million sufferers worldwide according to figures from the World Health Organisation, it's hardly surprising that there is a vast range of symptoms. However, some of the most commonly experienced are:
- low moods or a feeling of sadness that won't go away
- feelings that you're helpless or that there is no hope
- low self-esteem
- tearfulness for no apparent reason
- inability to make decisions
- feelings of intolerance and irritability when dealing with other people
- suicidal thoughts or feeling compelled to self-harm
You may also have one or more physical symptoms such as:
- slower movement or speech
- unexplainable pain or persistent aches
- loss of appetite or, in some cases, increased food consumption and weight gain
- loss of sex drive
- insomnia or restless nights
- lack of energy
Your overall quality of life can suffer, and social symptoms are also frequently experienced. Some of the most common are:
- relationship difficulties
- avoiding interaction with family and friends
- feeling less inclined to socialise
- giving up hobbies or interests
- poor performance at work or college
What should you do if you think you're depressed?
Depression can be treated whether it's mild, moderate or severe and whether or not it is accompanied by substance abuse or anxiety. People who seek a residential treatment programme are more likely to enjoy long-term recovery. At The Wave Clinic, clients can relax a peaceful setting, far removed from the everyday stresses they would encounter at home. Our team of dedicated professionals is committed to finding the best course of action for each individual, whatever their age, background or specific diagnosis. Our 10 to 12-week care programme has proven to be the ideal length for a sustained recovery, and we encourage family participation and support.