Depression: Antidepressants and Other Alternate Treatments

Depression: Antidepressants and Other Alternate Treatments

Image source: Self

 

Depression Care and Treatment: Antidepressants 

 

Medication may help relieve some of the symptoms of moderate and severe depression quickly in the short term and may seem to be the fastest solution. However, it doesn’t cure the underlying problem and it’s usually not a long-term solution.

Antidepressant medications also come with side effects and safety risks. Research suggests that some medications may clash with your current condition and worsen your depression symptoms.

 

Side effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

The most widely prescribed antidepressants come from a class of medications known as SSRIs, which include drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox and Paxil.

The SSRIs act on the brain chemical serotonin, which not only helps to regulate emotion, but also plays a role in digestion, pain, sleep, mental clarity, and other bodily functions. As a result, SSRIs can cause a wide range of side effects, including:

Source: Help Guide

 

Side effects normally improve with time when your body has adjusted to the medication.

If you go “cold turkey” or stop taking SSRIs abruptly, you may experience serious withdrawal symptoms.

image credit: Pixabay

Antidepressants and Suicide Risk

Antidepressants treatment may cause greater negative effect on people, in other words, worsen their depression symptoms. Anyone taking antidepressants should be monitored closely for any suicidal thoughts or behaviour especially if they’re taking it for the first time or has increased their dosage.

 

There are warning signs for you to spot in yourself or people around you and if spotted, contact your doctor or your therapist immediately. Antidepressants suicide warning signs includes the following:

Source: Help Guide

 

Other Alternate Treatments for Depression

image credit: Stock Unlimited

1) Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga or tai chi to reduce stress and boost feelings of joy and well-being

 

2) Acupuncture which uses fine needles on specific points on the body for therapeutic purposes by a licensed qualified professional

 

First, it is important to understand and learn about your depression. You will need to know the root cause of your depression and how it affects your mood and your actions in order to pick the right treatment. Every patient is different, and it takes time to find the right treatment or the right therapist.

 

Always remember that you’re not alone on this journey. Get support from people around you, don’t hesitate to talk to your family and friends or reach out to a depression support group. Seeking for help is not a weakness and it is never a burden to others.

 

Sources: Help GuideBeyond BluePostpartum Progress

 

Read more about depression care and treatment:

1) Lifestyle Changes

2) Therapies

Download Teleme App for FREE and consult a psychologist today

    

 Dr. Khairi Rahman

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Psychologist

 

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Psychologist

 

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Psychologist

 

Depression Care and Treatment: Therapies

Depression Care and Treatment: Therapies

Depression Care and Treatment: Therapies

Psychological treatment can give you insights to your thoughts, and help improve your coping skills to help you manage and deal with stress and conflict. It’s vital for many depressed patients to have therapy every week as it helps identify negative thoughts and transforms them into positive perspectives.

Therapy helps you recognise the root of depression, and helps you understand why you feel a certain way. It will also make you realise what triggers you to be depressed and what you can do to stay healthy physically and mentally.

Psychological treatments can be conducted face to face or online with a professional. Group therapies are also available.

The common methods used in depression treatment include the following therapies.

 

image credit: Stock Unlimited

1. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

CBT works with the way we think (cognition) and act (behaviour) affects the way we feel. CBT is known to be one of the most effective treatment for depression and is found to be beneficial for a wide range of ages, including children, adolescents, adults or older people.

A CBT therapist will identify and evaluate thoughts and behaviour patterns to distinguish thoughts and actions which are negative and not helpful that causes depression. The therapist also helps you to differentiate realistic and false threats.

The therapy will then work to shift all these negative and unhelpful thoughts and behaviour into a more realistic, positive and problem-solving approach by rational thinking based on common difficulties to arrive at a sound conclusion.

 

image credit: Independent

2. Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

IPT focuses on personal relationships and the skills needed to deal with them. The idea behind IPT is that relationship problems can have significant impact on the person going through depression.

IPT helps you recognize patterns in your relationships that make you susceptible to depression. Identifying these patterns will help you focus on improving relationships, coping with grief and getting along better with one other.

 

image credit: Hub Pages

3. Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on the unconscious and past experiences which are shaped into current behaviour. By looking into these early experiences that play a role in forming beliefs about yourself, the therapist is then able to identifies those beliefs that are no longer helpful.

A psychodynamic approach to treatment is thought to be important because change requires awareness and understanding to occur. The discovery during this therapy allows for self-validation, empathy, and, ideally, freedom from self-judgment.

Sources:
Help GuideBeyond BluePostpartum Progress

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Download Teleme App and consult a psychologist today on depression care and treatment

 

 Dr. Khairi Rahman

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Psychologist

 

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Psychologist

 

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Psychologist

 

Depression Care and Treatment: Lifestyle Changes

Depression Care and Treatment: Lifestyle Changes

Depression Care and Treatment: Lifestyle Changes

When you feel depressed, you normally find it hard to cope with daily routines. Something simple that you used to enjoy doing may no longer bring about the same amount of satisfaction. You will also feel tired and have no energy to do anything.

Read more about depression symptoms here:

If this feeling is overwhelming and keeps you from going on with your life, seek help and talk to the people around you. Certain lifestyle changes may help you get your life back on track. However, if things get too overbearing, consult a doctor and see which treatment option suits you best, reminding yourself that you are not going through this alone.

Lifestyle Changes

image credit: Stock Unlimited

i) Exercise

Exercising releases endorphin in your body, which in turn makes you feel good and fresh. Allocating 30-45 minutes a day for physical activity (e.g: brisk walking, aerobic activity) can also trigger the growth of new brain cells.

image credit: Stock Unlimited

ii) Social Support

Strong social support from your family and friends is an important factor in combating depression. Regular contact with your family and friends keep you less isolated and alone.

If you don’t have strong social support from family and friends, consider joining a group or class in an activity of your interest. From there, you can meet new friends and keep yourself occupied with something you love to do.

You can also consider volunteering as it helps you to find new friends, reach out to a community, learn new skills and discover new things. Extending help to others in a small simple manner can improve your health and happiness.

image credit: Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

iii) Healthy Eating

Healthy eating gives you strength mentally and physically. Eating well and having balanced meals throughout the day will help keep your energy levels up and minimize mood swings.

image credit: Photo by Nomao Saeki on Unsplash

iv) Sufficient Rest and Sleep

Lack of sleep aggravates your mood and makes you feel sad, tired and easily irritable. It is recommended to have at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.

image credit: Stock Unlimited

iv) Stress Reduction

Certain things in your daily life may give you too much stress and that will possibly cause depression in the later stage. Analyse the problem and find ways to solve or minimize the problem.

If lifestyle changes can’t help to treat your depression, reach out to a health care professional for help. Your doctor will advise and prescribe the right amount of therapy and/or medication. It’s important to not take antidepressants without your doctor’s prescription as it will cause side effects and poses as a health hazard.

 

Next up on Healthtips by Teleme, Depression Care and Treatment on Therapies.

Sources: Help GuideBeyond BluePostpartum Progress

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Consult a psychologist today on depression care and treatment

 Dr. Khairi Rahman

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Psychologist

 

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Ms. Usha Ponnudurai

Psychologist

 

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Mr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Psychologist

 

When Is the Difference Between Just “Feeling Down” and Not

When Is the Difference Between Just “Feeling Down” and Not

It is common to see friends amongst us, who sometimes do not behave like their usual selves. Upon further probing, the common excuses are “it is just not my day”, “i am so stressed at work”, “i have a lot on my plate right now” etc. Some of these excuses might explain their difference in behaviour, but for some individuals therein lies a deeper problem- depression.

What exactly is depression? 

It is a low mood that lasts for a long period, and affects your everyday life. Mild depression is characterised by being in low spirits. It does not stop you from living your everyday life, but you might find it hard to complete certain tasks, like getting out of bed in the morning. You start losing interest in things around you and activities that you normally enjoy may also seem like a chore. Some individuals might experience shoulder and headaches. On the other end of the spectrum, severe depression can be life-threatening. Most patients who have experienced depression describe the feeling as “being alone” and “shoulders feel heavy”.

When does low mood become depression? 

It is normal for most of us to have times when our mood is low. These feelings should pass in due course. If the feelings are interfering with your daily activities, and don’t go away after a few weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you are experiencing depression.

How to detect depression in individuals? 

If you see friends or family members who are behaving oddly or not-like their usual self, approach them nicely and speak to them. Tell them that you are here to help not to judge. More often than not, depressive patients just want reassurance that they are not alone. It is not surprising that most individuals will deny that they are depressed- most depressed patients do not know or don’t want to admit that they are depressed.

How can I help a friend who is depressed?

• Listen to them. Ask them what you can do to help them feel them. More often than not they need someone to listen to know they are not alone.

• Accept their condition. If someone is suffering from depression it is impossible for them to cheer up or forget about it. Asking them to do the aforementioned might upset them and makes you seem like you aren’t taking them seriously.

• Encourage them to seek professional help. Seeking medical help is an extremely important step to recovery. You could offer to go with them to see a doctor if they are too scared to go alone. If speaking face-to-face with someone is something they are uncomfortable with, online platforms such has Teleme has a panel of qualified psychiatrists and psychologists (both male and female) to choose from.

• Back down if they aren’t ready. If you think your friend needs a visit but they don’t respond well to the suggestion, don’t put too much pressure on them – it will most likely put them off the idea of seeking help. Remain supportive when asked.

Depression when detected early has a high chance of recovery. It is never too late to save a friend’s life.

Written by: Evelyn Yeoh

Sources: reachout.com, mind.org.uk
Image sources: gurl.com, cedarscobblehill.com

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FACT

Every 3 in 10 adults aged 16 years and above have some sorts of mental health problems (29.2%).

%

of Malaysians will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime.

Get help from one of these specialists about your queries:

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Psyhologist

Dr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Dr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Psychologist

Mr. Ko Teik Yen

Mr. Ko Teik Yen

Clinical Hypnotherapist

Depression Around You: See, Spot, Help

Depression Around You: See, Spot, Help

Depression does not discriminate or differentiate. It can affect anyone around us thus it is our responsibility to know and be aware of the conditions and specific symptoms of the different types of depressive disorders. In certain cases symptoms can be quite hard to pick up as they range from relatively minor to very severe. In this article we will look at the different types of depressive disorders and how they affect the people around you. 

 

1. Clinical depression

This depressive disorder is more commonly known as depression. 

Symptoms: It’s normally characterised by a general low mood and/or loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities. These symptoms can range from days to weeks. Such symptoms can interfere with the work and social aspect of one’s life. Depression can be mild, moderate or severe.

2. Melancholic depression

This describes a severe form of depression where it affects the patient’s physical capabilities. 

Symptoms: Besides having an extreme depressed mood (that is displayed by a complete loss of pleasure in everything), the patient will also start to move very slowly. 

3. Psychotic depression

This describes depressive patients that lose touch with reality and start experiencing psychosis. Psychosis is a mental health problem that causes people to perceive of interpret things differently from those around them.

Symptoms: This might involve hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there) or delusions (falsely believing that things exist when they don’t). Patients can be paranoid or start believing that they are being watched or followed.  They also generally feel that everyone is against them or that they are the cause of bad events happening around them. 

4. Antenatal and postnatal depression

This describes women who are depressed during pregnancy (prenatal) and in the year following childbirth (postnatal). Up to 80 percent of women are affected by “baby blues” in the days following a baby’s birth due to the hormonal changes happening in a woman’s body. Baby blues, a result from adjusting to a new baby, are common experiences. However it is important to note that this is different from depression.   

Symptoms: Mothers with newborns might feel anxious and a bit down within the first week of giving birth. If these symptoms last longer, you could have postnatal depression. Postnatal depression can start any time in the first year after giving birth. New mothers with post natal depression might feel sad persistently, with a general lack of energy. Often, they have difficulties concentrating and making decisions. A task that used to take 15 minutes to finish might take twice the time or longer. They often have difficulty bonding with their baby, and stay up all night because they are worried and they can’t sleep. Relationships with people around her will also be affected. 

5. Bipolar disorder

This disorder used to be known as “manic depression” because the person experiences periods of depression and periods of mania in between periods of normal mood. It is common for bipolar disorder patients to be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed as episodes of mania can be hard to detect. If you are experiencing highs and lows over a prolonged period, it is important to make this clear to your doctor. 

Symptoms: Bipolar patients may look normal on the outside, but their mood fluctuates from being depressed to being normal to being manic (might not necessarily be in this order). Mania is the opposite of depression and can vary from individuals—symptoms include having lots of energy along with racing thoughts, with little need for sleep. Despite feeling great, patients experiencing mania have extreme difficulties focusing on tasks and constantly feel frustrated and are easy irritated. This experience isn’t fleeting and the person will eventually lose touch with reality and have periods of psychosis. 

It is also important to know that depression is treatable and a wide range of treatments are available. We also shouldn’t let society’s stigma on depression affect the way we see or behave around depressive patients. Remember, the earlier you seek support, the better.

Written by: Evelyn

Sources: NHS, beyongblue.org.au

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FACT

Every 3 in 10 adults aged 16 years and above have some sorts of mental health problems (29.2%).

%

of Malaysians will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime.

Get help from one of these specialists about your queries:

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Dr. Khairi Rahman

Psyhologist

Dr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Dr. Paul K. Jambunathan

Psychologist

Mr. Ko Teik Yen

Mr. Ko Teik Yen

Clinical Hypnotherapist

True Story: How I Battled Depression & Anxiety

True Story: How I Battled Depression & Anxiety

Everyone has a story of how they came to be the person they are today. My name is Brenda and my struggle began in 2007 at the age of fourteen. Before I begin sharing the details, I have to express what I now know but failed to see back then. We all have a mental health that needs to be taken care of as much as our physical health.

 

This fact unbeknownst to many for reasons ranging from the stigma surrounding mental illness to a lack of awareness has resulted in an ever growing prevalence of depression and anxiety in society today.

 

Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, a lack of serotonin – what makes a person feel happy. For someone suffering from depression, it can feel as though eternal darkness controls every fibre of your being each and every minute. However, it is also human nature to feel sad – this sadness almost always associated with ‘feeling depressed’ leaving it hard to distinguish the difference between feelings of extreme sadness and depression as a mental illness itself.

 

Mental illness can be hereditary, or a manifestation of an underlying issue never resolved. For me, it all started with an eating disorder that consumed me (the irony) – but regardless of the root cause, I neglected caring for my mental health. It felt as though I was chained to the bottom of an endless hole of impending doom, suicidal thoughts began at 15 alongside self-harming and constant questions of the easiest way to take my own life.

 

Focus and concentration were non-existent, I did badly in high school despite being the daughter of a teacher (hello, stereotypes!) and as years came to pass, I became a four time university drop out. I felt a constant need to escape and so I ran down the path of self-destruction in hopes of finding solace, only to meet my demons face to face. It was a vicious cycle that only I, myself, could break. I was tired of being depressed all the time, I knew something had to be done – but what? How could I escape the gallows of my hopelessness embedded so deep within me? How do I change things? I began to question myself, then I questioned everything. I knew then I had an underlying issue waiting to be discovered, so I started seeking professional help.

 

Addressing your struggles and facing them courageously is magical in its own ways. When you suffer in silence, it’s impossible to take steps towards nurturing your mind. Talking about it not only helps you express what you bottle up inside – it can also encourage others to speak up about their difficulties. We are all only human and it is natural we experience waves of emotions – we feel sad and anxious, happy and content. Negative emotions can stem from almost anything – a lack of confidence, self-worth, or a manifestation of something so deep seeded, buried in our subconscious. No matter what the cause, it’s never the end of the world. It might be tough, can get a lot tougher, but it can also get better.

 

It’s one thing to be sad and feel depressed, but if you’re in a situation where it feels as though a void swallows you whole – it’s probably time to seek professional help, especially if it affects your ability to perform on a day to day basis. The only way out is to take control and do something about it. From talking a stroll, to seeking counselling services. I’d like to think the only person who can really help you is yourself – but before getting to that very point some may need guidance. There’s absolutely no shame in seeking help from a counsellor or a psychologist. Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are great ways to untangle the root of your struggles.

 

While everyday is still a struggle for me – and I try hard to practice what I preach – one thing I have learned from my battle with mental illness is that I am not alone. On some days, a light shines and I see my battle as an advantage; the very essence of what shaped me into who I am today. We all have the courage to push through walls, climb over them if we have to. The severity of my struggles cannot be compared to another, but everyone suffers – pain is a constant, but so is change.

 

My advice to anyone struggling with any form of mental illness is to learn to take control of your mind, body, and spirit. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Change can happen when we start making conscious decisions in spite of how painful it may be, every choice you make creates a ripple effect – so staying in the same spot will only sink you deeper. I read somewhere that when you feel too depressed to do anything, the best thing to do is the exact opposite. It’s tough, I’ve probably tried it 1 out of 10 times – but it worked wonders and planted within me a seed of hope, and healing grew whenever I watered it.

To talk to Mr. Ko online, all you need to do is:

  • Sign up at www.teleme.co
  • Search for Mr. Ko Teik Yen and schedule a video call or message him through chat messenger for online consultation

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