There are two ways to explain to someone what depression is. One way is by using a definition. There are tons definitions by different associations that are concerned with depression. One of them for example, is the definition by the American Psychiatric Association that defines depression as “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.”
These definitions are needed because they also include the common symptoms and causes of depression (and there are quite a few of them). Based on these definitions we diagnose depression and proceed to work on treating it.
However, there is also another way to describe depression to someone. This one does not include you describing the symptoms that are common – like fatigue, feeling pessimistic, hard time focusing or lack of sex drive. Another way to explain depression to someone is a way many people who experience it would:
A dark, heavy cloud that hangs over you and follows you everywhere. A sensation that makes every aspect of your life scary. Something that you can’t materialize, yet it makes your thoughts blurry. Something that sits on top of you in the morning and stops you from getting out of bed. Many times depression isn’t even sadness or feeling like you want to cry. It can feel like the heaviest ball that hits you and is full of…nothing. There’s nothing there and the empty has never felt that heavy before.
Unfortunately, depression is an illness that can take you to very scary places. It is definitely not comfortable to be dealing with it on a daily basis.
There are different methods that can help you relieve the symptoms of depression. However, don’t forget that the very first step to getting to those methods is to acknowledge that something is going on and reach out for help.
Generally, you can treat depression using medication – antidepressants that are prescribed to you by a doctor after they’ve diagnosed the condition. Many people are hesitant to take medication which is understandable but often, it can lift that cloud and help significantly to decrease those symptoms of depression. Another method, is to engage in therapy. Therapy With Heart works to co-burden your struggles by allowing you space to feel accepted, heard, and cared for. We know that isolation is a common feeling that occurs and just the relationship with the therapist alone can improve mood. From there, we can then provide alternative perspectives, healing, and expertise to help you navigate your depression so it doesn’t take over your world.
A professional will determine what works for the individual experiencing depression best, and based on that they will implement the treatment to ease the symptoms of depression.
Medication And Depression
A lot of people share their experience with using antidepressants to help with their depression. Some experiences are positive, and some are not so positive. Many people will tell you that without medication they wouldn’t be able to wake up in the morning. Others will tell you that medication is the worst decision they’ve ever made, and that they’ll never take them again. Some will simply tell you that medication is not for them.
The opinions on whether or not you should use antidepressants to ease your symptoms of depression are split. It works different for everybody. But we can’t deny the fact that sometimes medication are indeed needed, and that they have been effective in a lot of the cases. We also know through research that medication and therapy creates the most effective form of treatment and lasts the longest.
But there is one question that remains. If medication are effective, what does that mean? Will medication cure my depression?
Can Medication Cure My Depression?
Depression is a very, very complex illness. Maybe you have noticed how we mentioned that therapy or treatment with medication will help you ease the symptoms instead of saying that they will cure depression.
Truth is that no one can ever guarantee you for sure that you are going to be cured from depression. Many times people who are diagnosed with it will tell you that once they have experienced it – things were never the same anymore.
This shouldn’t discourage you or scare you. Because you are still here and you can take advantage of the situation.
But Why Would You Take Medication If They Don’t Cure Depression?
People often make that mistake where they just take the antidepressants, and once they feel a little bit better they just sit and wait some more for this to simply solve their problem. This is not what you want to do.
There is one thing that sometimes people fail to mention when we’re talking about depression, and that is the importance of the moment of clarity. Why is this mentioned? Because it is very, very important, and in many situations when someone is dealing with depression – it is very hard to get. That one moment of clarity that keeps getting lost in the blur of rushing thoughts. The reason why sometimes it is so hard to get this moment of clarity is the reason why depression occurs in the first place – that imbalance of chemicals in your brain.
When the happy hormones just don’t come in the amount that we need, we fail to feel good, motivated and energetic. We become overwhelmed. This can slowly become our usual state of being.
The Importance Of Getting A Moment Of Clarity
Medication helps you with balancing these chemicals in your brain and help you feel more calm and simply less overwhelmed and detached from the present moment.
This increases the chances of getting that moment of clarity that we are talking about. The importance of having that moment when your mind is clear is tremendous, and learning how to recognize it might change a lot for you.
Once you feel more calm you shouldn’t just sit and wait for things to simply become better. There is no beating around the bush when it comes to improving your life while dealing with a depression. You need to be constantly working on yourself.
Take The Best Out Of The Effective Medication Treatment
Once the treatment with medication eases the symptoms, you should use this time to improve yourself and take control of as much as you can. Whether you’re going to use that energy and focus to improve your breathing technique, write a poem or go out for a walk – you should always have your focus on doing something that will improve the life you are living as someone diagnosed with depression. Talking with your therapist, being creative, reading…anything. All these little things mean a lot in the long run.
Sitting and waiting for the antidepressants to kick in and solve every problem is never going to help you. There is a lot of work that you should put in, and if you do then results will come. Even if it feels hopeless now. When you feel that the medication treatment for your depression is effective, it is time to put in some work yourself.
As we mentioned, you shouldn’t forget to keep your focus on improving the situation. What’s also to mention is that it is okay to sometimes lose that focus. You should never feel like you lost the fight if some days you slip and fall. It is all a part of the process, and it will only get better if you give yourself a chance.
Okay, So Do Medication Help Or Not?
They won’t cure depression, but they will ease the symptoms. They won’t solve your problems, but they will give you a better state of mind where you can solve your problems. And not looking at it this way, is why people sometimes don’t feel like medication are really helping, or that they lose their effect after some time.
Depression seeks for more than just one approach in order for the symptoms to be controlled as much as possible. You should never isolate yourself in this state, or feel like you can’t be weak. But you should always, always work on improving.
This Post Written By:
Rachel Thomas, Owner, LMFT – Therapy With Heart
8737 E. Via De Commercio, Suite 200
Scottsdale, Arizona 85258
Phone: (480) 888-5380
Fax: (480) 203-2881