Prevent Depression to Avoid its Grip on Your Life

Depression is when a person is in low or sad mood oftentimes because of some external negative event or pressures. Everyone suffers from depression at some time in their lives. Events such as the death of a loved one, a cloudy day, or a major disaster on the news can send a person into depression.

So, to prevent depression is not possible in every case because it is a normal reaction to negative events. However, what is preventable is falling into a major depressive episode that lasts for an extended period of time. Depression, if left unchecked, can rob a person of energy, interfere with relationships and work, and even lead to suicide. So, it is important that you recognize how to prevent depression so that it does not put you in its grips.

Recognizing Depression:

The thing about depression is that it sneaks up on a person. So, it is important to recognize the symptoms of depression so that you can take action. Professionals who diagnose, treat, and advise on ways to preventdepression list nine major symptom categories that are indicative of this condition. These are:

• A long-lasting gloomy or anxious mood
• Loss of appetite combined with weight loss (or the opposite)
• No longer finding enjoyment in activities that once gave pleasure
• Exhaustion and fatigue
• Thoughts which are pre-occupied with death or suicide
• A sense of constant guilt or hopelessness (gloomy outlook)
• Frequent irritability and restlessness
• Difficulty sleeping or sleeping excessively
• Inability to focus on the task at hand

Mental health professionals recommend that if you have been suffering from five or more of the above symptoms for longer than two weeks then it is quite possible that you have major depression and need help.

What You Can Do to Prevent Depression:

Through behavior modification therapy or self-help, you can avoid the onset of a serious depressive episode. Depending on your lifestyle, there are a couple of very important steps you should first take in order to prevent depression.

The first is to avoid alcohol and drugs and the second is to take care of your physical health. Many try to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs only to find that their depression gets worse. Throughout the entire process of avoiding depression, you should surround yourself with as many positive influences as possible.

When You Need Professional Help:

When steps that you take to avoid depression do not seem to help or you feel you are suicidal, it is time to seek professional counseling. Another condition, known as bipolar depression, stems from a chemical imbalance in the brain and may possibly require prescription medications in order to achieve balance.

Medications Used to Treat or Prevent Depression:

Sometimes a person’s depression can be so severe that it warrants prescription medications. While science has developed some effective mood stabilizing medications such as Prozac, the side effects can potentially be worse than the depression. Many anti-depressant medications fall into a category known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). The idea behind them is to boost serotonin levels in the body because this hormone regulates mood.

As with all medications, those used to prevent depression have side effects so the preferred way to deal with this illness is through a healthy lifestyle and behavior modification therapy if needed. No matter what, do not let your depression linger. Take steps to prevent depression and get a grip on your life today.