Health and topics

Depression: an illness that heals

WHY DOES DEPRESSION OCCUR?

The most likely cause of depression is undoubtedly an imbalance of certain chemicals in our brain that act as messengers. Other factors may contribute to triggering depression, such as heredity, illness, stress, drug or alcohol abuse, and the occurrence of significant events. That being said, it is clear that the ideal treatment will be the combination of antidepressant drugs and personalized psychotherapy.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, depression is the most treatable mental illness. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will draw up a treatment plan based on your symptoms and condition.

DRUG THERAPY

Antidepressants are drugs that work by restoring the balance between the different chemical messengers present in the brain. They are classified according to the substance they influence to normalize your mood. In clear terms, we try to protect and even increase the amount of “messengers of happiness” in your brain.

Far from being a sign of weakness, the use of anti-depressants is rather an essential tool in the fight against depression. These medications are designed to eliminate depressive symptoms and allow you to resume your activities and return to your normal state more quickly.

Antidepressants can cause side effects such as these:

  • dryness of the mouth;
  • insomnia or drowsiness;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • headache;
  • decreased libido.

These discomforts are often transient and there are different ways to fix them. However, if you are worried or have any questions, consult your pharmacist. They can inform you and help you find ways to minimize side effects, or offer your doctor treatment alternatives. 

FIDELITY TO TREATMENT: AN IMPORTANT ISSUE

Adherence to treatment is a basic concept that is defined simply as being faithful to and actively participating in the treatment proposed by the health professional. This notion is particularly important in the treatment of depression, since a delay of a few weeks is necessary before perceiving the beneficial effects of antidepressants. It may also be necessary to try different products and even combinations of drugs before finding the treatment that suits you.

Take your medicine every day, not just when you feel worse. The maximum effect will appear after a regular and daily intake. Then, to avoid relapse, you will need to take antidepressants for several months, even if you feel better, and never stop treatment abruptly. Never stop your treatment without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist. If it turns out that it’s appropriate to stop your medication, they’ll tell you how to avoid the inconvenience of weaning too fast.

1, 2, 3, WE TALK!

Psychotherapy is an integral part of the treatment of depression. It has the advantage of involving the person in his recovery, allowing him to know his illness and the various possible strategies to promote a return to equilibrium. Several help resources are available; your doctor and pharmacist can help you with this.

Since your healing will be faster if you take an active part, here are some approaches to adopt in support of your treatment:

  • Relax and learn how to manage your stress. Indulge in yoga, meditation or some other relaxation technique.
  • Maintain good sleep habits.
  • Move: Sport naturally increases the chemical messengers responsible for well-being.
  • Have fun! Take a warm bath, read, get a massage.
  • Adopt a balanced diet rich in omega-3 (salmon, tuna, flaxseed).
  • Enjoy the sun, it has a positive influence on the mood.

LIVING WITH DEPRESSION

Depression is a real health problem that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. Do not stay alone and surround yourself with people who want to help you. Support is your best ally. Above all, be patient, since healing takes time.

With our fast pace of life, it can be easy to forget to pay attention to our mental health. Do not neglect to take care of it as well as your physical health. Take time for yourself and your happiness. After all, health is also about having a healthy mind in a healthy body!

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