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What Is The Best Long Term Treatment For Depression?

2008 words - 8 pages

Imagine for a moment, that while participating in something that previously provided pleasure, one feels nothing but empty and hopeless. In fact, so much sorrow is felt that it is now a chore to even get out of bed. We have all experienced episodes of disinterest, but what happens when the feeling lingers for long periods of time? Often we simply pass off our behavior as normal in an attempt to convince ourselves that nothing is wrong. Melancholy and attention deficit are common, however, when the behaviors begin to control our lives we must determine the severity of our emotions. While a temporary lack of interest is normal, a continuous state of indifference could be depression. Understanding the treatment options available for depression is crucial in ensuring long-term mental stability because of depression’s impact on relationships, job performance and physical health.
First, we must attempt to understand depression and what signs to look for. Depression is a serious medical illness that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health. Depression is not a temporary experience; it is a life-long condition that has periods of wellness alternating with periods of illness. There is a multitude of contributing factors that can cause depression. For example, studies have shown that individuals who are obese have a fifty-five percent increased risk of developing depression. Obesity is a double-edged sword as it can be a contributing factor and symptom of depression; depressed individuals are fifty-eight percent more likely to become obese. This fact is alarming, as the United States has a high rate of obesity. Our western style diets, which contain marginal deficiencies of micronutrients, impact our risk in developing depression. Physical inactivity is a possible contributing factor for depression; studies conducted in the United States have shown less than half of adults engage in the required amount of physical activity recommended. Also, reduced amounts of or low quality sleep are major depression predictors. It is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation to achieve seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, modern society has found us becoming prone to only sleeping six hours and forty minutes, increasing our risk in developing depression. The United States’ social environment is a large contributing factor for depression because of inequality, low social support and intense individual competitiveness. This causes us to be harder on ourselves when our actions result in failure, we become withdrawn and unable to cope with the negative thoughts. Our technology driven society greatly impacts our risk of depression. Excessive internet use has led to less communication in our family unit, small social circles and greater loneliness (Hidaka). While technology appears to have done wonders in regards to our ability to communicate, it has also greatly affected our need for human contact. Often individuals will feel...

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