I would guess that there can’t be many people who don’t have times or periods in their life when things are not as good as they might like them to be, times when life seems a bit rough and they are feeling down.
However, for the fortunate majority, even if something terrible or tragic happens, these times of feeling down and sad tend to be relatively temporary and pass reasonably quickly as well.
There is however a significant (and increasing) percentage of people for whom life is little other than a constant battle against the downtimes, folks for whom life is very rarely ever good or enjoyable. I am of course referring to people who are clinically depressed, and it is a sad fact of modern life that the numbers of people who suffer clinical depression are increasing extremely rapidly.
As anyone who knows anything about depression is probably already aware, there are many different types of depression that people can suffer from and each different form of depression shows different characteristics and symptoms.
Nevertheless, as almost every recognized type of depression is on the increase on a global scale, it is accurate to suggest that depression as a whole is on the increase too. Or to put it another way, it is now suggested and generally accepted that approximately 10% of the population of the US suffers from some form of depression, which amounts to approximately 20 million people. Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected.
From this statistic, it is evident that depression is a massive problem, and it is, unfortunately, one that shows little or no sign of decreasing or abating over the years to come.
Traditionally, there have been many different types of treatment applied to people who have been diagnosed as being clinically depressed. And of course, in this day and age when many different types of depression are clinically recognized, the best form of treatment is likely to depend on what particular type of depression someone is suffering from, why they are depressed, a wide range of background circumstances and so on.
In other words, in clinical, medical and psychological terms, there is no way that you can define one form of treatment that works for every type of depression. Nevertheless, millions of depressed people all over the world find themselves taking antidepressant drugs each and every day as a way of helping to keep their condition in abeyance.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressants. They affect serotonin in the brain, and they’re likely to have fewer side effects for most people. SSRIs include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft).
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – SNRIs are the second most commonly prescribed type of antidepressants. SNRIs can include duloxetine (Cymbalta), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), levomilnacipran (Fetzima), and venlafaxine (Effexor).
Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs) – Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is the most commonly prescribed form of NDRI. It has fewer side effects than other antidepressants and is sometimes used to treat anxiety.
Tricyclic antidepressants – Tricyclics are known for causing more side effects than other types of antidepressants, so they are unlikely to be prescribed unless other medications are ineffective. Examples include amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and protriptyline (Vivactil).
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) – MAOIs have more serious side effects, so they are rarely prescribed unless other medications do not work. MAOIs have many interaction effects with foods and other medications, so people who take them may have to change their diet and other medications. SSRIs and many other medications taken for mental illness cannot be taken with MAOIs.
Other antidepressants that don’t fit into a category are known as atypical antidepressants.
But, while there is not be one ‘cure-all’ antidepressant, perhaps the same cannot necessarily be said about applying natural treatment methods, such as cannabidiol, exercise, and yoga to reduce the symptoms of depression. Some people with depression prefer non-drug approaches to help them manage their symptoms. Research shows that approximately 30-40% of patients with depression have only a partial response to pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) can be used with traditional medicine approaches or on their own to target symptoms of depression. Given a lack of sufficient research and, in some cases, mixed results on various natural remedies for depression, it’s a good idea to focus on a team approach to treatment, which can include CAM.
For example, it is relatively common to find that something to do with the underlying lifestyle of an individual sufferer seems to be one of the reasons for their depression. Consequently, appropriate lifestyle changes can help to lift depression without any other form of treatment or remedy being applied.