How to Fight Depression

There are millions of people suffering from depression in the United States that could benefit from learning how to fight depression. There are ways both medicinal, therapeutic and holistic that can help with how to fight depression. Keep reading to learn more.

Depression is a serious mental illness that can cause both emotional and physical pain to the millions of children, teens and adults that suffer from depression. There are many ways to go about learning how to fight depression, however. Generally using a combination of therapies and other medicinal approaches are often the best ways to help individuals learn how to fight depression. Unfortunately only about 20 percent of individuals suffering from depression actually ever seek professional help. Most individuals with depression may not even realize they have it or if they do, they don’t want to deal with it or talk about it. Fortunately there are other ways individuals that have depression can learn how to fight depression without necessarily having to seek professional help. However, it is also important to keep in mind that professional help combined with self-initiative are the best ways to effectively deal with depression. Most importantly, depression will not go away on it’s own. It needs to be addressed or will likely become worse. Continue reading this article to learn the most effective ways you can learn how to fight depression:


First, therapy or therapeutic treatments are often the most commonly used methods in treating depression. Trained therapists or psychologists will work with patients to help establish the emotional turmoil the individual is struggling with that might be causing the depression. For many, it is being unable to cope with certain life struggles or tragedies like death, divorce, poor self-esteem and other emotional issues. Learning to work through these struggles, accept them and move on is all part of treating depression.

Antidepressants and Herbal Remedies:

Some individuals will find success in treating their depression by taking depression medications or herbal remedies that are designed to help alleviate many of the troubles a depressed person struggles with like anxiety and prolonged feelings of sadness. However, these medications do not work for everyone, and cannot be taken with all other medications, so it is important to talk to your health care provider about this option to find out if it is right for you and your emotional needs.


Research shows that those who exercise and release those endorphins and other hormones during exercise are more likely to be happy. It is easier to fight off the stagnation of depression when the individual is working out as a distraction and is more likely to feel better about themselves. Getting regular aerobic exercise, practicing yoga or Pilates and making an active effort to work out is a great way to fight depression. Yoga and other similar workouts can help those individuals deal with stress, which can contribute to depression. Working out and feeling good through aerobics is also a great practice to engage in at least three times a week for an hour per day to help fight depression.

Proper Nutrition:

Like working out, getting proper nutrients through the foods and liquids you ingest is another way you can go about fighting depression. Getting a balanced diet also helps balance your hormones and keep your weight under control. Taking control over these two aspects of your life is a great way to learn how to fight depression.

Write It Down:

As a method of self-therapy, try writing down your feels and don’t bottle them up. Make a list of what makes you happy about your life and try to focus on the positive. This is a great way to get your sadness and other harmful feelings off your chest and analyze the situation. You might just realize things aren’t as bad as they seem. Keeping a regular journal is also a good way to ensure your thoughts are not bottled up or expressed. 

Don’t Bottle Up Your Feelings:

Like with a journal, it is a good idea to get your feelings out. If writing it down doesn’t work, or if you need another outlet, find a strong support system to lean on. Talk to your family, friends or even a professional about your feelings. Sometimes all it takes is to get it off your chest to find that you will be able to better combat your feelings of depression.

Express Your Creativity:

Find ways to express yourself. You might be more creative than you realize. Examine your artistic capabilities. Try writing, singing, song-writing, instrument playing, painting, drawing, sculpting and more. There are tons of ways to express yourself artistically. Find what works for you and do it.

Focus on the Positive:

Try your hardest to focus on the positive. Try writing down all the good things about your life and focus on those. Put them down on a piece of paper and put them in a location that you will see often. When you are feeling down, read the list and remind yourself about the good things you have going in your life. Staying positive can be tough when you are suffering from depression, but trying is a good way to learn how to fight depression.


Teenagers and Depression Medications

Teenagers and depression medications are not always a positive combination. In fact, some types of antidepressants may actually have the reverse effect on a teen and cause the depression to worsen. That is why teenagers and depression medications is still a widely debated topic.

Because of the negative effects that sometimes happen when teens take antidepressant medications, many heath care providers will encourage a form of psychotherapy before actually writing any prescriptions for antidepressants. Some of the possible side effects that occur when teens take certain forms of depression medications include an increases risk of suicidal thoughts and even more episodes of severe depression. There are many reasons that cause teens to experience depression. Some of these reasons include drastic life changes including the death of a loved one, sickness, family problems, financial issues, divorce, relationship problems and more. Teens that are most likely to experience depression are teens with low self-esteem, those that struggle in school as well as those who are often victims of bullying and other verbal or physical attacks from peers or even adults.

Teenagers and Depression Medications:

Because so many teens are at risk for experiencing depression, some form of prevention and treatment must be considered to prevent a depressed teen from taking a drastic measure like suicide or other forms of violence toward others. The best way to prevent depression in your teen is to watch for the warning signs. Many of these signs of depression entail weight loss or gain, trouble sleeping, apathy, poor academic performance, signs of being bullied, feeling upset and worthlessness, prolonged periods of sadness, irritability, fatigue, loss of interest, difficulty concentrating as well as suicidal thoughts or tendencies. If a teen begins showing these signs, it is important to get help right away. While some parents might think a pill like an antidepressant would be the easier fix to help bring their teen out of a depression, teenagers and depression medications don’t always mix. While there are a couple types of depression medications that are available to treat depression in teens, most actually cause the situation to worsen. Because teens are experiencing an up and down series of emotions constantly, many types of antidepressants don’t work well with these emotional changes. In fact, the depression medications can actually cause the depression symptoms to worsen.

In some cases where teens have been treated with depression medications, the teens have worsened to the point of committing suicide. Because these are serious emotions and careful hormones mental health care professionals are working with, most won’t want to take a risk and prescribe a medication that could actually be detrimental to the emotional recovery of the teen. Because of the negative effects that can result with teenagers and depression medications, many health care professionals will try for alternative methods of treatment instead. Many of these include the basic form of psychotherapy. Often times, psychotherapy is one of the most effective ways to treat depression for teens and adults of any age. Many teens might simply need a stronger outlet to let go of these excess emotions of sadness, anger and anxiety about life.

Treatment and Solutions for Depressed Teenagers:

To find the best treatment solutions for your teen, it is important to consult with a mental health care professional to determine which method of treatment to take. Like with many depressed adults, some teens find successful treatment for their depression with a combination of light antidepressant medication treatments and psychotherapy through individual or group counseling. Some of the most effective depression medications that are approved by the FDA are often used in these combination therapies. Some of these antidepressants include Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, which are considered the most successful to be used in teen depression. However, if teens are suffering from a combination of depression and anxiety, some of these medication might not work, or will cause the symptoms to worsen. This is why it is important for parents to get their teens properly diagnosed. If the teen has been exhibiting signs of depression for at least two weeks, it might be time to consider taking them to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist to be diagnosed.


How to Help Someone With Depression

How to help someone with depression – There are many ways you can help someone who is suffering from depression.  This article offers some advice and tips on helping a friend or loved one overcome their depression.

Helping someone with depression can take many forms depending both the type of depression that they are experiencing and their particular needs. Here are some ideas that fit different scenarios.  Use your understanding of the person you know who is depressed to figure out which of these might be most welcome to him or her.

  • If You Believe the Person Is in Danger, Call For Help—People who are depressed can become suicidal.  Sometimes it’s just talk, and sometimes it’s not.  If you fear that someone is considering taking his or her own life, call 911 or an emergency suicide hotline.
  • Encourage Treatment—Sometimes a person who is depressed may not recognize the fact.  They may think that they are realistic about the world and that’s why they’re sad and withdrawn or “this is just how it is.” Because treatment can potentially make a dramatic change, it’s really something the person should try, but a lot of encouragement may be needed to get there.
  • Transportation—Someone who is depressed may neglect visiting the barber or hairdresser or shopping for clothes or food because the process is too overwhelming.  Then, they may feel guilty for not having done these things.  By providing transportation and company, you may provide the boost that makes these tasks possible.  You could also offer rides to doctors’ appointments, support group meetings, or counseling sessions.
  • Household Help—Whether the person you know is suffering from postpartum depression or major depression, cleaning the bathroom and washing the dishes is probably not high on their to-do list.  Whether you vaccuum or do the laundry, being in a neater, more orderly place can boost people’s moods.
  • Cooking—Dropping off a ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat meal is often welcome.  Remember to check for food allergies and any strong “dislikes” before you get going.
  • Listening—Sometimes an ear is a great gift.  When you listen to someone who is depressed, you may hear a lot of “down” material and you may hear it repeatedly,  so prepare yourself to be understanding and not critical. This is especially important if treatment does not go well for some reason, and for some people, the therapy and medication that helps others doesn’t have the effects they would wish, and depression can go on and on.  If you can hang in there with the person who’s not getting better as expected, that could be critical to his or her long-term well-being.
  • Make a Date—Help doesn’t have to be all chores: with the person’s knowledge, plan a trip to the ballpark, a night on the town, a meal at a favorite restaurant or pub (skip the alcohol—it’s a depressant all on its own), a theater performance, a stroll through the botanical gardens or the zoo, or just a walk in the park. Having something to look forward to can be helpful.

Over-the-Counter Anti-depressants

There are a variety of treatments for depression, but over-the-counter antidepressants are not as readily available as other types of treatment and medication. The most common types of over-the-counter antidepressants are only available in herbal form.

Some members of the medical community are wondering why over-the-counter antidepressants are not readily available, and there are a few answers to this question. However, it is important to note that some methods of over-the-counter antidepressants treatments are available, but they are not of prescription variety. Herbal remedies like St. John’s Wort is commonly used to treat depression, anxiety and sleep disorders that might be caused as a result of dealing with these mental illnesses. However, those looking for over-the-counter antidepressants like Prozac, Paxil, etc. are not going to be able to access these medications without a prescription from a health care professional that is able to write prescriptions for patients.

Some health care professionals have discussed working to make anti-depressants available to be sold over the counter. However, for several reasons this could be a bad thing. This topic, heavily discussed in a recent Time Magazine article, covers the dangers of antidepressants being available over the counter. Some feel if antidepressants were more readily available directly over the counter then more individuals suffering from depression would be able to seek help through the assistance of antidepressants. However, because so many might abuse antidepressants, there is always the danger of releasing such powerful drugs directly over the counter. There are many side effects to the use of antidepressants, which could cause some serious problems in those with preexisting conditions or situations that might interfere with the use of antidepressants.

The Argument: The Pros and Cons of Over-the-Counter Antidepressants

Many who are proponents to the distribution of over-the-counter antidepressants believe that these depression medications are being so widely dispensed anyway, that it really couldn’t hurt to make them available for anyone without a prescription despite the number of side effects. These same proponents believe individuals should have a right to their own medical treatment and shouldn’t have to rely on a doctor visit to get medicated.

However, some don’t believe in the idea of making the over-the-counter antidepressants so readily available. The biggest reason so many are concerned about this is because they believe antidepressants would become a recreational drug like alcohol. Another argument against making antidepressants so readily available is that the drugs are sometimes only effective if they are used in conjunction with other treatments like therapy or support groups for depression. Antidepressants also really only work if they are taken regularly for a few weeks rather than just someone popping a pill when they feel upset or down. This would counteract the idea of being able to sell them over the counter rather than under a doctor’s orders and supervision. There are also concerns about those with serious mental issues that misdiagnose themselves, which is a likely possibility especially if they don’t get properly diagnosed by a doctor. Someone with bipolar issues might think they are depressed and will take antidepressants, which could actually cause their issues to become more severe.

Antidepressants becoming so readily available over the counter also might cause problems with depressed individuals using the drugs to mask their pain rather than dealing with the issues and healing instead. The overall concept of over-the-counter antidepressants would be undermining traditional treatments and therapy that would be more effective in treating depression.

While over-the-counter anti-depressants are not a viable option at this point, there are alternative remedies like herbal supplements and even just other more simply ways to treat depression. Working out, getting exercise and that release of endorphins is a great way to treat depression. Eating healthier foods with less fats, sugars and carbs are also ways individuals can treat their depression symptoms. Lastly, getting a good, solid nights rest is also a great way to get the strength and energy to treat depression.


Natural Cures for Depression

Millions of Americans are diagnosed with depression each year, which is why many opt to find natural cures for depression. Antidepressants are often prescribed but for some they can have adverse and undesirable effects. Natural cures for depression might be a better alternative.

Some people react poorly to antidepressants, feeling tired and even more anxious than without them. Teens going through major hormonal changes often react negatively to depression medication and antidepressants that are prescribed in cases of teen depression. This is why there are natural cures for depression as an alternative treatment.

What are some natural cures for depression?

While there is little fact about natural cures for depression, there are some depression patients who feel these natural cures are a better alternative to medications. Some examples provide evidence that natural cures and alternative treatments cause the patient to be more likely to relax, which can help the person afflicted with depression to be able to cope with so many of the causes of depression including anxiety, grief, life changes and even prolonged and excessive physical pain. For those with depression considering the usage of alternative treatment options, there are many to choose from and are also virtually harmless to try out to see if they will work before opting to take antidepressants. However, when trying these types of therapies, even if they are considered natural, it is still important to get the help and advice of your doctor or health care provider to determine whether or not this method would be appropriate.

Types of alternative therapy:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Hypnosis
  • Herbal remedies
  • Massage therapy
  • Relaxation
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic treatments
  • Guided imagery
  • Exercise

These types of alternative therapies are difficult to study scientifically whether they actually work or not, but they are often found to be effective toward benefiting at least some of the symptoms a person with depression may be experiencing. However, there is no conclusive evidence to find if it is a definitive form of a cure for depression. When it comes to herbal remedies, these are some of the most popular types of alternative or natural cures for depression. St. John’s wort and gingko biloba are known for altering a person’s mood, which is why these herbal remedies are known to be used toward helping with depression symptoms. However, all herbal remedies should be treated exactly like medication. Take the amount recommended. There are sometimes ingredients in these herbal remedies that with too much, could cause a lot of problems toward a person’s physical health. This is also why it is important to ask you doctor about taking these kinds of natural cures.

Another one of the most effective and most popular forms of alternative therapies to help with natural cures for depression include relaxation. There are many ways to try and relax include massage therapy, meditation and yoga. By relaxing, the person’s mood is directly affected, which leaves the person with depression more able to cope with the pressures they are facing and the overall symptoms that are causing their depression. Relaxation is a mood stabilizer, which is the best way to help a person learn coping abilities. Exercise in another form of physical alternative therapies. Exercise is known for enhancing moods, reliving stress and boosting endorphins, which can make a person happier. Usually alternative therapies and natural cures for depression have to be done in combinations. There is no one set cure. The best and most effective way to find a natural cure for depression is to try out a few different remedies to find what works best. For some, exercise and physical therapy might be the best cure. However, for some they do better trying out meditation and relaxation methods. Some might just do better if they are using a combination of things. However, too many therapies might be overwhelming. This is part of the reason it is good to consult with a doctor or therapist to determine which methods of alternative therapies might be best depending on the situation and severity of depression. From there, it might be trial and error to determine which methods work the best per person.


Therapy for Depression

There are several different types of therapy for depression. This article has information on treating depression with the use of medication, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Keep reading to discover what type of therapy for depression may work best for you or your loved one.

A variety of treatments are used for depression, in part depending on the origins, the duration, the responsiveness of the client, and the client’s preferences. There are five main overarching types of therapy for depression, including the use of medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy.  It is common to find medication and psychotherapy used in tandem.

In cases in which depression is linked to specific causes, such as post-partum depression or seasonal affective disorder, hormone therapy and light therapy, respectively are used, though on occasion, some form of antidepressant medication may be employed as well.

Treatment of Depression with Medications

When depression manifests as a mood disorder with no swing to mania or hypomania (which would constitute bipolar depression), three categories of medications are typically used, alone or in combination with other forms of treatment, for example with psychotherapy. The four main types are:

  • Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants, the first of which are not approved for use with teen patients
  • Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which increase the concentration of the neurotransmitter called serotonin
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which increase the concentration of two neurotransmitters: serotonin and norepinephrine
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), which is used for atypical depression and also panic disorder

Treatment of Depression with Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy

Psychotherapy, sometimes referred to as “talk therapy” uses psychology to treat mental health issues. There are a variety of types, and some types have a range of different variants.  Here are some of the main types of psychotherapy used with depression:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which also goes by the name cognitive therapy, focuses on solving current problems of behavior, introducing problem-solving strategies and techniques. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an outgrowth of CBT, developed for use with clients who have life-threatening issues.
  • In contrast to CBT, interpersonal therapy (IPT), which may be Freudian, Jungian, or rooted in other approaches, assists the client in the examination of relationships from his or her very earliest days, including those with family, peers, and with the client his- or her-self. The understanding that is gained through examination of the past is put into use in dealing in the present.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), is a form of psychotherapy that is rooted in the premise that traumatic or deeply disturbing events can have a long-term effect on a client’s ability to properly process experience. Without a discussion of the seminal event or events, the client is led through a therapeutic method aimed at achieving integration of the event(s) in question.

Treatment of Depression with Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), which is a medical procedure performed on a sedated patient, is generally only used after a number of other treatments for depression have been tried and failed. It involves passing an electrical current through the brain, causing a brief seizure. While the effects of ECT are not well understood, it is thought to cause a positive result in the brain’s chemistry.

Programs for Troubled Teens

One option of treatment for depressed teens is a program for your troubled teen. These programs have options for struggling teens who suffer from depression that have tried outpatient therapy. Some of these programs for troubled teens are specialty boarding schools, but these may not be as equipped to help struggling teens.

Residential Treatment Centers

Residential treatment centers are programs for troubled teens. Residential treatment centers are licensed by each state and allowed to treat certain ages of children, usually 12-18. RTCs, as they are sometimes called, treat a range of problems including depression, anxiety, stress, behavior disorders, conduct disorders and more. These types of programs for troubled teens have licensed therapists on staff in most cases. They can also help with drug treatment, alcohol treatment, and many other teen issues.

Schools for Troubled Teens

Quite often programs for troubled teens, like RTCs, are also accredited schools for troubled youth. Sometimes they are accredited through one of the few regional accrediting groups or they sometimes use distance learning programs. This enables a depressed teen, who is struggling at home or school, to get their school credits or even graduate while at the program/school.  Some of these schools for troubled teens offer great education options with AP courses, tutors, and concurrent enrollment.

Depression Treatment

Enrolling your teen into a specialty school or program for troubled teens is a big step. Make sure you do your homework on the program, school, or treatment center. You should know what licensing they have in place and if they have accredidation through a regional body. Parents should also consult their local mental health professional, medical doctor, etc.

Programs that claim to help

Some programs that have no licensed therapists on staff will offer to help treat your depressed teen. The programs for troubled teens are not the best option for a severely depressed teenager. This can include wilderness programs, boot camps, and/or military schools. Some believe that placing a severely depressed teen into a military school can worsen the condition. In fact, most military schools will not accept a student if they are aware of certain issues with depression. They are not equipped like a residential treatment center. There are some military schools for troubled teens that can help behavior disorders and defiance, but for depression – these are not the answer. Boot camps for troubled teens are in the same boat here – they are not for depressed or suicidal teenagers.


There are many great programs for troubled teens. Just make sure you get a recommendation from a local therapist and make sure the school/program meets certain criteria in licensing and education areas. You should get help for your struggling teen as soon as possible.

Depression Medication & Antidepressants

This article has information on the function of antidepressants, SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft, SNRIs such as Cymbalta and Effexor, MAOIs, TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants), NaSSAs, NRIs, NDRIs such as Wellbutrin and Zyban, and more about antidepressants.

We all have hope that depression symptoms are temporary and that there is an instant cure. Depression hurts and leaves a person feeling hopeless and withdrawn from society. Fortunately there are drugs called antidepressants that have been designed to alleviate symptoms of depression by changing the chemical levels within the human body. It is important to note however that antidepressant drugs are not the first choice when treating teens for depression. Heightened symptoms of depression may occur in teens from use of these drugs which could further lead to suicidal actions. People especially teens should be under direct supervision by a physician when being treated with antidepressants and be aware of the reverse effects antidepressants may provoke. As in most cases, there are side effects that will be either raised or lowered with extended use of these drugs. Everyone has a different chemical makeup so finding the right drug for your particular body is of the utmost importance. It’s like trying on shoes in a department store. One wouldn’t buy a shoe just because it’s their size; rather, they would try it on to make sure it fit every contour of their foot. Such is the case when deciding on the right anti-depressant drug for depression. There are many factors needed to be addressed and evaluated before the prescription of drugs can begin.

Function of antidepressants

It’s important to know how these particular drugs work and to what is going on inside the body during stages of depression. Serotonin is a chemical in the body that helps in translating information between neurotransmitters in the brain. One of the functions of serotonin is defining ones mood and emotions. When levels of serotonin are deficient, depressed symptoms may occur. Antidepressants help by blocking the re-absorption of serotonin where it derived from causing higher levels and ensuring balance between the neurons in the brain with reduced characteristics of depression. Currently, the most standard kind of antidepressants is Selective Serotonin Re-uptake inhibitors or SSRIs.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are recommended over other antidepressants due to the mildness and fewer side effects. Some of the more familiar SSRIs being used are as follows:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Excitalopram (Lexapro, Esipram)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)

Just like a new pair of shoes, these drugs take time to adjust and form to the complexities of the brain. In most cases, antidepressants take 2-6 weeks to become fully effective with beginning side effects magnified. Such side effects include nervousness, dry mouth, drowsiness, decreased appetite, insomnia, anxiety, and sexual function ability decreased. Over time, these side effects may lessen as the body adjusts to the new drug. Currently, Fluoxetine (Prozac) is the only recommended antidepressant for people under the age of 18. Again, it is of highly importance that teens are closely monitored by a trained physician when taking antidepressants. In cases where SSRIs are not effective, other types of anti-depressants are available such as Serotonin norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAOIs, tricyclic antidepressants, Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs), norepiniephrine re-uptake inhibitors (NRIs), and norepinephrine-dopamine re-uptake inhibitors (NDRIs).

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs are similar to SSRIs other than they can affect the neurotransmitter and hormone norepinephrine which is secreted by the adrenal gland. It coincides with the hormone epinephrine which releases bursts of energy in times of stress. SNRIs can inhibit the re-uptake of norepinephrine allowing balance when treating patients with depression. SNRIs include:

  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Milnacipram (Ixel)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)

The downfall of SNRIs is they have a higher withdrawal level when use of these drugs stop. Dosage tapering is recommended when stopping the treatment to limit side effects of withdrawal. Side effects of these drugs are similar to that of the SSRIs.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOIs)

MAOIs may be used if other antidepressants are not effective. However, there is fatal potential when using these drugs mixed with foods that contain Tyramine, red wine, and certain drugs. Because of this possible danger, MAOIs are hardly prescribed. MAOIs may be effective by hindering the enzyme monoamine oxidase which breaks down the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. As previously discussed when there are low levels of these neurotransmitters, symptoms of depression may set in. Because of the dangerous side effects of MAOIs, a current group of MAOIs have been produced with fewer dangers but still with side effects such as rapid and extreme weight gain but does not require the patient to watch his or her diet when mixed with the drugs as was the case with earlier MAOIs. Current MAOIs:

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam)
  • Moclobemide (Aurorix, Manerix)

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

TCAs have been used since the 1950’s and are classified as the oldest group of antidepressants and are still very effective. Since newer antidepressants such as SSRIs have been discovered, TCAs have seen a decline in use mostly because of more safe and selected drugs available. Side effects of TCAs include increased heart rate, drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, and confusion. Because of the affect these drugs have on the heart, overdoses of these drugs can be deadly causing a fatal arrhythmia but are still prescribed because of their success in treating depression especially severe cases of major depression. TCAs include:

Tertiary Amine Tricyclic antidepressants:

  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep)
  • Doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)

Secondary Amine Tricyclic antidepressants:

  • Desipramine (Norpramine)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl)

Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NaSSAs)

NaSSAs main objective is to increase levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine by blocking other receptors that cause lower levels of these hormones causing depressed symptoms. NaSSAs are a newer type of antidepressant but still carry side effects such as weight gain, drowsiness, and increased appetite. Such drugs are:

  • Mirtazapine (Remeron, Avanza, Zispin)
  • Mianserin (Tolvon)

Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRIs)

NRIs accomplish the same results as other antidepressants by affecting the increase of norepinephrine but also help with better concentration and motivation. Examples of these drugs are listed:

  • Maxindol (Mazanor, Sanorex)
  • Atomexetine (Strattera)
  • Viloxazine (Vivalen)
  • Reboxetine (Edronax)

Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)

NDRIs use the same process as other NRIs by blocking norepinephrine inhibitors but also block the re-uptake of dopamine which is another hormone that aids in communicating between neurotransmitters related to depression. One known NDRIs is:

  • Burpropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban)

Burpropion unlike other antidepressants does not cause weight gain or sexual dysfunction. It is effective on its own or can be combined with other antidepressants for an even more positive result. It’s also been known to help people who are trying to quit smoking.

It is important to note any changes or discomforts associated when taking antidepressants. Just as the new shoe is broke in with continued wear, the right antidepressant should feel comfortable with long time use. Everyone has shoes in their closet that some time or other begins to be painful to wear for long periods of time. Such is the perfect fit for a prescribed antidepressant. Over time, there may be a need for a change in prescription for antidepressants. Seek help with a trained and licensed physician, monitor changes closely, and understand the importance of comfort when walking the paths of depression.


Coping with Depression

Coping with depression can be a challenge. Parents can help teens cope with depression. There are also teens can do to help themselves deal with depression. This article has information and tips to help everyone know how to cope with teen depression.

High stakes are involved when coping with teen depression and is not to be gambled with. Emotions are rolling high during adolescence and can be easily dismissed as typical teenage behavior. Becoming aware of the warning signs of depression can help both the teen and the parent when dealing with most levels of depressed behavior. A teen may show symptoms of depression in a variety of ways. Teens differ to adults when reacting to depression. Teens may become more irritable and angry clearly making it hard to differentiate between depressions or having a bad day. Other symptoms include hopelessness, decline in interest of activities once enjoyed, sleeping disorders, sadness, changes in eating habits, isolation, and decline in grades at school. What is the best way to deal with teens when they put all their cards on the table?

What parents can do

It is important for parents not to deal any more low cards or pressures to their teen. They need to be listened to and understood with a hand of comfort, love, and acceptance.  It is important that the teen feels validated in their thinking because the feelings they are experiencing are real to them even if they seem trivial to an adult or parent. Parents should take the time to genuinely listen to their teen without judgments or criticism. This allows the teen to unload their trapped feelings sending them to the jackpot at the end of the road to recovery. Admitting to or recognizing that they may have depression is rather difficult. Be there as a parent to let them know you are there for support and will help them whenever they are ready. Teens aren’t necessarily looking for someone to give them advice but rather to know they have unconditional love and support especially through traumatic or stressful times. Once your teen begins to convey their feelings, let them talk! Interrupting or controlling the conversation is not helpful during this stage of depression. Be a good listener without throwing out a lot of counsel or blame. Let your teen know the possibility they may be depressed and discuss alternatives for getting the help they need.

Experts say that 20% of teens with depressed symptoms go untreated which is unsettling because of the high risk of teen suicide among depressed teens nationwide. Depression is known to be one of the precedent factors towards suicidal thoughts and actions. What is more frightening is that suicide is one of the front runners for cause of death amid teens and adults under the age of 35. Parents are basically playing Russian roulette by ignoring the warning signs of depression.. Take aggressive action if necessary to get the help your teen needs. It is the parent’s responsibility to recognize the signs of depression whereas teens have a more difficult time admitting that anything is wrong. If symptoms of depression continue, talk to your family doctor and begin the process for a full screening on depression. Depression is not a game and sometimes needs to be dealt with by professionals.

Self help for teens

Depression is created by many factors. Teens should be aware that in most cases, depression is not their fault. Chemical changes during adolescence mixed with changes in their environment can cause bouts with depression. Knowing they are not alone can bring comfort and piece of mind. Many teens are faced with some characteristic of depression every day. There are many ideas that can help when feelings of depression begin to set in.

Avoid isolation/ talk to friends and family

It is a natural reaction during the depressed state to want isolation from others and society. Separation from others will help fuel the emotion causing a more intense depression. Keeping yourself around friends and family can help the problem seem less severe It is imperative to share your feelings of doubt, sadness, and hopelessness with someone you trust. Hang out with positive, fun, and solid friends that will help lift you in times of turmoil. Stay away from friends that display negative thoughts, drug or alcohol abuse, or engage in activities which bring temporary pleasure. Keeping oneself social is the best wildcard for staying straight on course. Holding to the mainstream will allow you the ability to heal faster and fight the urge to retreat to lonely ground.

Make healthy choices

Exercise and diet are other wild cards that can be used to enhance quality of mood and outlook. It has been proven that exercise releases endorphins immediately escalating feelings of happiness. It can be as simple as going for a walk, riding a bike, or getting involved in sports activities. Foods high in nutrition are also known to have positive effects on mood. Stay away from foods that cause fatigue or restlessness. Adequate sleep can heighten mood where lack of sleep can lower mood into a depressed state. Fill your body with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Seek ideas for a well balanced diet best suited for you.

Avoid drugs and alcohol

Use of substance may appear to be a solution for covering up symptoms of depression. That is false. Drug and alcohol use can worsen symptoms of depression or even cause signs of depression that weren’t once present. Regular use of drugs or alcohol can eventually lead to thoughts of suicide and or addiction. Professional help would then be needed for treatment for the substance addiction, suicidal tendencies, and depression.

Talk to your parents

Though parents seem to live on another planet, they love you and have real concern for your well being. Talk to them about your feelings and then talk again until they get it. If you don’t feel you can communicate your feelings to your parents, talk to someone you can like a school counselor, teacher, coach, relative or close family friend. Acknowledging depression is the beginning to the road to recovery.

As depressed teens lay all their cards on the table, parents and friends can be more aware of the emotional difficulties they are going through. Treat depression with delicacy, understanding, and genuine concern. Know when to hold them so in the difficult times, they don’t fold to the realms of hurt and despair of which depression can cause.


Get Help for Teen Depression

Seeking help for teen depression is the first step in overcoming many problems associated with adolescent depression. So you know someone that is suffering from adolescent depression. What do you do now? Keep reading for tips on seeking help with teen depression.

If you have a family member or friend that suffers from teenage depression. Please seek help immediately.

Do not wait for them to come to you. Go talk to them and find out if they are having problems at home, school, or work.  The best thing you can do is get them to a local therapist to get a proper diagnosis.

All to often we here stories of childhood depression let go too long until the teen falls into problems with the law, drugs, and alcohol.

If the teenager you know speaks of dying, gives away personal belongings, or is fascinated by death please contact a local therapist or suicide help line ASAP. These are warning signs of suicide attempts.  If this person is threatening suicide call 800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 877-YOUTHLINE(968-8454)

Do not wait for help.  There are plenty of residential treatment centers for troubled youth, drug rehab, and other specialty private schools to assist troubled teens.