We all have times in which we feel depressed. Feeling down, disappointed, or hopeless is a part of life most of us must journey through. If these symptoms persist for several weeks or months, treatment with therapy or medication may be needed in order to recover.
In this article, we’ll explore depression, as well as how it can be managed with your doctor, and steps you can take at home to feel better.
What is Depression
Clinical Major Depression is defined by the DSM 5th Edition 1 as the following:
Signs and Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness on most days
- Loss of Interest or pleasure in activities
- Significant weight gain or weight loss
- Insomnia or Sleeping Excessively
- Restlessly moving (agitation) or moving slowly
- Fatigue nearly everyday
- Decreased ability to concentrate or make decisions
- Reoccurring thoughts of death, suicide; plans to act on suicidal thoughts
We all have times that we feel depressed. We may feel overwhelmed, sad, or we may be grieving a loss. These temporary feelings we may label is being depressed, but these are vastly different from the medical illness Major Depressive Disorder.
If you suspect you have depression, you must be evaluated by a medical professional. You will likely have a physical exam, answer several questions about your mood, and possibly complete labs to make sure there is no medical issue causing depression.
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What To Do if you have Major Depression
You should contact your physician right away if you complete the questions and your scores consistent with major depression. If you did not have a physician you should contact your insurance company to find who you can see.
Alternatively if you do not have insurance you can dial 211 from any phone in the United States to find what local resources are available to you.
If you are having thoughts of suicide you need to call 911, or call the national suicide hotline for immediate assistance.
Treating Major Depression
Major depression is a disorder that presents with primary psychological symptoms but does have physical symptoms. The biochemical changes that happen within the brain lead to several derangements in the body that can predispose you to other illnesses including increased risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. This is why we treat major depression just as seriously as any other clinical disease.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with major depression by your physician or psychiatrist, there will be a discussion of medication. There are several types of medication and this is a very individual choice. For some people their symptoms may be mild enough that psychotherapy alone may be enough to treat the symptoms. however, because of the risk of major depression becoming a severe chronic disease it is often best to follow your clinician’s advice about treatment. discuss with your clinician what medications you’ll be on and what side effects to anticipate. It’s also important to know that it is not unusual to have to try different medications to get the optimal treatment period do not feel discouraged if the first medication you start is not right for you.
What you’ve been diagnosed with depression is important to know that lifestyle choices can help in your recovery. Have a look at your diet and make sure to eliminate foods that cause excessive inflammation. These include:
- Sugary Foods and Drinks
- Overly processed foods
- Excessive Caffeine
- High Carbohydrate Foods
You do want to include foods that will boost the feel good hormones in your body and make starting your medications easier. I recommend including the following Foods:
- Raw raw, organic greens such as kale, spinach, or any dark leafy greens
- One one to two cups of green tea that you brew at home consume this in the morning
- Severalseveral servings of organic vegetables throughout your day as well as organic fruits
- Foods foods high in good fats such as organic nuts, wild caught fish, and small fatty fish like stockings and anchovies
- Plenty plenty of water
Movement and exercise are always important in disease prevention and treatment. if you are suffering from major depressive disorder movement can help to improve your mood. I often advise my patients if you are not participating in any exercise please start with something gentle such as walking or restorative yoga. if you are engaging an exercise make sure to serving your body well. While you are suffering from depression you may not have enough energy to perform rigorous high impact exercise. You may do better stepping down to something less rigorous especially while you’re adjusting the medication.
Reiki and Energy Medicine
If you’re reading this blog you are probably interested in already engaging some sort of energy work. Reiki and energy Medicine compliment ongoing medical treatment for depression wonderfully. As a Reiki practitioner one of my favorite conditions to treat is major depressive disorder. I’ve discovered that the gentle, flowing energy of Reiki works best with someone who has depression recycling suffering from multiple assaults to their energy body. I found that my clients with major depression often sleep much better after Reiki session and feel a quick improvement in the physical symptoms of depression, particularly pain that may be associated with major depression.
If you do not already have a Reiki practitioner, you can easily perform some of your own energy Medicine until you find one. You can start with a simple meditation practice. Here is a meditation that I’ve created that’s brief and can help with any and wanted emotions.
Add channeling meditation here
Reiki I technique
If you are a Reiki practitioner I recommend treating your root chakra daily for at least 21 days. Preferably I would like for you to do a full treatment on yourself daily but if time does not allow treating your root chakra for 3 to 5 minutes will help to boost your overall energy.
Reiki II technique
If you are a Reiki 2 practitioner and you’re feeling some depression you may want to apply some of your more advanced skills by sending distance Reiki to the past. Often major depressive disorder will center around past events. Working on yourself in the present will always help but if you are noticing that certain issues come back from the past you may want to invoke HSZSN and spend a few meditation sessions sending Reiki either to the event, to yourself in the past, or anything similar to help heal this emotional wound. If you are major depression centers around a medical illness if you’re able to pinpoint when it started it may help to send Reiki to that point in your life.
I’m happy I have this space to emphasize the importance of managing an illness that major depressive disorder holistically. The medications are important, and therapy is important. You’re going through depression taking steps to care for your mind body or equally as important. I hope this article is helpful for you or anyone you may know who is going through depression at this time .
- Tolentino, J. C., & Schmidt, S. L. (2018). DSM-5 Criteria and Depression Severity: Implications for Clinical Practice. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 450. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00450