Friday, 23 September 2022

Maintaining Your Mental Well-being


The mind is often said to be the engine of the body. Therefore, we must care for it as much as we do our physical bodies.

In recent years, there has been a strong awareness regarding mental health. Statistics show that 26% of adults currently suffer from one or more mental diseases, and 9.5% of this population suffers from depressive disorders. These conditions tend to harm individuals if not taken care of.


We must stay informed on ways to safeguard our mental health through a deep dive into depression, its causes, symptoms, and available treatments.


Depression and its Causes

Depression is a widespread condition that can affect anybody, anywhere. It is challenging to give an accurate definition of what depression is because it is a different experience for different individuals. 

Depression is a mental illness diagnosed based on a person's psychological symptoms and behavior. It is often thought to be a recurring state of mind that involves the loss of interest in life and living.


There are several forms of depression, such as post-partum depression, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, and chronic depressive disorder. A survey shows that between 3.5 and 4% of adults worldwide experience a form of depression.


Several factors can cause depression. Some of such are loneliness, traumatic experiences, childbirth, harsh substance misuse e. t. c. 

It is important to consistently undergo checks to ensure that you are in good mental health. This would ensure your overall well-being.


Common Symptoms of Depression

Although each patient is usually unique and may show symptoms exclusive to their case, there are still several common symptoms of depression. Some of these include loss of interest in routine activities, isolation from friends and family, a change in eating patterns, usually accompanied by either an excessive increase or decrease in appetite, absent-mindedness, random outbursts in tears, lack of interest in maintaining personal hygiene, suicidal thoughts and possible attempts in very severe cases.







Treatment for Depression

The most common treatment options for depression are psychological and clinical treatments.


Psychological Treatment

In cases with early detection, this course of treatment is frequently the first option. It entails regular trips to the psychologist, counseling from close friends and family, and occasionally group therapy or discussion meetings. By encouraging the depressed person to talk about their issues and providing potential remedies in the form of "expert opinion" or counsel, this treatment always aims to identify the underlying reasons for depression.


Clinical Treatment 

The name "clinical" suggests that this treatment requires medical help from specialist doctors.

Clinically, a psychiatrist has at his disposal a wide range of possible treatment options for depressed patients. These treatments vary from brain stimulation therapy to the use of antidepressants.


Brain Stimulation Therapy

This entails the safe application of light and electricity to stimulate dormant brain cells that control a patient's mood. Light Therapy (LT) and Electroconvulsive Therapy(ECT) are commonly used.



Antidepressants help raise dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels. These are hormones that regulate a person's mood. Having more of these hormones lowers the risk of developing depression.

There are a wide variety of antidepressants administered in the treatment of depression.

Some common antidepressants include Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs), Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs).


Recently, specialists have started considering the possibility of treating depression with ketamine.


Ketamine as a Treatment for Depression

Ketamine, which was first discovered in the early 60s of the 20th century, was approved a decade later for its similar function but less devastating effect when compared to PCP (Phencyclidine).

Researchers describe ketamine as a " wonder drug" due to its incredible speed of turning depression around. In clinical trials, all patients show significant improvement within a shorter period. Ketamine treatment for depression finally received approval in the year 2019. 


Studies have also shown that its antidepressant impacts are more long-lasting than earlier used antidepressants.


Possible Side Effects of Ketamine as a Treatment for Depression

Like every other medication, ketamine has a few side effects when taken for prolonged periods or without a doctor's supervision. Some of these effects are feelings of nausea, inability to distinguish realities (being in a "dreamlike" state), an increase in blood pressure, and breathing more slowly (excessive usage which could stop the heart completely).


In the end, we must be aware of both our mental condition as well as that of those around us. Regular visits to a professional can often be very beneficial and aid in the early identification of depressive disorders. Keep an eye out for the signs and, if required, consult your psychiatrist.


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