Depression, much like any other mental illness, responds well to certain treatments and not so well to others. This is true for both: therapy and medications, an anti-depression or anti-anxiety medication may work for one person but fail for another. There is also the possibility of a relapse to the negative feelings, especially if the treatment plan is not followed. There has been a recent study that discusses adolescents and the likelihood for a relapse with “depressive” feelings, and it discusses various approaches as a means of intervention. Among the examples are:
- Switching to another medication, such as anti-depressants Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, or Prozac
- A cognitive behavior therapy approach, which places emphasis on problem solving and behavioral change management.
- A switch to Venlafaxine as well as engaging in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)
The variations of treatment approaches for depression fall under the criteria of therapy and medicine essentially. More importantly, the common symptoms that are addressed happen to be the management of stress and strengthening of problem-solving skills. The challenge of depression isn’t so much treating it, but how long it has to be treated, and that is something that is vastly misunderstood by many.
To consider depression a temporary problem is to lack a true understanding to the condition. To claim that the feelings diminish and gradually become easier to control is a realistic observation, but depression never fully goes away, at least for some. Individuals learn to have a better grasp of control over it, and this control allows them to manage the symptoms of their condition. When an individual learns exactly what depression is for them, and learns how to manage it, the effect it can have on their life is a sense of control and renewed happiness.
Relapses with Depression are not Relapses
As mentioned above, a relapse with depression isn’t necessarily a relapse. It is usually inefficient management of stress, and the need to realign with proper coping techniques. When you think of the word relapse, you think of an addiction or a habit that is put to rest, and then resurfaces during a difficult time. Depression is a feeling, not a habit, and the due to this classification it has to be handled as such.
The approach of chemical balance through various medicine techniques is one way of trying to balance the feeling from a scientific point of view, and there is nothing wrong with that. But from the perspective of thought and problem solving, depression is learning the most effective way to manage stress and deal with the stressors that drive the feeling of despair.
Depression is something that needs to be constantly monitored in regard to situations or circumstances that create the feeling of depression. It is a life-long challenge that is never essentially “perfected”, but it is managed in a strategic way that keeps the discomfort at a minimum. To fall back into a feeling of depression is simply a situation that needs to be revised in regard to coping skills. An effective approach toward managing depression understands that it is a lifelong condition, not something that falls under the confines of resurfacing as what science labels a “relapse”.
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