There is an illness that affects as much as twenty percent of the adult population around the earth at one point in their life or another. This illness is actually life threatening if left untreated. Now, do you know what illness I am referring to? The answer is depression.
Every person will experience some form of depression at some point in their lives but there are key differences that separate a healthy depression and clinical depression. When a person experiences a tragic event if their life it is normal for them to feel the sting of depression. For example, when you lose someone very close to you it is healthy to feel depressed. This is your body's natural way of dealing with the newly introduced stress but if you do not start to feel better within a reasonable amount of time the chances are you are suffering from a clinical depression. This type of depression can show itself early in life but many people will not report their first symptoms until much later.
If you have been diagnosed with depression and it has been classified as clinical then you will need to begin some type of treatment program. There are many different types of treatments available for depression and many will work in conjunction with one another. The two big differences in treatment paths are professional help versus self help with depression.
Professional help with depression of course referrals to treatment methods prescribed by health care professionals. These types of treatment usually include prescription antidepressants commonly prescribed by both general practice doctors as well as psychiatrists. Antidepressants work on the theory that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. One of the common theories for the cause of depression is low levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which among many things helps to control moods. Prescription antidepressants work by helping to raise levels of serotonin in the brain that relieving depression symptoms.
At the other end of the spectrum lay alternative methods for depression treatment such as natural cures or self help programs. Natural cures for depression most often refer to certain herbs which have been shown effective in the lifting depression symptoms. The most popular of these herbs is St John's Wort which can be purchased for less than ten dollars at most pharmacies or Wal-Mart stores. In certain studies St John's Wort has been shown effective in treating mild forms of depression.
Self help methods usually focus more on changes in lifestyles and mental attitudes. Self help groups are a strong method of treatment as most members of the group are suffering from depression themselves and there are more likely to understand what others suffering from depression are going through. This allows people suffering from depression to openly discuss both their symptoms of depression and how they cope with their illness. Most experts will agree that having a strong support group is one of the first steps to overcoming any form of depression.