How Integrative Psychiatry can benefit sufferers of depression

Understanding depression

People feel sad when they lose someone they love, or are taken off something they enjoy doing like losing a job, or get into some kind of trouble, but this sadness does not automatically equate to depression.

Feeling sad is a major symptom of depression but they are not one and the same. Depression is a mental health disorder characterised by a persistent low mood to the point that the sufferer starts losing interest in activities once previously enjoyed.

Depression can present in different ways in several individuals but there are classic symptoms that are usually observed, some of which include a lingering feeling of hopelessness, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed and disruption in normal sleeping patterns, causing either excessive sleeping or the inability to sleep (insomnia).

Other symptoms of depression include increased anxiety and changes in appetite – some people could begin eating excessively and gain weight while others could lose their appetite and begin losing weight. Severe depression can also lead to suicidal thoughts.

Depression: A serious health issue

According to the WHO, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression around the world, making it one of the commonest mental health disorders known. It is advisable that people suffering from depression seek effective and timely care and treatment.

If left untreated or unmanaged, depression could get more serious. The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention (AFSP) listed severe depression as one of the leading causes of suicide among young people in 2020. Based on recent data, nearly 800,000 people die by suicide every year.

Apart from suicide, depression is also a leading cause disability worldwide as it affects the way a person functions at home, school or work.

Treating depression

Treating depression could sometimes prove hard as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What worked for Patient A might not work for Patient B. Also, sometimes, it could take a longer time for some people to start seeing results for their condition than it did for others.

Choosing the right treatment for you

There are people who simply go with the more conventional forms of treatments such as taking antidepressants and undergoing talk therapies but in recent times people are beginning to find an integrative model of therapy quite remarkably helpful.

BetterHelp.com describes this mode of therapy called “Integrative Psychiatry” as a holistic form of treatment. It combines conventional psychiatry with other forms of alternative remedies such as meditation, body therapy and natural supplements. Unlike what some people have been led to believe, Integrative Psychiatry does not discourage the use of conventional psychiatric medications such as antidepressants or antipsychotics for the treatment of depression. The concept, otherwise, advises the addition of other forms of treatment without undermining neither the importance nor efficacy of traditional depression medicines.

What is Integrative Psychiatry?

Integrative Psychiatry is a “holistic” approach to mental health care where every aspect of the patient’s life and living conditions are addressed. Unlike in traditional psychiatry where the therapist is focused on finding relief for the illness complained of, the goal of integrative psychiatry is to provide a nonexclusive therapy that leaves the patient feeling wholly okay at the end.

How can Integrative Psychiatry help depression

Consider these two situations carefully.

Situation One: You visit a therapist to complain about your depression. At the end of the session they prescribe you some antidepressants and any other remedy deemed to help your depression.

Situation Two: You visit a therapist whose scope of expertise covers integrative psychiatry to complain about your depression. The therapist immediately understands that your environment, relationships, other social factors, etc, affect the way your body and mind function. So instead of quickly prescribing anti-depression meds or other off-the-rack remedies, they start first by addressing aspects of your lifestyle that might be related in some way to your condition.

They talk to you about relationships to be repaired and those to walk away from. They discuss your diet and eating habits that need to be immediately modified. You will also learn how spirituality can affect your condition and many more. And in the end, it won’t be just depression you have gotten treatment for, you will immediately find that your total wellbeing has become greatly uplifted.

Whatever the case is, the most important aspect of the issue is that you seek treatment for your condition as soon as possible and begin to feel well in the closest possible time. With the right treatment, depression can be effectively managed and sufferers can get back to their normal, healthy lives.

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