Updated: May 18
Everything you need to know to overcome depression
Table of content
On demand of many of my patients and friend circle I am writing this self help depression treatment starter guide. I am covering everything that you want to know to overcome depression.
I will repeat again and again that depression is just a condition and not an illness my friend. I have mentioned this fact in most of my blogs, videos and ebooks. When you keep your mental health aligned, you will find happiness and a feel-good factor readily available for you.
In depression your mental health is on stake. I completely understand what you are going through my friend. But do not worry. I am with you. You are not alone at all. This starter guide will help you for sure so keep on reading with patience and faith.
Who can use this starter guide?
I am writing this starter guide for:
You who are going through depression and are willing to come out of depression without using medicines.
Your friend or family member who is going through depression and you want to help them to get rid of depression.
You who do not know whether you are in depression or not and want to find out your depression status.
I have been treating depression patients for 25+ years. Therefore I thought I must create a starter guide so that whosoever is going through depression can benefit out of it. Many misunderstandings about depression will get cleared once you go through this blog.
Yes I also know that there is a lot of confusion about depression and its treatments. But do not worry, I know you will come out of depression. Just keep reading and follow the guidance given in this starter guide.
Why Self Help Depression Treatment?
My friend now it's been more than 25 years as an integral psychotherapist. I have come across 1000s of people. Self help is the best help one can get. Remember that when you opt for self help it is an indicator that you have will-power and you are strong within.
Yes you might have heard many negative statements from people around you about yourself. But please ignore those sentences. You are strong within. You can still use your will-power and overcome depression or any other issue you are going through in life.
When you make the decision about self help depression treatment it is a confirmation in your conscious and subconscious mind that you will no longer remain gloomy. You will bring change in your life.
You will overcome depression. This conviction is affirmed in your mind when you are on the path of self help depression treatment. Self help also means that you have taken control of your life. You no longer give your life control to others.
How to use this starter guide?
First of all I want you to be relaxed. Be at ease. While reading this starter guide just take a few deep breaths every 2-3 paragraphs you read.
Read this full blog at once if you are comfortable reading it. Or else you can take a break in between and then come again to continue your reading.
Once you go through this entire guide, come back again after a few days to re-read. Sometimes many concepts are such that which we are unable to understand on our first reading hence it is best to re-read that information again.
Self Help Depression Treatment Starter Guide: Everything you need to know to overcome depression blog will surely make you feel more confident once you will get clarity on depression.
Symptoms of depression
There are a couple of symptoms of depression. However, do not overthink about every symptom. Overthinking will not at all help you to overcome depression.
As I have told you earlier, depression is a condition. It affects mental health via a person's mood, thoughts, behaviour, and physical health. It is a common condition that can cause feelings of sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities that a person used to enjoy.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects more than 264 million people worldwide, and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, and they can range from mild to severe. The following are the common symptoms of depression:
Persistent sadness, feeling of emptiness or hopelessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable
Fatigue or loss of energy
Sleep disturbances (insomnia, oversleeping, or waking up early in the morning)
Appetite or weight changes
Difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering things
Feelings of worthlessness, guilt or helplessness
Recurrent thoughts of death, suicide or self-harm
Restlessness or irritability
Physical symptoms such as headaches, body aches, or digestive problems
I want you to remember that not everyone with depression experiences all of these symptoms. In fact, some people with depression may only have a few symptoms, while others may have several. It is also common for people with depression to have other mental health conditions such as anxiety, substance abuse, or eating disorders.
If you are not sure whether you have depression or not then I recommend you use the online depression test developed by Yaha. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help. Depression is a treatable condition, and early diagnosis and treatment can improve outcomes.
So far in this starter guide I introduced you to what depression is, what is self help treatment, and the symptoms of depression. Now let us dive a little deep. I want to guide you on something very important when it comes to depression. Many people have made this mistake of taking antidepressants without consulting doctors.
My friend, I request you not to do this at all. I know you are depressed. But this short-cut will never help you at all. Please read further about antidepressants and their side effects.
So if you are taking any antidepressants I will suggest that before you stop your medicines, please get confirmation from your doctor. If you are thinking that you want to take antidepressants because you are in depression then my friend take a breath. Relax! You cannot take such a decision on your own when it comes to medicines.
Antidepressants have side effects and you never know it can make your condition worse. Therefore do not take any antidepressants without a consulting professional health expert. There is a huge amount of information on the internet about everything and anything.
However, it does not mean that by reading a few articles you become an expert and take medicines on your own.
You have no idea that there are several classes of antidepressants, each with its own mechanism of action and potential side effects. Let me share a few examples just for you so that you can understand what I mean to say.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs):
SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants. They work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can change mood and reduce anxiety. Examples of SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and escitalopram (Lexapro).
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs):
SNRIs work by increasing the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. This can improve mood and reduce anxiety. Examples of SNRIs include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs):
TCAs work by blocking the reuptake of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. They are not as commonly prescribed as SSRIs or SNRIs due to their potential side effects. Examples of TCAs include amitriptyline (Elavil) and nortriptyline (Pamelor).
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs):
MAOIs work by blocking the activity of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. They are not as commonly prescribed as SSRIs or SNRIs due to their potential side effects and interactions with certain foods and medications. Examples of MAOIs include phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate).
Now here are some potential side effects of these antidepressants - nausea, headache, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and weight gain. In few rare cases, antidepressants can also increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviours, particularly in children and young adults.
Therefore, never take antidepressants on your own. Just visit a professional health expert. And post your checkup and session if the expert prescribes you only then you use that prescription.
It is important to work closely with a healthcare provider when taking antidepressants to monitor for side effects and ensure proper dosing.
I have met so many people in the last few years who have taken antidepressants on their own and their case had gotten worse. The first thing I always ask my patients is that who prescribed you antidepressant, show me the written prescription. When I ask them for a written prescription, they tell me the truth that they themselves have taken the medicines.
Therefore, before you make your decision to take antidepressants I want you to read some more side effects.
Common side effects of antidepressants
Nausea: Antidepressants can cause stomach upset and nausea in some individuals. This side effect is most common in the first few weeks of treatment and often improves over time.
Dry mouth: Antidepressants can reduce saliva production, leading to a dry mouth. This side effect can be alleviated by drinking more fluids or using a saliva substitute.
Dizziness: Antidepressants can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up quickly or after prolonged periods of sitting or lying down.
Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches while taking antidepressants.
Insomnia: Antidepressants can disrupt sleep patterns and cause insomnia in some individuals. This side effect is most common with SSRIs.
Sexual dysfunction: Antidepressants can cause sexual side effects, such as decreased libido, difficulty achieving orgasm, or erectile dysfunction. This side effect is most common with SSRIs and SNRIs.
Weight gain: Some antidepressants can cause weight gain, particularly tricyclic antidepressants and some atypical antidepressants.
Sweating: Antidepressants can cause excessive sweating, particularly at night.
Agitation: Some individuals may experience agitation, restlessness, or anxiety while taking antidepressants.
Suicidal thoughts: In rare cases, antidepressants can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviours, particularly in children, adolescents, and young adults. Close monitoring by a healthcare provider is important during the first few weeks of treatment.
If you are on medication then I will suggest that you do not stop your antidepressants without consulting your doctor. If you are taking antidepressants on your own then I recommend that you must immediately contact a nearby doctor and get approval. It is not at all advisable to take antidepressants on your own.
Now let us understand where depression comes from.
Causes of depression
Depression may seem like a complex and multifaceted mental health condition. However, remember it is a condition and not a disease. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to depression, which means that they are more likely to develop the condition if a family member has also experienced it.
Brain chemistry: Imbalances in neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, can contribute to depression.
Environmental factors: Traumatic events, such as abuse, neglect, or the death of a loved one, can trigger depression. Chronic stress, financial difficulties, and other life stressors can also contribute.
Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain, thyroid disorders, and neurological conditions, can increase the risk of developing depression.
Substance abuse: Substance abuse, particularly of alcohol or drugs, can lead to depression.
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can contribute to depression.
Personality traits: Certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem, a negative outlook on life, and a tendency to worry excessively, can increase the risk of developing depression.
It is important to note that depression may often result from a combination of these factors, and not all people who experience these risk factors will develop depression. Therefore to overcome depression I suggest you find out your depression status. You may also seek professional help.
Let us understand further various types of depression.
Types of depression
There are several types of depression categories. However, for you to know the basic terminologies here is a short list:
Severe depression also known as major depression or clinical depression
I am not going to bore you with all the details about each type of depression. Sometimes, when we read such details our mind enters into an overwhelming state. This activates fear in us. Then we are in the loop of overthinking. Our imagination goes everywhere.
I will repeat again, do not worry. Depression is a condition from which you can be released. I know you are feeling imprisoned. This sadness is killing you. But don't you worry my friend. You are not alone at all. I am with you in this journey to overcome depression.
Yes these different types of depression are there but we will work on it. When you are on self help depression treatment one thing you need to be clear that your will-power is your magical tool. This will bring you out from any condition no matter how worse you are feeling about that condition.
With self help depression treatment you are going to feel much better. You will get back to a better life. Therefore keep reading and learn more about self help depression treatment.
Now that you are ready with the basic understanding about depression I am going to tell you some essential things for self help depression treatment. The famous term DIY (Do it yourself) is good even for depression treatment.
45 days self help depression treatment
I want you to read this section carefully my friend. This starter guide is a result of successful intervention with 1000s of depression patients. Therefore, everything that I have said earlier comes from powerful experience. Hence, I am able to tell you that do not worry you will come out of depression with self help for sure.
Now that you are ready for self help depression treatment I want to congratulate you on this powerful decision. Remember, any self help treatment should be taken for a minimum of 45 days when it comes to any type of depression.
For self help depression treatment you will need music therapy, positive affirmations, writing therapy and mirror therapy. If you want to access all these therapies at one place then you can always subscribe to a depression treatment 45 days plan.
Why I am suggesting 45 days is because the body and mind has its rhythm. There is a definite growth pattern in every human brain. If you observe, the medical practitioner gives the prescription of repeated dosage of medicine for particular days depending on acute or chronic diseases symptoms.
If you are in depression for a longer period say 2 to 5 years, then I would suggest you to continue the self help depression treatment for at least a year. However, if you are in depression for 3 to 6 months then 45 days to 90 days of treatment is essential.
Even if you have mild depression I will suggest you to go for 45 days self help treatment. For mild depression 30 days treatment is advised earlier, which is a fact. However, when you take an extra mile it has greater benefits. Sometimes aftereffects can play a major role, therefore when you finish your depression treatment course for 30 days you may feel good.
But to further prevent a depression attack, extra 15 days of treatment comes to you as a blessing in disguise. Therefore I am recommending 45 days treatment even for mild depression.
Things to take care during treatment
When you are treating depression on your own I suggest you create a specific routine for your treatment. Routine always helps in faster recovery. If you feel overwhelmed while doing your treatment process then take a break. Relax yourself. Take a pause. And begin your treatment again once you are feeling better.
Materials you will need during treatment
Well friend, for self help depression treatment here are the few things you should keep handy with you:
Notebook, pen/pencil, colours - To create your depression treatment plan and track your progress
Headphones/earphones - To use during treatment process for music therapy and listening affirmations
Printed Flashcards - To use it whenever you have negative thought attacks and for mirror therapy.
Printed affirmation diary - To write your depression affirmations as part of writing therapy during your treatment.
Mirror - To use for mirror therapy along with flashcards
If you have a yoga mat and other workout equipment it will be like a bonus for you.
Hand holding support during treatment
At this point I will suggest that you invite someone whom you can trust. The one who can help you in your journey. It’s like a buddy who constantly motivates you to keep you on track during your treatment.
Next I am going to give you all the necessary resources that will help you to get rid of depression on your own. Self help depression treatment is possible using your own will-power.
I have been boosting your confidence till now and I am sure you must have felt this boost. I am sure you will overcome depression soon. My full support is with you.
Resources on depression treatment
Here are two types of resources I am sharing with you. One type is completely free resources and the other type is paid resources. I will suggest you look into both types of resources for depression.
These resources are created with a lot of research and development only to offer a powerful support system for people in depression. You do not have to spend a lot of time researching and searching options for depression treatment. These depression resources are made available at one click for you.
Join forum - Ask your question to me (Dr. Falguni Jani)
Read blog - Develop more understanding related with depression
Discover - Find your answers for a particular question
Check yourself - Self diagnosis tool to find depression status
Read ebook - Gain full knowledge
Read Ebooks on Depression
Join Online Courses on Depression Treatment
Download Self Help Depression Treatment Kits
Download Self Help Diagnosis Tools
Subscribe - 45 Day Treatment Plan for men and women
Subscribe - 45 Day Treatment Plan for women
I have given all the necessary information to begin your self help depression treatment. If have have not understood anything I suggest you to re-read that section.
Feel free to share your comments below post reading this self help depression treatment starter guide.
I pray for your wellbeing.
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National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Depression. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
Royal College of Psychiatrists. (2022). Depression. Retrieved from https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/problems-disorders/depression
Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Depression. Retrieved from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Depression. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/depression/index.htm
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Depression. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/mental-health/depression
World Federation for Mental Health. (2018). Depression: A Global Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.wfmh.global/wpcontent/uploads/2018/10/WFMH_Depression_Factsheet.pdf
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Cleveland Clinic. (2022). Antidepressants. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/17772-antidepressants
MedlinePlus. (2022). Antidepressants. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/antidepressants.html
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Healthline. (2022). Types of Antidepressants: Uses, Side Effects, and More. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/types-of-antidepressants
Psychology Today. (2022). Antidepressants. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/antidepressants
Verywell Mind. (2022). Antidepressants: What They Are, How They Work, Types, and Side Effects. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/antidepressants-what-you-need-to-know-1067135
Drugs.com. (2022). Antidepressants: List of Medications & Types. Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/drug-class/antidepressants.html
Medical conditions: "Depression and chronic medical illness" - American Psychological Association (https://www.apa.org/topics/depression/chronic-illness)
"Depression" - National Institute of Mental Health (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml)
"Postpartum Depression: What You Need to Know" - American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/postpartum-depression)