What are four ways of dealing with depression after relapsing? They are the use of anti-depressants, personal effort, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy.

Are you aware that depression may strike you more than once? In some cases, it may turn out to be a chronic illness, with two or more relapses. Generally, most depressed people experience about four reversions during their lifetimes. It is important to differentiate between a depression relapse and recurrence. According to medical doctors, depression relapse is another episode that occurs less than 6 months after treatment for severe depression. On the other hand, recurrence is another incident of depression that is experienced six months after treatment of a previous episode.

How to deal with depression relapse

As mentioned earlier, there are four main techniques for dealing with depression relapse. Let’s look at each of them.

1. Use of anti-depressants

There are special anti-depressants that doctors use to treat people who get depressed again less than six months after treatment. The drugs can be broadly classified into the following:

1. Selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors.
2. Norepinephrine & dopamine- reuptake-inhibitors.
3. Serotonin & norepinephrine- reuptake- inhibitors.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclics, and other older anti-depressants are rarely prescribed today given that they sometimes cause side effects, but the medications are very effective.

Additionally, your doctor may prescribe a combination of anti-depressant drugs with atypical stimulants, anti-psychotic drugs, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers.

2. Personal effort
Personal and deliberate effort is one of the four ways to deal with depression relapse.
Be active (both physically and mentally) by engaging in regular physical and mental exercises.
Educate yourself about the mental condition and how to prevent relapses. You can get the information from articles, radio and television broadcasts. Be a ferocious reader, listener, and viewer.
Engage in leisure activities that used to make you happy. Watch movies, listen to music, go for fishing expeditions and start reading novels once again, just like you used to do.

Postpone important decisions until your condition improves. The decisions may be about getting married, changing jobs, moving to a new location or separating from your partner. Before making important decisions, consult people who will have unbiased opinions about your situation.

Set realistic goals. Remember that the ancient city of Rome was not built in a single day. Large tasks should be broken down into small pieces. Set your priorities right. Do not try to achieve goals that will force you to strain. Spend time with friends, family, workmates and other people who care about you. Do not isolate yourself. Learn to confide in trustworthy people.

3. Psychotherapy
Counseling can help depressed people to better understand their condition, including additional issues that have probably emerged since the last treatment.

Psychotherapy can help affected people explore other ways of solving or coping with their problems. Additionally, people can learn techniques of managing their own actions and thinking, thus enabling them to feel relieved. There are two main forms of psychotherapy that are commonly applied: Inter-Personal Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

a) Inter-Personal Therapy is an effective strategy that helps depressed people understand and also work through complicated relationships or associations with people who are probably contributing to their mental state.

b) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of counseling that helps depressed people to determine negative actions and beliefs that contribute to their mental condition and change them as well. By replacing the patterns with behaviors and thoughts that are more realistic and healthy, people can avoid the traps that make their condition worse.

4. Electro-convulsive therapy
In situations whereby the condition is severe, puts the life of affected people at risk or fails to respond to treatment even with the use of anti-depressants, doctors usually perform electroconvulsive therapy.
It involves the administration of general anesthesia together with a chemical that relaxes muscles. Electric current is then passed through the patient’s brain, thus inducing a seizure. Electro-convulsive therapy alters the efficiency and working of brain parts that deal with emotional issues. Apart from ECT, there are other forms of brain stimulating techniques that can help deal with depression relapse. They are repetitive trans-cranial magnetic-stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation.

Some of the symptoms of relapse that you should watch out for include: irritability, inexplicable fatigue, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, rapid weight changes, loss of interest in your romantic partner and feelings of worthlessness.

Other signs are reduced concentration span, feelings of hopelessness, unexplained sleep changes and withdrawal from society, among others. Which are the four ways to deal with depression relapse? The answer is simple- use of anti-depressant drugs, personal effort, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy.