You battled depression before. You felt fatigued and had no energy to do anything, your thoughts became increasingly negative, and you struggled just to get out of bed in the morning. It was awful. Luckily, you were able to find a doctor to help you. With the help of both medical treatment and therapy, you were a whole new person again. You could feel more, do more, and sleep a normal amount. Everything seemed great until all of a sudden, you noticed the depression was back. If you are getting medical care and therapy, then why does your depression keep returning?
Depression should be diagnosed and treated by a psychiatrist. They are medical doctors, and your brain is their specialty. They can properly diagnose depression, as well as other factors that might be contributing to your depression. There are so many different types of depression, and so many other co-occurring mental health issues that can impact your depression. These variables are best handled by an expert to give you the best chances for success in treating your depression.
Because depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain, medication which allows those chemicals to be regulated is the most effective and proven treatment for depression. As psychiatrists are medical doctors, they can determine whether or not you need medication and determine which medication or medications are best suited to help you with your specific type of depression. They are also available for consultation if you have new symptoms or side effects that are too extreme and you need to change your dosage or medication.
One of the biggest reasons that depression recurs is due to less than 100% compliance with the prescribed medical treatment. If you miss any doses or stop taking your medication altogether, then the chances of your depression returning are very high.
Think about what would happen if you were diabetic, a condition in which insulin is not properly regulated in your body. You can become very sick. Because you feel so poor physically, you may go to your doctor and follow his dietary instructions carefully, including taking insulin as prescribed, if necessary. When your insulin levels stay normal, you feel good.
The same is true with depression. If your serotonin levels do not stay at normal levels in the right parts of your brain, you will become depressed. You won’t feel good. It is important that you take as good of care of your brain as you do the rest of your body, especially since your brain is in charge of the rest of your body. When your serotonin levels stay normal, you feel good. They don’t have the technology available yet for you to monitor your serotonin levels like you can monitor your blood sugar levels, so that is why it is so important for you to take every dose of medication prescribed by your doctor and let them know if you still have symptoms.
If you have been depressed once, you know you don’t want that again. You can learn what the indication signs are that you are “crashing.” Like feeling tired for no reason. Having other sleep interruptions. Feeling unhappy and grumpy, having a short temper, and not just because Instagram is down. Your body kind of slows down, you may have troubles concentrating, and lose interest in the things that you normally love to do. Sometimes, you may just feel overwhelmed and helpless about everything. When you can notice these things early, you can be proactive and contact your doctor before it gets any worse.
The Value of Therapy
One of the best ways to be proactive is to see a therapist. Even if you are doing okay, it’s good to check in every once in a while and talk about your mood, the stressors you have, and if you feel healthy mentally or not. A therapist can help you see when your demeanor, words, and behavior are healthy or if you seem to be sliding down. Therapists cannot prescribe medications, but they can help you learn to notice your mood and other indications that depression may be returning.
Hopefully you learn to catch your depression before you even get close to the thoughts about not wanting to live. That is a huge danger zone that you want to avoid at all costs, because suicide takes no prisoners. If you can notice the symptoms of depression well before it reaches those levels, you might just save your life.
Why does your depression keep returning? The most common reason is lapse in compliance with your medical treatment. You may have other mental health issues, hormones can greatly influence your moods, and there are other contributing factors, too, such as stressors and events in your life. However, if you are seeing your psychiatrist as prescribed, and contacting them when you have any significant changes or side effects, and you are seeing your therapist regularly, then your depression should not be recurring. Depression that keeps returning can be treated properly. Even if it is not your fault at all, you are still responsible to advocate for your mind and see your doctor when you need help. You have the power to find the best care for your mental health. You have the power to feel good.
Embark is the most trusted name in teen and young adult mental health treatment. We’re driven to find the help you need. If you’re looking for support, contact us today!