Chronic depression (also called dysthymia, or persistent depressive disorder) is a mood disorder that causes the feeling of emptiness, low self-esteem, and many other negative feelings. It’s usually associated with other disorders such as panic and bipolar disorder.

Luckily, nowadays, there are many treatment options to choose from. Medication and therapy are the most common, although there are many lesser-known methods, too.

It’s up to you whether you want a more invasive or natural approach.

1. Medication

The causes and symptoms of depression vary from person to person. There are many types of depression medications, as well. The main goal is to find the one that will work best and do the least damage in the long run.

The most common antidepressants are serotonin-based. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates your mood and social behavior. In fact, lack of serotonin leads to depression. Serotonin-based antidepressants are much milder than some other antidepressants and have fewer side effects. That’s why it’s better to start the treatment with them.

In cases where serotonin-based antidepressants don’t work, stronger medication is recommended. Antidepressants such as tricyclic and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are more effective, but they can have severe side effects. They usually require a strict eating regime in order to avoid these side effects.

2. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is obviously much less invasive than drugs because it is based solely on talking about the issues with a licensed professional.

As there are many forms of depression, there are many forms of therapy, too.

First, you can choose to have individual therapy, participate in group therapy, or family therapy. Usually, individual therapy is the way to go when dealing with depression alone, but family therapy can be helpful if you’re having a family-related issue. Also, group therapy can help individuals vocalize their problems publicly and amp up their social skills. It’s best to combine all three forms – that way it’s most effective.

The most common psychotherapy method for dysthymia is cognitive-behavioral therapy (or CBT). CBT is all about adjusting the way a person thinks by directing them to more realistic or positive thoughts. Interpersonal therapy is also a popular method with depression.

3. Combined therapy

As already mentioned, a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy is the most popular way to treat chronic depression.

Antidepressants help regulate your mood and they are effective right away. However, they are not enough to get rid of dysthymia permanently. Antidepressants without therapy are like ‘sweeping the dust under the rug’ – it’s not actually taking care of the problem. Psychotherapy deals with depression long-term by teaching the patient how to cope with it or direct their thoughts so it doesn’t show up again.

The two combined together is by far the most effective way to treat chronic depression.

4. Natural Ways

Although depression makes it really hard to find the motivation to do activities, it’s very important to try. Believe it or not, some unconventional methods were proven to help relieve stress and depression symptoms. Maybe their effects are not as apparent as with antidepressants, but they certainly do your body and mind good. Practiced along with other forms of therapy, they can be even more effective.

The first natural method is exercising. When exercising and breaking a sweat, your body releases endorphins as a response to pain. Endorphins prevent pain signals to reach your brain, producing a euphoria-like feeling and inducing happiness. Daily exercise can certainly be useful in regulation of chronic depression symptoms.

Also, some patients revealed that use of herbs and aromatherapy helped them a lot. A good diet can help, as well.

Long story short – there are many ways you can contribute to your depression treatment without much effort.

5. CBD Oil

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a mixture of hemp and cannabis plant oils. Unlike many strong medications and antidepressants, CBD oil has no side effects whatsoever.

CBD affects the nervous and immune system primarily by releasing its neurotransmitters. That way, CBD affects a person’s appetite, mood, emotional behavior, as well as cognitive functions such as memory and pain perception.

Besides depression, CBD can help with many other illnesses and disorders, for example anxiety, skin conditions, epilepsy, PTSD and many more.

Find out more about managing chronic depression with CBD oil and perhaps start changing your life today.

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