Everyone has times in their lives where they feel down or unhappy. Some people feel that way for a few days or a few weeks. But, feeling down is not the same as having depression. Those who experience depression develop several symptoms that occur on a regular basis and do not go away over time. In fact, symptoms of depression often increase in number and intensity the longer that the depression goes untreated. This is a lifelong mental health condition that, while it cannot be cured, requires effective treatment to cope with. And, since depression impacts 9.5% of the American population, treatment is a necessity. That means that millions of individuals throughout the country are facing the several challenges that a mental illness like depression creates, including those who are being treated. But depression, just like most other mental health conditions, does not always stay dormant or controlled even when a person has the appropriate coping skills. Individuals can easily relapse when it comes to their depression, compromising their wellbeing. So, what are some of the causes of depression relapse?
5 Causes of Depression Relapse
If you have depression, the most important thing you can do is develop a strong set of coping skills to help you navigate this mental health condition. You may spend time working alongside a mental health professional for therapeutic services while also working with a nurse practitioner or other prescribing professional to ensure you are taking the appropriate medications for your depression. But, sometimes relapses in depression happen despite being treated or not getting the right care. Being aware of some of the common causes of depression relapse can help you identify, address, and prevent a relapse before it occurs.
#1. Not Getting Treated/Stopping Treatment
It can be easy to think that your depression is finally under control because you have received treatment. But, your depression only remains in control when you continue to focus on participating in therapies that increase your coping skills. If you stop going to therapy or quit taking your medication, you significantly increase your risk of experiencing a relapse in your depression. It is imperative to remember that even though you may be feeling good in regards to your depression, ignoring your continued needs for care can trigger a relapse.
#2. Experiencing a Hormonal Shift
Women often experience hormonal shifts, much more frequently than men. For example, most women experience their menstrual cycle once a month, which can cause changes in their hormonal balance during that time. Some women can feel more depressed than usual when they are mid-cycle or even in the days leading up to it. Also, pregnant women experience significant fluctuations in hormones over the nine months they are with child. Allowing these hormonal changes to happen without focusing on how to cope with them appropriately can easily lead to a relapse of depression.
#3. Going Through Trauma
Anytime anyone experiences a traumatic event, it is bound to leave behind some level of emotional damage. And, if you already have depression, the chances of you having a relapse are already increased. Traumatic events like the death of a loved one, a natural disaster, domestic abuse, or abandonment can give way for depression to re-root itself once more. If you do not address the trauma you have experienced, symptoms of your depression will only get worse as time passes.
#4. Substance Abuse
The abuse of drugs and/or alcohol can create a whole slew of complications for a person. But, if you already have depression, abusing drugs and alcohol can make your situation much worse. That is because mind-altering substances influence mood and behavior dramatically. Therefore, abusing them while also dealing with a mood disorder like depression can backfire significantly and serve as one of the most common causes of depression relapse.
It is common for people who are stressed to start to slack on taking care of themselves. They might not be sleeping as well, eating as healthy, or spending enough time doing things they loved. If you are overly stressed and allow that stress to impact your ability to take care of yourself, you may experience a relapse in your depression. Being stressed can make you forget about what is most important, such as your mental health. Avoiding stress at all costs can help to prevent this relapse from occurring.
Managing Triggers for Depression Relapse
There are several things that you can do to help manage your triggers for depression and prevent a full relapse. Some things to consider include:
- Regularly seeing a therapist
- Having continued appointments with a prescribing professional to discuss the efficacy of your medications
- Practicing good self-care, such as getting enough rest, eating well, and doing things that you enjoy
- Leaning on your support system of loved ones when you need help
- Participating in local support groups for others who are also experiencing depression
These are just some of the ways you can help prevent depression relapse. Speaking to a professional can help you develop the skills that work for you and your depression recovery best.
Depression Treatment at Neuroscience Institute
If you are experiencing depression and need help to get it under control, look no further. At Neuroscience Institute in Florida, we can help you overcome the challenges you are facing so that you can live a happy life free from the confines of depression.
So, do not wait any longer. Call us right now to learn more about how we can help you.