Many people suffer from depression, a mental health condition where a loss of interest in activities and depressed mood can make daily life a challenge. However, the surprising part of this illness is the number of sufferers who end up having a relapse. As long as you are aware of the warning signs and triggers, you can get treatment and back on the path to recovery quickly.
Early Signs of Relapse
Even when depression symptoms are under control, it’s very possible to slide back into depression. This is most likely to occur two months after treatment. Early signs of relapse include:
– Depressed mood
– Social withdraw
– Loss of interest in activities
– Feeling agitated
– Increased irritability
– Changes in appetite
– Changes in sleep patterns
– Physical aches and pains
– Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
– Concentration or memory problems
– Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Triggers of a New Episode
Certain events in your life can serve as a trigger that launches you into a new depressive episode. If you can be aware of these seven major triggers and avoid them, it can help you minimize your chances of relapse.
- Quitting treatment: Some people start to feel better and quit their treatment early or stop taking medications. If you don’t reach full remission, it’s easier to slip back into depression.
- Divorce: If you’ve already suffered from depression, getting divorced can significantly increase the chances for relapse.
- Traumatic events: Frightening events such as natural disasters or a terrorist attack can bring on a relapse.
- Death of a loved one: Grief is expected after a loss, but if it lasts for many months you may need extra help.
- Hormone changes: This is more common in women as hormones affect the brain chemistry that controls emotions and mood.
- An empty nest: Parents typically feel sad when their children leave home, but it could trigger depression is some people.
- Addictive behaviors: People with addictive behaviors are more likely to suffer from depression and eventually relapse.
How to Cope
If you notice these feelings or triggers starting to pop up in your life, get treatment help quickly and also try these coping mechanisms to help you through a relapse.
– Get through it with positive talk
– Nurture yourself (listen to music, take a bath, enjoy savory food, etc.)
– Reach out to others for help
– Keep up with treatment protocols and lifestyle changes your doctor suggested
Get the Help You Need
Remember that depression is an illness and not a personality flaw. Many people respond well to depression treatments programs – and the best way to prevent relapse is to stick to those plans. In many cases, your health professional will suggest changes that are important to implement in your life such as stress management and getting enough sleep. If you do feel a relapse coming on, don’t hesitate to reach out for help right away. Contact us today if you need a relapse treatment program so you can get back on the road to recovery.