Atypical Depression Treatment and Help

This page touches on a common method of atypical depression treatment, as well as briefly on important self help strategies and natural remedies which one could use.

Drug Medications

First and foremost, let us state our stand that, because the use of pharmaceutical drugs to treat depression usually fails to address the root causes of the problem, but in fact comes with many dangerous, even fatal, side effects, it should only be carried out as a last resort. This applies to any type of depression.

The most effective conventional treatment for atypical depression is said to be antidepressants. Unlike other forms of clinical depression, atypical depression does not respond well to tricyclic antidepressants. Therefore, this form of depression is treated with the help of monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs. In addition to MAOIs, atypical depression responds well to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Commonly recommended SSRIs include fluoxetine or Prozac, escitalopram or Lexapro, and paroxetine or Paxil.

There are certain conditions that need to be observed while persons are using MAOIs and SSRIs as atypical depression treatments. This is because these medications react with other drugs and certain types of food. Generally, persons on these medications are requested to follow a diet that recommends avoiding certain varieties of snacks and food.

Foods containing a chemical substance called tyramine should be avoided by persons on SSRI and MAOI. This is because the effect of these medications is nullified in the presence of tyramine. Tyramine is present in preserved cheese which is relatively older; pizzas which use cheese extensively; any food that uses cheese; meat items that are processed like pepperoni, sausages, and salami; soy and soy products including soy milk and soy flour; frozen food items; and in general any dressings or sauces that contain tyramine.

Another observation is that people who are undergoing atypical depression treatment should avoid alcohol. It not only reacts with the medication and decreases its effect, but there could be a tendency to use that as an escape mechanism every time one is feeling down and depressed. Chances are, people will then sink deeper into the habit, and this of course is not advisable.

In addition, MAOIs and SSRIs could react adversely with other medications, such as cold and cough medication, certain herbal products like ginseng, and diet pills. It is also advisable to reduce caffeine intake while undergoing treatment for atypical depression.

The diet prescribed for atypical depression patients must be observed for three to four weeks even after stopping MAOI and SSRI medications, because they will continue to react with tyramine if consumed during this period. Presence of tyramine can result in headaches, hypertension, visual impairment, and nausea.

Self Help Strategies and Natural Remedies

To supplement any form of atypical depression treatment one may be undergoing, people suffering from the condition should be encouraged to engage in activities that they enjoy because this condition responds well to positive stimulus and events. Friends and family should ensure that they are included in various fun activities and indulged to a certain extent so that they start seeing the brighter side of life and learn to get past their depressive moods.

Eating a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables as well as engaging in physical activity or exercise program, too, helps relieve some of their symptoms. If they are open to new experiences, they should certainly consider learning yoga and meditation, because these will help them relax and lead a stress-free life.

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    Atypical Depression Treatment and Help




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