Hardly anyone feels deliriously happy all the time.
Fluctuations in mood are natural and normal. However, if periods of
low mood are prolonged and persistent then it may indicate clinical
Feelings of sadness or depressed mood are natural reactions to
loss or unhappy events. However, in the case of clinical depression
the feelings of sadness and lowered mood are disproportionate and
prolonged. Usually the depressed mood will be accompanied by
feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, lack of self-worth,
pessimism and self-criticism.
In more severe cases suicidal thoughts and thoughts of self-harm
may also be present. These psychological symptoms influence the
central nervous system and may cause the patient to display a
variety of physical symptoms as well. The most common physical
symptoms being; fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, loss
of interest in activities previously enjoyed, headaches, body aches
and diminished sex drive.
Depression and anxiety quite often, but not always, go hand in
hand. Anxiety is a natural response to stresses. Just like
depression, however, it becomes a problem when the intensity and
duration of this response is out of proportion to the stimulus. For
instance, it is quite normal to feel anxious when confronted with a
dangerous or daunting task or even when placed in certain stressful
Sufferers of both depression and anxiety have a tendency to
withdraw and consequently an inclination to self-medicate. This can
lead to abuse of alcohol and other substances. Needless to say this
does not help their situation and can well lead to a rapid downward
spiral into total loss of control.
There are many treatments for depression and anxiety and the
treatment regimen must be customized to the individual
circumstances. However, the broad categories of treatment include:
1. Medication - Research has indicated that depression is often
accompanied by changes in the chemical balance in the brain. These
chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine affect the neurological
messages transmitted by the brain and the receptors of these
messages and can directly influence mood. Many modern medications
for depression such as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors
(SSRI's for short) attempt to correct this chemical imbalance and
can provide fast relief from nervousness, anxiety, agitation,
2. Psychological and cognitive therapies - These strategies aim
to influence the patient's behavior and thought processes and their
response to external stimuli
3. Strategies for coping - Stress is a part of normal daily life.
Teaching patients skills to cope and react to these stresses in a
positive manner can help to deal with anxiety and depression.
4. Alternative treatments and therapies - Herbal remedies such as
St John's Wort are commonly recommended for mild depression.
While depression and anxiety may appear to a third party to be a
totally unrealistic and irrational response, it is very real to the
patient. Support of family and/or a wider social network coupled
with appropriate and timely medical help is vital to stop its
The good news is that most depression and anxiety can be treated
effectively if the patient seeks help.
When following these treatments to control and cure acne, be sure
to adhere strictly to the guidelines prescribed by your doctor for