4 Options for Treatment for Depression

DepressionIt is important that people who are struggling with depression seek treatment as soon as is reasonably possible.  It can affect virtually all areas of your life including work and relationships.  There is also a correlation between depression and addiction since people with his mental condition are prone to alcohol and substance abuse.  

It is not always easy to find the root cause of this mental condition.  It can be caused by environmental or biological factors.  This means that there is no one size fits all when it comes to treatment for depression.  The options can be divided into two major groups, physical and psychological.

Psychological Treatment

This treatment should only be provided by a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.  It may sometimes also include the use of medication, even though that is not always necessary.  Psychological treatment may include the following therapies.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This is one of the most reputable therapies used in treating depression.  CBT seeks to find patterns of thought that led to depression.  Once the negative thought patterns are identified, they are validated and replaced with new thought patterns.  Part of the reason CBT is very effective is the fact that sessions are goal oriented.  A goal is set before each session and both the therapist and the patient work towards the set objective.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): Interpersonal Therapy seeks to address the role of relationships in facilitating depression.  It acknowledges that relationships do not ultimately cause it, however, it recognizes that depression often happens in that context.  The therapist is required to strictly adhere to strategies that have been proven by research.  Some studies suggest that it is more effective than anti-depressants in treating mild and moderate forms of depression.

Counseling: The sessions will be conducted by a counselor who will provide an environment where you can share your thoughts and feelings without judgment.  The counselor will give the patient some control, while at the same time trying to pinpoint his emotional responses.  

Medication and Depression

Medication can also be useful in treating depression.  This mental condition is treated with antidepressants.  Antidepressants facilitate the availability of neurotransmitters which affect for brain circuits responsible for emotions. Some of the medication includes:

  • SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors): Alters the levels of serotonin in the brain.
  • TCA (Tricyclic antidepressants): It alters the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain.  It is a common antidepressant but it is not always the best due to its side effects.
  • SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors): a newer form of antidepressants that change the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine.

The main problem with antidepressants is that they do not address the root cause of depression.  Depression can be caused by psychological, social, and physiological factors.  Changing the brain’s chemistry does not address all the physiological factors that lead to depression.  It is, nevertheless, useful when it comes to managing severe cases.

Lifestyle Changes

Treatment for depression does not have to involve formal therapies.  Some lifestyle changes can help people with mild and moderate levels of this mental condition avoid the use of medication and therapy.

Exercise: Some studies suggest that exercise is just as effective as antidepressants in treating depression.  It was also found that the positive effects of exercise last longer than those of antidepressants.  

Sleep: Sleep and depression are interrelated.  Sleep may cause depression and vice versa.  Getting at least the recommended 7 hours of sleep per day is advisable.

Social support

Seek the support of family and friends that you trust.  Alternatively, you can join a support group within your local area for people with depression.   

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