No one should have to live with depression. Left untreated, depression symptoms can be truly debilitating and even life threatening. With appropriate treatment for depression, however, these symptoms can be managed.
Depression is not a sign of inner weakness. It is a disease, which, like many other diseases, can be fought and overcome.
Depression Treatment Options
A wide variety of treatment options are available for people dealing with depression. Since each person experiences depression differently, treatments vary from person to person. Some methods of treatment for depression include:
- Brain stimulation (such as vague nerve stimulation or TMS)
- Medication (such as antidepressants)
- Natural remedies, such as herbal supplements and meditation
- Support groups.
Medication for Depression
Weapons used in the fight against depression are more sophisticated and varied than ever before. Newer medications for depression are safer, with far fewer side effects than those used as recently as 10 years ago.
The most commonly prescribed types of medication for depression are selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Depression is linked to decreased levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood. SSRIs prevent certain nerve cells from re-absorbing too much serotonin, increasing their levels in the brain.
Unfortunately, since serotonin also affects many other bodily functions, including libido, sleep and appetite, SSRIs often cause drowsiness, nausea and sexual problems.
If SSRIs don’t effectively relieve depression symptoms, doctors may try other methods of drug therapy for depression, such as older classes of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Since these medications are stronger than SSRIs and cause more severe side effects, they are typically only used after attempting other treatments for depression.
Therapy for Depression
While medication for depression is often effective at relieving depression symptoms, some experts argue that it fails to address the root problem behind the disease. For this reason, therapy is often a more effective treatment for depression, as the results can last a lifetime and aren’t dependent on taking a daily pill. Therapy can help depressed individuals improve relationships, set healthy boundaries and work through problems.
Local depression treatment centers can provide information on depression and treatment options that may be right for you, including therapy for depression.
Additional Depression Treatment Options
In most cases, treatment for depression is most effective when several different approaches are used simultaneously; psychotherapy and drug treatment often go hand-in-hand. Antidepressants may help eliminate the energy-sapping symptoms of depression, making it easier for the sufferer to receive therapy for depression.
Adding a support group gives depressed individuals a sense of community and understanding. In addition, self-help techniques will help patients control their lives. With such a variety of treatments for depression, this disorder may be successfully overcome.
In some cases, therapy is ineffective and medications don’t work or cause unpleasant side effects. In these cases, doctors may prescribe alternative treatments. These treatments may include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).
Some patients opt to augment their prescribed treatments with natural or holistic remedies, such as herbal supplements or guided meditation. Speak to your doctor if you’re considering altering your depression treatment plan, since some herbal supplements will negatively interact with prescription medication you may be taking.
Depression Guide. (2004). Depression guide: ADHD anxiety depression symptoms, help, causes, types, treatment and medication. Retrieved June 3, 2010, from http://www.depression-guide.com/.