Despite increasing public awareness about mental health issues, myths about depression still abound. Because this disease is the number one mental health issue affecting Americans, you should be able to sep arate the facts from myths about depression, especially when it comes to treatment for depression.
According to one popular myth, depression is incurable; once someone becomes depressed, he has no hope for recovery. Luckily, many types of treatment for depression, including the new NeuroStar TMS TherapyÂ¨ system, are proving to be effective.
Treatment for Depression vs. Sadness
Before you require depression treatment, you’ll need to be able to distinguish between depression and ordinary sadness. Sadness is a reaction to something emotionally painful, like the loss of a loved one. The difference between normal sadness and depression has to do with the symptoms.
Common signs that you may need depression therapy include:
- Excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Inability to think or concentrate
- Rapid weight change (gain or loss)
- Sleep issues (too much or too little)
- Thoughts of suicide.
Doctors may recommend treatment for depression if you experience five or more of these symptoms most days, for at least two months. An individual should get therapy for depression immediately if he has suicidal thoughts or a specific suicide plan.
Depression Treatment Overview
As you can see, depression is different from sadness. Sadness, unfortunately, will be part of everyone’s life at one time or another. However, suffering a setback, trauma or loss doesn’t always have to cause depression.
The good news for depression sufferers is that many methods of treatment for depression are available. Gone are the days when people simply had to live with it. You may want to discuss the following depression treatment methods with your doctor:
- Behavioral therapy: This type of therapy for depression helps the patient develop real-life coping skills to combat depression.
- Cognitive therapy: This type of depression therapy addresses thought patterns that contribute to depression, including overly critical self-evaluation and pessimism.
- Medication: Medication can address the brain chemical imbalances associated with depression. However, antidepressants shouldn’t be used as a sole treatment for depression.
- NeuroStar TMS TherapyÂ¨ system: This non-invasive depression therapy uses magnetic fields to stimulate precise regions of the brain. The NeuroStar TMS TherapyÂ¨ system has been approved by the FDA and is available as an outpatient procedure without sedation. This therapy for depression has proven successful, even when depression medication has not.
- Psychotherapy: A supportive counselor trained in this type of therapy for depression can help ease the pain of depression by addressing feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness.
- Other therapy for depression: Other types of treatment for depression, including acupuncture, herbal supplements, and healthy diet and exercise, may be beneficial. On its own or in addition to other depression therapy methods, any of these may help treat depression.
With so many available depression treatment methods, you’ll want to consult with your doctor to see which is best for you.
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Health Information Publications Staff. (n.d.). Other treatments for depression. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from the eHealthMD website: www.ehealthmd.com/library/depression/depression_other.html.
Health Information Publications Staff. (n.d.). What is depression? Retrieved May 6, 2010, from the eHealthMD website: www.ehealthmd.com/library/depression/depression_whatis.html.
Neuronetics Staff. (2009). The NeuroStar TMS therapy system. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from the Neuronetics website: neuronetics.com/Prod-System.aspx.