There are many types of depression that include: major depression, chronic depression, seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder or manic depression; etc.
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Tips for Treating Depression
- Gather as many information about your depression as possible. The first step to treating depression is determining whether the symptoms the patient is experiencing are due to some underlying medical condition that needs to be treated first. Another factor is the severity of the depression. If the depression is highly severe, the treatment will have to be more intensive.
- Take the time to pick the right treatment. It may take a while before you find the right way to treat depression. This time will comprise of trials and errors prior to finding the perfect solution.
- Do not solely rely on medications. Medications are known to be the best way of relieving the symptoms of depression, but are not usually suitable for long-term use. There are other treatments that can help in the treatment and these include therapy and exercise. They can be just as effective as some medications and not cause side effects.
- Commit yourself to the treatment. Treatment for depression can take time and make the patient feel overwhelmed. This is quite normal and a patient should always commit themselves to the treatment.
- Social support. The social connections are good for treating depression. Talking to a friend or family member can help you in the process of fighting this condition. If you do not feel comfortable to do so, you could always try talking to a depression support group. It is sometimes easier to speak with someone who is going through the same things as you.
Lifestyle Changes for Treating Depression
- Regular exercise
Regular exercise can be as effective as any other treatment. Exercising is known to boost endorphins and serotonins, trigger the brain cells growth and connections. A half an hour daily walk or a stair climbing to your home instead of using the elevator can make huge difference. You could also try aerobics as a daily activity.
The physical and mental health can both be improved with proper nutrition. Eating well balanced meals every day can maintain high energy levels and minimize the depression mood swings.
- Enough sleep
Insufficient sleep can seriously harm the mood of the patient. When a patient does not get enough sleep, the depression symptoms may worsen. This happens because the deprivation from sleep can exacerbate irritability, sadness, moodiness and fatigue.
- Stress reduction
If you are suffering for depression, stress is not helping the process. A patient must make changes in life that will help them manage and reduce the everyday stress. Stress exacerbates depression and increases the risk for future depression.
Psychotherapy as Treatment for Depression
Talking therapy can be extremely effective when it comes to depression. Psychotherapy can help patients by giving them insight to help depression from returning.
There are many types of psychotherapy available. The most commonly used methods are cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and psycho dynamic therapy.
These therapies are used in order to teach patients of some practical techniques that can be used to reframe the negative thinking and combat depression. The focus is usually put on the root of the depression and showing the patient why they feel the way they feel.
Medications as Depression Treatment
The most advertised depression treatment is depression medication, but this is not always effective. This condition is not solely a chemical brain imbalance so medications are considered to relieve some symptoms, but cannot really cure the underlying problem. Curing depression is usually a long-term job.
In addition to other medications for depression, patients may be recommended to take antidepressants. These, combined with lifestyle changes can help speed the depression recovery process.
Antidepressants are used to lift the mood of the patient. The key chemicals are serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. The brain circuits that lack in these chemicals cannot work properly and this causes depression. Antidepressants are used to help these circuits improve their functioning by tweaking the chemicals that they use.
The most commonly used types of anti depressants include:
- SSRIs such as
- SNRIs such as
- Tricyclic antidepressants mainly affect serotonin and norepinephrine levels. They are effective, but can result in more side effects than many other drugs.
- MAOIs are an older treatment that works best in people who cannot be treated with other depression drugs. There are certain side effects that can occur if these medications are mixed with foods like cheese, aged meats and certain medications. These include
- Transdermal selegiline
- Stimulants and anti-anxiety drugs are also prescribed in cases of depression. These are most commonly recommended for people who suffer from other physical or mental conditions, but they have to be used in combination with others to treat depression.
- Medications used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. These are also used in addition to antidepressants in some cases.
Alternative Treatment for Depression
Alternative depression treatments include:
- Herbal supplements and vitamin supplements
It is not yet clear how herbal and vitamin supplements work in treating depressions. The reason is that there are so many different supplements now available over the counter and many of them positively affect the depression treatment in different ways. In cases of nutritional deficiency being one of the factors for the symptoms of depression, vitamin supplements may help in the treatment process. However, a healthcare professional should always be informed on anything a patient is planning to take.
There are certain natural and herbal supplements that may have side effects in combination with depression medications. This is why the doctor has to be informed on what the patient has decided to add to their current treatment.
Acupuncture is a technique of using needles on specific body points for therapeutic purposes such as treating depression. This Chinese treatment has been increasingly investigated recently and has shown to be a good depression treatment with promising results.
- Relaxation techniques
Relaxation does not only help relieve symptoms of depression, but can also reduce stress levels and boost happy feelings. These techniques include yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing and meditation.
Electroconvulsive or electroshock therapy is used to treat severe depression. This is something that is recommended in cases where the patient does not respond to other treatments.
This procedure involves sending painless electric current through the scalp to the brain of the patient. This current induces seizure.
ECT is an effective and safe depression treating treatment usually used in cases when a depressed person poses a threat to others or themselves.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
This is a device that treats major depression in cases where antidepressants did not work.
TMS is an electromagnetic coil that is being placed over the scalp in order to create a magnetic field that will send electric current to the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This is the region that is known to control mood.
The difference between TMS and ECT is the following:
- TMS uses smaller electric currents
- TMS targets a specific part compared to ECT that targets the whole brain
- TMS does not cause a seizure
- Patients do not need to be sedated during TMS
- Both are safe, but ECT has proven to be more effective
When it comes to depression, many wonder: how to treat depression? Treating depression is not an easy task, especially since it involves many factors such as depression type, health history, family health history and symptoms. Patients who suffer or experience depression symptoms should find a professional to guide them through the entire treatment and get informed as much as possible of the treatments that work in these cases. Medications are not the only cure for depression since this also an emotionally controlled disease. Talking about depression can actually help a lot.