Depression is a common mental disorder that includes feelings of sadness, loss, or anger. When you are depressed, you feel gloomy and sad, and you may think this will be forever. However, an effective therapy for depression treatment can get you out from the dark shadow of depression. So, if you are depressed and not living the life you want to, it’s time to seek some professional help.
There are various therapies available for depression treatment and a professional therapist can choose any one of them or combination of some therapies for your treatment. As we know that depression doesn’t affect the two people in the same way, there are different treatments for different persons. If a treatment works for you, it is not necessary that it will work for other people. It is recommended that you should inform your therapist as much as possible so that he can help you to get out of it.
Here, we will discuss the therapy for depression treatment that can help you to come out from it.
Diagnosis of depression
The first thing your therapist will do a diagnosis of your depression based on:
- Physical exam
Your therapist will do your physical examination of your health. He may also ask some questions about your health as sometimes a physical health problem can cause depression.
- Lab tests
After a physical health examination, your therapist may do a blood test to know your complete blood count. He can also perform a thyroid test to make sure that it is functioning properly.
- Psychiatric evaluation
In psychiatric evaluation, your doctor will ask you about your thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns. He may also give you a questionnaire to fill. It will help him in knowing your symptoms better.
- Categorize depression level
Based upon physical examination, lab tests, and psychiatric evaluation, your therapist will categorize your depression level according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-5). This is a standard manual, published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Steps in therapy for depression treatment
The combination of psychotherapy and medications is the most effective way to treat depression. Your psychiatrist will first prescribe some useful medications to relieve symptoms. If you have a normal depression, you will overcome it just by some medications and basic psychotherapy. But, if the depression level is severe, your doctor can advise you for a hospital stay to participate in a rigorous outpatient treatment program. You have to stay there until your condition improves.
Let’s have a closer look at the therapy for depression treatment.
Medication is the first step after diagnosis in the therapy for depression treatment. There are various types of antidepressants, and your psychiatrist will prescribe you some of them based on your depression level. These drugs include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), atypical antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Psychiatrists usually start medication by prescribing SSRIs as these are considered safe and have less side effects as compared to other antidepressants. Examples of SSRIs are citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, and vilazodone.
Other anti depression drugs such as tricyclic antidepressants can be very effective, but can have more side effects. These drugs usually prescribed after SSRI don’t show any improvement. Examples of tricyclic drugs are imipramine, nortriptyline, amitriptyline, doxepin, trimipramine, desipramine, and protriptyline.
If SSRI and tricyclic antidepressants don’t work, doctors may prescribe monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These drugs require a strict diet due to their dangerous interaction with certain foods, and can cause serious side effects.
After diagnosis and proper medication, the next step in therapy for depression treatment is psychotherapy or talk therapy. In this step, a psychiatrist discusses your mental condition and related symptoms with you.
There are different types of psychotherapies that can be effective for your depression. These therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. Following are the outcomes of psychotherapy:
- Overcome a mental crisis.
- Replace your negative beliefs and behaviors with healthy and positive ones.
- Strengthen your relationships and share your experience with them.
- Develop positive interactions with others.
- Figure out the innovative ways to solve problems.
- Identify and eliminate those reasons that contribute to your depression.
- Feel the sense of satisfaction and reclaim control of your life.
- Overcome hopelessness and anger which cause depression.
- Explore new realistic and exciting goals for your life.
- Learn and develop new habits that will uplift you from your current situation.
Alternate therapy for depression treatment
There may be different formats for therapy for depression treatment. It can provide an alternative to face-to-face therapy sessions, and can be an effective option for many patients. These therapy include online sessions, video calls, or exercise workbooks provided by a professional psychiatrist.
You should discuss all types of formats with your psychiatrist before choosing one. He knows your depression level better and will give you the best recommendation. Apart from that, there are several mobile apps, which can play a crucial role in depression treatment. You can consult your doctor to suggest best possible applications beside the main therapy for depression treatment.
Sometimes, hospital stay remains the only option due to the patient’s severe condition of depression. This option becomes important when a patient is not able to take care of himself or he is in immediate danger of harming himself or other people.
If your condition is severe and you are not getting any relief from above treatments, your doctor may recommend brain stimulation therapies for depression treatment. Let’s discuss two of them.
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
This is a well known alternative therapy for depression treatment, in which electrical pulses are passed through the patient’s brain to change the unusual activities of neurotransmitters. It would significantly relieve the patient’s depression. ECT is prescribed when other medications don’t work or a patient can not take antidepressants for health reasons or if a patient is at high risk of suicide.
2. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
TMS is another alternative therapy for depression treatment. It is also prescribed when a patient doesn’t get better with traditional medications and therapies. In this therapy, a treatment coil is placed near your brain to send short magnetic pulses. These pulses stimulate the neural network in the patient’s brain and break the depression pattern.
Apart from these traditional and alternative therapies and medications, you have to follow the foods, exercises, and daily habits recommended by your psychiatrist.
Depression has penetrated deeply in our society due to our daily habits and other mental pressures. We have described the diagnosis, medications and therapies for depression treatment which would help you to overcome it. Also, it is very important to strictly follow the recommended activities in order to get out of depression and relive a normal and healthy life.