Below are some of the commonly used treatments for depression in the present.
Antidepressants work by stabilizing the chemicals in our brain that influence our emotions and mood. It is effective in reducing depressive symptoms especially among people who suffer moderate to severe depression. However, it usually takes up to three or four weeks before a change in mood is observed. Some people also have to try different types of antidepressants before they find the one which works best for them.
Generally, people who suffer moderate to severe depression also receive other treatments such as psychotherapy as the combination of both medication and psychotherapy treatment seems to give the best result. However, there may be side effects from taking antidepressant medicines and thus, doctors are required to monitor and work closely with the patients if the side effects are bringing significant negative impacts to the patients.
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is another effective treatment for depression. People with mental disorders seek treatment from mental health professionals who will attempt to figure out the causes of one’s depression and try to give solutions to patients for improvement.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT, a short-term and goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment, addresses one’s current problems by changing the person’s attitude and behavior about the issues that trouble them based on the concept that our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interconnected. This therapy can be accessed through various methods, either by face-to-face sessions with therapist, computerized CBT, self-help materials or group CBT. In the treatment session, patients will break down their problems into different parts, such as their thoughts, physical feelings and actions. The purpose of CBT is to introduce the patients to new information-processing skills and personal coping strategies which are applicable in their daily lives.
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
IPT, also a short-term and focused psychotherapy treatment, focuses on addressing interpersonal issues of the depressed patients. The concept behind this therapy is that one’s depressive symptoms can be treated through making necessary adjustments in patients’ interpersonal situations, such as helping them to improve their interpersonal and intrapersonal communication skills within relationships. This treatment is most commonly recommended to treat depression in children.
Psychodynamic therapy, an insight-oriented therapy, is a long-term psychotherapy treatment which focuses on one’s unconscious processes. This therapy allows patients to scrutinize the conflicts and symptoms caused by past unresolved conflicts. The outcome of this therapy is to either make changes to an aspect of one’s personality or the unconscious maladaptive functioning developed at early stage that has caused difficulties in life.
One of the most commonly known brain stimulation treatments for depression is electroconvulsive therapy. In brain stimulation treatments, the brain is either activated or inhibited directly using electricity. These treatments are used less frequently as compared to medication and psychotherapy.
ECT, also known as shock therapy, is used to treat patients with severe major depression that are not responsive to other treatments. ECT involves stimulating the brain whereby seizures are electrically induced in patients and this therapy has been proven to quickly relieve symptoms in patients who are severely depressed. Despite its effectiveness, ECT cannot cure depression. Patients are required to continue with the other treatments after going through ECT.
There are so many treatments available for major depressive disorder, which clearly indicates that the statement which says depression cannot be treated is not true. Therefore, for people with depressive symptoms, keep going, because there is light at the end of the tunnel as long as you don’t give up halfway.