Treatment for Depression

Treating depression can prove to be difficult. It can be highly individualized from patient to patient. A study of the patient’s history including taking in biological, social and psychological factors can only be the most effective means of providing the best treatment for depression. There are three general means of treating depression. Doctors may use psychotherapy, medication and Electroconvulsive therapy in order to help a patient cope up with depression.

Psychotherapy

In treating depression with psychotherapy, the patient usually receives assistance in trying to understand and learn how to cope up with habits and problems that may contribute to the cause of depression. Psychotherapy session can be done either in groups or individually. This form of treatment for depression should only be done by experienced mental health professionals since they understand and have the capability to handle the different states of depression and provide necessary counseling that would be of great help to a patient.

Medication

Medication is another means of trying to treat depression. It is only those who suffer from moderate to severe depression who can benefit from the use of medication used to combat the disorder. Older medications used for treating depression include Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors or MAOI’s. This has proven to be the best treatment for a small number of patients. But these patients usually have to avoid taking certain foods as well as decongestant medication before taking MAOI’s since they may react to the medication and may possibly cause hypertensive crisis.

And because of the limitations of MAOI’s in treating depression, there have been other drugs that have been developed that may have fewer side effects than the older MAOI’s. Newer drugs include those that belong to the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) group of drugs such as citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline. Doctors may adjust the dosage and try different combinations of the antidepressant drugs to treat depression in different patients. The treatment may usually take a month or more before the effects may fully be seen and experienced.

Electroconvulsive therapy

The third treatment for depression is the use of Electroconvulsive therapy. This is also known as the electroshock treatment. This treatment makes use of short burst of controlled electric current applied to the patient to induce a short and artificial seizure to a patient under general anesthesia. ECT offers patients with a fast response treatment to their condition but is shown not to be lasting unless maintenance electroshock treatment and medication is applied. And since it is considered as a rapid response treatment, ECT is the treatment of choice especially during emergencies.

Alternative methods

side from the three general methods of treating depression, there are also alternative options that sufferers may opt for to treat their condition. Acupuncture has been seen to help in reducing depression in people who use it on a regular basis. Some studies show that it may also be as effective as the current medication being used. Light therapy may be another option that doctors may see to help treat other types of depression. Bright light has been seen to be effective in treating seasonal affective disorder. Meditation and exercise are also other alternatives that can be used to treat specific types of depression.