Depression TreatmentMassapequa, NY
Anyone who consistently finds themselves dealing with a loss of interest in life and feelings of sadness can benefit from depression treatment. Also known as clinical depression and major depressive disorder, depression affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It can lead to a variety of physical and emotional issues like low energy and anxiety.
People who struggle with depression often have a difficult time performing normal day-to-day activities. The condition can lead to suicidal thoughts and it is more likely to develop as a person gets older.
Depression should not be confused with simply having the blues. It is not something a person can simply snap out of. It is a serious mental health issue that sometimes requires long-term treatment to improve the patient’s quality of life. Fortunately, there are effective ways to treat depression like transcranial magnetic induction (TMS), drugs like antidepressants, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes.
What to expect with depression treatment
Depression might be a one-time thing for some people, but most people tend to have multiple episodes. People with depression often find themselves dealing with symptoms most of their time, virtually every day. Common symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, tearfulness, or sadness
- Feeling frustrated, irritated, or angry about insignificant things
- Loss of pleasure in most normal activities like sports, hobbies, or sexual activity
- Excessive sleeping or insomnia
- Constantly feeling fatigued
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt about past failures
- Regular thoughts about death or suicide
- Difficulty remembering things or concentrating
- Unexplainable physical issues like back pain
People with depression often have a challenging time keeping up with their work and other obligations. Their symptoms often end up negatively impacting their relationships and interactions with others. This often leads to a person’s depression intensifying.
Why you might need depression treatment
There is still a lot to learn about the causes of depression, but factors that make some people more prone to the condition than others include:
- Biological changes: People who struggle with depression often have physical changes that take place in the brain. How these changes lead to depression is still uncertain
- Brain chemistry: Neurotransmitters in the brain regulate chemicals that might play a role in depression. How these neurotransmitters interact with neurocircuits that control mood is also a factor for the condition
- Hormones: Changes in a person’s hormones can also trigger depression. For example, hormone changes that take place during and after pregnancy have been linked to depression
- Family history: People with family members who struggle with depression are more likely to struggle with the disorder as well
Depression treatment options
Medication like antidepressants and psychotherapy are effective ways to treat depression. For many patients, these treatments are enough to lead to significantly reduced symptoms. Patients with severe depression might be advised to take part in an outpatient treatment program or hospitalized. Stimulating a patient’s brain with magnetic or electrical pulses can also help to deal with the symptoms of depression.
Let us take a more detailed look at some of the more effective depression treatment options.
1. Transcranial magnetic stimulation
These treatments involve sending magnetic pulses into the area of a patient’s brain that controls mood. It has been proven to be an effective way to treat depression even when other depression treatment options like antidepressants have failed.
TMS is a non-invasive treatment option that does not require implanting electrodes into the patient’s head. The magnetic pulses are delivered to the targeted area by placing an electric coil on the patient’s head. Treatments last about 20 minutes each, and patients might need up to five treatments per week for up to seven weeks to bring their depression under control.
TMS treatment is typically recommended when antidepressants and other treatments have failed to reduce a patient’s symptoms.
Antidepressants are the most popular drug used to deal with depression, but others like lithium can also be used to reduce symptoms. Anti-depressants can be combined with other medications like anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers, and anti-psychotics to give patients a more complete solution. The medication approach to treating depression is typically supported by psychotherapy. Some patients can also benefit from taking some sort of stimulant
Common types of antidepressants used to treat depression include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): These are often the first set of drugs prescribed to patients with depression. SSRIs are less likely to cause serious side effects, and they are viewed as a safer alternative to other types of antidepressants. Popular examples of SSRIs include fluoxetine and Celexa.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): These set of drugs might be prescribed when SSRIs are not effective. Examples include venlafaxine, duloxetine, and desvenlafaxine.
- Tricyclic antidepressants: These set of antidepressants tend to be more effective than those described above, but they are more likely to cause serious side effects. They are typically prescribed when SSRIs and SNRIs have failed.
- Monoamine Oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): These have even worse side effects than tricyclic antidepressants, and they require placing patients under strict diets since these drugs can have dangerous reactions with some foods like wine and pickles.
- Atypical antidepressants: Not all antidepressants fit nicely into any of the categories discussed above. Examples of atypical antidepressants include mirtazapine, bupropion, and trazodone.
Also known as talk therapy, this approach addresses depression by helping the patient to walk through whatever they are facing. The types of psychotherapy often used to treat depression include interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy helps to:
- Teach patients how to deal with feelings of depression
- Identify negative habits that might be causing the patient’s depression and replace them with positive ones
- Identify ways that patients cope with their depression
- Teach patients how to regain control of their lives and restore their sense of satisfaction
- Help patients how to set realistic goals
- Teach patients how to manage distress with healthier behaviors
Talk therapy typically takes place during face-to-face office sessions, but there are other options like video or online sessions. Sessions might be guided by a therapist or unguided based on the patient’s needs.
Getting started with depression treatment
There are so many options available to those suffering from depression. Treatment may require trial and error, however, ultimately, the results are said to be effective and positive.
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