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Depression Treatments Essay

2178 words - 9 pages

Depression is a psychological disease. It is one of the most common mental illnesses (Blais, et al., 2013). Depression was known since antiquity. Hippocrates diagnosed it in fourth century BC (McNamara and Horan, 1986). After World War II, depression was described as “aggression turned inward” (McNamara & Horan, 1986). Now there is Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, which is designed to evaluate how severe is depression (Gibbons et al., 2012).
Depression is known worldwide. In European countries there are generally two ways of treatment: using antidepressants or psychotherapy. The systems differ from country to country. In United Kingdom general practitioner [GP] has a right to prescribe drugs, but in Germany only psychiatrist or neurologist can do it (Willsher et al., 2013). The psychotherapy is usually expensive treatment, but in Germany government offers five first sessions for free, whereas in Spain GP chooses to refer patient to mental healthcare system only in severe cases (Willsher et al., 2013).
Approximately 17% of people are having depression in their lifetime (Gibbons, et al., 2012). It was found that “more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression” (World Health Organization [WHO], 2012). It is the fourth in the rating of major public problems, and it is predicted to be illness number one in developed countries by year 2030 (Hollon and Sexton, 2012). In Scotland, the number of patients in ten years has been reduced by half, but the number of antidepressants prescribed has doubled (Stirling, 2013). According the Scottish NHS there are 420 thousand patients who are receiving depression treatment (Stirling, 2013). However this statistics might not reflect the size of the problem. According to Willsher et al. (2013) in Italy only 50% of the people who suffer from depression seek treatment.
There is abundance of different depression treatments that can be put into four broad categories: pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, relation-focused, cognitive behaviour therapy [CBT] and self-help. When the depression treatments just emerged there was a lot of research into responsive and non-responsive patients. It was believed that the type of treatment should be chosen accordingly with the type of patient (McLean and Hakstian, 1979). There were different types invented: realistic, investigative, conventional and others (Mahalik and Kivlighan, 1988). Now this has changed. There are two ways of testing the efficacy of a treatment: randomized controlled trials [RCT] and treatment as usual [TAU]. All the treatments will be outlined and evaluated.

Pharmacotherapy is a treatment that concentrates on the use of antidepressants. Antidepressants are usually preferred because they do not cause addiction (Hollon and Sexton, 2012). They also show significant improvement in comparison with placebo treatment in RCT (Blais et al., 2013). The data also suggests that patients with severe depression do better in...

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