Treatments for Depression
Clinical depression is a disease that involves feelings of sadness lasting for longer than two weeks and is often accompanied by a loss of interest in life, hopelessness, and decreased energy. (3) Depression affects 340 million people in the world today. One in every 4 women and one in every 10 men develop depression during their lifetime. About half the cases of depression are untreated and about 10 to 15 percent of all depressed people commit suicide. (4) There are many different types of depression including major depression, Bipolar Disorder, Dysthymia, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and there are different degrees of depression ranging from less severe to major severe. (3) There are various ways to treat depression, but what most people do not know is that depression is one of the most treatable mental illnesses.
There are a variety of drugs called antidepressants which help to increase certain neurotransmitters in your brain. There are also various types of counseling, psychotherapy, self-help techniques, and alternative therapies to help a person overcome
depression. In many cases, doctors combine different forms of therapies and treatments to produce the best result in depression cases. (1) The most widely used therapy today is antidepressants. Antidepressants are usually divided into three categories: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA), and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MOAI). (1) SSRIs raise the level of serotonin in the brain because low levels of this neurotransmitter have been connected to depression. TCAs increase the level of norepinephrine in the brain. MOAIs increase the levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain.(1)
Another form of treatment for depression is psychotherapy. In some cases, psychotherapy can be just as effective as medication and antidepressants. There are many types of psychotherapy such as psychiatry, counseling, or cognitive behavior therapy. (2) Counseling is used to help a person understand his or her feelings and to help them deal with these feelings. Counseling can be different depending on each person's needs. There is individual counseling, group therapy, or therapy with a partner or relation. Counselors ask patients where these feelings came from, what brought them on, and together they explore options on how to overcome the feelings of sadness. Ultimately, counseling is a way for people to take a more positive, satisfying view on their own lives.(2)
There is also cognitive behavior therapy, which recognizes that a patient's self-criticism and self-disparaging thoughts are what lead them to depression. Cognitive therapy seeks to correct these negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones in order to overcome feelings of hopelessness and dejection.(5) Scientific studies show that cognitive behavior therapy is hopeful in its results. However, recent research shows that...