Depression Treatment Options
Physicians usually prescribe combination efforts for depression treatment. The combination typically includes psychotherapy, self-help and depression medication such as antidepressants. For patients who experience manic and chronic forms of depression, depression treatment may be a process that is ongoing throughout several years. Psychotherapy as a form of depression treatment involves multiple sessions of visiting with a trained psychologist in order to examine the root of the problem causing the depression, provide support to alleviate feelings of low self esteem and worthlessness and to set positive goals. The number of sessions that may be involved varies. Milder forms of depression will involve less number of psychotherapy sessions while more severe and persistent forms of depression may require ongoing depression treatment through psychotherapy. There are various forms of medication that are also used in a combined effort for depression treatment. Again, the medication and dosages that are prescribed depend heavily upon the form and severity of the depression experienced. Very mild forms of depression may involve medication treatment that last for no more than six months, while more chronic forms of depression will necessitate continuing use of antidepressants. Physicians will usually monitor the use of antidepressants very closely, especially for interaction with other drugs and for possible side effects. As a depression treatment, antidepressants do not bring about immediate relief. Some medications may require several weeks before any changes are noted in the feelings or behavior of the patient. Depending on how the patient responds to the medication, it may be necessary for the physician to change medications or dosage requirements in order for there to be any positive effects. Individuals taking antidepressants are encouraged not to drink alcohol or take drugs. Additionally, it is recommended that patients not abruptly start or stop antidepressants. Stopping the use of antidepressants without the advice of qualified medical personnel can have very harmful results. Most doctors recommend gradually tapering off the usage of antidepressants. Medications for depression treatment should be monitored very closely by knowledgeable medical personnel. A self-help regimen for depression treatment involves specific efforts on the part of the patient to insure they are eating a well balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and opportunities for adequate rest. Patients who are undergoing depression treatment are encouraged to steer clear of alcohol and other drugs not only because of their interactive effects with antidepressants but because alcohol and drugs can often trigger worse episodes of depression, especially in severe forms. It is also advised for patients working on a depression treatment to surround themselves with friends and family they feel they can talk to about their illness. Support groups are also recommended as a part of a self-help depression treatment plan. Additional strategies for depression treatment include aromatherapy, physical therapy and activities of a spiritual or faith based nature. While it may take several months for patients suffering from depression to begin to see changes, a combined depression treatment effort monitored closely by trained medical staff will generally provide welcome relief.