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Depression Treatment: Here’s What You Need To Know

Is your depression making you feel extremely hopeless and helpless?

Symptoms of depression such as stress, restlessness, emotional anguish, and whatnot can accompany you every single day making your life miserable. Depression can affect you adversely and negatively to the extent that might even develop hazardous thoughts in you like self-harm and suicide.

Being depressed can even make you feel as if you are trapped in a dark, deep pit with no way out for weeks or months at a time.

Although, it is a serious mental disorder, realizing that it can be treated by seeking proper help is fundamental.

Therapies, medications, lifestyle changes, and self-help techniques can aid you a lot in treating your depression. This blog will help you get a better understanding of all the reliable treatments available for depression. 

So, keep reading!

Table Of Contents

  • Psychological Treatments For Depression (Psychotherapies)
  • Medications For Treatment Of Depression 
  • Alternative Therapies For Depression
  • What To Expect After Ketamine Treatment For Depression?
  • Does SPRAVATO Work for Treatment-resistant Depression?
  • Lifestyle Tips For Treating Depression
  • Final Thoughts

Psychological Treatments For Depression (Psychotherapies)

The process of treating psychological illnesses with psychological and verbal methods is known as psychotherapy.  Psychotherapy is commonly referred to as “talk therapy” since it entails the patient and a psychotherapist conversing while they are both seated in a room. However, it goes much beyond that. 41% of patients respond to psychotherapy for depression, compared with 17% in usual care.

During therapy sessions, techniques are taught to assist patients in dealing better with troubling thoughts or processing traumatic experiences. Regular therapy sessions can help identify the underlying causes of depression, aid in diagnosing depression, and offer important emotional support.

Psychotherapy can be done with various approaches. You can go for either individual sessions or group sessions. Alternatively, you can also take the therapy sessions with your family member, in case they are involved.

Let’s have a look at the different types of psychological treatments for depression.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Depression often gets worse by negative thought patterns like self-doubt and guilt. 

In Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a therapist will collaborate with you to shed light on dysfunctional and unhealthy thought patterns and determine how they can result in negative behaviors, responses, and self-perceptions. Cognitive behavioral treatment gradually changes these tendencies by addressing present issues, and identifying practical solutions so that you feel better about yourself.

Your therapist may also give you “homework” that involves practicing changing your negative thoughts to more positive ones.

Systemic Therapy 

The relationships between people, such as those in your family, your circle of friends, or at work, are highly valued in the systemic therapy approach. 

It is based on the assumption that these relationships play an important role in developing and treating depression.

For example, it involves trying to improve family communication as part of the therapy. The goal here is to lessen symptoms of depression.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Similar to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) emphasizes acceptance rather than resistance to painful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

The idea is that by acknowledging your negative feelings or beliefs, you can acknowledge that change is possible and create a recovery strategy.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic treatment also referred to as psychoanalytic therapy, assumes that unresolved conflicts, typically unconscious conflicts that date back to childhood, can lead to depression. 

In this type of therapy, your therapist will work with you to consider and reflect on your childhood and early experiences in order to better understand and manage your life.

The objectives of this treatment are to assist the patient in bearing better feelings and put them in a useful context, as well as to help the patient become more conscious of their whole spectrum of emotions, including contradicting and difficult ones.

Medications For Treatment Of Depression 

To treat depression your doctor or health care professional may prescribe the following medications. However, it is recommended to use any of these only after having a proper prescription and a discussion of the possible major side effects with your doctor. So, let’s discuss these medications below. 

Antidepressants

Antidepressants are a broad category of various medications and groups of drugs. They can improve your mood and give you more motivation. 

Psychological therapy is frequently used in conjunction with antidepressants. Antidepressants, however, typically take a few days or weeks to start functioning. 

Before they begin to have an impact on acute depression, they must be taken daily for several weeks or months. The duration of treatment will vary depending on the patient’s symptoms and risk of relapsing into depression.

Primarily antidepressants help to balance the neurotransmitters in the brain for relieving stress and depression. The function of neurotransmitters is to communicate messages throughout the body.

Here are some of the important neurotransmitters that play a crucial in our body.

  • Dopamine: Dopamine is responsible for making you feel good, satisfied, and motivated. It is strongly associated with pleasure and reward.
  • Norepinephrine: Norepinephrine aids in mobilizing the brain and body for action in response to stress. When in stress, it can help to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Serotonin: Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer. It can help in natural healing and managing sleep, hunger, memory, and learning.

Now that we know how antidepressants work, let’s have a look at some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants for treating depression.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Doctors often start by prescribing an SSRI to treat depression. By raising the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin that is available in your brain, this antidepressant can alleviate depression. 

Compared to other antidepressants, these medications are thought to be safer and have fewer undesirable side effects. 

Some of the most common SSRIs are vilazodone (Viibryd), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), fluoxetine (Prozac), and citalopram (Celexa).

Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

By raising the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain, SNRIs have the potential to relieve depression.

If you suffer from narrow-angle glaucoma, liver, or kidney problems, you should proceed with caution.

SNRIs include levomilnacipran (Fetzima), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla), duloxetine (Cymbalta, Irenka), and venlafaxine (Effexor XR).

Atypical Antidepressants

These medications don’t fit neatly into any of the other classes of antidepressants. 

Atypical antidepressants, like the majority of antidepressants, treat depression by ultimately affecting changes in brain chemistry and communication in brain circuitry known to control mood.

Nefazodone, trazodone, and vortioxetine (Trintellix) are some of the atypical antidepressants, along with bupropion (Wellbutrin XL, Wellbutrin SR, Aplenzin, and Forfivo XL), mirtazapine (Remeron), and nefazodone.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Though they have a higher potential for effectiveness than newer antidepressants, they frequently have more severe adverse side effects. Tricyclics are therefore generally not given unless an SSRI has been tried and failed to improve your symptoms.

These antidepressants help the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine to increase in your brain for treating depression.

They include amitriptyline, doxepin, trimipramine (Surmontil), desipramine (Norpramin), protriptyline (Vivactil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and imipramine (Tofranil).

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

Because they can have substantial side effects, they may be recommended, usually after other medications haven’t worked. Due to risky (or even fatal) interactions with food, using MAOIs necessitates adhering to a rigorous diet. This group of medications includes isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Natural Remedies

Apart from antidepressants, few studies suggest that some vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other compounds can have an added advantage in reducing the symptoms of depression.

You can also consume supplements such as B12, and foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish like salmon), eggs, and green vegetables

However, to make sure a herbal product is secure and suitable for your requirements, you should always speak with a medical expert before taking it.

Alternative Therapies For Depression

Light Therapy

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is treated with light therapy, sometimes referred to as phototherapy. Some people experience this type of depression during the gloomier seasons of the year. 

Light therapy entails spending around 30 minutes each morning seated in front of a light therapy device that emits a particular bright light.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy involves placing electrodes on the patient’s head and sending a brief electric current through the brain to cause a seizure. The operation is performed while the patient is completely unconscious due to general anesthesia. 

When all other therapies have failed, electroconvulsive therapy is typically the sole option for treating severe depression.

Biological Treatments Of Depression

Biological therapy is any method of treating mental disorders that aims to change how the body functions (change physiological functioning), such as electroconvulsive therapy and psychosurgery. This treatment is also known as biomedical treatment.

What To Expect After Ketamine Treatment For Depression?

Ketamine is a medication that medical professionals use as an anesthetic to induce loss of consciousness. 

Health professionals identify ketamine as a Schedule III non-narcotic substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Ketamine therapy is often reserved for patients with severe mental illness who have tried other medications but found little to no benefit. People with acute suicidality and treatment-resistant depression have been the subjects of the most extensive research under this therapy. There may also be benefits for patients with disorders such as bipolar depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD.

The effects of ketamine might make a patient feel happiness and unreality. Patients claim that ketamine therapy can have the delightful side-effect of making them feel as though they are flying outside of their bodies. Some people experience an increase in sensory awareness, making colors seem more vibrant in reality. As the drug combats depression in the brain, this sensation develops. 

Although every patient reacts differently, the effects of ketamine may still be felt by the patient after the treatment is finished. To recover from the medications’s effects patients usually require 30 to 45 minutes.

Many first-timers who have a ketamine infusion don’t notice any side effects after the operation is over. However, minor exhaustion following the initial treatment is not unusual. The benefit of treatment is that there aren’t any noticeable long-term negative effects as there might be with traditional antidepressants. 

Does SPRAVATO Work for Treatment-resistant Depression?

Adults with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) can be treated with SPRAVATO. It is a prescription medication that is taken along with an antidepressant. 

Esketamine SPRAVATO is the first nasal spray that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for the treatment of adult depression for whom other antidepressants have failed to provide relief. Almost one-third of patients with depression experience this, which is referred to as treatment-resistant depression (TRD). (Esketamine is a more potent version of ketamine)

Lifestyle Tips For Treating Depression

Effective treatment of depression entails more than just taking medications and attending therapy. You’ll be able to handle the difficulties of depression more effectively the more you alter your lifestyle to promote physical and mental health.

You can complement your treatment for depression by changing your lifestyle in the ways listed below. However, before making any changes, as always, it is suggested that you speak with your doctor.

Eat Healthy

It is believed that a proper diet can contribute to fixing depression. Healthy eating is good for your body and will generally improve your mood. 

Eliminating junk food is the simplest approach to enhance your diet. Limiting meals heavy in refined sugar and saturated fats while increasing healthier foods like fatty acids and micronutrients is a simple method to optimize your diet.

Exercise

Your body produces more natural antidepressants when you exercise. Exercising each day for 30 minutes or three to five days a week might strengthen your resistance to stressful stimuli without resorting to medications. 

Endorphins, which are feel-good compounds, are momentarily increased when doing exercise. You don’t need to engage in strenuous activity; even a  walk for minutes will suffice.

Quality Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a frequent side effect of depression. To treat depression effectively, getting enough sleep is a crucial component.

Create a relaxing nighttime routine to aid in winding down after a long day, and adhere to a regular sleep schedule to increase the quantity and quality of your sleep.

Practising Mindfulness

By encouraging you to concentrate on the present moment rather than overthinking the past or the future, practicing mindfulness can save you from depressive thoughts. 

It can help to cope with stress and complicated concerns, which can impact your mood. It can also help you to relax and boost your self-esteem.

Avoid Drug Abuse And Alcohol

You might get temporary happiness by drinking alcohol and abusing drugs. But in the long run, these can make depression and anxiety symptoms worse.

It is better to avoid these substances and stick to a healthier lifestyle to treat your depression.

Final Thoughts

Depression can be a short-term problem or a chronic one. However, it doesn’t always totally disappear after treatment.

Treatment, nevertheless, frequently helps symptoms become more tolerable. Finding the ideal mix of treatments and medications is essential for managing the symptoms of depression and treating it.

Consult your healthcare provider if a treatment doesn’t work. They can work with you to develop an alternative treatment plan that might be more effective in assisting you in managing your illness.

Need more profound guidance? Get in touch now!

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