Depression – Treatment and Drugs
The commonly used two major and conventional types of depression treatments included here are psychosocial therapies and medical therapies. Psychosocial treatments consist of psychoanalytically oriented therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. Medical treatments include intake of antidepressant drugs and hospitalization. Other conventional medical treatments for depression include electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. The more popular natural alternative treatments for depression include herbs, vitamin therapy, exercise, massage and acupuncture.
Psychoanalytically Oriented Therapy – An expensive and long mode of treatment for depression, psychoanalytically oriented therapy tackles the root of a patient’s depression. It delves deep into the thoughts of the patient to look for the main cause that made the patient develop anger with himself. Psychoanalytically oriented therapy focuses on the patient’s past and treatment can last for several years. The patient needs to consistently visit the therapist on prescheduled appointments.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This therapy focuses on why the patient has a negative attitude that has lead to his state of depression. The focus of this type of therapy is the excessive rejection and self-criticism which the person has towards himself that have lead to his depressive condition. These have caused the patient to become solitary shunning company, foisting loneliness and thereby adding more sadness to his depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy endeavors to take out the negative thoughts the patient has against himself. One other approach that is associated with this therapy is giving the patient take-home activities to help him break his habit of negative thinking.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – This is a growing popular type of psychosocial treatment that stresses the importance of rectifying present social dysfunction. This therapy is a short-term treatment typically continuing for about 3 to 4 months. It concentrates on fixing present psychological problems that lead to problems in social relationships.
Hospitalization – This type of treatment is often for emergency purposes. Emergency purposes do not necessarily mean that the patient was about to commit suicide or homicide, it sometimes entails the inability of the patient to handle his own basic necessities like clothing, shelter and food by himself. It is also done when the patient needs to undergo a medical diagnostic procedure.
Antidepressant Drugs – These drugs are a basic part of conventional medical treatment. However, medical professionals are now beginning to doubt as to the efficacy of this type of therapy since the side effects of these drugs are oftentimes more serious than the depression itself. Moreover, the patient needs to be closely observed while under these kinds of medication.
Other Kinds of Depression Treatments
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – This therapy allows pulses of electricity to go through the brain to stimulate and elevate the levels of neurotransmitters in the patient’s brain. This therapy produces immediate positive effects by relieving a lot of the symptoms and signs of depression. Typical side effects of this procedure are transient confusion in the patient lasting for some minutes to hours and temporary memory loss. This therapy is used for patients who don’t respond to medications and who are very likely to commit suicide. This can be used for pregnant women and the elderly who cannot take or tolerate medications.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation – A therapy that again utilizes electrical impulses coming from a pulse generator placed in the body through surgical implantation to boost the mood impulses of the brain. This is also availed of if the patient does not respond to medications or to other therapies.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – With this procedure, magnetic fields stream to the brain to modify brain activity. It uses an electromagnetic coil held on top of the patient’s head to produce pulses of mild electricity in the brain. This treatment is also given to patients who do not respond well to antidepressants.
Natural Alternative Treatments for Depression
St. John’s Wort – This herb is for more superior in the treatment of depression than any kind of antidepressants available today. Numerous studies regarding St. John’s wort have shown it to be many times effective than any pharmaceutical medications. And the best part is that this herb has no side effects whatsoever.
Vitamins B and D – These are supplements that are responsible for bettering the mood of a person as well as improving brain function. For a depressed patient, enhancing the intake of these vitamins can help lessen his depression symptoms and make him start feeling better quickly. Fish, whole grains, beans, eggs, leafy and greens are foods rich in vitamin B and D.
Exercising – Twenty minutes of continuous aerobic exercise at least five times a week can help produce and release beneficial chemicals in the brain like endorphins to make you feel calm, soothed and relaxed and eventually help the person recover from depression.
Massages – Massages have the same therapeutic effect as exercises as they also help produce and release endorphins in the body. This is verified by studies that have shown that massages lead to the lessening of stress in the mind and body. Regular massage can pave the way in helping a depressed person recover his cheerful and normal disposition. With massage, cortisol and other stress hormones are reduced in the body lessening the symptoms of depression and uplifting a person’s mood and disposition.
Acupuncture – One of the most underrated of therapies. Acupuncture is a great way to feel relaxed and energized at the same time. A qualified practitioner can greatly lessen the severity of depression that a patient experiences. Acupuncture stimulates the production and release of natural “feel-good” chemicals like endorphins and enkephalins that alter one’s mood for the better. Acupuncture is one the most effective and safest ways to treat depression.