How To Choose From Major Depressive Disorder Treatment
Choosing from the different types of major depressive disorder treatments can be daunting. How do you know what will work best for you? The first step is to understand the different types of treatment available. Medications, therapy, and self-care are all common treatment options for depression.
Your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons of each type of treatment and make a decision about whatâs best for you. After all, they know your medical history and can offer professional guidance. But itâs also important that you feel comfortable with your treatment plan.
If youâre not sure about a particular treatment, donât hesitate to ask questions or seek out more information. The most important thing is finding what works best for you so that you can start feeling better.
When it comes to major depressive disorder treatments, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But with the help of your doctor and a little trial and error, you can find a treatment that works for you. And once you start feeling better, youâll be glad you made the effort.
Seeing A Psychologist About Depression
Licensed psychologists are highly trained mental health professionals with experience in helping patients recover from depression. Several different approaches to psychotherapy have been shown to help individuals recover from depression, especially those with mild to moderate depression. Psychotherapy can help people with depression to:
- Pinpoint life events that contribute to their depression and help them find ways to change, accept or adapt to those situations.
- Set realistic goals for the future.
- Identify distorted thought processes or unhelpful behaviors that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
- Develop skills to cope with symptoms and problems, and identify or prevent future episodes of depression.
Two of the most common evidence-based therapies for depression are cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy.
There is no one “right” approach to therapy. Therapists work closely with their patients to create tailored treatment plans to address their unique needs and concerns. Psychotherapy can help patients learn ways to better cope with stress and manage their symptoms of depression. These strategies can lead to recovery and enable patients to function at their best.
To find a licensed psychologist in your area, use our Psychologist Locator.
Stay Positive And Be Patient
Treating depression can be a long and difficult process. It is important to stay positive and be patient. Remember that you are not alone in this and that there are people who care about you and want to help you get better. With the right treatment, you can start to feel better and live a happier life.
Moreover, being patient is very important. Treatment does not work for everyone immediately and it may take some time to find the right one for you. So, do not give up hope and keep looking until you find the treatment that works best for you.
These tips will help to get you started on finding the right treatment for your depression. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your doctor or mental health professional.
You May Like: How To Overcome Feelings Of Depression
Tms Therapy For Depression
If youre suffering from major depression that has been resistant to therapy, medication, and self-help, then TMS therapy may be an option. Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is a noninvasive treatment that directs recurring magnetic energy pulses at the regions of the brain that are involved in mood. These magnetic pulses pass painlessly through the skull and stimulate brain cells which can improve communication between different parts of the brain and ease depression symptoms.
While TMS may be able to improve treatment-resistant depression, that doesnt mean its a cure for depression or that your symptoms wont return. However, it could provide sufficient improvements in your energy and drive to enable you to begin talk therapy or make the lifestyle changessuch as improving your diet, exercising, and building your support networkthat can help preserve your depression recovery in the long term.
Create A Support System
A support system is a key part of any treatment plan. This can include family, friends, or even a support group. Having people to talk to who understand what you are going through can be a huge help. If you do not have a support system, there are many resources available to help you get one. It is also believed that by having a support system, you are more likely to stick to your treatment plan.
Read Also: Percentage Of People With Depression
Therapy And The Big Picture In Depression Treatment
One of the hallmarks of depression is feeling overwhelmed and having trouble focusing. Therapy helps you step back and see what might be contributing to your depression and how you can make changes. Here are some of the big picture themes that therapy can help with:
Relationships.Understanding the patterns of your relationships, building better relationships, and improving current relationships will help reduce isolation and build social support, important in preventing depression.
Setting healthy boundaries. If you are stressed and overwhelmed, and feel like you just cant say no, you are more at risk for depression. Setting healthy boundaries in relationships and at work can help relieve stress, and therapy can help you identify and validate the boundaries that are right for you.
Handling lifes problems. Talking with a trusted therapist can provide good feedback on more positive ways to handle lifes challenges and problems.
Improvements In Brain Stimulation
Medications aren’t the only treatment for depression. Electroconvulsive therapy has been around for more than 70 years. It remains one of the most effective ways to manage major depressive disorder, especially if you don’t respond to other treatments. While it isn’t new, scientists have fine-tuned the procedure over the past decades.
Today, electroconvulsive therapy uses less energy than it did in the past. The goal is to give you the same benefits but with less negative impact on your memory and thinking skills. “That’s been a huge improvement,” says Susan Conroy, MD, PhD, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Conroy also uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat depression, which has fewer side effects than electroconvulsive therapy. It works by sending magnetic pulses around your skull.
Brain tissue translates these signals into electrical energy, Conroy says, which changes the way areas of your brain talk to each other. “By changing that circuitry, we think that’s how transcranial magnetic stimulation gets people better from depression.”
These and other forms of brain stimulation aren’t right for everyone. But tell your doctor if other treatments don’t help and your depression keeps you from doing daily activities, you aren’t eating, and you have constant suicidal thoughts.
“These are all signs your treatment needs to be escalated and pretty quickly,” Conroy says.
You May Like: I Am Very Sad And Depressed
Understand And Accept Depression
Learning more about depression can help people deal with the condition. Depression is a widespread and genuine mental health disorder. It is not a sign of weakness or a personal shortcoming.
Accepting that a depressive episode may occur from time to time might help people deal with it when it does. Remember, it is possible to manage symptoms with treatments, such as lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy.
Natural Remedies For Depression: Find Hope Again
May 11, 2018
Did you know that 1 out of 7 individuals will suffer from depression symptoms at some point in his or her life? Today, depression is one of the main causes of disability in developed, as well as low and medium income countries. In fact, around 150 million people suffer from depression worldwide.
The World Health Organization predicts that depression will become the second most prevalent disease worldwide by the year 2020. But what are we doing to prevent and treat this life-altering mood disorder? The typical treatment antidepressant medications dont work for every person with depression and also come with a slew of side effects. However, sometimes people dont know where to turn to find a treatment that wont bring on more health problems.
The good news is there are natural remedies for depression that are effective and help address the root cause of the disease. If youre looking for a natural way to improve your depressive symptoms, studies suggest that you should focus on eating an anti-inflammatory diet one similar to the Mediterranean diet that provides critical vitamins and minerals for hormone balance and brain function. A moderate to high level of physical activity/exercise has also been shown to prevent against depression. Additionally, using essential oils for depression and making other lifestyle changes to control stress are some of your best options.
You May Like: Different Ways To Cope With Depression
Major Depressive Disorder Treatments
Fortunately, depression can be treatedit is in fact one of the most treatable mental health conditions. Approximately 80% to 90% of people who have depression respond well to treatment eventually, and almost all patients see some improvement in their symptoms.
This article explores the treatment options for depression, which can include:
- Brain stimulation
Mild cases of depression are often treated with psychotherapy. Moderate to severe cases of depression may be treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. If the depression persists, brain stimulation may help.
Its important to remember that everyones symptoms and experience of depression are different and so the best treatment methods for them may vary as well. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment that works for everybody.
What Are The Roots Of Depression
Theres broad agreement among mental health professionals and researchers that depression is primarily caused by three kinds of factors that interact to varying degrees in each patient: biological , psychological , and social .
Recent research also points to the importance of the health of the guts microbiome, the good bacteria the keep your digestive tract functioning at its best. A healthy microbiome appears to play an essential role in the release of hormones and mood-lifting brain chemicals, according to an article published February 2019 in Science magazine.
Also Check: Icd 10 Code For Severe Depression
Which Types Of Psychotherapy Work Best
Psychotherapy always includes talking with a trained professional focused on helping you make positive changes in your thoughts and behaviors to ease your symptoms. But theres some evidence that certain types may be more effective for depression than others, notes the NIMH. These include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy , a systematic approach aimed at identifying and altering negative thought patterns
- Dialectical behavioral therapy , which emphasizes psychotherapy and group classes in new skills, such as mindfulness, to help make life feel worth living
- Interpersonal therapy , which focuses on increasing happiness by improving how you interact with others
- Psychodynamic therapy, which aims to reduce the negative influence of past life events and traumas through insight into how they affect your current behavior
- Accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy , which teaches patients to view depression as a defense against core emotions, including sadness, fear, anger, sexual excitement, and disgust, so that fully feeling those emotions can help restore hope and optimism
Diagnosing Major Depressive Disorder
If you or a loved one have been feeling depressed and low, seek help as soon as possible. You can reach out to a mental healthcare provider or contact your primary care doctor for a diagnosis or referral.
Your healthcare provider will ask you a series of questions that will likely cover your symptoms, thoughts and feelings, and medical history. They may need to perform a physical or psychological exam, or conduct lab tests, in order to rule out other health conditions that can cause similar symptoms.
Your healthcare provider will determine whether or not your symptoms meet the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder, which include:
- Having a persistently depressed mood and lack of interest in activities
- Having five or more symptoms of depression
- Having symptoms every day, almost all day
- Having symptoms for over two weeks
- Being unable to function like you did before, due to the symptoms
Recommended Reading: Things To Distract You From Depression
Consider These 5 Factors When Deciding Between Therapy And Medication
Years ago when I was interviewing for graduate school, the consensus seemed to be that medication was the “real” treatment for depression. This was at a time when the “chemical imbalance” theory of depression was alive and well.
The basic version of the theory was that depression was caused by low levels of neurotransmitters in the brainchemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine. If these biological factors were driving depression, it made sense to assume that the best way to fix the underlying problem was with a biological solution.
Thus treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy were considered to be possibly useful additions to medication, but not serious treatments in their own right .
When I was in graduate school I thought the chemical imbalance theory was true. So when I reviewed a wide range of potential risk factors for depression, I expected to find many studies confirming the link between depression and low serotonin. I was in for a shock. It turned out there was no good evidence for the chemical imbalance theory. What had seemed like solid science was in fact unsupported by research.
Nevertheless, this explanation infused our collective understanding of depression and other psychiatric conditions, so much so that it’s still widely believed.
What Are The Symptoms Of Major Depressive Disorder
Your doctor or a mental health professional can diagnose major depressive disorder based on your symptoms, feelings, and behaviors.
Typically, youll be asked specific questions or given a questionnaire so health professionals can better determine whether you have MDD or another condition.
To be diagnosed with MDD, you need to meet the symptom criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition . This manual helps medical professionals diagnose mental health conditions.
According to its criteria:
- you must experience a change in your previous functioning
- symptoms must occur for a period of 2 or more weeks
- at least one symptom is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure
You must also experience 5 or more of the following symptoms in the 2-week period:
- You feel sad or irritable most of the day, nearly every day.
- Youre less interested in most activities you once enjoyed.
- You suddenly lose or gain weight or have a change in appetite.
- You have trouble falling asleep or want to sleep more than usual.
- You experience feelings of restlessness.
- You feel unusually tired and have a lack of energy.
- You feel worthless or guilty, often about things that wouldnt usually make you feel that way.
- You have difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
- You think about harming yourself or suicide.
Symptoms parents should be aware of in their teens include the following:
Recommended Reading: Can Someone With Depression Be Happy Sometimes
Separate Yourself From The Depression
A condition does not define a person they are not their illness. When depression symptoms begin, some people find it helpful to repeat: I am not depression, I just have depression.
A person should remind themselves of all the other aspects of themselves. They may also be a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, neighbor, and colleague. Each person has their own strengths, abilities, and positive qualities that make them who they are.
Choosing A Technique And Therapist
Finding a psychologist or therapist can seem like a daunting process since there are so many to choose from and you might not know where to start. Recommendations from others can often be a great way to find a good therapist.
Another place to start is by asking your doctor or another health care professional or by conducting your own online research. The American Psychological Association recommends contacting your local or state psychological association.
You can also connect with a mental health center in your community. The APA has a helpful psychologist locator service to help you find a therapist in your area as well.
When deciding on a potential psychotherapist, you will want to find out what their credentials are and whether they are qualified to treat you for depression. Ask if they take your health insurance or if they’re able to work with you on a sliding scale.
Once you determine that the therapist is adequately trained and licensed, you can read their bio on their website if they have one or send an email inquiry to find out where they received their education and how many years of experience they have. Youll also want to know if they have any particular areas of expertise.
Also Check: Tramadol For Anxiety And Depression
Sleeping Patterns And Depression
Depression can disrupt sleep patterns. Its essential to try to restore a regular sleep pattern to make a full recovery. Some tips for restoring a regular sleep pattern include:
- Try to go to sleep and get up at about the same time each day.
- If youre worrying about things during the night, set aside some time for problem solving during the day.
- Avoid drinking caffeine after 4 pm and try not to drink more than two cups of caffeine-type drinks each day.
- Avoid using alcohol to help you sleep. As the alcohol is broken down in your body, it causes you to sleep less deeply and to wake more frequently.
- Allow yourself time to wind down before going to bed. If you are working or studying, stop at least 30 minutes before bedtime and do something relaxing.
- Give your mind a break from online activity such as social media for an hour before bedtime, and consider putting your phone in a separate room from your bedroom at night time.