Why Treatment Is Important
While many medications, such as antibiotics, cure the illnesses they are designed to treat, antidepressants do not cure depression. Their effect is only temporary. This is because antidepressants work by changing the brain’s chemistry, but only for as long as the person is taking them. They do not address the underlying causes of depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health shares that depression has a number of potential, and oftentimes complex, causes. Some may be genetic or biological and others may be environmental or psychological.
No matter the cause, untreated depression can be extremely debilitating to an individual, interfering with every part of life. In addition, severe depression can potentially lead to suicide if it does not receive immediate attention.
Depression has also been linked to a variety of physical health issues, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic disorders. In the case of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, depression may accelerate the progression of the disease.
Having depression can even make it more difficult to treat other medical illnesses because the lack of motivation and energy associated with depression makes it more difficult for patients to comply with their treatment regimens.
Alternative And Complementary Treatment
You may choose to explore complementary or alternative therapies for depression. One of the most common is an herbal supplement called St. Johns wort.
The FDA has not officially approved St. Johns wort to treat depression, but it is often suggested by alternative health practitioners. Research has indicated that St. Johns wort may be beneficial for some people who have symptoms of depression.
The supplement comes in various doses and preparations and can be purchased over-the-counter and at most health food stores. There is no standard dose and you may want to work with a practitioner as you undertake some trial and error to determine the dose that feels right for you.
Similar to how prescription medications affect neurotransmitter levels, St. Johns wort may influence the levels of a specific neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain. When people have too little serotonin, they can feel depressed. Increasing the amount of serotonin can help improve symptoms. However, having too much serotonin can lead to a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.
If you are taking a medication that carries a risk of increasing your serotonin levels too much, your doctor will teach you about the signs of serotonin syndrome to watch for. They will also want you to make sure that you never take more than one medication, herb, or supplement that can raise your serotonin levels at the same time .
Depression Typically Lasts For Several Months But It Can Also Develop Into A Chronic Condition That Lasts For Years In Some Cases Fortunately Treatment Can Help
Depression is a serious mood disorder characterized by a low mood . Those affected by depression may wonder, how long depression lasts. Every case is different, but on average, a depressive episode can last several months. For some people, an episode may be shorter or much longer. If left untreated, depression can become long-lasting or chronic. It is important for individuals with depression to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Also Check: Major Depressive Disorder Single Episode Unspecified
Can Depression Go Away On Its Own
Does depression last forever, or will it go away after a while? Depression is a serious mental illness and is unlikely to go away or cure itself. Without treatment, depression can last for years or decades and can worsen over time.
For people concerned about whether their depression will ever go away, its important to reach out and seek professional treatment. Getting treatment can help shorten a depressive episode and reduce the risk of future episodes occurring. Receiving treatment like medication or cognitive behavioral therapy can lead to an improvement in a matter of weeks.
Why Treatment Is Key
Getting help for depression can improve health and level of functioning. Treatment can also reduce the amount of time that depression lasts along with reducing the severity of symptoms and the risk of recurrence.
There is no single effective treatment for depression and the success rate of each treatment varies from person to person. Some people might respond well to medication, while others may see more improvements through online counseling and therapy. Successful treatment for depression may require trying several different options.
Depression is serious and can impact every aspect of a persons life. However, depression is treatable and there is hope for recovery.
If youre looking for healthy ways to manage depression, the Nobu app can help. It is free and for anyone that is looking to reduce anxiety, work through depression, build self-esteem, get aftercare following treatment, attend teletherapy sessions and so much more. Download the Nobu app today!
Don’t Miss: Loving Someone With Depression Book
Are The Signs Of Untreated Depression In Men Different From Those In Women
Men who have untreated clinical depression may exhibit more anger, frustration, and violent behavior than women. In addition, men with untreated depression may take dangerous risks such as reckless driving and having unsafe sex. Men are not aware that physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain, can be symptoms of depression.
The Depression Epidemic: Our Stone Age Brains
There is an undeniable connection between lifestyle and depression. A modern lifestyle is making us sick. The more modern a society, and the more removed it is from the primitive hunter-gatherer way of life, the higher its rate of depression. Our world has changed phenomenally and our lifestyles have changed along with it, but our brains have hardly changed at all. They remain remarkably similar to the ones that powered people in the Stone Age when sleep was abundant, food was nutritious, and people wandered in groups, constantly on the move in the sunshine.
Our Stone Age brains just werent designed to handle the sedentary, isolated, indoor, sleep-deprived, fast-food-laden, stressed-out pace of twenty-first-century life. -Dr Stephen Ilardi
Our brains are beautifully crafted to support Stone Age bodies that live Stone Age lives. When Stone Age brains are forced to live a modern lifestyle, the effect can be devastating. The brain and the body become depleted of the very things that have been fuelling them for thousands of years before now.
Recommended Reading: Depression Crying All The Time
Tap Into Your Spirituality
Religion can be an impactful source of support for many people dealing with depression, but there is no need to join a church, synagogue, or mosque unless you wish to. Simple daily practices such as meditation or adding to a list of things you’re grateful can help boost mood and overall well-being.
Meditation can have a range of beneficial effects such as lowering stress levels and helping people to become more aware of their thoughts and reactions.
Research indicates that an intervention called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy , which combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness meditation, can be helpful in treating depression and preventing future relapses of symptoms.
Studies also suggest that different types of mindfulness meditative practices can also be effective in the treatment of depression.
There are many different types of meditation, but you can get started with a simple meditative exercise with these steps:
Synergy Research Centers Offer Clinical Depression Treatment With Research Trials
Synergy Research Centers is currently running clinical research trials for those with clinical depression at their locations in Lemon Grove. If you suffer from clinical depression and are seeking treatment, Synergy Research Centers can help. We offer cutting-edge treatment for depression and other ailments through our research studies and trials. Contact us today!
Don’t Miss: Depression And Anxiety Assessment Test
Can Depression Be Cured
When someone is experiencing a depressive episode, it can feel like the depression may never end. Unfortunately, there is technically no cure for depression, as its always possible for the condition to occur again in the future. However, there are many different therapeutic approaches that can help treat depression and alleviate the symptoms.
The focus of depression treatment should be to build coping mechanisms and support systems that can be used when depression symptoms occur. It is important to remember that no two people have the same experience with depression, so depression treatment should be tailored specifically to each person.
Finding A Depression Biomarker
The first challenge for researchers was finding a biomarker for Sarahs depression. This information would allow them to detect the abnormal brain activity causing the depression, so they could target the electrical bursts to disrupt the right area at the right time.
Existing neurostimulation devices deliver constant electrical stimulation to the brain, so the team needed a way to detect and disrupt brain activity related to the depression when it was occurring.
To do this, the researchers carried out brain mapping, placing 10 electrodes across the left and right hemispheres of Sarahs brain and recording neural activity across 10 days. Sarah reported the severity of her depressive symptoms using symptom rating scales during this time.
The researchers found that gamma frequency brain waves in a part of the brain known as the amygdala were most closely correlated with depressive symptoms. They could, therefore, use these as a biomarker for her depression.
Next, the researchers had to figure out how to disrupt these brain waves. They found that placing an electrode in the ventral capsule/ventral striatum at the base of the brain gave the most consistent improvement of symptoms when they applied electrical stimulation upon detecting abnormal brain activity in the amygdala.
Optimization of this process showed that applying very small amounts of electricity 1 milliampere for just 6 seconds at a time was sufficient to improve Sarahs symptoms.
You May Like: Major Depressive Disorder Is Characterized By
Who Can Be Treated Successfully For Clinical Depression
More than 80% of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated with early recognition, intervention, and support.
Depression affects almost 19 million people each year, including a large portion of the working population. People with untreated depression can usually get to work. But once there, they may be irritable, fatigued, and have difficulty concentrating. Untreated depression makes it difficult for employees to work well.
Most people do best with depression treatment using psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both. For treatment-resistant depression, one that does not respond to medication, there are alternative treatments. One example is electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. There is also TMS, transcranial magnetic stimulation, or a novel intranasal ketamine spray.
National Institute of Mental Health: âWhat is Depression?â and “Suicide in the US: Statistics and Prevention.”
The National Womenâs Health Information Center: âDepression.â
National Cancer Institute: âDepression .â
Food and Drug Administration: âThe Lowdown on Depression.â
Mental Health America: âFacts about Depression and Suicide.â
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Pub, 2000.
Fieve, R. Bipolar II, Rodale Books, 2006.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: “The Impact and Cost of Mental Illness: The Case of Depression.”
Individual Or Group Therapy
When you hear the word therapy you might automatically think of one-on-one sessions with a therapist. However, group therapy can be very useful in depression treatment as well. Both group and individual therapy sessions usually last about an hour. What are the benefits of each? In individual therapy, you are building a strong relationship with one person, and may feel more comfortable sharing some sensitive information with one person than with a group. You also get individualized attention.
In group therapy, listening to peers going through the same struggles can validate your experiences and help build self-esteem. Often group members are at different points in their depression, so you might get tips from both someone in the trenches and someone who has worked through a challenging problem. As well as offering inspiration and ideas, attending group therapy can also help increase your social activities and network.
When the going gets tough in therapy
Recommended Reading: What Do You Do If You Have Depression
What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.
Electroconvulsive Therapy May Help Treatment
When psychotherapy and medications dont relieve symptoms of depression, or there is a high risk of suicide, doctors may turn to electroconvulsive therapy . Once called electroshock therapy, ECT has come a very long way since it was first used in the 1940s. According to Mayo Clinic experts, its safe, though there is the potential for side effects such as memory loss that may or may not be temporary, depending on the person.
ECT passes an electrical current through the brain while the person is under general anesthesia, causing a brief, controlled seizure that affects neurons and brain chemistry. Typically the person wakes up 5 or 10 minutes afterward and is ready to resume normal activities in about an hour, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
That said, not everyone reacts the same way to ECT, notes Elizabeth Wassenaar, MD, regional medical director of the Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center in Denver. She explains that people cannot drive the day they receive treatment, and some people find they cannot work the next day.
ECT is initially administered three times a week for an average of three to five weeks, says Dr. Wassenaar. After this initial series, ECT treatments are typically given less frequently twice a week, once a week, every other week, or even less often explains Wassenaar. She adds that ECT is often covered by insurance.
In addition to memory loss, temporary side effects of ECT may include the following:
Don’t Miss: Best Books To Help With Depression
Can Clinical Depression Be Completely Cured
If you suffered a mental illness in the 1940s, you had some pretty grim options. And because of the enormous influx of mentally ill patients following World War II, most of the treatments available were quick and dirty. For many patients, there was the prefrontal lobotomy or electroconvulsive therapy. While the latter is still sometimes used today for extreme cases of depression, lobotomies were thankfully phased out as more effective treatments developed in the 1950s.
Today, depression affects about 121 million people around the world less than 25 percent of them have access to proper care . But for this article, let’s focus on people with access to treatment who suffer from what’s arguably the most serious form of depression: clinical depression or major depression. Most of them are treated with antidepressants, counseling or some combination thereof. If the patient’s depression elevates to more critical levels, procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation sometimes become treatment options.
That’s not to say that some people aren’t cured of depression they are. But many are not. Whether they don’t seek care to begin with, or the care they receive isn’t sufficient, unless a case of depression is dealt with thoroughly, it’s very likely the condition will continue or the person will relapse at some point in the future .
Depression: How Effective Are Antidepressants
Like psychotherapy, antidepressants are a key part of treating . They aim to relieve symptoms and prevent depression from coming back.
Opinions vary on how effective antidepressants are in relieving the symptoms of . Some people doubt that they work well, while others consider them to be essential. But, like with many other treatments, these medications may help in some situations and not in others. They are effective in moderate, severe and chronic depression, but probably not in mild cases. They can also have side effects. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of antidepressants with your doctor.
The main aim of treatment with antidepressants is to relieve the symptoms of severe , such as feeling very down and exhausted, and prevent them from coming back. They are meant to make you feel emotionally stable again and help you to follow a normal daily routine. They are also taken to relieve symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety and sleep problems, and to prevent suicidal thoughts.
This information is about using medication to treat the most common form of , known as unipolar depression. The treatment options for manic depression aren’t discussed here.
Don’t Miss: What’s The Difference Between Depression And Manic Depression
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
If a GP thinks you’d benefit from taking an antidepressant, you’ll usually be prescribed a modern type called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor .
Examples of commonly used SSRI antidepressants are paroxetine , fluoxetine and citalopram .
They help increase the level of a natural chemical in your brain called serotonin, which is thought to be a “good mood” chemical.
SSRIs work just as well as older antidepressants and have fewer side effects, although they can cause nausea, headaches, a dry mouth and problems having sex. But these side effects usually improve over time.
Some SSRIs are not suitable for children and young people under 18 years of age. Research shows that the risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviour may increase if they’re taken by under-18s.
Fluoxetine is the only SSRI that can be prescribed for under-18s and, even then, only when a specialist has given the go-ahead.
What Does The Treatment Involve
Antidepressants are usually taken daily. The goal in the first few weeks and months is to relieve the symptoms and, where possible, make the go away. Once that has been achieved, the treatment is continued for at least four to nine months. This continuation therapy is necessary to stop the symptoms from coming back. The medication is sometimes taken for longer to prevent relapses. The duration of treatment also depends on how the symptoms continue to develop over time and whether the depression is likely to return. Some people take antidepressants over many years.
It’s important to have regular appointments with your doctor when taking antidepressants. There you can talk about whether the symptoms have improved and whether there are any side effects. The dose will be adjusted if necessary. By no means should you reduce the dose or stop taking the medication on your own. That can make the tablets less effective, or they may cause more side effects.
Towards the end of the treatment, the dose is gradually reduced over the course of several weeks. You may experience temporary sleep problems, nausea or restlessness when coming off antidepressants. These symptoms are especially likely if you suddenly stop taking antidepressants. Sometimes people stop taking their medication as soon as they start feeling better, but that increases the risk of the coming back. Unlike many sleeping pills and sedatives, antidepressants don’t cause physical dependence or addiction.
Read Also: How Do I Know If My Child Is Depressed