Other Treatments For Depression
Other treatments for depression include talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy .
People with moderate to severe depression are usually treated using a combination of antidepressants and CBT. Antidepressants work quickly in reducing symptoms, whereas CBT takes time to deal with causes of depression and ways of overcoming it.
Regular exercise has also been shown to be useful for those with mild depression.
Read more about alternatives to antidepressants.
Herbs And Supplements To Help Fight Depression
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Depression is a mental health condition that affects more than 17 million adults in the United States alone. However, the actual number is thought to be much higher, as many people with depression dont seek treatment for various reasons .
Below are the five classifications of depressive disorders, which share features like sadness, irritable mood, a feeling of emptiness, and cognitive changes that affect functioning (
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- depressive disorder due to another medical condition
Depressive disorders are treated with medication and psychotherapy. In addition, lifestyle modifications, including making dietary changes and taking certain supplements, may also help people in recovery and relapse prevention.
For example, some research shows that specific vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other compounds may provide added benefits in improving depressive symptoms.
That being said, herbs and dietary supplements are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration in the same way as medications. So, you cant always be certain of what youre getting and whether its safe.
Additionally, more studies are needed to determine which natural supplements are more likely to help with depression, and what side effects they may cause.
Circadian Rhythms And Depression
Depressive disorder is characterized by a profound disturbance of circadian rhythms, mainly characterized by a reduction in the amplitude. This flattened amplitude has been reported for temperature, TSH, plasma melatonin, Cortisol, and motor activity. Most importantly, in depression, the deregulation of circadian rhythms is reflected in disturbed sleep-wake cycles. It has been shown that circadian rhythms are normalized during remission and that unavoidable disturbances in circadian rhythms can trigger depressive episodes in humans. This could suggest that circadian abnormalities may play a role in the pathogenesis of depression. Agomelatine, a melatonergic receptor agonist and 5HT2c receptor antagonist, resynchronizes human circadian rhythms in healthy volunteers, and depressed patients, and has shown a powerful antidepressant efficacy in major depressive disorder.- The wide prevalence of circadian dysfunction in depression and the improvement of depression after treatment with this new antidepressant add to the suggestion that the circadian abnormalities may be part of the core of depression, rather than a consequence of the illness.
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Medication Or Therapy For Depression Or Both
No single treatmentwhether it’s an antidepressant drug or a style of talk therapycan ease depression in every case. However, research suggests you will improve your chances of getting relief if you combine drugs and therapy. One report that pooled findings from 25 studies found that adding psychotherapy to drug treatment was more helpful than medication alone in treating major depression. Earlier research suggested that one reason therapy and medication may complement each other is that they have different effects on the brain.
In addition to relieving depression, combination therapy may help ward off recurrences. A classic three-year study reported in JAMA tracked recurrences of major depression in about 200 people ages 60 or older. Of those who received monthly interpersonal therapy and who also took an antidepressant medication, 80% avoided a recurrence. In contrast, the same could be said for only 57% of those who received the drug alone, 36% of those given just interpersonal therapy, and a mere 10% in the placebo group.
If your symptoms are mild or moderate, it is often reasonable to start with either medication or psycho-therapy. If your depression is mild, there is an excellent chance that you will respond well to psychotherapy alone. Generally, as symptoms become more severe, it is more important to consider medication earlier in your treatment.
Doses And Duration Of Treatment
Antidepressants are usually taken in tablet form. When they’re prescribed, you’ll start on the lowest possible dose thought necessary to improve your symptoms.
Antidepressants usually need to be taken for 1 or 2 weeks before the benefit starts to be felt. It’s important not to stop taking them if you get some mild side effects early on, as these effects usually wear off quickly.
If you take an antidepressant for 4 weeks without feeling any benefit, speak to your GP or mental health specialist. They may recommend increasing your dose or trying a different medicine.
A course of treatment usually lasts for at least 6 months after you start to feel better. Some people with recurrent depression may be advised to take them indefinitely.
Read more about antidepressant dosages.
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Depression Is Different From Sadness Or Grief/bereavement
The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being depressed.
But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:
- In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest are decreased for most of two weeks.
- In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
- In grief, thoughts of death may surface when thinking of or fantasizing about joining the deceased loved one. In major depression, thoughts are focused on ending ones life due to feeling worthless or undeserving of living or being unable to cope with the pain of depression.
Grief and depression can co-exist For some people, the death of a loved one, losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression. When grief and depression co-occur, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression.
Which Antidepressant Works The Fastest
Unfortunately, all antidepressants take a few weeks to kick in. How fast an antidepressant starts working varies widely from person to person. Generally speaking, you can expect to experience some effects between 4 and 6 weeks after starting your medication. If you dont feel any change after 8 weeks of starting an antidepressant, contact your healthcare provider to let them know its not working.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Antidepressant Medications
The provider prescribing your medicine will discuss its potential side effects with you. He or she will try to prescribe drug with the least number of side effects for your health condition. Sometimes, more than one medicine may be tried before the desired benefits are achieved.
You will be monitored closely so that your provider can detect the development of harmful side effects and make the necessary changes.
All medications not just antidepressants can cause side effects. Keep in mind that your provider prescribes the medication only if its expected benefits outweigh the risk of side effects.
Side effects, if they occur, are usually mild. Some side effects decrease after you have taken the drug for a while. However, if side effects don’t go away, they will once the drug is stopped. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your provider before taking any medicine.
Classes of antidepressant medications and common side effects
Currently there are six different classes of medications approved to treat depression. These are:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors .
- Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors .
- Tricyclic antidepressants .
- Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors .
- Non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Increased sweating.
Non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists
- Feeling drunk.
- Lack of energy.
Hpa Axis And Neural Plasticity: Implications For Antidepressant Treatment
Recent studies have shown that chronic or cumulated stress induce neuronal atrophy in some vulnerable brain structures such as the hippocampus and decreased neurogenesis . Reduced volume has been associated with duration of depression and cognitive difficulties such as impairment list learning and a specific recollection task. The relationship between hippocampus volume and illness duration further suggests that it is possible to stop or delay progression of the morphological changes associated with depression. Indeed, it has been shown that antidepressant treatment increases neural plasticity at the level of neurogenesis , signal transduction and gene expression . Since decreased hippocampal volume has been correlated with duration of depressive illness, and CRH has a critical role in long-term effects of early-life stress on hippocampal integrity and function it is suggested that chronic hypercortisolemia associated with alterations in neuroplasticity and neurogenesis may underlie the vulnerability to subsequent depressive episodes.
It appears therefore crucial to adequately treat depression in the early stages of illness in order to prevent morphological and functional abnormalities.
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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.
How Is Homeopathy For Depression Carried Out
Homeopathy for depression treatment follows an approach that involves two stages. The first stage is about case taking and the second stage is about selecting a similimum.
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How Long Will You Have To Take Antidepressants
Usually, these drugs must be taken regularly for at least 4 to 8 weeks before their full benefit takes effect. You are monitored closely during this time to detect the development of side effects and to determine the effectiveness of treatment.
In order to prevent a relapse of depression, medicines are generally prescribed for 6 to 12 months after a first-time depression. When you and your provider determine that you are better, you should expect to continue the medication for at least 4 to 6 additional months. After this, your provider may gradually taper you off your medicine.
How Much Do You Need
According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans get the amount of ALA they need from the food they eat, along with smaller amounts of EPA and DHA. You can get adequate omega-3s by eating a varied diet that includes fish and other seafood, nuts, seeds, plant oils, and fortified foods such as certain juices, yogurts, eggs, and milk.
No particular dosage is recommended at this time for depression. The FDA recommends not going over 3 grams per day without your doctor’s permission due to a potential increase in the risk of bleeding.
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How To Get More Omega
Since our bodies can’t make them from scratch, omega-3 fatty acids must be obtained from the foods that we eat or via supplementation.
Foods that are high in omega-3s include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Plant oils
For those who opt to eat fish rather than take a supplement, the American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish per week for general health, which could be taken as good minimum consumption level.
About Homeopathic Treatment For Depression
Homeopathy is an approach of alternative medicine developed in the year 1796 by Hahnemann. The origin of homeopathy lies in the theory of cures as postulated by Hahnemann. He firmly believed that the root cause of every ailment is a phenomenon or miasm. The administration of homeopathic treatment can address this miasm and thereby cure the disease.
Homeopathy works wonderfully for the natural treatment of depression. It helps to alleviate nervous breakdown and can effectively heal any form of anxiety, depression, and other such mental health issues.
Over 300 million people, of almost all ages, across the globe, suffer from depression, with more women than men gripped by mild to crippling depression.
At the worst, depression, both mild and severe, leads to suicide. According to the World Health Organization , suicide is the second most significant cause of death in the world. Approximately, 80,000 people commit suicide every year.
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Vitamins And Supplements For Depression
The jury is still out on how well herbal remedies, vitamins, or supplements work in treating depression. While many supplements are widely available over the counter, in many cases their efficacy has not been scientifically proven. If your depression symptoms are in part due to nutritional deficiency, you may benefit from vitamin supplements, but this should be on the advice of your healthcare professional.
If you decide to try natural and herbal supplements, remember that they can have side effects and drug or food interactions. For example, St. Johns Worta promising herb used for treatment of mild to moderate depressioncan interfere with prescription drugs such as blood thinners, birth control pills, and prescription antidepressants. Make sure your doctor or therapist knows what you are taking.
How Are Antidepressant Medications Selected
The type of drug prescribed will depend on your symptoms, the presence of other medical conditions, other medicines you are currently taking, the cost of the prescribed treatments, and potential side effects. If you have had depression before, your provider may prescribe the same medicine that worked for you in the past. If you have a family history of depression, medicines that have been effective in treating your family member may also be considered.
Usually you will start taking the medicine at a low dose. The dose will be gradually increased until it has reached the therapeutic dose, or until you start to see an improvement .
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Tips For Depression Treatment
- Learn as much as you can for depression treatment. This way, you can understand your illness better. You can also feel less stressed about the treatment process. If you ever need to talk to someone in confidence, dont be afraid to call a suicide hotline number such as 800-SUICIDE or 800-273-TALK. Remember that people who care will always listen and not judge you for speaking up.
- It takes time to find the right treatment. If you need help, make sure to speak up and dont wait. Reach out for support from your doctor or therapist. You can also find a friend who will listen when you call the suicide hotline number. Keeping yourself busy with fun activities is always helpful in treating depression symptoms such as taking a yoga class or going on a hike.
- Do not rely on medication. Doctors recommend that you try alternative treatments such as supplements, going to a yoga class or meditation group once a week, and breathing deeply every day.
- Get social support. If you can, find a friend who will listen when you call the suicide hotline number. Do not wait to ask for help with depression treatment if needed! Reach out now and dont be afraid of speaking up. You are never alone through this journey so stay strong!
- Treatment takes commitment. Remember that it takes time to find the right treatment. It is always helpful if you practice meditation, take medicine every day, and reach out for support from your doctor or therapist.
Ssris: The Most Frequently Prescribed Antidepressants
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant class.
These are the SSRIs currently approved by the FDA to treat depression:
Although MAOIs can sometimes help people who do not respond to other antidepressants, they are not widely used today because of their potential side effects and interactions with certain foods and beverages as well as other drugs.
For example, for people taking MAOIs, ingesting large amounts of the compound tyramine could cause dangerously high blood pressure.
You may also experience serious reactions if you take an MAOI with various medications, including:
- Other prescription antidepressants
- Cold and allergydrugs
- Herbal supplements
On rare occasions, MAOIs and other serotonin-containing drugs can cause a potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. You may be at risk if you take too much of a serotonin-containing antidepressant, or if you combine an MAOI with another prescription antidepressant, certain pain or headache medications, or St. Johns wort .
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