Treatments for Depression

Treatments for Depression

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One of the most common psychological problems affecting nearly everyone, whether on a personal basis or through a family member suffering from the condition, depression is an illness characterized by bouts of melancholia, sadness, or feeling emotionally down in a way that disrupts the normal functioning of an individual.
People with depression may experience problems with work, social and family adjustment. If left untreated, depression can be a strong risk factor for suicide.

Fortunately, treatments for depression are available and most of them are effective in treating the condition as well as its symptoms. The treatments for depression are also very varied so to list them all here would be next to impossible. Suffice to say that treatments for depression are typically divided into two major categories – medications and therapy.

Some people with depression respond to therapy better, while others can go on normally with their lives by regularly taking antidepressant medications. However, there are also others that can only respond to therapy after taking antidepressants. Hence, the two approaches of treatments for depression may be used alternatively or in combination by some health practitioners, depending on the individual reaction of the patient.

Treatments for Depression: Medications

The first thing to remember about depression medications is that they do not treat depression. Just as aspirin can reduce a fever but without clearing up the infection that causes it, antidepressants only help control the symptoms but do not cure the condition itself.

Moreover, depression medications do not produce the same effect in everyone. Some people may experience side effects, and factors such as age, sex, body size, body chemistry, etc. can affect how the drug works on a patient. However, many people do however respond well to antidepressants as treatments for depression. How long the individual must take antidepressants depends on the type and severity of the depression.

Treatments for Depression: Therapy

A different approach to providing treatments for depression is therapy, where the depressed individual is given assistance in many different ways, including supportive counseling, cognitive therapy, and problem-solving therapy.

Supportive Counseling

This type of intervention helps ease the pain of depression. One of the most prominent symptoms of depression is the feeling of hopelessness that a depressed individual experiences. The purpose of supportive counseling is to directly address this feeling of hopelessness and despair.

Cognitive Therapy

All pessimistic ideas, unrealistic expectations, and overly critical self-evaluations that create depression are addressed in this stage of intervention. The key here is to help the depressed person realize which life problems are critical and which are minor. In realizing this, the individual can now develop more positive life goals.

Problem-solving Therapy

Depression may be created because of certain problematic areas in a person’s life. The purpose of problem-solving therapy is to specifically address these key areas that create significant stress.