When treating depression, which is a common mood condition, or other mood disorders, there are some general methods that should be taken into consideration. However, this information isn’t intended to be an alternative to getting professional medical help.
It’s the most commonly used and popular therapy used as an effective depression treatment. There are many research studies and tests conducted to verify its effectiveness and safety. Basically, this therapy consists of easy techniques that are focused on all kinds of negative thinking patterns or cognitive distortions that depressed patients may use habitually.
This therapy started by establishing supportive settings or environments, and the next step is educating about how this condition may be caused by these cognitive distortions. Different types of faulty thinking must be discussed, and patients are encouraged to start noting their thoughts as they come to their mind during the day.
Everything is done to enable people see in black and white how often they have these thoughts. The main focus of cognitive-behavioral therapy is discussing the behaviors and thoughts linked to depression instead of only emotions. That’s because doctors believe that by emotions will change by changing people’s behaviors and thoughts. This therapy is short-term, and it usually lasts about 2 dozen sessions. It’s suitable for patients who experience a lot of distress caused by their depression. It’s also perfect for people who are more cognitively-oriented and can approach this problem from any unique perspective.
Nowadays, there are different types of therapeutic approaches used to treat depression. They range from behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapies to rational-emotive behavioral and interpersonal therapies. Don’t forget about effective psychodynamic and family approaches. Doctors use both group and individual modalities, and their choice is based on severity of depressive episodes, local resources and finances.
The use of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approaches in treating depression is not well researched at the moment. Although some doctors may use the psychodynamic theory to conceptualize on patients’ personalities, there’s still a debate as to whether it’s an effective option to treat depression.
It’s another effective and short-term therapy used by doctors to treat depression. Its main focus is on social relationships of patients and how they can be improved. It’s considered that stable and good social support is important for people’s well-being. When their relationships aren’t healthy, they start suffering, so this therapy is designed to improve communication and relationship skills in addition to assertiveness and expression of emotions.
Normally, it’s conducted individually, but doctors can use it in group therapy settings.
Many individual approaches are focused on the importance of being actively involved in recovery. Patients are often encouraged to complete specific homework assignments between therapeutic sessions. If they can’t actively take part in this therapy for any reason, therapists provide them with a supportive environment until meds start improving their state of mind.
Couple or Family Therapy
This treatment option is considered when depression affects relationships directly. It’s focused on interpersonal relationships with family members, and its basic goal is guaranteeing their effective communication. The roles of different family members in depression should be examined in detail, and education about this mood condition can be a part of this treatment.
It can be necessary when it’s established that patients are dangerous for others or themselves. However, this procedure should be taken with enough care. It’s necessary to get an informed consent of patients who also need to be encouraged to check themselves in. They are hospitalized until they become fully stabilized and therapeutic effects of antidepressants are strong (3-4 weeks).
Suicide is the worst outcome of depression, so all suicidal ideas should be assessed throughout therapy on a regular basis. That’s why the beginning stage of meds plays an important role. Once they start taking effect, patients are at a higher risk for acting on their suicidal impulses, so they must be monitored closely when the drug therapy starts.
1. MAO, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, are considered an older type of antidepressants. Patients who take them have specific dietary restrictions to prevent hypertension. These medications are never used first to treat depression.
2. Tricyclic antidepressants are the first developed ones. Unfortunately, they have more adverse reactions compared to newer types of antidepressants, but they can be more effective for some patients.
3. SNRIs, or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, are new types of antidepressants, and they work by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.
4. SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are very often prescribed by doctors to treat depression these days. If to compare SSRIs with other available types of antidepressants, they have fewer serious side effects. However, these medications shouldn’t be prescribed along with MAO inhibitors because of a possible risk of a very high serotonin level responsible for serotonin syndrome.
5. NDRIs, or norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors, are formed by Wellbutrin as a separate class of antidepressants. This medication is less likely to have any sexual side effects common for other types of antidepressants.
For some patients, all kinds of self-help strategies and methods to treat depression can be quite successful. As an example, support groups are very effective, because they provide people with a unique opportunity to socialize among others with the same problem and feelings. There are many groups that can easily be found both offline and online, and this is where patients with depression can share their personal thoughts and experiences.
Many special online resources, including chat rooms, mailing lists and newsgroups can offer an anonymous, safe and convenient place for people with depressive problems to share and discuss their feelings.
In addition, you can find a number of interesting self-help books written to help patients overcome their depression.
They are very effective for people who have both moderate and mild depressive cases. Some of these books are focused on cognitive-behavioral treatment, which is quite similar to those methods that are used within therapies. This means that they can be used as a helpful supplement to all conventional therapeutic approaches to treat this common mood condition.