Depression Treatment Options
When I am talking about depression I am referring to Major Depressive Disorder and not a case of the blues. The difference between the two to me is that the case of the blues may cost you a box of Kleenex before it is over where Major Depressive Disorder may cost you your life. Having dealt with depression for the majority of my life I have tried a wide assortment of depression treatments some of which I will cover in this article. Remember there is nothing wrong for asking for help when you need it.
Depression Treatments – Medication
The number one treatment that is used to treat Depression today is the use of medication and specifically antidepressants. Now I believe that this type of medication is over prescribed and that the people in the white coats reach for their prescription pads way too quickly when a patient shows any signs of depression. That being said there are a high number of people who are suffering from Major Depressive Disorder where the use of medication is truly a life saver.
Antidepressants does not make depression disappear overnight or even in weeks but once you find the right one it makes life a bit easier. What most people do not understand is that it takes four to six weeks for the antidepressant to hit the right level before it can be judged whether it is going to help. If the antidepressant proves to be ineffective than the whole process needs to start over again with a new medication. I went through five antidepressants before I hit the right one.
Unfortunately like any other medication antidepressants may come with side effects and some can be pretty nasty. The most common tends to be around weight gain which does happen in some cases. The side effect that doctors are constantly on the lookout for is that it may increase suicidal thinking and behavior to the point where the person takes their own life, this is especially a concern when dealing with teenagers and the elderly
Depression Treatment – Therapy
Is therapy effective in all cases of depression? No. What needs to be understood is that there are two main types of depression where one is chemical based as in the lack of certain chemicals in the brain and situational depression. Therapy is a fantastic depression treatment when dealing with situational depression where the mental health therapist can help explore where there depression is coming from and helping them work through it. Unfortunately when dealing with chemical depression therapy has a much lower success rate.
Finding the right therapist can be tricky and depending on where you live you may not even have a choice. I am Canadian and have had to use Mental Health services that were provided at no cost but I had no part in the decision-making when it came to finding the right mental health therapist. It took a number of mental health therapists before I finally found the right one and due to the process it took several years
Depression Treatment – Electroconvulsive Therapy
Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT or Shock Treatments is only used when nothing else works. Electroconvulsive Therapy is where the person suffering from depression is put to sleep and two electrodes are placed either on one side of the head or the opposite sides and then an electric shock is sent through the electrodes sending the person into a convulsion. Needless to say this particular Depression Treatments come with some risk however it has been used for over fifty years in hospitals around the world.
One of the main side effects is loss of memory and the amount differs from patient to patient. For me personally having gone through nine or so Electroconvulsive Therapy treatments I lost the time around the actual treatments. Did not remember waking up and going down to the treatment room nor do I remember how I arrived back in my room. I have heard of extreme examples of people losing months at a time though.
Depression Treatments – Mental Health Hospital
Not everyone who experiences depression is going to end up in a Mental Health Hospital as this tends to be reserved for the patients who pose a risk to themselves or others. Depending on where you live will determine the type of facility and treatments that you will receive as a patient on the psych ward. Most movies make mental health hospitals seem like a scary place but in my experience they are actually the opposite for the most part. Yes there are patient going through extreme levels of mental health breakdowns but the staff is trained and qualified to deal with such episodes.
The first psych ward stay lasted nearly three months as an antidepressant put me into a manic state and I posed a huge risk to myself. This was at a standalone Mental Health Hospital. The next two psych ward stays happened at a city hospital for a total of seventy days or so. Unfortunately the last two times was meant for short term patients so it was not designed for long term care but there was no room at the before mentioned mental health hospital.
Well there are the three most common methods of depression treatments. There are several other depression treatments that you can do that have proven to be effective in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder which I have covered in Self Help For Depression. Once again if you are struggling with depression reach out for help and start to feel like yourself again