Antidepressants & Psychotherapy – Depression Treatments That Actually Help

Depression Treatments by Perfect Health Magazine

Depression Treatments - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Clinical depression or major depressive disorder is a mental illness that is completely treatable.
  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 5% of adults suffer from depression globally. 
  • The stigma attached to depression and mental illnesses in general stops patients from seeking professional help. 
  • Treatments for depression include medication known as anti-depressants which assist in restoring the chemical balance of the patient’s brain. 
  • Psychotherapy with a licensed therapist is a vital aspect of treating depression. 
  • Remember that depression is treatable and help is always available for mental health issues.

Depression - Meaning & Overview

Depression is classified as a major mood disorder that is a mental health issue. Medically speaking depression is known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. It is a complex mental illness that results in deep-seated feelings of gloom, sadness and overall negativity. 

According to Center for Disease Control & Prevention estimates, 18.5% of American Adults had depression symptoms in any given 2-week period in 2019. 

Depression Treatments

Since depression is a complex health issue it needs proper medical care, attention and treatments. Psychiatrists and Psychologists are the right medical professionals for depression treatment. 

When other doctors observe the symptoms of depression in a patient, they recommend a visit to the psychiatrist or psychologist for further evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. 

Most people are scared of seeking professional help because of the stigma attached to depression and mental illnesses in general. People with mental illnesses try to cover up or self treat these issues with little or no results. Perfect Health Magazine recommends seeking professional help on a timely basis. 

Depression treatments typically include medication accompanied by psychotherapy sessions with a licensed therapist. The therapist helps patients in breaking patterns of negative thinking and replace them with positive ideas and processes.

Medication for Depression:

1. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and SNRIs (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)

These are the most prescribed group of antidepressants in today’s age. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) include Citalopram, Escitalopram, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, Paroxetine and Sertraline. 

SNRIs (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) include Desvenlafaxine, Desvenlafaxine Succinate, Duloxetine, Levomilnacipran and Venlafaxine. These are two types of antidepressants that act on serotonin and norepinephrine but differently.

SSRIs help regulate the chemical serotonin in the brain. SNRIs also act on serotonin and norepinephrine but in different ways than the SSRIs. Other drugs such as Vortioxetine and Vilazodone affect the serotonin receptors (like SSRIs) but also affect other receptors related to serotonin function. 

Other antidepressants include Bupropion, a drug that affects dopamine and norepinephrine regulation, and Mirtazapine, which increases the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine by a different mechanism as the SNRIs.

2. Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

These have been used to treat depression since the 1950s but are known to have more side effects than SSRIs.

3. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

The third group of antidepressants known as the MAOIs, are also known to regulate the serotonin in the brain. These act faster than the TCAs, however, the patients have to avoid certain food groups while on these medications. MAOIs are only prescribed if SSRIs and TCAs or other types of antidepressants don’t work.

4. Antipsychotics

Lithium Carbonate (Eskalith) is a common drug used for the treatment of manic depression. However it is sometimes used in combination with another antidepressant. 

Atypical antipsychotic medicine side effects include weight gain, changes in blood sugar and cholesterol, sedation and abnormal movements.

5. Ketamine

Ketamine can be given intravenously or through an inhaled nasal mist to treat major depression. It is becoming more widely available for depression that is not treatable with conventional means.

According to medical experts all of these drugs are strong in nature and hence can be procured only after showing a valid prescription. These drugs should be consumed only in the dosages recommended by the doctor. 

Medication prescribed for depression is referred to as anti depressants. Anti depressants are known to restore the chemical balance in the patient. However, long term consumption of anti depressants can cause harmful effects on the patient’s mind and body. Remember to have a detailed discussion with your therapist when starting off on anti depressants.

Psychotherapy for Depression:

One of the most significant aspects of depression treatments is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy means one-to-one sessions with a licensed therapist where the patient who is suffering from depression discusses in-depth his current feelings, past issues, traumas etc. This is a confidential discussion and the doctor never reveals any of the details to anyone else. Patient-Doctor confidentiality is taken very seriously and is upheld at all times. 

Commonly used forms of psychotherapy are cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal therapies.

  1. Cognitive therapies help change the negative thought patterns that accompany depressive moods and teach you new ways to build positive thinking patterns.
  2. Behavioral therapies concentrate on teaching you positive behavior patterns.
  3. Interpersonal therapies study how your interpersonal relationships affect your mood.

Other Treatment Methods for depression:

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
  • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (RTMS)
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
  • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

Depression - Concluding Remarks

Treatments of depression and the course of action for every patient will vary on case to case basis. Not all depression patients may need anti-depressants. It is of the utmost importance to start all treatments on time and follow everything the therapist has to say to get well soon.

11 Depression Symptoms You Must NEVER Ignore

Depression Symptoms

Depression Symptoms - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Depression is a major mood disorder that is experienced by 5% of the global population according to the World Health Organisation
  • It is a complex and serious mental health issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated by psychiatrists or psychologists only.
  • Symptoms of depression range include persistent feelings of sadness, negative outlook towards life, heightened anxiety, anger and stress, loss of interest in activities, fatigue, sleep issues, unexplained body aches, changes in appetite, crankiness, slowed thinking and suicidal thoughts.
  • It is best to seek professional medical help if you observe any of the symptoms of depression given in the article and get help on time.

Depression - Meaning & Overview

Depression is, unfortunately, a commonly occurring mental illness everywhere in the world. It is not limited to a particular race, gender, age or nation. In the United States alone 1 in 6 people experiences depression at least once in their entire lifetime.

Depression is a mood disorder where the patient suffering from it feels unhappy, sad and loses interest in life for long periods of time. It cannot be simply shaken off as “the blues”. It is a persistent feeling of sadness and glooms that stops the patient from doing even their daily routine.

In this article, we will be taking a deep dive into Symptoms of Depression. The symptoms are a simple but great indicator for identifying signs of depression early on for you or for your loved ones.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression symptoms are signs that can potentially display the onset of clinical depression. However, depression is a complex mental illness that cannot be diagnosed just based on symptoms, a psychiatrist or psychologist is the right person to diagnose a patient with depression.

Let us take a look at an exhaustive list of depression symptoms:

1. Persistent Feelings of Sadness

A person who is depressed feels sad or unhappy for long durations of time. He/she is unable to move past the sadness and look at the bright side of things in life. When a depressed person experiences persistent feelings of sadness – they may cry, sob or have unexplained outbursts for trivial or no reason at all.

2. Negative Outlook Towards Life

Being depressed is akin to wearing dark glasses day and night. You only tend to view everything negatively. Everything in the world seems wrong and you seem to be the only person suffering. Depressed people become cynical and bitter as time passes. 

They feel worthless, suffer from self-esteem issues and harbor feelings of guilt within themselves. Nothing they do is good enough and no amount of external validation makes them feel better.

3. Heightened Anxiety, Anger & Stress Issues

It is normal to feel anxiety, anger and stress. These are normal and universal emotions that everyone in the world feels from time to time. But people diagnosed with depression have heightened anxiety or anger or stress management issues or all of them. 

They are more likely to get anxious when things do not go as per their plan. They are also more likely to get unreasonably angry at small issues and are bad at handling stressful situations. 

Feelings of nervousness, fast breathing, increased sweating, stammering while speaking and an increased heart rate are signs of heightened anxiety or stress.

4. Loss of Interest in Activities

Many times the most classic symptom of depression is a loss of interest in activities that were once his/her favorite activities. Suppose your friend liked to swim or watch movies, but once they become depressed they may refuse to participate in these activities. 

There is a definite lack of interest in activities such as sports, hobbies, music, dance, chilling with close friends and family members and sex. Nothing stimulates the depressed person into engaging their mind or body in different activities.

5. Tiredness or Fatigue

It is common for people with depression to feel tired all the time. This tiredness is not a result of exhausting physical activities but due to the chemical imbalance in their brain. Fatigue also triggers sleep issues.

6. Sleep Issues

With the onset of depression, sleep issues are triggered. A common symptom of depression is either insomnia or over sleepiness. Some people lose their sleep completely and remain awake even during the wee hours of the night. While others sleep through the night and late into the day too. A lack of control over sleep makes it difficult to heal someone with depression.

7. Unexplained Body Aches

One of the most common symptoms of depression is body aches. A patient with depression tells the doctor of suffering from frequent headaches, backaches and so on. 

While on the outside there is no apparent reason for these aches and pains, they are real and the body’s way of communicating that it is in pain and needs help.

8. Changes in Appetite Leading to Weight Gain or Loss

Often a major symptom of depression is a sudden change in appetite. He/she may stop feeling hungry and eat minuscule amounts of food leading to a drastic and unhealthy weight loss. 

Otherwise, he/she may feel constantly hungry and eat a lot of food. Depressed people who see a marked increase in appetite most likely choose to eat food that is unhealthy for the body such as junk food, fried food and sweets. This leads to weight gain all of a sudden.

9. Crankiness

Depressed people are irritated easily and can stay cranky for long periods of time. It has been observed that men tend to be more irritated than women when suffering from depression. Their crankiness often takes the form of anger, taking unnecessary and unreasonable risks and drinking or substance abuse.

10. Slowed Thinking

Depression deeply affects the brain’s functioning. Even the brightest of minds feels the effects of depression. Their thinking is slowed and sometimes even tends to be irrational. 

This symptom of depression causes difficulty in concentrating and hampers the decision-making ability of the patient. A definite slowdown in thinking makes it difficult for the person to communicate their thoughts and emotions to anyone in their life.

11. Suicidal Thoughts

Every year 700,000 people die of suicide in the world according to the WHO (World Health Organisation). One of the leading causes of suicide is depression. Depressed people think of death and suicide on a regular basis. Suicidal thoughts and thinking of death as the ultimate escape route from the pains of life is a MAJOR symptom of depression.

Depression - Concluding Remarks

If you see any of the above symptoms in your loved one or in you please seek professional help immediately. Depression is a serious mental health illness that cannot be self-treated or ignored. It needs timely psychiatric treatments and medication to break the vicious cycle of persistent feelings of gloom and unhappiness.

9 Depression Types You MUST KNOW About

Depression Types by Perfect Health Magazine

Depression Types - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Depression is a complex mental health issue that should be treated by professionals. 
  • Globally 5% of adults suffer from depression but a fraction of them actually seek professional help. 
  • There are many different types of depression. The type of depression defines how much and what treatment will be prescribed by medical professionals. 
  • Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and Psychotic Depression are some of the major types. 
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder, Post Partum Depression, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Atypical Depression are the minor types. 
  • Get professional help on time if you experience any symptoms.

Depression - Meaning & Overview

Depression is a serious mental health issue that needs medical attention and treatment. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 5% of adults globally are affected by Depression. 

Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and gloom in patients. These feelings are so deep-rooted that it hinders the day to day activities of the patient. In mild to moderate intensity, most people ignore the signs of depression and in most severe cases depression may cause suicide.

In this article, we will cover the various types of depression found in humans all over the world. It is important to understand that every type of depression is different and the course of treatment prescribed by the doctors will depend on the type of depression diagnosed in the patient.

Types of Depression

While most people believe that depression has no sub-types, the reality is quite the opposite. There are many different types of depression. Depression type gives the hint to the causes of depression. Depression is triggered by events in life, upbringing, bad experiences, trauma, grief, and so on. 

Following are the different types of depression:

1. Major Depression or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

This type is usually present in patients if they feel depressed most of the time for most of the days of the week. It can present itself in various forms amongst different people. 

Depending upon the specific symptoms Major Depressive Disorder can be of these subtypes – Anxious Distress, Melancholic or Agitated. 

The Doctor, based on your symptoms, classifies you in one of the above. The depression is also further categorised into – mild, moderate or severe and then the treatment begins.

2. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

Medically Persistent Depressive Disorder is referred to as dysthymia. If a patient has a depression for 2 years or longer, then it is classified as Persistent Depressive Disorder. 

PDD is not as serious as Major Depression, however, since it acquires the nature of an incessant illness it starts affecting the patient’s personality. The patient finds it difficult to do day to day activities and may not even be able to become happy on joyful occasions. 

Long term therapy and medication is the treatment for PDD.

3. Bipolar Disorder

Earlier Bipolar Disorder was called ‘Manic Disorder’. It is a type of depression when the patient suffers from mood episodes that range from extremes of high energy with an ‘up’ mood to a low ‘Depressive’ mood. 

Patients with Bipolar Disorder experience mood swings that affect their sleep, energy, activities, judgment, behavior, and the ability to think clearly.

Medications are used to bring your mood swings in control. These medications are known as ‘mood stabilizers. Bipolar Disorder is a lifelong health condition that needs to be carefully managed and regularly monitored by qualified medical experts.

4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

This type of Depression is sometimes referred to as Seasonal Depression or Winter Depression. Patients with SAD experience the symptoms of depression during the months of winter when the days are shorter and you get less sunlight. SAD typically goes away once spring and summer arrive. 

However, the symptoms of SAD can cause the patient to feel extremely distressed and overwhelmed. They may stop their daily routine in bits and pieces or completely due to this depression. 

It is treatable and can easily be cured with help from the right doctors and medical professionals.

5. Psychotic Depression

In Psychotic Depression, people suffer from Major Depressive Disorder and additionally have “psychotic” symptoms as well. 

The first thing recommended by doctors worldwide in the treatment of Psychotic Depression is hospitalization and immediate treatment procedures to take control of the depression. 

Psychotic symptoms include hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) and delusions (false beliefs) and paranoia (wrongly believing that others are trying to harm you)

A person suffering from Psychotic Depression experiences agitation at the most trivial things, anxiety, constipation, sleeplessness, lack of rational thinking and unexplained physical immobility. 

This type of depression is hard to diagnose since the patients feel ashamed and try to hide it from the doctors.

6. Postpartum Depression

Only women experience Postpartum Depression. Postpartum Depression occurs immediately after a woman experiences childbirth. 

A lot of people call it “the baby blues” but Postpartum Depression is much more than that. Some women experience it only for a couple of days after childbirth and some women experience it for a longer duration. 

It is best to get help and treat it in a timely manner.

7. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

PMDD is a severe extension of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which can sometimes be disabling. PMDD causes extreme mood swings that can disrupt daily life and damage relationships. 

In both, PMS and PMDD, depression symptoms can begin as early as 10 days before your period and continue for the first few days of the period.

8. Atypical depression

As per psychiatry.org, 1 in 3 people who are treated for depression, have to be tried with different methods of treatment, since they have Treatment-Resistant Depression. 

One of the various reasons for this is that there may be other underlying conditions along with your depression, which makes it difficult to treat. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) may be helpful in such cases.

9. Treatment Resistant Depression

Atypical depression is a subset of Major Depressive disorder. Most people who experience Atypical Depression have experienced Major Depression earlier in life, especially during their teenage years. 

This type of depression is different from the persistent feeling of sadness in other forms of depression. If you have Atypical depression, a positive event can temporarily uplift your mood.

Depression - Concluding Remarks

Depression is a complex issue that needs proper diagnosis, care and treatment. The type of depression and the severity of the condition are defining factors in the course of treatment. Mental health is as important as physical health. Any signs of depression or anxiety should not be ignored. Seek help and stay positive.

Decoding Depression: Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Depression Blog by Perfect Health Magazine

Depression - Quick 30 Seconds Summary

  • Depression is a serious mental health issue that leads to disruption and major upheaval in the life of the person diagnosed with depression as well as loved ones. 
  • According to the American CDC, 1 in 15 adults are affected by depression every year. 
  • There are many types of depression including Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Postpartum depression etc. 
  • Symptoms of depression include: constant feelings of sadness, loss of interest in physical activities, changes in appetite and changes in sleep patterns, etc. 
  • Causes of depression are abuse, age, conflict, grief, etc. 
  • Depression treatments include medication, psychotherapy, and positive support from friends and family.

Depression - Meaning & Overview

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression,  is a mood disorder that makes you feel constant sadness and lack of interest in day to day life. 

According to Center for Disease Control & Prevention estimates, 18.5% of American Adults had depression symptoms in any given 2-week period in 2019. 

Depression affects an estimate of 1 in 15 adults every year, and 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some point in their life.

Depression is more than your ordinary bout of ‘having the blues ’ and you can’t simply just ‘snap’ out of it. Clinical depression may require long term care and treatment, with medication and psychotherapy.

What Are The Different Types Of Depression?

There are many types of depression. Some are caused by events that have occurred in your life, while some are caused by chemical changes that occur in your brain. The type of depression decides the course of treatment for the patient. 

  1. Major Depression or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  2. Persistent Depressive Disorder
  3. Bipolar Disorder 
  4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) 
  5. Psychotic Depression 
  6. Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression
  7. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  8. Atypical depression 
  9. Treatment-Resistant Depression

Doctors and psychiatrists spend hours understanding the patient’s condition before diagnosing him/her under any category of depression. This is a serious condition and mislabeling could lead to disastrous results for the patient.

What Are The Symptoms Of Depression?

Usually, most of us feel sad, low or depressed at times. It is a normal reaction to loss, life’s numerous struggles or having injured self-esteem. But when these feelings cause an overwhelming response longer than usual, start showing physical symptoms like pain, and last for a longer time period, they can keep you from leading what is called a ‘normal life’. 

Perfect Health Magazine recommends that in case you feel your normal life is hampered because of a persistent feeling of sadness, then seek medical help immediately. 

Symptoms of depression can include the following:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
  • Changes in appetite – weight loss or weight gain unrelated to dieting.
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • Increased fatigue and loss of energy.
  • An increase in purposeless physical activity (eg. inability to sit still, fidgeting, pacing, hand wringing or slowed movements or speech etc) these actions must be severe enough to be observed by others.
  • Feeling worthless or guilty.
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions.
  • Having suicidal thoughts.
  • Aches pains or cramps like headaches that won’t go away with medication.

These symptoms must last a minimum of two weeks and must represent a change in your behaviour and previous level of functioning, to be diagnosed as Depression.

When to See A Doctor For Depression?

If you have been feeling gloomy or sad for a long period of time or you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above in yourself or a loved one then please take them to a qualified doctor at the earliest.

What Are The Causes Of Depression?

Depression is most certainly a complex disease. No one knows what its exact causes are, but there are a variety of reasons associated with depression. 

Some of the causes for depression are:

  • Abuse – Abuse such as physical, emotional or sexual can make one prone and vulnerable to depression later in life.
  • Age – Elderly people, especially ones living alone, without social support are at a higher risk of depression. 
  • Conflict – People who are vulnerable, have a higher risk of depression if they have regular personal conflicts with family or friends.
  • Death or loss – Sadness or grief associated with the loss of a loved one, caused by death or otherwise, although natural, has a risk of depression.
  • Gender – Statistically, women are twice as vulnerable to depression which may be due to hormonal changes that take place.
  • Genes – A family history of Depression raises the risk factor amongst patients. Although there is no direct correlation of the same as it is the case with Huntington’s or cystic fibrosis, studies have shown a greater risk with family history.
  • Stress – Stress when not handled properly, can cause depression amongst patients. Whether it is the stress at work, personal life or in general, the risk associated is high.
  • Serious illnesses – Depression can be caused due to other major illnesses which a patient already suffers from.
  • Substance misuse – As per research, nearly 30% of patients with a history of substance abuse have clinical or major depression.

How Is Depression Diagnosed?

Unlike other major illnesses, depression cannot be diagnosed through blood tests or imaging tests. Hence, doctors usually look out for the symptoms when a patient visits for a routine check-up or follow-up for other chronic ailments. In fact, it is the interaction between the doctor and the patient that yields the most results for the diagnosis of depression.

During such visits, the doctor looks for specific symptoms of depression in the patient. Symptoms such as unexplained weight gain/loss, mood swings, change in behavioral patterns, change in thinking patterns, and loss of interest in activities once enjoyed are some of the key areas the doctor keeps an eye on.

A doctor generally rules out physical causes by performing a full physical examination. He may then proceed to talk with the patient to understand their mental frame of mind. 

If any of the symptoms of depression are present for more than 2 weeks, the doctor notes it down and enquires deeper to understand what type of depression you are dealing with.

Sometimes there are physical signs of depression, which are as follows:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Limb pain
  • Gut problems or digestion issues
  • Constant tiredness
  • Sleep problems
  • Slowing of movement and thinking

Your doctor takes all these into consideration while making his assessment of depression.

How Is Depression Treated?

Depression is mainly treated with psychotherapy and medication, as your doctor deems fit.

Treatments for depression are: 

Medication: 

Based on the judgement of the therapist and qualified doctor medication known as anti-depressants may be prescribed to the patient. 

Different types of prescribed anti-depressants are: 

  • SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and SNRIs (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) 
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) 
  • Antipsychotics – Lithium Carbonate (Eskalith)
  • Ketamine 

Psychotherapy for depression: 

Therapy is an important part of the treatment of depression. In cases of mild-to-moderate depression, psychotherapy alone may be sufficient treatment to alleviate symptoms. 

Therapy involves regular sessions with a qualified psychotherapist who helps you in overcoming your depression while resolving all past and present mental health issues. 

Commonly used forms of psychotherapy are cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal therapies.

Depression - Concluding Remarks

Whether you have some or all of the symptoms of depression, you are urged to consult your local GP and discuss the same with them, who can then guide you with an appropriate way forward. Along with this, lifestyle changes and practicing stress management techniques such as deep breathing or Pranayama, meditation, and Yoga are some of the practices that ensure you have control over your thoughts and behavioral patterns. As they say, a healthy mind and body are your greatest asset.