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.