Depression is a common, but treatable, mental health issue. Part of the challenge posed by any mental health illness is getting an accurate diagnosis and meaningful help early, before the symptoms have a negative impact on your life.
Our understanding about the nature and proper treatment of depression has advanced over the past several decades. Depression is different from one person to the next, so treatment must be tailored to the individual.
A good first step for anyone dealing with depression is to learn about the various types of depression therapy and how they work.
Treatments for Depression
There are three basic types of depression therapy:
- Medical therapy (medications)
- Psychotherapy (talk therapy)
- Brain stimulation therapy
Let’s talk about what these types of therapy are and what each one may be able to do for you:
Medications for Depression
Also called antidepressants, this type of depression therapy helps to lift a person’s mood and to reduce the symptoms of depression. These medications take more than one day to start working; it may often be a few weeks before you notice a change in your symptoms.
Your doctor may have to fine-tune, or even switch, the types of medications you’re taking multiple times before you find the right treatment solution that works for you – and with tolerable side effects. It’s important to stay on your medications at all times, especially when you and your doctor first start on a treatment plan.
Unfortunately, some people with depression stop taking their prescribed medications because they think that the medicine is not helping. Feeling let down, some people stop seeking help altogether or they resort to self-medication, including drug and alcohol use.
People who are under the age of 25 react to medications differently than mature adults. The FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) recommends close surveillance of young patients at all times, particularly when medications are first started.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can be a powerful tool to treat depression. There are many different theories and approaches to psychotherapy, and the approach must always be tailored to the individual. A good psychiatrist will help you feel comfortable with this type of therapy.
Brain Stimulation Therapy
If medication and talk therapy don’t help, your doctor might suggest brain stimulation therapy. Brain stimulation therapy employs electric or magnetic energy to send signals through the skull to the parts of the brain that are affected by depression. The signals either disrupt or energize neural patterns to essentially reset the brain.
There are two basic types of brain stimulation therapy:
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
ECT has been shown to be effective in severe and treatment-resistant depression. Today’s ECT is much different than what it was in the past: Most people have ECT treatment in an outpatient setting, and they receive sedation and muscle relaxants prior to the start of treatment.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
TMS uses magnetic energy pulses to energize specific areas of the brain. This noninvasive, targeted therapy is generally very safe and causes minimal side effects.
However, TMS is not a good option if you have a history of stroke, seizures, or other neurological or chronic conditions.
Psychiatrist in Southbury, Connecticut
Depression doesn’t have to take over your life – and you don’t have to be embarrassed about getting treatment. At Psy-Visions, we’re here to help guide you with a correct diagnosis and effective treatment.
To learn more about treatment options, call us today at (203) 405-1745 or request an appointment online now. We look forward to helping you.