Feeling low once in a while is normal for any human being. However, when such feelings become persistent and last throughout the day, for more than two weeks, it could be a case of clinical depression. Symptoms of depression, such as persistent sadness, irritability, guilt, oversleeping or waking up too early and fatigue, among others, usually become visible, but are ignored by the patient or kin, leading to its deterioration and making treatment difficult. In extreme cases it may even lead to suicide.
What complicates the matter is that most people, fearing stigma, find it difficult to share details of their mental illness either with a professional expert or with people close to them and are unable to get the appropriate treatment. To receive the right medical assistance is necessary to know about the available options.
Treatment for depression
Depression treatment involves psychotherapy and medication, such as antidepressants. Therapeutic interventions make use of both the treatment options either in combination or individually, depending on the patient’s condition. Various kinds of psychotherapy methods maybe advised depending on the nature and gravity of the illness. While use of antidepressants may incur certain side effects, the efficacy of its use relies to a large extent on the dosage prescribed.
Each person is affected differently by depression and it may take some time to find the right treatment that works best for someone. Different methods of treatment for depression include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Hailed as the most effective form of therapy for treating depression, it is directly associated with the way patients think. It is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. During this kind of therapy, the patients are made aware of their thoughts and beliefs. The therapists work closely with the patient to help them change their thinking to be healthier and more productive. They are also made aware of their actions and encouraged to change unhealthy behavior. The therapist helps patients recognize potential triggers for depressive behavior.
CBT utilizes cognitive restructuring and behavioral activation, to help patients deal with current problems and restructure negative thought patterns. They indulge in activities that make their lives more enjoyable, such as changing the way they relate to people, or focusing on the present as opposed to negative experiences in the past that could be aggravating their depression. The various strategies involved in CBT are:
- Socratic questioning
- Guided discovery
- Behavioral experiments
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT): IPT lays stress on identifying issues in daily life and looking for ways to address them while bringing about necessary improvements. While IPT is comparatively short-lived as compared to other therapeutic methods, physicians lay stress on learning new patterns instead of assessing the existing dysfunctional ones that could be resulting in depression.
- Psychodynamic therapy: This form of therapy is based on theories put forth by Freudian psychoanalysis. Patients are allowed to discuss their past experiences that maybe the root of their depression. The belief that a person’s behavior has a lot to do with what goes on in his or her subconscious mind is the foundation of this therapeutic method. Psychologists conduct detailed exploration of their patients’ feelings, during numerous sessions. Though considered less intense than the formal psychoanalysis method, each session extends to nearly 50 minutes each.
Path to recovery
If you or your loved one is battling some form of mental disorder, get connected to the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to learn about the best mental health programs in the U.S. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with one of our mental health experts for information on mental health treatment rehabs in your vicinity.