Depression can effect every aspect of your life and you may be convinced that you will never climb out of the dark hole it has created. If this sounds all too familiar, take heart! Depression is a highly treatable disease that responds very well to treatment with medications, life-style, exercise and nutritional adjustments and psychotherapy.
Up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms within 6 weeks of starting medication, psychotherapy, attending support groups or a combination of these treatments. (National Institute of Health, 1998)
Medications for treatment of depression include:
- Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-Norepinephrine Re-uptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Mood stabilizers (including Lithium and anti-epileptic agents)
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
- Antipsychotics (in small doses)
In addition, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to help with the side effects of depression including:
- Sleep agent
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Medications that help with focus, concentration and memory
- Non addictive medications that treat chronic pain
You may be recommended for psychotherapy in addition to being prescribed medication. Psychotherapy includes traditional talk therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal therapy and problem-focused therapy. There are other types of therapy that can be used to treat depression, in addition to these. You can find more information about psychotherapy approaches used to treat depression on the National Institute on Mental Health’s websiteNational Institute on Mental Health’s website.
You are more likely to experience an episode of depression if you also suffer from one of the following conditions (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017):
- Heart attack
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Eating disorder
- Substance use
If you are dealing with any of the above conditions, make sure you are regularly screened for depression and that you let your healthcare provider know if you think you might be suffering from any symptoms of depression.
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