Depression treatment is a complex issue and could potentially involve any or all of a number of options. the choice of treatment depends on the severity of the depression. Mild depression may just require supportive counseling and problem solving assistance. Major or clinical depression will most likely require medication as well as more intensive psychotherapy, in more severe cases hospitalization may be required, if the person is at risk of suicide, or the depression is so debilitating that they are unable to look after themselves.
1. Supportive Psychotherapy involves giving encouragement and support, reassurance guidance and explanations to a depressed person and an opportunity for then to express their emotions.
2. Psychoanalysis aims at attempting to resolve underlying conflicts from childhood of which the person is not fully aware. It may be helpful for some chronic depressive symptoms but is not recommended in the acute phase as a depression treatment
3. Cognitive therapy embraces the theory that how we feel is a result of how we think; so if we think negative thoughts we’ll feel and act negatively. It aims at alleviating depression symptom by focusing on the present and future and challenging negative thought patterns.
4. Behaviour therapy is used in conjunction with cognitive therapy and is used to dissipate the inertia that can accompany depression. It involves planning daily structured activities that give a sense of pleasure and achievement.
Evidence shows that anti depressants do work in 65-70% of cases. Those with moderate to severe depression are more likely to respond.
The anti depressants used to treat depression include:
Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Serotonin noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
Tricyclic anti depressants (TCAs)
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors(MAOIs) and
Reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase (RIMAs)
Chemical messengers in the brain known as neurotransmitters are sometimes lacking or disproportionate in those with depression especially those involved in regulating mood. These neurotransmitters are called serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine. Groups of anti depressants differ from each other in which neurotransmitters they affect and which nerve receptors are targeted. It should be noted that all anti depressants have side effects.