Depression is a serious illness and can be very destructive for those afflicted by it.
However, depression is also very treatable disease and there are many treatments available. About 80-90% of depressive patients get better or completely cured when treated.
There are two general types of depression treatment:
1. Psychopharmacology (depression treatment carried out by antidepressants)
2. Psychotherapy (depression treatment carried out by one of the psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapies)
Some depression professionals would say that psychopharmacology is the best depression treatment and others that it’s not.
Here are some facts about antidepressants which will hopefully help you make an opinion about antidepressants.
There are many antidepressants and they have been around for quite some time.
There is an old generation of antidepressants as well as the new one.
Side effects are numerous as well as unwanted consequences, especially if not taken properly.
Their success rate has been evaluated many times and the overall conclusion is that they are successful in reliving the depression symptoms but not healing the depression.
Antidepressants should be used only for severe types of depression so that patient is relieved of symptoms and can take part in psychotherapy. Antidepressants should be taken for at least six month.
They must be taken as prescribed and always regularly. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to be taking antidepressants occasionally. This can be very dangerous and must be avoided. When taking antidepressants you have to be disciplined.
One important thing to know is that antidepressants should never be taken without professional supervision and psychotherapy.
Types of Psychotherapy
Psychoanalytical type of therapy
Psychoanalytical oriented therapies are based on hypothesis that there is a big part of our psychic that is unconscious and that that part should be explored and addressed because all the answers are there. The patient’s past is talked about and studied as well as her/his dreams, habits, defense mechanisms, miss articulations and etc. This type of depression therapy is the most thorough but time consuming and expensive.
Interpersonal therapy is a very promising depression treatment and it has a lot of success. It is a short-term psychotherapy and it usually lasts for about one year. This therapy is developed for depression treatment, specifically major depression. It is quite successful, especially with treating less severely depressed patients.
Interpersonal therapy focuses on the “here and now” factors that are contributing to depression and prolonging depressive state. Its goal is to locate and fix the problems that are causing or/and nourishing depression. Interpersonal therapy is looking for those problems in present and not in the past as psychoanalysis does.
For example problems in relationships between patient and people around her/him definitely can contribute to depression and sometimes even cause it (if it is a really close relationship). Interpersonal therapy teaches the patient how to better solve relationship problems, cope with them and socialize in general.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This is another promising depression treatment. According to cognitive-behavioral therapists major depression is causes and maintained by self-rejection, self-criticism and dysfunctional behavior. Therefore negative thoughts and dysfunctional attitudes are addressed and worked on.
In this therapy therapists are focused on the way you think and behave and will try, together with you, to change unproductive and unwanted ways of thinking and behaving. One of the ways this is done is by homework assignments. They are given so that patient’s vicious circle of negative thinking and behaving is stopped.
Family therapy is very useful depression treatment. It is useful because it teaches whole family to understand and support in the best way their beloved one who is afflicted by clinical depression.
When someone is depressed, the whole family suffers. And someone in family can be doing certain things that are making a depressive person even worse.
This is why it is recommended that family therapy should be part of the treatment. Even more importantly family therapy can have a big role in prevention.
This depression therapy is used if medication doesn’t work for you. It is used for severe major depression and manic depression (bipolar disorder). It can be very helpful therapy and it is nothing like what it used to be, during the last century. It does not hurt; a mild electric current is applied to the specific part of the brain which is stimulated to function better.
Alternative Depression Treatments
There are many other depression therapies. They may not be considered to be scientific but that does not mean that they are not successful. However, little research is being done, using these alternative depression treatments, so we really cannot say how and if they are successful.