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If you are having trouble coping, never be afraid or ashamed to seek help for yourself.

Depression is an illness; itís not your fault. As with any serious illness, you need help to recover. But there are many safe, effective ways to treat depression, and you can get better.



Treatment Options For Depression



Psychotherapy
Medicines
Electroconvulsive Therapy
Alternative Treatments
Experimental Therapies
Taken from:
WebMD Health

The two main approaches to treating depression are psychological therapies, such as counselling, and medical treatment with antidepressants.

For mild forms of depression, psychological treatments are often sufficient. For more severe depression, a combination of psychological treatment and antidepressant drugs, or antidepressants alone, is usually recommended.

Regular physical exercise may also be helpful for mild to moderate depression.

Taken from: BUPA



Psychotherapy



Psychotherapy is sometimes called "talking therapy." It is used to treat mild and moderate forms of depression. A licensed mental health professional helps people with depression focus on behaviors, emotions, and ideas that contribute to depression, and understand and identify life problems that are contributing to their illness to enable them to regain a sense of control. Psychotherapy can be done on an individual or group basis and can include family members and spouses.
WebMD Health



Medicines



Medicines are commonly used to treat depression. Your family doctor or a psychiatrist can prescribe them, and are chosen based on your symptoms. The cost of medicines and potential side effects are important considerations when choosing this type of treatment for depression.
WebMD Health

There are several types of antidepressant medications used to treat depression and conditions that have depression as a component of the disease (like bipolar disorder). These drugs improve symptoms of depression by increasing the availability of certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. It is believed that these brain chemicals can help moderate emotions. Major types of antidepressants include:

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are some of the first antidepressants used to treat depression. They primarily affect the levels of two chemical messengers (neurotransmitters), norepinephrine and serotonin, in the brain. Although these drugs are effective in treating depression, they have unpleasant side effects, so they usually aren't the first drugs used.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are another early form of antidepressant. These drugs are most effective in people with depression who do not respond to other treatments. They are also effective for other mental illnesses. Substances in certain foods, like cheese, beverages like wine, and medications can interact with an MAOI, so these people taking this medication must adhere to strict dietary restrictions (see below).

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a newer form of antidepressant. These drugs work by altering the amount of a chemical in the brain called serotonin.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are another newer form of antidepressant medicine. They treat depression by increasing levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine.
WebMD Health

Common questions and answers about medications



Electroconvulsive Therapy



Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a procedure in which an electric current is used to produce a seizure in the patient. It is believed that ECT results in the release of chemicals in the brain that aid communication between nerves. It is one of the fastest and most effective ways to relieve symptoms in severely depressed or suicidal patients, or patients who are suffering from mania. ECT is used when severe depression is unresponsive to other forms of therapy. It is also used when medication is considered unsafe. ECT is usually followed by psychotherapy and medication under a psychiatrist's care. On occasion, ECT is prescribed on a regular basis (monthly-quarterly) to prevent further episodes of depression.
WebMD Health



Alternative Treatments



Alternative treatments can sometimes provide relief that traditional western medicine cannot. While some have become accepted as part of modern healthcare practice, others still have not been proven safe and effective.

Whether or not they are scientifically effective, alternative therapies, by providing forms of relaxation and relief from stress, may have a place in healing and general health and well-being. Examples of alternative therapies include acupuncture, guided imagery, chiropractic treatments, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, relaxation, herbal remedies, massage, and many others.

In general, alternative therapies by themselves are effective for mild, but not more severe forms of depression.
WebMD Health



Experimental Therapies



Experimental therapies are treatments that are not regularly used by doctors. Their safety and effectiveness are still being studied.

Some experimental therapies currently being investigated for treatment of depression include:

Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS): Traditionally used for epilepsy, this treatment uses electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerve -- a nerve thought to affect the area of the brain that controls depression. A tiny pacemaker-like device implanted in the chest sends electrical impulses to an electrode in the neck to stimulate the nerve and provide relief. This has only been used for patients who have not responded to standard treatment methods. Research is underway to prove its safety and effectiveness.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): Also called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), this is a technique in which magnets are placed on the head for a short time to alter the electrical currents in the part of the brain thought to control mood. Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to help some people with depression and has few, if any, side effects. It is not, as originally anticipated, a replacement for ECT. Though these results are promising, more studies are needed to determine any long-term side effects and benefits.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women: Depression is more common in women than in men. Changes in mood with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), after childbirth and following menopause are all linked with sudden drops in hormone levels.

Hormone replacement is a treatment currently used to relieve symptoms of menopause such as night sweats and hot flashes. HRT can also help prevent bone-thinning osteoporosis. However, these hormones can actually contribute to depression. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have had depression before and are considering HRT.
WebMD Health



Can Depression Come Back?



Even when treatment is successful, depression can return. Psychotherapy and/or maintenance antidepressant medication can help prevent depression from coming back by correcting the beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors that contribute to your depression. If you do experience recurring symptoms, don't hesitate to seek help again.



What is the Outlook?



The outlook for depressed people who seek treatment is very promising. By working with a qualified and experienced mental healthcare professional, you can regain control of your life.