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Most Common Treatments for Depression

Most Common Treatments for Depression

If you’ve been following the article on Depression, you now know what causes depression and what its symptoms are. And whether you’re familiar with clinical depression or not, you may be curious about how depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) can be treated. Because every case of depression is different, there are many different treatments, and each person responds to them differently. Entire books have been written about how to treat depression, but I will give a quick overview of the three most common treatments for depression here.


1. The first treatment, you may be surprised to learn, may have nothing to do with drugs or therapy. Many people, especially those with mild cases of major depressive disorder, or those with situational depression, are able to treat their symptoms with a combination of lifestyle changes. These changes often include exercise, change in diet, and getting enough sleep. While this may not correct a severe brain chemical imbalance, it’s often enough to treat mild cases of clinical depression. It can also be effective for cases of depression that are triggered by stress or significant life changes.


Most Common Treatment for Clinical Depression or MDD

2. Probably the most common treatment for clinical depression is with antidepressant medications - in fact, it’s very likely that you know at least a couple people who have experience with these drugs. Antidepressants work by altering levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby getting these chemicals back into the correct balance. Different antidepressant medications affect different brain chemicals, and so every person who suffers from major depressive disorder may require a different type of medication. In addition to this, everyone responds differently to certain medications, so it may take a while to find the one that’s best in any given case. These medications also have side effects that may be more or less intense depending on the person taking them, so some experimentation (with a doctor’s supervision, of course) may be required.

  See also: Depression: Definition, Causes, Signs, Relief and Self Help, Treatment


3. The final depression treatment I will discuss is psychotherapy (which you may have heard called “counseling,” “therapy,” “talk therapy,” or several other things). This is often used in conjunction with antidepressant medications to deal with moderate-to-severe cases of clinical depression and helps those suffering from the disorder learn to properly deal with the things in their lives that trigger their depressive episodes. While therapy won’t change a chemical imbalance in the brain, it can help people deal with their symptoms, and can be very helpful as a standalone or augmentative treatment. There are several types of psychotherapy that are used for treating depression, including interpersonal, psychodynamic, and cognitive-behavioral.

There are many other ways that depression is treated, but these are the most common. It’s important to remember that any type of treatment may be very effective for one person, but completely ineffective for another. Just as the symptoms of depression vary a great deal, so do the most effective treatments. If you’re being treated for depression and you feel that your treatment isn’t as effective as it could be, let your doctor know and he or she will help you find the most effective treatment for your depression.

  

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