Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are general methods used to treat depression?
There are different approaches to improve mental health through depression treatment. Most of the time, severe depression experts use a blended approach. The three broad methods used in treating people living with depression are:
Also known as antidepressants
, these drugs will ease feelings of hopelessness and sadness in people living with depression. Discussing with your physician concerning the use of antidepressants is vital so you can have adequate health information about their side effects. Please consult with your doctor or primary care physician before considering any medication options to improve your mental health.
Sometimes, a change in your lifestyle may be all you need when dealing with depression and looking to improve your mental health. Even with other treatment options, side effects will be tolerable as severe depression will subside faster when you make the necessary adjustment to your lifestyle.
Engaging in frequent exercise can help people living with depression because it increases the level of endorphins, serotonin, and other biochemicals that make you feel good. The elevation in mood that comes with exercise has a positive effect on mental health. Exercise can be likened to a drug that has minimal side effects.
Support Groups. Joining support groups or keeping in touch with family and friends helps reduce seclusion, a critical factor implicated in most people living with depression.
Healthy eating is vital for your mental health and physical wellbeing. Contact your physician before taking any mood-boosting supplements to avoid severe side effects and increase your health information.
Sleep is a strong mood lifter. Inadequate sleep will increase the severity of depression. It also exacerbates moodiness, irritability, fatigue, and sadness. Simply getting adequate sleep will have a positive impact on your mental health.
Evaluating the psychological health of their patients is one other way that depression experts employ to treat depression and to improve mental health. The three most common psychotherapeutic methods for depression treatments are psychodynamic, interpersonal, and behavioral therapy. These have been routinely employed by a therapist to improve their patient’s mental health.
Other Less Employed Methods for Treating Depression
- Electroconvulsive Therapy ECT
Electroconvulsive therapy ECT is part of brain stimulation therapies. It is a treatment for depression majorly used when treating patients living with severe bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder that did not resolve with the other depression treatment options. It involves short-lived brain stimulation while the depressed person is under the influence of anesthesia. Although electroconvulsive therapy is still controversial due to some observed side effects, its application has been proven beneficial to mental health.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-surgical method that utilizes magnetic fields to stimulate the neurons so that the symptoms of depression more apparent. TMS is typically employed when other treatment options have not been helpful in improving mental health in major depressive disorders. This usage is especially the case for patients living with "treatment-refractory" or resistant depression that responds poorly to first-line treatment. TMS is known to have little to no complaints of side effects.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is another non-surgical method of stimulating the brain when treating major depressive disorders. TMS uses a varying magnetic field to initiate electric current at a specific part of the brain via electromagnetic induction. Thanks to its non-invasive nature, side effects are not a major concern of this method.
What are the 4 types of depression?
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)
short for Persistent depressive disorder is a mental illness characterized by the presence of depression symptoms for two or more years. It is also known as dysthymia and is a type of major depressive disorder.
- Major Depressive Disorder
A major depressive disorder is the most popular type of depression. When an individual experiences this disorder
, they lose pleasure and interest in their daily activities. It has been observed that people living with major depressive disorder
experience most of the severe depression symptoms, like problems with their self-worth, concentration, energy, eating, or sleep. Therapy is always a first resort as patients complain of the side effects of some medications.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
About five percent of American adult has this medical condition. Sometimes called winter depression, SAD
is a seasonal depression type. People living with this mental illness experience swings and symptoms of depression. The incidence of SAD in the winter months is because of the lesser intensity of sunlight and allows therapists early detection and concentrate human services.
Bipolar disorder: is one of the mood disorders
which was previously called a manic depressive disorde
r, people living with bipolar disorder experience episodic depression. Similar to other types of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that changes the energy and mood of a person living with it. Only that sometimes, they can experience times of elevated activity and high energy
The symptoms that you'll experience during elevated activity and high energy periods include impulsive urge to take great risks, overspending, activity and thoughts carried out at a faster rate, decreased ability to sleep, and unjustifiable high self-esteem.
What Is the biggest cause of depression?
Major depressive disorder has no sole cause. It has different potential triggers and may arise due to a range of factors that negatively affect mental health over time. For certain folks, stressful and upsetting living conditions, like money or job worries, redundancy, illness, divorce, and bereavement, can cause it.
American Psychiatric Association
shows that depression has a higher incidence in females than males. Although its prevalence is increasing, ways to treat depression are also increasing in effectiveness.
What Is the best medicine for depression?
Genetics is one of the critical determinants that decide how antidepressants can affect you. There are certain instances where genetic test results can provide you with insights on how your system may likely react to a specific antidepressant. Also, some factors, other than genetics, can affect how you respond to antidepressants.
With that said, there is no single best medicine for major depressive disorder as side effects may vary in intensity based on the individual. This is not far from the fact that different sets of people have a particular type of antidepressant that does the job better for them. When opting for an antidepressant, these are some of the things that you want to consider:
Your current symptoms
Other currently prescribed medication
If it helped a close relative
Breast-feeding or pregnancy
Health insurance coverage and cost
Other health conditions
(Please consult with your doctor or primary care physician before considering any medication options)
What happens in the brain during depression?
Memory and Cortisol. A section of your brain known as the hippocampus releases the stress hormone, or cortisol when you feel stressed. Cortisol has a direct relationship with stress and has a negative effect on mental health over time. The continual increase in cortisol levels in the brain hinders the growth and development of new brain cells in the hippocampus.
The Amygdala and Cortisol. The continual increase in cortisol, courtesy to depression, can make the amygdala increase in size. Amygdala is the part of the brain that deals with emotional responses. A more active and larger amygdala leads to changes in the level of other hormones, alteration of activity levels, and also, sleep disturbance.
Brain inflammation. It is not exactly obvious whether inflammation leads to depression or is a trigger for it. But, certain researches have indicated a link between brain inflammation and people living with depression. One research study
particularly outlined that individuals that have depression for more than a decade are thirty percent more likely to have brain inflammation. Brain inflammation deteriorates further with depression, negatively impacts memory and learning, and meddles with brain chemicals that regulate mood.
Hypoxia. Reduced oxygen
, or hypoxia, has been associated with depression. When the brain does not have sufficient oxygen, it can lead to injury, inflammation, and death of the neurons.
Studies by the National Institute of Mental Health and American Psychiatric Association show an increased prevalence of depression in women compared to women. Drugs still remain a great way to treat people living with depression, but various factors like their side effects must be discussed with your doctor.
Do antidepressants help with confidence?
Individuals who take medications like Paxil report that they're more outgoing, less stressed, confident, and lively after taking drugs. One thing to note is that such drugs come with person-specific side effects that may alter their effect on different people.
Most antidepressants may modify two important personality traits associated with depression
(extraversion and neuroticism) independently of their effect on depression symptoms. (Please consult with your doctor or primary care physician before considering any medication options).
Which age group has the highest rate of depression?
Depression is most frequent in young adults between 18 and 25 (10.9%) and people with a mixture of two or more races (10.5%). According to the WHO
, American Psychiatric Association, and National Institute of Mental Health, men are twice less likely to have depression than women.
In one health information
reported by the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, from 2013 to 2016, about 10.4% of women are depressed while only 5.5% of men suffer from depression. Centers for disease management should thus consider women at higher risk for depression to target control and prevention strategies.
A doctor should examine the side effects of a drug and the age group and sex of the patient before choosing a medication for the treatment of depression. You can visit the American Psychiatric Association
for more data on the prevalence of depression. This organization is the largest psychiatric organization in the world devoted to human services.