Postpartum depression is a severe condition that causes many women to feel increasingly sad after the birth of their new baby. It is important to note that mostly all women will go through a time known as "baby blues" where they feel sad, have increased anxiety, trouble sleeping, and other problems. These baby blues can…
When depression sets in, it may feel like a dark shadow will never leave you, and you may even think depression therapy will not work. Nevertheless, it is possible to treat even the worst case of depression. Therefore, if depression is inhibiting your lifestyle, then it is time to get help. Many effective treatments are available to help you get over depression, regain hope and happiness, and take control of your life.
Treatments for depression
Since depression does not affect people the same way, every case is different, which means no single treatment works for all. What is effective for one patient may not work for another. The best strategy for handling depression is to arm yourself with sufficient information about the treatment options and adjust them to meet your requirements.
Antidepressants are effective for depression treatment. In some cases, the patient may need to try multiple antidepressant medications before finding the most effective one. Drugs that have worked for a close relative will possibly help the patient too.
Antidepressants usually take between two to four weeks before they make any difference on the symptoms. The patient will notice improvements in sleep, concentration and appetite before the mood improves. Patients who opt for medications must wait before deciding that the drug is ineffective.
Antidepressants sometimes have side effects, but those may reduce with time. Once you notice the side effects, consult your primary caregiver and do not discontinue the medication unless recommended by the doctor. You should not stop the medications as soon as you feel better, because it could cause unpleasant withdrawal signs and may be harmful. It is better to follow through the treatment duration and only stop the drugs slowly and safely with the aid of a doctor.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
This treatment is beneficial for patients who are not improving with medications, are psychotic or are feeling suicidal or pose a danger to themselves. The commencement of results may be quicker than medications, and improvements are often noticeable with a week of treatments. Candidacy for ECT depends on:
- Threat of suicide
- Unresponsiveness to medications
- History of good response to ECT
- High risk of mortality or medical morbidity
- Patient’s preference
While advances in ECT has improved the compatibility and safety of this procedure, there are associated risks, such as those linked with postictal confusion or rarely, temporary memory impairments.
Evidence-based psychotherapies such as cognitive behavior and interpersonal therapy have been found effective for treating depression.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT works on the assumption that patients suffering from depression are filled with thoughts of a dysfunctional negative perception of themselves, their life’s experiences (and society) and their future. This means that a clinically depressed person will probably feel that they are incapable and helpless, to consider others as judgmental and opposing and the future as bleak and unpromising.
CBT focuses on helping patients realize and adjust maladaptive thoughts and behavioral patterns. Multiple research supports the effectiveness of CBT for patients of all ages. Experts also consider it to be effective for preventing relapse.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
Interpersonal therapy is a time-based treatment for major depression. It focuses on minimizing or removing the symptoms of depression for enhancing the quality of the patient’s interactions with other people and social relations.
The bottom line
Every case of depression is unique. Seek help from a professional if you believe you or your child might be suffering from depression.
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