treatments for depression

Source: Morguefiles

The treatments for depression include the following allopathic treatments:

  1. medication
  2. therapy
  3. various stimulative treatments like electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, and the NeuroStar TMS device
  4. lifestyle changes.

Medication

There are several types of medications used to treat depression according to WebMD:

  1. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) increase the amount of serotonin in the brain.
  2. selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI’s) which increase both the serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
  3. tricyclic antidepressants (TCA’s) which also increase the serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, however they offer more side effects.
  4. monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) can be effective in treatment resistant depression but often requires a strict diet regimen to prevent adverse
    reactions.

Therapy

Therapy is often used in conjunction with medication to assist the patient through the course of depression treatment. Therapy can be effective in a number of ways:

  1. therapy counteracts the effects of childhood abuse and neglect by helping the individual see themselves as a valuable person who does not deserve abuse. That kind of validation can help resolve sad feelings from past difficult situations.
  2. therapy can facilitate the grieving process whether it’s for the supportive parents that the patient did not have, or other losses in life or of a desired life that is not possible.
  3. therapy helps with learning interactive and relationship skills that the person may not have learned in the past.
  4. therapy promotes the value of self care which may help an individual care for himself or herself.
  5. therapy can help with the process of forgiveness for transgressions and abuse in the past.

There are many types of therapy that can be useful for depression. One promising new therapy is a Future Directed Therapy (TM) at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. They have found that focusing on changing negative thoughts does not yield the same results as future oriented therapy. Apparently depressed people have reduced brain functioning in the areas of the  brain associated with optimism. Helping them develop strategies the create positive results in the world, produced increased optimism and less depression.

Future Directed Therapy(TM) … found that … depressed people have reduced brain functioning in the areas of the brain associated with optimism. Helping them develop strategies the create positive results in the world, produced increased optimism and less depression.

Brain Stimulation Treatments for Depression

Brain stimulation techniques can be controversial.

ECT or electric shock uses electricity to induce a seizure in the brain of a patient under anesthesia. ECT came into disfavor in the 1050’s to 1970’s due to the perception that is was being used excessively and inhumanely. ECT can be customized by varying the electrode placement, the frequency of treatments and the waveform according to Wikipedia.

Vagus nerve stimulation is a depression treatment for difficult depression patients which implants a device in the chest which is then connected to the left vagus nerve in the neck. The device stimulates the vagus nerve runs from the brain stem to the stomach according to the Mayo Clinic.

Brain2mind describes the NeuroStar TMS device as a non invasive coil device that generates a magnetic field directed to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that which when it moves into the brain creates small electric currents that are believed to improve the release of neurotransmitters.

Lifestyle Changes

There are many lifestyle changes that can be investigated that can help improve depression. Diet, exercise, vitamins and good health habits including sleep can make a big difference in emotions and well being.

Alternative Treatments for Depression

Alternative health strategies, energy medicine and herbal remedies can all offer assistance to the depression sufferer. They are important healing opportunities.