Develop a Treatment Plan for Depression

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Approximately 25 million men and women in the United States will experience an episode of major depression this year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). If not properly treated, depression can worsen over time, causing major disruptions in a person’s everyday life.

If you think you may be experiencing depression, it’s important that you receive an accurate diagnosis so that you and your doctor can develop a treatment plan that works best for you. Components of a treatment plan for depression could include one or more of the following treatments:

Prescription Antidepressant Medication

Antidepressant medications work on chemicals in the brain called serotonin and norepinephrine. Research has shown that these chemicals help regulate a person’s mood. The reason why they work on regulating mood is not yet fully understood.

There are four classes of prescription depression medication that a doctor may choose to prescribe:

  • • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
  • • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
  • • Tricyclics
  • • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

Psychotherapy

There are several types of psychotherapy or “talk therapy” that may help people diagnosed with depression. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to help people reconstruct negative thought patterns. Interpersonal therapy helps people work through personal relationships that may be causing their depression or making their depression worse.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Formerly referred to as “shock therapy,” this treatment once had a very bad reputation. However, in recent years, ECT has very much improved and allows some people to overcome depression when other treatments have failed.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

 
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