In my previous article,depression have already been discussed,this write up covers how depression can be managed
Signs and tests
Your health care provider will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms. Your answers and certain questionnaires can help your doctor diagnose depression and determine how severe it may be.
Blood and urine tests may be done to rule out other medical conditions with symptoms similar to depression.
In general, treatments for depression include:
Medications called antidepressants
Talk therapy, called psychotherapy
If you have mild depression, you may only need one of these treatments. People with more severe depression usually need a combination of both treatments. It takes time to feel better, but there are usually day-to-day improvements.
If you are suicidal or extremely depressed and cannot function you may need to be treated in a psychiatric hospital.
MEDICATIONS FOR DEPRESSION
Drugs used to treat depression are called antidepressants. Common types of antidepressants include:
Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro).
Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), venlafaxine (Effexor), and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Other medicines used to treat depression include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
If you have delusions or hallucinations, your doctor may prescribe additional medications.
WARNING: Children, adolescents, and young adults should be watched more closely for suicidal behavior, especially during the first few months after starting medications.
CHANGES IN MEDICATIONS
Sometimes, medications that you take for another health problem can cause or worsen depression. Talk to your doctor about all the medicines you take. Your doctor may recommend changing your dose or switching to another drug. Never stop taking your medications without first talking to your doctor.
Women being treated for depression who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should not stop taking antidepressants without first talking to their doctor.
Talk therapy is counseling to talk about your feelings and thoughts, and help you learn how to deal with them.
Types of talk therapy include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you how to fight off negative thoughts. You will learn how to become more aware of your symptoms and how to spot things that make your depression worse. You'll also be taught problem-solving skills.
- Psychotherapy can help you understand the issues that may be behind your thoughts and feelings.
- Joining a support group of people who are sharing problems like yours can also help. Ask your therapist or doctor for a recommendation.
OTHER TREATMENTS FOR DEPRESSION
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the single most effective treatment for severe depression and it is generally safe. ECT may improve mood in people with severe depression or suicidal thoughts who don't get better with other treatments. It may also help treat depression in those who have psychotic symptoms.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses pulses of energy to stimulate nerve cells in the brain that are believe to affect mood. There is some research to suggest that it can help relieve depression.
- Light therapy may relieve depression symptoms in the winter time. However, it is usually not considered a first-line treatment.
You can often ease the stress of illness by joining a support group whose members share common experiences and problems.Some people with major depression may feel better after taking antidepressants for a few weeks. However, many people need to take the medicine for 4 - 9 months to fully feel better and prevent the depression from returning.
People who have repeated episodes of depression may need quick and ongoing treatment to prevent more severe, long-term depression. Sometimes people will need to stay on medications for long periods of time.
People who are depressed are more likely to use alcohol or illegal substances.
Complications of depression also include:
- Increased risk of health problems
Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. These substances can make depression worse and might lead to thoughts of suicide.
Take your medication exactly as your doctor instructed. Ask your doctor about the possible side effects and what you should do if you have any. Learn to recognize the early signs that your depression is getting worse.
The following tips might help you feel better:
- Get more exercise
- Maintain good sleep habits
- Seek out activities that bring you pleasure
- Volunteer or get involved in group activities
- Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling
- Try to be around people who are caring and positive