Depression: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Left untreated, depression can grind life to a standstill, sometimes even resulting in suicide. No one should have to live with depression. Left untreated, the disorder can grind life to a standstill, sometimes even resulting in suicide. Worse yet, children and teenagers are equally susceptible as adults.

Fortunately, there’s good news. With appropriate treatment, depression does go away. Depression is not a sign of inner weakness; it is a disease. And like other diseases, it can be fought and beaten. Learn about depression and how to cope with it.

Treatment Options for Depression

A wide variety of treatment options for dealing with depression are available. Each case is different and the prescribed treatment varies from person to person. Some treatment options include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Support groups
  • Medication/antidepressants
  • Natural remedies
  • Hypnosis
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Any combination of the above

Treatment Depends on the Type of Depression

Once a patient is diagnosed, treatment can begin. Treatments vary depending on the type: Does the patient suffer from dysthymia? Cyclothymia? Bipolar disorder? Each type requires a slightly different approach to treatment. Combinations of antidepressants and psychotherapy are very effective in most cases. Sometimes it’s even possible to let the episode run its course—most depressive episodes resolve themselves after three or four months, although this won’t work for long-term conditions like dysthymia and cyclothymia.

The weapons used in the fight are more sophisticated and varied than ever before. Antidepressant medication has advanced in leaps and bounds over the last few years. The new drug treatments for depression are safer and have far fewer side effects than medication used as recently as ten years ago. Psychotherapy is, of course, completely confidential (no danger of your therapist contacting your boss), and is a much friendlier form of depression help than the popular notion of Freud quizzing you about your childhood!

Combining Therapies

Many times, treatment for depression is most effective when several different treatment approaches or modalities are used. Psychotherapy and drug treatment often go hand-in-hand in cases of clinical depression. Antidepressants help remove the energy-sapping qualities of depression, making it easier for the patient to do the often hard work of therapy. Adding a support group gives the patient a sense of community and understanding, and self help techniques reaffirm that the patient controls his or her own life. With such a range of treatments for depression available, the disorder can be successfully overcome.

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  • Seasonal Affective DisorderMany people feel a little blue when the days get longer and colder. It’s quite common for people to eat more, sleep more and stay indoors more than normal during the winter months. Some people, however, experience drastic changes in mood and behavior when the seasons change. These people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). ... Read more
  • Severe DepressionSevere depression refers to the constant feeling of hopelessness and as despair. Learn the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for severe depression.
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