According to the World Health Organization, depression is the most debilitating disease known to humanity. About 67% of people who are depressed do not seek treatment. One of the reasons depression goes untreated is because people do not understand the treatment options.
The Symptoms of Depression
The emotional symptoms of depression are a combination of helplessness and hopelessness. A person with depression may feel guilty about their condition and become overly pessimistic. Constant sorrow, anxiety, and feelings of being unfulfilled may be experienced. Depression impairs the ability to focus and recall details which in turn adversely affects decision making.
Extremes in behavior and sleep patterns are symptoms of depression. Depressed people may experience insomnia or sleep more than normal. Fatigue and irritability are warning signs of depression. Depression can cause a person to stop eating or eat compulsively.
The physical symptoms of depression are persistent cramps, aches and pains, and headache. Issues that affect the digestive system and are unresponsive to treatment are possible. A depressed individual will lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. The most extreme and dangerous symptom of depression is contemplating or attempting suicide.
The most common treatments are psychotherapy aka talk therapy and or medication. The two approaches are usually combined.Examples of psychotherapies include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy that teaches the patient to recognize negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. Interpersonal therapy concentrates on helping the patient improve their personal relationships to provide them with a stronger support mechanism.
- Behavioral activation therapy helps the patient to recognize the onset of a depressive episode and to counter the onset by pursuing a pleasurable activity. During acceptance and commitment therapy the patient learns to avoid dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions. Teaching the patient to manage life's problems is the goal of problem-solving therapy.
- Antidepressants are usually the med of choice for treating depression. People who don't respond to antidepressants may be treated with atypical antidepressants. Both antidepressants and atypical antidepressants work by modifying brain chemistry to ease the symptoms of depression.
- Depression can be treated organically. Practices that promote overall health also treat depression. These practices are eating right, getting sufficient restful sleep, and regular exercise. Supplements like folic acid can help with depression symptoms.
When outpatient therapy fails to adequately treat depression an inpatient facility (depression rehab) is the next option. Depression rehab is also an option for people who suffer from both depression and addiction.
Upon entering depression rehab the individual undergoes both a physical and psychological examination. This is to determine if treatments for conditions other than depression are needed ie; detox. Based on the findings of the intake exam an individual treatment plan will be created.
Treatment will involve both personal and group counseling sessions. The treatment plan will include some of the methods described under the heading "Depression Treatment". Psychotherapies not previously mentioned may be employed as well. If necessary, treatment will be rendered for additional psychological and addictive disorders.