Depression is an egalitarian disease. Young and old, rich and poor, who lead both unsuccessful and fully happy and satisfying lives, can fall ill with it. Apart from exogenous depression, most of these disorders are caused by internal factors, including disorders in the secretion of key neurotransmitters for our mood: serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
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This means that bad mood and all other symptoms arise without regard to tangible, rationally explainable factors. For this reason, depression remains a disease that is misunderstood by both the patients themselves and their environment.
How to help a depressed person knowing this? It should be remembered that depression cannot be persuaded. Therefore, you should give up trying to convince the patient that he is fine, that nothing is wrong, that life makes sense, etc.
A person suffering from a neurotransmitter deficiency is usually completely deaf and immune to this type of argument. Instead, give the patient well-balanced emotional support (do not shout or instruct, but also do not feel sorry for the patient and do not plunge into the depths of his illness), and then organize professional help, which is necessary in this case. It should be remembered that most forms of depression never go away on their own.
Treatment of Depression
Pharmacological treatment of depression should be carried out under the supervision of a specialist in psychiatry or at least a general practitioner. The disease requires a reliable diagnosis and the selection of the appropriate drug in terms of symptoms, the patient’s personality, general health and measures taken in the treatment of other diseases.
The more so because there are several dozen medications available for depression, and most of them, due to their very strong action and possible side effects, are available only on prescription. In the treatment of depression, drugs that affect the level of neurotransmitters in the body are used, including:
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram, escitalopram, sertraline,
tricyclic antidepressants (TCA): amitriptyline, doxepin, imipramine, desipramine, dibenzepine, dotiepin,
serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs): venlafaxine, uloxetine, milnacipran,
dopamine norepinephrine reuptake blockers (NDRI): bupropion.
In addition, pharmacies are also available herbal medicines, including those based on St. John’s wort. However, they are less potent, and it should be remembered that they cannot be taken with other antidepressants, especially the SSRIs.
Psychological therapy of Depression
In mild and moderate stages, as well as auxiliary in pharmacological treatment of severe conditions, people suffering from depression should undergo psychotherapy. These are classes conducted by a psychologist who is a specialist in this field, although not a doctor (psychology is a humanistic science).
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The most effective, in the opinion of experts, is the cognitive-behavioral depression therapy, which focuses not only on the current state, but also reaches deeply hidden experiences, memories and thoughts that may be the cause of the disease. As in the case of a visit to a psychiatrist, persuading a patient to undergo psychotherapy may require the involvement of relatives.
Depression Treatment Center
In most cases, treatment of depression is carried out at home – patients take prescribed medications and visit a psychotherapist at specified intervals. However, there are situations when the only option is a psychiatric hospital or depression treatment center.
Such a necessity often arises in the case of people who are plagued by very strong suicidal thoughts or have failed to take their own life. In a closed center, depression can also be treated by patients who have been struggling with successive relapses for years, not being able to combat it despite the attempts made.
Such facilities also offer pharmacological treatment and psychotherapeutic help, but these activities are carried out with greater intensity and with full control by specialists. Additionally, in hospital conditions, patients with severe depressive disorders may receive electroconvulsive therapy.