As we go about our daily lives more and more people around us are affected by depression. Depression can be many things for many people but regardless of which form of depression a person may have it is important that they seek out some type of treatment. Treatment for depression can vary from over the counter herbs / supplements to shock therapy and hospitalization prescribed by health care professionals. The severity of the depression often determines which treatment course will be utilized.
When a person is first diagnosed with this illness they will most likely undergo one of the more common forms of treatment for depression which is counseling. Counseling may be performed by a counselor or in more serious cases the patient may be referred to a specialist known as a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a specially trained health care professional dedicated to treating mental illnesses. They have undergone specialized education to better understand the workings of the human mind and can more effectively prescribe chemical drugs or treatments known as antidepressants.
Antidepressants are the second form of treatment for depression we will discuss here. The prescription drug industry is a multibillion dollar a year industry and as such there are hundreds if not thousands of different types of antidepressants. When prescribed correctly they can greatly reduce the symptoms of depression and allow a person to live a seemingly normal life. However, while one of the most common forms of treatment for depression this is also one of the most abused. Many people will visit their family physician when feeling the effects of depression. Instead of doing the correct thing and referring their patient to a psychiatrist these family doctors will prescribe the latest and greatest antidepressant. The only problem is these drugs can have horrid side-effects including weight gain, headaches, and in extreme cases suicidal thoughts themselves. Think of this as if you were to buy a new television. Would you expect to get the same type of service at your local Wal-mart where the customer service rep deals with thousands of different products or would you expect to find a more knowledgeable sales rep at the Best Buy where they specialize in electronics? Sure you can buy an ok television at Wal-mart and the employee is bound to know a little something just from reading the box, however the rep at Best Buy will be able to tell you based on your watching habits and needs which television will be the best one for you. They will custom fit you so to speak. Treatment for depression is a custom fit. There are no “cure alls.”
In serious cases a patient suffering from depression may be institutionalized. This means the person will be confined either with their permission or against their will for in-patient treatment. This treatment usually requires signs the patient may cause harm to themselves or others. The length of treatment can vary from a few short days to a great many number of years. Only the patient’s doctor can determine when the patient’s healthy enough to be sent home.
Perhaps reserved for the most serious cases of depression shock therapy is the last form of treatment for depression we shall discuss. Years ago this treatment was administered by scalding a patient with hot water but today it is much more “humane” if you will. Shock therapy is a treatment in which doctors send electric current through a person’s body in the hope it may alter certain workings in the human brain. The patient is awake for the procedure and it does involve a certain amount of pain hence the quotations around the word humane. This treatment for depression does actually work in many cases but not without its own tidy little side-effects such as long term memory loss and in some cases hearing loss. In some cases these effects are permanent and irreversible.
Regardless of which type of depression you are suffering from it is important you seek some type of treatment. Depression is just like any other illness in the fact it is nothing to be ashamed of. You did not bring this on yourself and will be doing yourself no favors by hiding it rather than seeking help. Do not be afraid to step forward.