Your depression treatment plan will be determined by the type and severity of your depression. Some people go through psychotherapy. They may also be prescribed antidepressants or other treatments. Exercise can also help for Depression Treatment.
If that isn’t enough, there are still more options. Your doctor may, for example, recommend brain stimulation techniques such as electroconvulsive therapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your doctor may or may not prescribe antidepressants if you have bipolar depression. Mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications can also be used to treat the condition.
Everyone is unique. You may need to try different drugs and at different dosages to find the best treatment for you. It also takes a while for an antidepressant to take full effect. You may meet with several doctors or therapists before you find the one you want to work with. Patience and openness will help put you on the path to feeling better.
Called antidepressants, these help lift your mood and ease the sadness and hopelessness you might feel. Work with your doctor to find the one that works best for you with the fewest side effects.
How Antidepressants Work
It’s all about the brain circuitry that helps manage your mood.
The three key chemicals are norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Research shows that in depression, brain circuits that use these chemicals don’t work right. Antidepressants tweak the chemicals so that the circuits work better. That can help improve your mood, although researchers don’t understand exactly how.
How Long Will I Stay on Antidepressants?
Usually, your doctor will advise you to keep taking the meds for a while even after you start feeling better. That helps lower the chances that your symptoms will come back. How long you may need to stay on antidepressants will depend on your mix of symptoms, how much they improve, and whether you’ve had depression before.
What Are the Types of Antidepressants?
Tell your doctor if you’re taking any other meds, supplements, or herbs. They can interfere with antidepressants. The major types are:
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the most often prescribed type of antidepressant. They improve how brain circuits use serotonin.
- SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) affect brain circuits that use both serotonin and norepinephrine.
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). These are an older type of antidepressant. Sometimes they’re called cyclic antidepressants. Like SNRIs, these mainly affect levels of norepinephrine and serotonin and work well. But they can have more side effects than other drugs, so they’re usually not the first prescription choice.
- MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).
When Are Other Medicines Used?
Your doctor may also put you on other medications, such as stimulants and anti-anxiety drugs. That’s especially likely if you have another mental or physical condition. But anti-anxiety medications or stimulants don’t treat depression by themselves.
Combining antidepressants with other meds, such as those used to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, can also help.
What Is Psychotherapy’s Role?
It’s also called talk therapy. You meet with a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or other trained mental health professional. You will learn new ways to handle the challenges and mindset that depression can bring on.
If your depression is mild to moderate, psychotherapy may work as well as an antidepressant.