It would seem that everybody has heard of such a concept as depression
. It would seem that everybody has a general notion even about the treatment of depression. However, this is not the case. The existing notions of this disease are so distorted that this topic is shrouded by myths, guesswork and frank nonsense. So let's talk in detail about how to treat depression
Firstly, remember that depression is not a shame for life. The patient will not be put into a psychiatric hospital and will certainly not be tormented and the life will end there. It is not the persons fault, but a misfortune that happened with him or her. Even with chronic depression, sick people are more often hospitalized not in psychiatric hospitals, but in depression treatment centers, which are essentially more like a sanatorium.
Of course, the talk about treatments for depression should begin with information about antidepressants. They are divided into two large groups — stimulating and sedative. The first ones are used when symptoms of hindrance and fatigue prevail, the latter — with depression accompanied by anxiety. Proper selection of an antidepressant is a difficult task, because it is necessary to take into account the type of depression, the degree of its severity, the expected response of the person to a particular medication, as well as the potential for the development of mania in patients with bipolar disorder. Wrong choice may turn out not only to the aggravation of the condition, but also to suicide — stimulating antidepressants can give the patient exactly the forces that he or she lacked to end the hated life. Actually, that is why it is better not to carry out personal experiments with these medicines.
Many people believe that antidepressants are harmful to health. To tell the truth, this is not quite a myth. Even when used modern, rather humane, antidepressant drugs, side effects are not rarity, although psychiatrists try to pick up medications for depression treatment that wouldn’t increase the troubles of their patients.
Sometimes, these medications cause headaches, dizziness, sick people sweat heavily, palpitations, photophobia, loss of libido, drowsiness, decreased or, conversely, increased appetite.
Most patients are afraid of the latter. It is believed that because of the administration of antidepressants a person can gain weight. But, this is possible even with the depression itself. Some people are afraid of a loss of sexual desire, but it is difficult to be sex giant while depressed. In addition, side effects disappear immediately after the course of treatment and depression with its unpleasant symptoms may last for years.
Some people think that antidepressants are addictive. Neither the old nor the more modern soft antidepressants cause physiological dependence, except psychological. But psychological dependence may be due to many things that are not even related to medications or chemicals.
Often, feeling reduced symptoms of depression or tired of side effects, a person simply gives up a course of treatment. But this cannot be done categorically! The doctor not only prescribes antidepressants, but should also constantly monitor the patient while he or she receives them.
Usually, at the very beginning of depression treatment with antidepressants small doses are initially prescribed and then they are gradually increased, and then reduced again before completely canceling the medication. If you give up a course of treatment at the very peak, it is possible not only to restore depression in an even worse form, but also other interesting side effects: nausea with vomiting, focus disorder, dizziness — in general, a complete set of troubles. Therefore, even though it is possible to buy antidepressants in a good online pharmacy or in literally every traditional drugstore, better first talk with your physician to find out which medicament is best for you.
Quite often, people with depression are recommended to undergo a course of psychotherapy — however, soul-saving conversations usually show their effectiveness in reactive depression. As for the endogenous depression, these conversations treat them, according to studies, about the same as placebo.
In general, the spectrum of therapeutic methods recommended for mild forms of depression is quite wide: exercise, light therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, meditation, art therapy and so on. Most of these methods have no evidence base at all, some (they include physical exertion and light therapy) have it. Unfortunately, with severe endogenous depression all this does not work. However, for such cases there are other ways of treatment, including drug treatment for depression.
Electroconvulsive therapy shows very good results. But don't think that it is a continuation of the centuries-old history of dealing with this illness by torture: the patient receives anesthesia and a drug to relax the muscles, after which, with the help of electric current, controlled convulsions are caused. As a result, the brain undergoes chemical changes that lead to better mood and well-being. After about 5-10 sessions, 90% of patients experience significant improvements.