Depression can affect how people think, feel, and handle daily activities. Physical symptoms, such as changes in sleep/energy levels, loss of appetite, and trouble concentration can manifest as well. Thankfully there are many techniques for treating depression and a majority of people are able to get back to leading a full life. Many people may not realize that there are different types of therapy and they are not a one-size-fits all. Everyone responds differently to therapy.
Types of Therapy for Depression
The World Health Organization estimates that 3.8% of the global population is affected with depression, including 5% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years. It is believed that approximately 280 million people of all ages struggle with depression. However, depression does not have to be a lifelong condition. There are currently many different types of therapy for depression that have all been shown to be highly effective in treating depression.
Depression Treatment Options
While everyone experiences sadness at different points of their life, depression is more severe in nature. Depression is extreme sadness that lasts for more days than not and has to be occurring for two consecutive weeks in order to be diagnosed. Depression can affect how people think, feel, and handle daily activities. Physical symptoms, such as changes in sleep/energy levels, loss of appetite, and trouble concentration can manifest as well. Thankfully there are many techniques for treating depression and a majority of people are able to get back to leading a full life.
Depression is not something that people can just “get over,” and it often requires professional help. When a medical professional treats someone with depression they will usually use two conventional methods.
Antidepressants: These are a classification of medication that is used to treat depression and other mood disorders. They work by boosting chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in the brain. Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are the neurotransmitters that most antidepressants target. Antidepressants typically start working within two to four weeks but may take longer. If one type of antidepressant does not have any effect then your doctor might have you try other antidepressants to see if you respond to any of them. Some of the common categories of antidepressants are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), SNRIs (Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors), TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants), MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors), and NASSAs (Noradrenaline and Specific Serotonergic Antidepressants). Generally, antidepressants are non-habit forming, although you should not go off them without guidance from your doctor, as you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them.
Psychotherapy: This is often referred to as “talk therapy,” as individuals will sit down with a psychologist, licensed therapist, or trained counselor and talk about their mental health conditions or concerns. However, it does involve more than just talking. Psychologists, licensed therapists, and counselors have to go through many years of training to learn how to properly help people. This training provides them with tools that they will pass on to their patients so that they can implement them in their daily life and hopefully overcome and recover from depression. They will be able to help their clients set realistic goals, pinpoint life events that may have contributed to their developing depression, identify distorted thoughts or perceptions, and develop life skills to cope with their symptoms and stresses. Psychotherapy tends to foster the relationship between client and therapist so that the client can feel safe in order to learn how to overcome their negative thoughts and/or behaviors. Not all therapists are the same, as many of them specialize in treating certain disorders. It can also take some time to find the right therapist for you. So, do not feel discouraged if it’s not a right fit the first time.
Those suffering from depression will usually try a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy to get the maximum benefits. Another treatment option when medication and traditional therapy fail is TMS therapy.
TMS (Transcranial magnetic stimulation): This is another effective method of treating depression or even treatment resistant depression. It is not usually the first treatment that doctors will use, as therapy and medication often work really well for patients. However, if they are not doing the trick then a patient can be recommended for this treatment, as it has a very high rate of significantly improving symptoms. According to Harvard Health Publishing, about one-third of patients experience a full remission, where their symptoms go away completely.TMS is a non-invasive procedure that involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate the nerve cells in the brain. By stimulating specific areas of the brain that are associated with controlling mood patients can see significant improvement in their depression. To conduct TMS therapy, a specialist will place an electromagnetic coil on your forehead and send magnetic pulses to the regions of the brain that have been mapped out beforehand.
Does Therapy Work for Depression?
Psychotherapy is all about treating the individual and helping them to work through whatever they might be struggling with at that time. Therapy is also not a one-time thing. It requires multiple sessions to see any results and several people go to therapy multiple times throughout the course of their life. Therapy also has to be tailored to the individual and their needs. So, every approach is different for each person. Psychotherapy has been proven to work for those with short-term and long-term depression. If you need to find a therapist a good place to start is to ask your doctor for any recommendations. You can also find therapists through the American Psychological Association or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Best Therapy for Depression
Many people may not realize that there are different types of therapy and they are not a one-size-fits all. Everyone responds differently to therapy. Some of the types of psychotherapy that work best for depression are the following:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This is one of the most popular forms of therapy. This therapy is the combination of cognitive therapy (thoughts) and behavioral therapy (actions). The focus is on identifying and altering negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to someone’s depression. Unhealthy and negative thought patterns usually lead to self-destructive behaviors, which only reinforce the thought patterns in a vicious cycle. Cognitive behavioral therapy consists of five to twenty sessions that are structured and can be held in individual or group sessions. Therapy is accompanied with “homework,” which allows people to practice and work on what they have learned.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy: This therapy is predominantly based on cognitive behavioral therapy, but with one significant difference. The main difference is that dialectical behavior therapy emphasizes the acknowledgment and acceptance of negative thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Therapists will teach clients how to cope and regulate their emotions so that they are able to learn how to handle difficult and stressful situations. Clients are also taught how to practice mindfulness so that they have all the power. Homework also consists of practicing coping techniques to improve their ways of thinking and behaving.
Interpersonal Therapy: Developed to help treat depression in adults, interpersonal therapy focuses on a person’s interpersonal skills. Those who have problems with interpersonal connections and struggle with relationships can often feel isolated, which contributes to feelings of depression. By addressing past and present relationships and interpersonal interactions, the therapist can help a person identify the important relationships in their life and how to resolve conflicts. The therapist will help that person to improve their communication and ultimately be able to build stronger social support systems through friends, family, and partners.
Psychodynamic Therapy: The idea behind psychodynamic therapy is that negative thoughts and behaviors are caused by unresolved past experiences, often occurring in childhood. This is a long-term approach to mental health and the expectation is for clients to talk about anything that is on their minds. Therapists will help a person to identify how past experiences have influenced current negative thoughts and behaviors. By making these associations, a person can work through these issues that are contributing to their depression.
Looking for a Therapist?
If you are looking for therapy services for mental health concerns, or if you have any questions regarding our services, call Gemini Health today! Our highly skilled mental health professionals are experienced in treating various mental and behavioral health concerns. They offer both individual and group therapy. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!