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Those with depression will feel sad and alone. They may also feel hopeless which may make the idea of getting better seem impossible. Oftentimes people do not even realize they have depression and assume that they are just meant to be unhappy. However, there is treatment for depression and it is available to anyone who seeks it.

Treatment varies on the form of depression and the person’s history. In most cases, treatment will involve a mix of therapy and medication. It is also beneficial for people with depression to join a support group of individuals who empathize with what they are going through. This is not to say that family and friends are not supportive, but they may not be able to fully understand what the patient in recovery is going through with depression.

There is no single treatment method for each individual and treatment should be tailored to the individual. In many cases, an addiction or substance abuse may form as a result of the depression or vice versa. It is important the facility diagnose and treat for all conditions to avoid a relapse. This is known as dual diagnosis or the treatment of a mental illness and an addiction. Once a diagnosis has been given, a treatment can be developed.

Medication

Medication can play a crucial and often temporary role in treatment for depression.

Antidepressants are one of the more common forms of medication for depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – SSRI — is one of the more current and popular antidepressants right now. Some of these include Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. It is important to consult with a doctor about antidepressants before a prescription is given. There can be severe side effects that occur in some, but not everyone. The side effects vary on each type of medication and a doctor should alert the patient of any possible side effects before prescribing.

In some cases, a particular medication may not be effective for a patient and clinicians may have to try a different one. Since there is no single cure for depression, a combination of medications might work when mixed with therapy treatment.

When taking antidepressants, it is important to wait at least four weeks to allow the medication to take effect. Some may be able to stop taking the medication after a time, whereas others may need it indefinitely. A doctor will need to monitor and slowly decrease the dosage of a prescription instead of stopping suddenly. This way, there is less strain on the patient and a chance to catch any side effects which may develop.

Possible side effects of taking antidepressants can include:

  • Increased depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Violent behavior

If someone taking antidepressants shows any of these signs while on the medication, it is important to call the doctor or 911 immediately.

Therapy options

Therapy is another option for treating depression. There are several different forms of therapy which allow patients various avenues to gain insight and thus deal with their depression. Some of the most common forms of therapy for depression include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy –CBT: Helps the patient to search through their negative thoughts and behaviors to find the source. The patient can learn techniques for gaining a more positive outlook on life and avoiding the negative and self-destructive behaviors
  • Dialectal behavior therapy –DBT: Is a modified form of CBT which helps an individual regulate the self-destructive and self-harming behaviors. Many use these behaviors as coping mechanisms for the wave of negative emotions which overwhelms them.
  • Interpersonal therapy – IPT: Is the second form that focuses on working through troubled and rough relationships that may make the depression worse.
  • Alternative therapies: Some facilities may use alternative forms of therapy such as yoga, mindfulness or equine therapy

Therapy is a great tool for treating depression and may be accompanied by medication. Not all forms of therapy are offered by all health care providers and may not be as successful for all. The home environment and emotional climate, as well as the severity of depression, are key factors in which therapy may work best.

Living with depression

Treatment for depression helps lead people down the path of healing, but is not the final step. Clients find, in time, they can decrease their medication and still need therapy or vice versa. One option that is highly recommended is to join a support group. Joining a group comprised of people who understand from firsthand experience what living with depression is like helps to offer further support, perspective and a source of advice. While working towards healing with family and friends is important, having someone who understands the roller coaster of feelings with depression is equally paramount to successful long-term treatment.

If you or a loved one show the signs or symptoms of depression and wish to seek treatment, please contact the Colorado Depression Treatment Helpline. We can connect you with the best treatment provider nearby who will help you with your situation. Feel free to call us at any time to get started.