Stress and Depression Answers

Stress and Depression Answers :: Major Depression Treatment

Overview of Major Depression Treatment Options

There is more demand for effective major depression treatment than you might think. As much as 8% of the population suffers from this serious illness annually. In fact, major depression is the most common cause of disability in the United States. With this information in mind, you can undoubtedly see the importance of seeking qualified assistance to provide treatment for major depression.

Major depression will affect thoughts and behavior. Your sad mood will persist. Your activity level and relationships will be altered. Only a qualified physician can determine if you are indeed suffering from major depression. The good news, however, is that this condition is very treatable. Several options are available to your doctor:

Counseling: this is a very effective form of treatment for major depression. Your therapist can help you to work through any unresolved issues. Psychotherapy improves the likelihood of returning to your normal daily activities.

Prescription antidepressant medications: although not the magic happy pill that everyone is searching for, these can help by alleviating some or all of the symptoms associated with major depression. Antidepressant drugs affect neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in the brain. Scientists have found that there is a link to depression when these chemicals are out of balance or are not functioning properly. Antidepressant medications alter the sensitivity of the receptors in these neurotransmitters. Their use must be carefully monitored, but they can be a highly effective form of major depression treatment.

Electro convulsive therapy (ECT): this option is not the "shock therapy" of yesteryear and is much safer than the vivid images that may come to mind.. This form of major depression treatment is typically used in situations where medication and psychotherapy are not producing the desired results. It is reserved for individuals with intent to commit suicide or who are in a state of psychosis.

Light therapy: often combined with other forms of major depression treatment, this can be very beneficial for patients who note a seasonal relationship to their symptoms. In light therapy, you sit with your eyes open in front of a light "box" that emits a type and intensity of light not found in normal household lighting. Light therapy mimics outdoor light and causes a biochemical change in your brain that can relieve symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. (Light therapy hasn't been officially approved as a treatment by the Food and Drug Administration because of a lack of definitive evidence about its effectiveness in clinical trials.)

Major depression treatment is highly effective for most patients. Nearly 90% of patients undergoing major depression treatment will be able to function again and enjoy life once more. This make it all the more important to seek treatment for major depression as soon as possible.

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