What treatment options are available for depression?
When you or your loved one experiences symptoms of depression, it's helpful to know what treatment options are available and what to expect from them.
Start with Your Confidant Provider
Your Confidant doctor will first rule out an underlying health condition that might be causing your depression, such as a hormone imbalance or chronic pain.
Next, a psychiatric evaluation will be conducted where your care provider asks questions about your symptoms, thoughts, behavior patterns, and feelings. A medical professional will use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to determine if you meet the criteria for clinical depression.
According to the DSM-5, five depressive symptoms from a list of nine must be present nearly every day for two weeks for a diagnosis. For example:
Depressed most of the day
A significant change in weight
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feelings of worthlessness
Developing a Treatment Plan
A treatment plan typically is a combination of medication and therapies.
Your doctor may try drug therapy to help manage your depression. These drugs take time to work, and often it takes a little trial and error to figure out what is best for you.
Different medications affect brain chemistry in various ways, too. There is no way of testing for or knowing how a drug will affect you. For example, one drug might make you feel anxious while another makes you sleepy.
Additionally, there may be side effects that come with medication. Common side effects of antidepressants, like jitteriness, weird dreams, dry mouth, and diarrhea, typically go away after a week or two. Other side effects, such as decreased sex drive, can last longer. Certain antidepressants also come with an increased risk of suicide. Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor.
If you think you're ready to stop taking medication, ask your doctor to create a plan of action that will help you adjust.
Psychotherapy is a general term for treating depression by talking about your condition with a mental health professional. Different type of psychotherapies include:
Cognitive Brain Therapy (CBT) - Helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them more effectively.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) - Spotlights you and your relationships with other people. IPT focuses on the idea that personal relationships are at the center of psychological problems.
Group Therapy - Therapists work with a small group of people together, allowing them to interact and support one another.
These therapies help you:
Adjust to a crisis or other problems you may be having
Identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones
Explore relationships and experiences, and develop positive interactions with others
Find better ways to cope and solve problems
Identify issues that contribute to your depression and change behaviors that make it worse
Regain a sense of satisfaction and control in your life.
Help ease depression symptoms, such as hopelessness and anger
Learn to set realistic goals for your life
Develop the ability to tolerate and accept distress by using healthier behaviors
New developments in telehealth allow you to receive the care you need from your home using technology like a smartphone or computer. With Confidant, you can get that therapy from our professionals at reasonable prices, even if you don't have insurance.