As you may know there are varying degrees or depths of Depression. It can be very mild to very severe. We will take a brief look at just a few types of Depression first and then we will go over the treatment methods available. I think understanding even a little bit about Depression should help to understand the treatment methods.
Bipolar Depression is and has also been known as Manic Depression or Manic Depressive Disorder. Cyclothymia is another chronic mood disorder and is a lesser form of Bipolar Disorder. Postpartum Depression generally presents itself anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after delivery. In more severe cases, Postpartum Psychosis could develop in which thoughts of harming yourself and/or your child occurs.
Schizoaffective Disorder is a combined schizophrenic disorder and a mood disorder. There is also Schizo-psychosis which presents itself with hallucinations or delusions. It will also present elevated and or depressed moods.
Another disorder is called Seasonal Affective Disorder and is a kind of “cabin fever”. A person with this disorder will experience changes in sleeping and eating. They may be depressed and lethargic and/or have cravings for sweets and starches. This is thought to be related to how much sunlight you are exposed to.
Severe depression treatments are available. We will look at a few of them below.
Psychotherapy in its various forms is also called talk therapy and deals with relationships, thinking patterns, and effects of unresolved childhood events on the individual as an adult.
Antidepressants are classes of medications that are designed or to have the brain more efficiently use these chemicals.
Brain Stimulation Procedures include ECT – Electroconvulsive Therapy (shock treatments), Deep Brain Stimulation – an invasive surgical procedure, and Vagal (Vagus) Nerve Stimulation also an invasive procedure. TMS – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation that is performed by passing an electrically charged magnetic coil over the scalp to stimulate the brain. The potential exists for this procedure to be able to target specific areas of the brain.
Light Therapy is an attempt to mimic sunlight in either light boxes or specially designed light bulbs. The thinking is if this works it could provide great relief for those who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder
While most people respond fairly well to medication, the major concern is the side effects of which some can be very serious. There is growing popularity in natural or herbal treatments for depression and there are some really good herbal supplements. The best are of pharmaceutical grade and have been tested for the interactions of the ingredients
These treatments have been known to be successful for many patients. The important thing to realize is if you or a loved one suffers with any form of depression, it is not your fault or theirs. It is a real but very treatable illness. There is a lot of support available. You can search online or consult with your physician for resources.