Depression has most likely been around as long as man has. Treatments have evolved and there is a variety of treatment options available now. Let’s take a look at past treatments and the history of Depression. People with Depression have been called crazy and in the past institutionalized.
Early forms of anti-depressant medications were effective, almost too well. They left the patient lethargic and barely able to function. More modern anti-depressants still have serious side effects but they allow patients to function as normally as possible. Anti-depressants currently fall into four groups or classes. Monomine Oxidase Inhibitors – MAOIs is an early form of Die anti-depressant medications. These drugs are most often used with patients who do not respond to other treatments. They can also be used to treat other mental illnesses.
Those who take MAOIs must stay on a special diet because there can be negative interactions with foods such as cheese and wine. Trycyclics are effective in the treatment of Depression. They affect the levels of Norepinephrine and Serotonin. They are not the first choice of drugs because they have more serious side effects than the other drugs. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – SSRIs is a newer anti-depressant. They work by changing the amounts of Serotonin in the brain.
They are not without side effects that are serious. Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors – SSNRIS are very effective treatments. These drugs work by increasing the bioavailability of both Serotonin and Norepinephrine.
Electroconvulsive Therapy- ECT is a procedure whereby both a general anesthetic and a muscle relaxer. Electrodes are attached to the scalp and electric shocks are delivered at intervals. If this procedure was correctly done a seizure should develop. Because of the muscle relaxer only minor movements in the hands and feet are noted. When the patient awakens s/he is confused and remembers nothing about the procedure. Long term effects are permanent loss of memories, possible recurring seizure activity, and movement disorders.
TMS- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is still very much an experimental procedure but many hospitals and clinics already are offering to their patients. It is performed using a magnetic coil that receives regular pulses of electricity. The doctor passes the charged magnetic coil over the scalp where the current passes through the skull directly to the brain and stimulates the nerve cells. This procedure has the potential to become a very precise treatment targeting specific areas of the brain. There are no known harmful side effects to this procedure.
Herbal supplements contain a blend of herbs known to affect your mood such as Chamomile, Valerian and Dandelion root. They are blended with other nutritional substances and come in a capsule form. They have few if any side effects. The best ones are made to pharmaceutical grade. The ingredients’ metabolism at the molecular level should be tested and the interactions of the ingredients. This guarantees the purity, potency, and efficacy of the product you are considering purchasing. If you have other health conditions for which you take prescription medications herbal supplements could reduce the effectiveness of those medications.
There have been great strides from past treatments of Depression. The most advanced but still experimental procedure is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Anti-depressants now allow the patient to function as normally as possible. Many people turn to natural means such as herbal supplements to avoid serious side effects of prescription medications.