Depression Treatment

When dealing with depression, your physician is likely to recommend one or more traditional methods of treatment such as talk therapy or medications. For most people, this treatment begins with antidepressant medication. Your doctor may recommend taking a medication for several weeks to monitor your progress. If your depression symptoms do not improve, or you experience adverse effects from your medication, you may be prescribed different doses or different types of medications. If symptoms still do not improve, your doctor or psychiatrist may recommend other treatment options, such Electroconvulsive Therapy. This procedure involves sending small electric currents to the brain.

Antidepressant Medicine

Antidepressants are usually the first line of treatment for moderate or severe depression. Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are well-known antidepressant brands, but there are actually dozens of medications that doctors may choose to prescribe for you, each with its own benefits, side effects, delivery properties and risks. People who suffer from prolong bouts of depression are more likely to be prescribed a variety of medications over time in an attempt to find the right solution for the patient. Most antidepressants come with risks of side effects, but these vary by medication and from person to person.

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Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is sometimes recommended for those who aren't finding relief from antidepressant medicine, especially in severe depression. ECT is a procedure performed in a hospital, and involves an electrical current being applied to the scalp under general anesthesia, with the goal of inducing a seizure. The seizure of the brain somehow gives people relief from depression. ECT does not work for everyone. Side effects of the procedure can include memory loss, confusion, headaches, muscle soreness and (rarely) stroke or heart problems. It also involves the risks associated with general anesthesia, such as aspiration.

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Treatment Resistant Depression

If you do not respond to medication or other traditional treatments for depression, you may have what's known as Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). But don't lose hope – there are other options that may work for you. Those who have TRD are good candidates for TMS – transcranial magnetic stimulation. Using a powerful magnetic field with a strength similar to that used in an MRI scanner, TMS stimulates brain regions using brief magnetic pulses. TMS does not involve anesthesia or cause memory loss, as ECT does in some cases. Treatments are brief, effective, practical, and convenient.

Learn more about TRD