I'm Blue, Soooo Blue (Depression, part 4) ~ Coaching 4 Health & Wellness

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm Blue, Soooo Blue (Depression, part 4)

Depression is certainly treatable. There is definitely hope! One of the main things for depression treatment is for you to decide that you want treatment. Often this one step goes a long way to alleviating depressive symptoms.

As psychotherapists will tell you, sometimes it is a mystery to them, why they have so many people who only come in for one appointment. When following up with those clients, the therapists discover that they are notably happier and less depressed. It seems that just the fact of "doing something" to get better is in fact a step toward getting better. However, this is NOT the standard treatment. Everyone reacts differently. They point is that saying to yourself, "I need to take care of myself. I need to get some help" is a HUGE step forward. Following through is the next best thing.

The most common treatment for depression, particularly mild to moderate depression, is a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Listed below are some common medication types, as well as common psychotherapies.

Medication Treatment for Depression -

Antidepressant medications are often the first treatment option prescribed by health professionals. Antidepressants relieve the symptoms of depression, which makes it easier to face your problems and take appropriate action

Tricyclic drugs - tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a commonly used class of antidepressant drugs. They prevent neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin from being absorbed back into the nerves of the brain, thereby making these important neurotransmitters more available for the brain to use. The more norepinephrine and serotonin available to the brain, the less likely symptoms of depression will occur. Some common prescription names of TCAs: Elavil, Pamelor, Sinequan.

MAOI (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors) - monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors block the enzymes depelete the brain of norepinephrine and serotonin. However, they're commonly prescribed for patients with atypical depression (for example, depression marked by an increased appetite and need for sleep, rather than anorexia and insomnia) and for some patients who fail to respond to TCAs. MAO inhibitors are associated with serious side effects so people treated with one of these drugs must be able to comply with the necessary dietary restrictions to prevent toxicity or overdose. Some common MOAIs: Parnate, Nardil, Marplan.

SSRIs antidepressant medication (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) - SSRIs are one of the drugs of choice for treating depression. They're effective and produce fewer adverse effects than TCAs. They work by targeting specifically serotonin levels in the brain. Even so, they're associated with sleep and stomach problems and alterations in sexual desire and function. Some common drugs in this class: fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft)

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are another newer form of antidepressant medicine. They treat depression by increasing availability of the brain chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine. Medications in this class are Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
Venlafaxine (Effexor, Effexor XR), Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)

Other Antidepressant medications - drugs like maprotiline, trazodone (Desyrel), and bupropion (Wellbutrin) aren't chemically related to the other antidepressants listed above but they can be effective in treating depression by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine and epinephrine. However, the reason they aren't used as commonly as the other compounds is because of increased adverse effects.

Depression Therapies

Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy for Depression

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Depression Light Therapy
Light therapy (phototherapy) is exposure to light that is brighter than indoor light but not as bright as direct sunlight. It may help with depression and may help reset your "biological clock" which controls sleeping and waking cycles. Typically, you sit in front of a high-intensity fluorescent lamp for 30 minutes to 2 hours each morning. The main use is in Seaonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression related to shorter days and reduced sunlight exposure during the fall and winter months. Most people with SAD feel better after they use light therapy. This may be because the light therapy replaces the lost sunlight exposure.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS Therapy)
VNS involves electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve in the neck that goes up into the lower part of the brain. Research suggests that approximately one-third of patients with severe depression which has failed treatment with four or more medications may respond to VNS. VNS involves surgical implantation of a small electronic stimulator under the collar bone. An electric lead is then attached to the vagus nerve. The stimulator “fires” small electrical impulses to the nerve on a regular cycle 24 hours a day. Some patients can take as long as nine to twelve months before responding to this treatment.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Herbal treatment for Depression - The herbal treatment of depression had fewer side effects and as the researchers concluded, it showed promise for the long-term treatment of mild to moderate depression.

St. John Wort (Hypericum perforatum)


5HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)

Ginkgo Biloba

Natural treatment for Depression - Aa variety of natural treatment of depression can be used to help alleviate depression including exercise, yoga, meditation, etc.

Exercise or Yoga


Alternative treatment for Depression - There are many alternative treatments available for depression. Each of these alternative treatment of depression addresses human suffering in different ways, but generally they seek to re-establish a balance or harmony within the body and in the lifestyle of the person being treated.




Depression Treatment through Self Help- I found that the best way to cope with such intense discomfort was to live my life one day at a time.

Of course, you should understand that some of these treatments are controversial and may or may not have research backing the effectiveness or safety of the treatments. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check with your physician before trying any new treatment or procedure.

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