There are several treatments for depression depending on the type and severity. Often, mild depression can be treated with counseling, while more severe cases may need medications, The ideal treatment is a combination of talk therapy and medications to improve symptoms. In some cases, hospitalization may be required to stabilize the episode. Possible treatments may include one or more of the following:
Counseling/therapy. A counselor will talk with you about your symptoms and how you are feeling. They may ask about life events that trigger episodes. After you learn about your triggers, the therapist may teach you coping skills using techniques such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Mindfulness technique
- Interpersonal therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
Medication therapy. Medications for depression include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and possible antipsychotic medications.
Antidepressants come in many different forms. These include:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These are the most prescribed antidepressants. They work by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. (SNRIs)SNRIs block both the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs).NDRIs block the reabsorption of norepinephrine and dopamine and have fewer sideeffects.
Atypical antidepressants. Atypical antidepressants can help with insomnia and sleep problems because they cause sedation and are taken at bedtime.
Tricyclic antidepressants. These are older antidepressants with an elevated risk of sideeffects and are not as commonly used at this time. Newer SSRIs and SNRIs tend to have fewer sideeffects. These medications are not used unless SSRIs are ineffective.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).These are rarely used because of severe sideeffects that can have serious complications. A special diet must be followed, and many medications interact with MAOIs.
You may have to try several medications to find the right one. It also takes two to six weeks to adjust to many of these medications and feel the benefits.
Inpatient treatment. Severe episodes may require inpatient hospitalization, therapy, and medications. If you have felt suicidal or are unable to take care of yourself, you will need to be in a safe setting. Inpatient treatment usually offers group therapy, private therapy, and activities. You may likely be started on medication trials to works best for you. When you are feeling stable you will be discharged home and referred for outpatient care.