Depression is one of the most well-known and common mental illnesses in the United States. Most commonly associated with symptoms of sadness and apathy, individuals with major depression experience symptoms that last for two weeks or more and are severe enough to impact daily activities. Though the onset of major depression can occur at any age, the median onset age is 32, which indicates that younger populations have a higher risk for developing this condition.
Depression is a serious illness that significantly impacts a person’s quality of life. Luckily, depression is highly treatable. Mental health services offer a variety of different treatment options tailored to meet individuals’ unique needs.
While individuals respond differently to various treatment types, some forms of therapy are widely successful. Here are three of the most common and effective depression treatments used by clinical psychologists and counseling services to help manage symptoms of depression:
1. Antidepressant Medications
Many depression symptoms are directly linked to chemical reactions in the brain. Through three key chemicals, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, most antidepressants work to bring back a healthier, happier brain chemical balance. Usually, a doctor or mental health services will prescribe a medication therapy and advise a patient to continue taking prescriptions even after they start feeling better to better prevent recurring symptoms.
Though antidepressants are effective, for some individuals, medications alone cannot fully ameliorate depression symptoms. Often, a doctor or psychologist will recommend different forms of psychotherapy along with medications. There are many different types of therapy, including interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and more. Each style of therapy is designed to address specific areas of a person’s mental and emotional landscape, such as personal relationships or past experiences. Through targeted and individualized psychotherapy, psychologists can help individuals with depression better understand their symptoms and develop healthy coping strategies.
3. Self-Help Strategies
Finally, individuals with mild depression symptoms or those who want more individual control over their depression can seek out self-help methods for managing mental illness. Reading a book written for those with depression or joining a support group can be great ways to supplement medications or psychotherapy. While self-help may not be enough for individuals with major depression, many find that doing research independently benefits their own understanding of the illness.
Depression can be a serious mental health concern; however, medical professionals have been working for decades to create a variety of viable therapies and treatments. If you have any type of depression, your doctor may recommend the above treatment methods to help you manage your symptoms and find a path to wellness.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at Sound Body Sound Mind LLC today.