Best treatment for depression, is it medication?

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Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・MLA ・8 Sources

1.0 Introduction

Depression, which impacts the way a person thinks, feels, and handles daily activities, including work, sleep, and eating, is one of the most common yet serious psychological conditions. In order for one to be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms of depression must have lasted a minimum of two weeks. Instead, depressed people also experience severe weight loss, lack of pleasure and interest in daily activities, lack of concentration, repeated thoughts of suicide and lack of energy, insufficient sleep or insomnia, and feelings of worthlessness. Depression requires more than feeling sad; depression always returns, but most people will experience only one depression in their lifetime. Anyone can experience depression irrespective of age, race, gender, and economic backgrounds, although the condition affects some groups more than others. For instance, women have a higher possibility of experiencing depression compared to men, while young adults are more likely to suffer from the condition compared to older people, particularly those aged 50 years and above. Depression can be devastating for both the patients and their families; however, the condition can be detected, diagnosed and treated effectively through such approaches as through medications, lifestyle changes, and psychotherapy. Just as effective as medication, there are other treatments that help people overcome depression and reclaim their lives such as therapy and healthy lifestyle changes.

2.0 Causes of Depression

Several factors are associated with causing depression, including trauma, where in most cases, when individuals encounter traumatic events at an early age, their brain may experience long term changes. These also affect how the body reacts to stress and fear. Secondly, genetics where an individual inherits genes comprising of the risk to commit suicide and mood disorders which can be detected at tender ages and sometimes are influenced by life occasions and aspects (Adamec 2). Thirdly, the brain structure of a person can be a possible cause of depression as it is determined by how the pituitary gland and hypothalamus respond to hormone stimulation thus imaging studies showing the frontal lobe of the brain to be less active when a person is depressed. Moreover, the study shows that thirty percent of people abusing drug and alcohol result to been depressed at some stage in tier lives. Fifthly, environmental influences and life circumstances also cause depression for example displaced people and hostile habitats are likely to cause depression due to unsuitable living conditions whereas financial and marital status are most apparent causes of depression. Sixthly, medical conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, sleeping problems, and medical illness are also likely to get depressed. Consequently, psychosocial factors comprising of spiritual, mental, emotional, social and physical problems for example social influences such as parental support, peer pressure, personal relationships, cultural and spiritual background all help to influence and shape psychological character of a person and thus can cause depression if not nurtured well in early childhood stages

3.0 Symptoms of Depression

Several signs and symptoms can be observed to detect depression including changes in sleep patterns, where many people have problems of falling asleep, sleeping long enough, staying asleep and waking earlier than usual. Changes in appetite for example less eating or overeating as a coping may cause weight loss or gain thus symbolizing depression. Lack of concentration is a symptom of severe depressing that can cause people to be unable to focus on simple tasks like reading newspaper or deciding on what to do next. People with depression may think sluggishly, under achieve daily schedules or easily get exhausted due to loss of energy (Adamec 1). Lack of interest caused by loss of ability to experience pleasure for example no desire to eat. Emotions and sadness may instead be expressed as Physical pains and aches like headaches by depressed people.
Changes in movement also symbolize depression for example a person may wake up early morning and pace the floor for hours doing nothing. Hopelessness also leading to negative thoughts and suicide attempts are serious signs. Low self-esteem is also experienced through depression as people tend to dwell in failures, losses, excessive guilt and vulnerability for example feelings like “I am a loser” or “I do not want to be alive ” can take over. However, by what means a person terms the symptoms of depression hinge on the traditional lens one is looking through. For example, people from the western culture habitually chat about feelings and moods whereas eastern cultures people generally state the physical pain. Just like any other mental illness, people suffering depression experience symptoms differently thus changing how the carry out their daily activities.

4.0 Treatments

4.1 Medications

Depression has several recommended medications including mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications and the most preferred antidepressants. Antidepressants are medicines that are administered to treat depression. These medications reduce on the symptoms but there is a likely chance of symptom recurrence. Antidepressants help in balancing the use of certain chemical in the brain that control mood and stress. However, you may want to try out diverse types of antidepressants before finding one that has recovers on your symptoms and has adaptable side effects. An Antidepressant that has worked before for you or a member of family is usually given priority. These medicines take time to work usually about a month and often improve fast on symptoms such as appetite, sleep and concentration before others like moods or stress. Medical doctor advice on the stop in use of antidepressants is highly advised as failure may cause withdrawal symptoms and worse recurrence of the depression. The common types of antidepressants include Wellbutrin or Zyban which contains Bupropion that acts as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) and the most commonly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).These SSRIs are safer and generally have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants. They include; paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), escitalopram(Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac, Selfemra) and citalopram (Celexa) and Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (www.helpguide.org).

4.2 Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is the treatment process of a psychological disorder such as depressing by using psychological methods by a medical professional rather than medicines. Psychotherapy can be further be classified into five major approaches namely; Integrative or holistic therapy, Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies, Cognitive behavior therapy, Humanistic therapy Behavior therapy and Interpersonal Therapy (DeRubeis, Siegle, and Hollon). Some of the most common approaches of psychotherapy are the Interpersonal therapy and Cognitive Behavior therapy. The Interpersonal therapy approach adopts tailor made treatment processes according to the needs of the client, where therapists blend elements from other different approaches to meet the client needs. Cognitive Behavior therapy stresses on what people think rather than what they do and therefore therapists consider that it is dysfunctional thinking that leads to dysfunctional feelings and deeds and that by changing their thoughts people can alter how the feel and what they do. The cognitive behavior therapy emphasizes changing the client’s thought processes to include positive thoughts, which are crucial in overcoming stress and depression.

4.3 Life Style Changes

Apart from the clinically supported approaches in the management of depression, which include medication and psychotherapy, lifestyle changes are also an effective approach in overcoming depression. Life style changes can greatly influence the rate at which a depressed person heals and therefore it can be categorized into a number of practices including; exercise, nutrition, stress reduction and social support. The major lifestyle changes that help in overcoming depression include, including physical exercises in a person’s daily routine, proper nutrition, stress reduction, and participating in social support groups (Kahn 4).
Exercises can be categorized into strength exercises enhances muscles, endurance exercises improves on breathing and heart rates, balance exercises prevents falls and Flexibility exercises helps body stay limber. Examples like morning run, gym sessions, workouts, yoga and aerobics some of the best routine exercises that a depressed person can enroll in a fitness center or even at home to improve on the healing process. Nutrition is also very vital in the healing process and one is highly recommended to seek doctors’ advice on the best food to take to improve on the moods, stress and eventually depression (www.nami.org). One of the major causes of depression is stress and therefore a depressed person should be kept away from stressful situations as possible so as to facilitate the healing process. Social support means that a depressed person should be surrounded by family and friends who turn out in times of crisis such as depression for moral support, give broader focus and help portray positive self-image thus improving the quality of life and enhance speedy healing process. Additionally, social support may involve participating in groups that comprise of individuals with similar mental conditions that are often managed by community based social workers to help individuals to overcome depression and other related mental problems.

5.0 Outcomes

Although medication is associated with providing a quick relief to depressive symptoms, other approaches are also as effective as medication in the treatment of depression. For instance, cognitive therapy has been found to be as effective as medication, whereby patients have reported similar results as those reported where medications are used. However, antidepressants are associated with short term relief of depressive symptoms while approaches such as cognitive therapy are associated with presenting long term solutions in the management of depression (Denkmire, Perritano 3). Hence, for efficiency in the management of the condition, therapists should combine the most appropriate treatment options based on the unique needs of the patient.

6.0 Conclusion

Depression can be a devastating situation for both the patient and those close to them, including family members. However, with effective diagnosis and treatment, the condition can be effectively managed to the extent that patients are free of the condition. Depression is often treated with antidepressants, which provide a quick relief to the depressive symptoms. However, as evidenced in the analysis above, other measures such as psychotherapy and lifestyle changes are also efficient and cheaper means of managing depression in the long term. However, although medications are said to be the best treatment option for depression, the best treatment option depends on the specific patient needs.

Works Cited

Adamec, Christine. “Depression.” The Encyclopedia of Depression, Facts On File, 2016. Health Reference Center, online.infobase.com/HRC/LearningCenter/Details/11?articleId=157571. Accessed 2017.URL:http://online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=17177&itemid=WE48&articleId=157571
Adamec, Christine. “Treatment.” The Encyclopedia of Depression, Facts On File, 2016. Health Reference Center, online.infobase.com/HRC/LearningCenter/Details/11?articleId=157625. Accessed 2017.URL:http://online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=17177&itemid=WE48&articleId=157625
Denkmire, Heather, and John V. Perritano. “Treatment of Depression.” The Truth About Anxiety and Depression, Second Edition, Facts On File, 2010. Health Reference Center, online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Details/386919?q=depression treatment. Accessed 2017.URL:http://online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=17177&itemid=WE48&articleId=386919
"Depression Treatment." Depression Treatment: Therapy, Medication, and Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Depression. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.URL:https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-treatment.htm
DeRubeis, Robert J., Greg J. Siegle, and Steven D. Hollon. "Cognitive therapy vs. medications for depression: Treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms." Nature reviews. Neuroscience. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2008. Web. 02 Apr. 2017.URL:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748674/
Kahn, Ada P. “Depression.” The Encyclopedia of Stress and Stress-Related Diseases, Second Edition, Facts On File, 2006. Health Reference Center, online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Details/114309?q=depression treatment. Accessed 2017.URL:http://online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=17177&itemid=WE48&articleId=114309
"NAMI." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.URL:http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression

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