If you’ve been reading our depression series, you’ll know that there is no one way people experience depression. Accordingly, there is no one way to treat depression. Rather, a combination of different treatments may be necessary. Treatment for depression can be much like a journey; it may take time and multiple courses of action before discovering the appropriate treatment. Understanding how depression is treated can help start you on the road to recovery. Treatment will also vary according to the type of depression a person is experiencing. Most people will find that a combination of treatments works best for them, as well as some key lifestyle changes that may assist in managing symptoms. Often the road to recovery isn’t easy; it will take time, with bumps along the way. But, with treatment, those with depression can see the light of day, feel happy and optimistic about the future, and take control of their lives again. It really is possible to make a full recovery from depression and have gained awareness through the journey that then equips you with the mental tools to prevent future depressive episodes. If you or someone you know are suffering from depression, it’s crucial that you seek treatment as soon as possible. Leaving depression untreated can lead to ongoing stress, worsening symptoms and can leave a person at risk of suicide. Read on for some of the more common depression treatment options. To find out more about depression, download our guide here –
Psychotherapy for depression
Talking with a qualified health professional (often called “talk therapy) has been shown to be highly effective in treating depression. There are a number of different types of therapy available, and treatment may make use of one or more of these therapies in order to achieve effective relief of depression. Treatment is usually conducted by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or another mental health professional. The types of therapy are :
- Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, has been proven to be very effective in treatment for depression, and many studies have been conducted to be as effective as antidepressants for mild to moderate depression. It involves aiming to change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to low moods.
- Rational Emotion Behaviour Therapy
- Interpersonal Therapy is a structured therapy program for improving relationships. This approach can be useful as it has been shown that the presence of healthy supportive relationships can be effective in improving depression.
- Other types of psychotherapy can also prove useful, such as commitment therapy (which focuses on mindfulness), or structured problem-solving.
There is no “one size fits all” therapy that works for everyone with depression. Rather, an individual approach should focus on testing different “talking” therapies and decide what works best for them, as well as combining this with lifestyle changes or medication.
There are more natural treatment options for depression. Some of these include lifestyle changes, such as:
- Building a solid social support system. You don’t need to go out and make a whole new group of friends, but it does help to lean on the friends and family you already have and open yourself up to them. Share your thoughts and feelings with them, keep in regular contact, and join a local group doing something you enjoy
- Exercising; even half an hour of exercise a day can help. Exercise boosts serotonin, endorphins and other beneficial brain chemicals.
- Getting adequate nutrition; eating well is important for your physical health, but can also boost your mood and keep your energy high.
- Getting adequate sleep. Sleep often has a direct effect on our mood. Aim for between 7-9 hours each night
- Reducing stress or triggers. If there are certain factors in your life that you know are causing stress, make the changes necessary to live a happier life. Stress can exacerbate depression and make you feel overwhelmed. Take these stressors out, such as unsupportive relationships or overload at work. There are apps that can help reduce stress, such as Headspace, a guided meditation app.
Severe depression may require a brief hospital stay where a person needs more intensive or immediate support. Here, mental health professionals can give a person the immediate treatment that is needed to manage symptoms until they feel ready to leave. Then they may want to participate in an outpatient program for more support when leaving. If you or someone you know has depression, don’t delay seeking treatment. As we’ve seen, even once properly diagnosed, it can take weeks or months to see an improvement, so the earlier treatment is sought, the better. If you’re experiencing depression, there is a way out. You can get help for depression, but it needs to start with you. A simple phone call can pave the way for a happy, healthy life where you are in the driver’s seat. To find out more about depression, download our guide here –
Or, for a confidential discussion or a chat about our treatment plans, contact us for more information.
Depression is different for everyone
It’s important to remember that everyone experiences depression differently. The symptoms of depression in women may even be different from those of men and other non-binary people. Think about when you experience grief. Some people bury themselves in work or socialising, whereas others will hideaway. Some people sleep a lot, whereas others don’t sleep at all. In the same way, people experience depression symptoms differently, according to their personality type, background, what they are feeling at the time, and what life stage they are at.
Program Director & Psychologist
Emanuele has a compassionate approach to clients’ struggles, in order to promote awareness and initiate together the transformative process. His treatment approaches range from Gestalt, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Dialectical and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, EMDR, ACT, Neuropsychotherapy, Sensorymotor Psychotherapy and Cape Cod Model for Couple Therapy.