Life bombards us with change. Sometimes we look forward to new beginnings, but change can also be unexpected or unwelcome. For some, these significant life events can trigger a major depressive episode. It's not completely clear why certain people are affected and others are not. Depression does not pick and choose based on characteristics that we understand. The question to consider now is treatment. Is there anything that can be done to get rid of depression? What are the treatments for depression? And can we expect them to work?
Treatments for depression usually include either counseling, prescription antidepressants or a combination of both. Although treatment is often quite helpful, it should be understood that it may take several attempts discover the most effective treatment. Depression is an incredibly complex condition that responds to treatment in a variety of ways. It's essential to be completely transparent and truthful when you discuss how you feel with your health care provider.
Prescription medications for depression are not habit-forming in most cases. Your doctor will want to monitor you closely for the first few months just to make sure that the most effective dosage has been prescribed. Antidepressants typically don't work right away, but rather take several weeks to build up to therapeutic levels in your system. Do your best not to skip doses or to stop taking medications without your doctor's advice.
Your doctor will probably prescribe medications that seek to restore balance to your brain chemistry. Most depression has been linked to low levels or inefficient use of certain neurotransmitters. The solution for most people is to increase the levels or usage of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
Almost all cases of major depression respond well to treatment. A combination of therapy and medication works for about 8 out of every 10 depression sufferers. Plus, most cases can be treated by a primary care physician, eliminating the extra cost and difficult of finding and working with a specialist.
The real treatment problem with depression is that too many people won't look for treatment at all. Studies suggest that only about 25 percent of individuals in the U. S. with depression get the treatment they need. In other countries, it may be less than ten percent.
Not only does untreated depression increase the risk of suicide, it also complicates other illnesses as well. Did you know that depression actually increases your risk of heart attack? Other medical conditions that have been associated with depression included cancer, diabetes, heart disease, eating disorders and anxiety. You may be more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs.
You can expect treatment for depression to work in about eight to twelve weeks, sometimes less. It all depends on your response to antidepressant medications and how severe the depression is. Treatment truly can offer hope in the midst of hopelessness, so there's no reason to delay.
Written by Jan Howard
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