Date: 7/21/2017 You are not alone: Over 2,564,154 visitors

Treatments for Depression

If your doctor confirms your suspicions that you have depression, it is only natural for your thoughts to turn to questions about treatment.

The Science Behind Depression

Many researchers share the view that depression is caused by an imbalance of naturally occurring chemicals, known as neurotransmitters,10 found throughout the brain and the body. Neurotransmitters help transport messages between nerve cells.15 Serotonin and norepinephrine are two examples of these neurotransmitters.10 In the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine are thought to be associated with mood as well as regulating and reducing feelings of pain that come from the body.16 Dopamine is another neurotransmitter that is thought to be associated with appetite, loss of pleasure and energy or drive.17

Here are a few treatment options your doctor may recommend:

Medication

Medications are designed to increase the levels of neurotransmitters that affect mood. There are many different types of medication, each designed to act somewhat differently in the brain. Some of the most common older classes of antidepressants are Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). Newer classes of antidepressants include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) and Norepinephrine Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NNRIs).20 Studies have shown that up to 2/3 of patients will not experience full remission with the first antidepressant.21 So, finding the right medication requires ongoing consultation with your physician and pharmacist, with the support of family and friends.20

Talk Therapy

There are many forms of talk therapy.18 Cognitive behavioural therapy is the most studied and is an effective treatment for depression.18 Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people correct negative thought patterns and better adapt to the world around them.18

Talk therapy has few known risks to speak of and is generally considered to be safe. For more information on cognitive behavioural therapy, you may want to visit www.canmat.org.

Lifestyle Changes

Depression can affect many different areas of your life. As a result your doctor may recommend specific lifestyle changes that include exercise, nutrition and proper sleep. Another good idea may be to reach out to friends and family for support, as well as taking the time to be social with others.8

Getting help for your depression can change your life. Do not wait – depression is an illness that can, and should, be treated.1

  • Get started by talking to a loved one or friend today about how you are feeling. They can also help you talk to a doctor. Print out the results from the Symptom Checklist to help start the conversation between a friend or loved one.

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