Dépression non traitée… peut être pioctobre 14, 2019
According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 350 million people suffer from depression globally. Symptoms of depression might vary from person to person but the most common ones include:
- Depressed and sad mood
- Appetite changes – leading to weight gain or loss
- Loss of interest in activities which you used to enjoy
- Either not able to sleep properly or sleeping too much
- Suicidal thoughts
- Finding difficult to make decisions
- Slowed movements and loss of energy
Described as a mood disorder that often reflects a feeling of sadness and loss of interest, depression is a widespread problem that can last from two weeks to months, or even years.
Depression cannot be diagnosed based on a single test. More often than not, depression is diagnosed on the basis of psychological evaluation and prevalent symptoms. Generally, trained psychiatrists or therapists ask a range of questions to know your mood, sleep pattern, thoughts, appetite, and activity level. Some questionnaires also help doctors in assessing the severity of depression. The Hamilton depression rating scale, for instance, helps doctors in understanding the severity of the situation based on 21 questions.
Since depression is often linked to other health problems, you might also be asked to get a physical examination done. Sometimes depression can also be triggered by vitamin D deficiency, thyroid problems, ovarian cancer, low testosterone, sleep apnea or other medical problems.
Accurately diagnosing and treating depression requires an experienced clinician who understands the overlap between the brain and body. If you want the most comprehensive assessment and treatment plan available, then your first choice may be contacting a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is a doctor as well as a therapy and provide you the most treatment options.
Depression Treatments: Medication
More often than not, depression could be a result of brain chemistry. For this reason, a lot of doctors prescribe antidepressants. It is important to mention here that these medications are not tranquilizers or sedatives and do not form any dependency. These antidepressant medications generally have no impact on people who are not suffering from any depression.
Although these medications can provide some results within the first week of use, more pronounced results will only be visible after two to three months.
Most common types of antidepressants prescribed include:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Atypical depressants
A warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that « antidepressant medications may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment. »
Depression Treatments: Therapy
There are various kinds of therapies that are found to have positive effects. Here are a few of them:
Also called talk therapy or counseling, therapy helps people fight depression. Evidence-based approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), problem-solving therapy, interpersonal therapy (IPT) are a few therapies that are generally followed by practitioners.
Many clinicians can provide therapy: social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. However, only psychiatrists practice both therapy and medication management.
There are several ways to find the best therapist or psychiatrist to help you. You can ask your doctor or friends for recommendations. However, it is important that you take an active role in selecting the most effective person for you so that you can receive the best treatment. I would recommend that you find a clinician who is warm, collaborative and engaged. The most effective therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or schema therapy, start with an specific goals and an agenda, provide you with strategies to feel better, and an action plan for between sessions. This is the type of treatment that I provide my patients.
Brain stimulation therapies
If medications do not treat the symptoms of depression, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be practiced. Here, the brain of the patient is electrically stimulated under the influence of anesthesia. American Psychiatric Association recommends providing ECT two to three times a week for a total of six to 12 treatments. However, this therapy might cause certain short-time side effects like memory loss, confusion, and misalignment.
Another recently introduced brain stimulation therapies include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS and vague nerve stimulation (VNS).