Healthcare Treatment Guidelines

Treating Depression

Health care providers can take care of depressed people. A physician, for one, has also training in treating psychiatric disorders. The same goes with the physician assistant and the nurse practitioner. If the case is severe, these health care providers will automatically refer the patient to mental health specialists.

The mental health specialists are composed of the following: psychiatrist, psychologist, a psychiatric nurse specialist and even a social worker.

The psychiatrist offers treatment and diagnosis for mental and psychiatric patients. A psychologist, on the other hand, is trained for counseling, psychological examination and psychotherapy. The social worker knows counseling to a certain degree, whereas a registered nurse who has taken masterals in psychiatric nursing can help out the patient.

Before the diagnosis can be made, the health care providers or mental health specialists will ask the patient on the following: symptoms, overall health and medical and mental history of the family. A physical exam will be carried out as well as some lab tests.

Depression, being an illness, requires tremendous emotional support from the family. A family member must accompany the patient on doctor visits to give the latter a boost.

During the course of the visit, the doctor will figure out if the case is severe, mild or moderate. Depression is severe if the person experiences all the symptoms and if it keeps him from doing all his daily activities. Moderate, if the person has a lot of the symptoms that it hampers his activities. It can be categorized mild if the person has some of the depression symptoms and if he needs more push to do all the things he needs to do.

No one must underestimate depression. It is a real illness, and therefore the patient needs all the help and attention he can get.

As said earlier, you are not alone in this problem. Fortunately, depression, of all psychiatric illnesses, proves to be one of the most treatable. With proper care, more than 80 percent of those suffering from major depression experience significant improvement. Even those suffering from severe depression can helped. Here are some treatments for depression problems:

Psychotherapy There are many types and methods of therapeutic approaches used for treating depression. The most common types are behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Approaches also include psychodynamic and family approaches. Both the individual as well as group modalities have been used commonly, but these depend on the severity of one’s depression, the financial resources of the person, and resources that are available locally.

Arguably the most prominent therapy in treating depression, the cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used for handling the condition. There has been extensive research and medical studies that conducted to check or assess the safety as well as the effectiveness in treating depression using this type of therapy.

Considered the father of cognitive behavioral therapy, many written studies and books support this type of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy uses simple techniques that focus primarily on the patient’s negative thought patterns. These negative thought patterns are also known as cognitive distortions. A person suffering from depression may from time to time use these cognitive distortions, igniting the condition.

The therapy starts with the establishment of a supportive and warm environment for one suffering from depression. Making the patient learn about how his or her depression problem may be a result of thinking in cognitive distortions is generally the next step. The types of faulty logic and thinking are also discussed in this step (such as “everything or nothing logic,” “blame mis-attribution,” “overgeneralization,” among others) and the person being treated is encouraged to start taking notes of the thoughts he or she has been having as they happen throughout his or her day. This is conducted for the person to understand and realize how often and common this kind of thoughts are occuring.

In this type of therapy, the emphasis is mainly placed on realizing the thoughts as well as the behaviors that are associated with the depression problem rather than on the emotions themselves. The rationale for this emphasis is that is strongly believed that by altering one’s thoughts and consequently, behaviors, his or her emotions will most likely change as well. Because of this type of therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy is often short-term (generally lasts up to a dozen sessions or two only) and best suits people that are experiencing some kind of distress that is related to the depression they are having. Individuals that are able to handle a problem using a perspective that is unique and therefore are most likely cognitively-oriented could also do well under this approach.

Interpersonal therapy, on the other hand, is also a therapy on a short-term basis used for treating depression. In this type of treatment, the focus usually lies on the social relationships of the patient and determine ways in improving these relationships. It is strongly believed that in order to improve the overall well-being of a person (or the patient in the case); he or she needs to have a stable and good social support.

When a person’s relationships become unhealthy, the person would most likely suffer from this problem. This therapy approach then seeks to enrich one’s skills in social relationships, expression of his or her emotions, assertiveness, and communication skills. This type of approach is usually done individually but sometimes can be used also in a setting for group therapy.

Many individual approaches would place importance more on the patient’s active personal involvement in recovering from depression. Persons being treated under an individual approach are usually enticed and encouraged to finish homework assignments between sessions. If the person is not capable yet to join in therapy sessions actively, then his or her therapist could be the one to first provide the patient an environment that supports him or her until the medication starts to help improve his or her state of feelings and mind.

Psychodynamic or psychoanalytic approaches in treating depression currently do not have much research to recommend their use. Although there are some therapists that might use psychodynamic theory in helping conceptualize a patient’s personality, there are some issues raised on how this could prove to be an effective and efficient depression treatment.

Couples or family therapy could also be considered if the depression of the patient directly affects family relationships. These types of therapy focus on the interpersonal relationships among family members. In addition, these approaches seek to ensure good communication in the family. The roles of the family members in a patient’s depression could be examined. Education about the depression problem in general might also be used as part of the family therapy.

Medication The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved numerous medications for treating depression. These drugs have been sorted into classes; each medication has a unique chemical structure which acts on various chemicals present in the brain.

It is necessary to remember that all medications approved by the DFA to treat depression are effective and recommended – they just do not work the same effect for everybody.

You might want to closely work with the doctor in determining which drug is the best for your condition. Sometimes, conditions may involve having more than just one medication; some work with a mixture of medications. This is important: Do not change your medication or discontinue your dosage without asking your doctor.

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  • Do you know the difference between being depressed or just being sad?
    Most people don’t. However, this matters because perhaps the best way to avoid health complications arising from depression is to deal with it in its early stages.

    It is normal to feel sad from time to time. Sadness is a natural reaction to something upsetting which has happened. Depression on the other hand is more extreme. It is more of an emotional or mental illness which has a lot more symptoms than sadness and can, if not treated lead to suicide.

    One huge difference between sadness and depression is that a person experiencing feelings which they find disconcerting can reasonably tell you what it is that is causing their unhappiness, however a person suffering from depression may not necessarily be able to do so.

    When one is sad, we tend to know that things will get better over time; on the other hand, a person going through depression may not see an end to his or her problem and may consequently think things are or will get worse.

    This may lead to a depression that could last for a long length of time. With the negative feelings being so intense and overpowering, depression is oft times something one just can’t snap out of, at least not without assistance or taking exact measures to match or overwhelm its hold on a person.

    Though it is safe to say anyone going through depression experiences sadness, but not every sad person is necessarily depressed, both emotional hindrances might need to be addressed and catered to the same or very similar ways.

    However, since depression is usually more burdensome than just a state of sadness, one needs to be able to distinguish between the two to determine the amount of effort that may need to be done to correct either state of these negative emotions.

    In order to be able to attack depression-advisably in its earlier stages-below are its symptoms in no specific order.

    1. Irritability and mood swings.
    2. Hopelessness and extreme pessimism (a negative outlook on life)
    3. Loss of energy, extreme fatigue and tiredness.
    4. Loss of interest in hobbies, having a good appearance and even associates and loved ones.
    5. Extreme feelings of helplessness and no self worth.
    6. Suicidal thoughts (in extreme cases)
    7. Insomnia (lack of) or excessive sleep.
    8. Inexplicable weight loss or gain thereof, triggered by eating disorders.

    Though not a conclusive list as characteristics vary by patient, these symptoms of depression listed above are the most common ones.

    If you happen to experience any of these symptoms, the first step, in my opinion and based on research will be to look within and ask why this may be occurring. Thoroughly assess your situation to see what it is that could be triggering these symptoms of depression within you. Could it be a failure at something or the loss of something or someone of importance?

    If you go over the problem carefully, you would be able to target the cause and consequently solve it. Remember, the mind is the most powerful force on the earth, He who can control it can control all things my friend.

    I will also mention that for both sadness (a symptom of depression obviously) and for the emotional disorder-depression-which we have now characterized for the purposes of distinguishing between the two, some steps you can take on your own for help will be engaging in some form of physical activity such as exercise or other hobbies.

    This step exercises the motor centers of the brain, making the blood flow away from the emotional activity center; consequently one becomes more receptive to positive thoughts.
    In addition to this tip, an observance of nature will show us that when animals are frightened or angered, they abstain from eating until after the passage of some time. Moreover, it is true that under stressful circumstances many civilized people refrain from eating and find in truth that they lack the desire for food, but it is also too often that most of us will eat large meals under these circumstances.
    Now, worry, fear, anxiety, excitement, hurry, heated arguments at meals: all prevent the secretion of the digestive enzymes of the body and hinder not only digestion, but the whole nutrition process.
    This considered, perhaps the last thing you may want to do while dealing with depression or sadness-be it its causes or symptoms is to eat excessively, I may go as far as to say to even eat at all.

    It is also advised that at this crucial stage of emotional encumbrance, try and seek out the company of uplifting friends, relatives and associates. As much as possible, purposely surround yourself with uplifting and positive elements like your favorite DVD comedies, books, sitcoms and things of that nature.

    So if you are unsure if you are truly depressed or just sad, take heart, neither of these negative emotions can overpower you-if you take charge and overcome them. It may not always be easy and you may need help, however, the desire to be-little their effects over you will be the first step towards success.

    In Friendship,

    Foras Aje

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  • Depression and its Adverse Impacts

    Depression is a common mental disorder experienced by most of the people either personaly or in a family member. Depression effects our functionality in our daily family, office and social life. It not only affect the patient but also the wellwishers of the patient. Major depression can destruct the the whole life of the patient.

    Depression Impacts:

    a. Damages the life of the patient

    b. Disturbs the life of patient’s family members and friends

    c. Also effects the financial status of the family.

    d. Causes emotional pain in the patient.

    The depression is a disorder whose real symptoms need to be identified because every people suffers from depression in his life. For example we get tired after a long work. We feel sad if something happens wrong in our life. But these are not the actual symptoms of depression because these are the passing phase of a life. But if these symptoms stays for a very long time and starts effecting the daily life then we can identify it as a case of depression.

    Depression can effect person of any age group. The most of the depressions are successfully treated if the depression symptoms are identified at the right time. The depression is the result of the chemical disturbances in the brain which adversely effects the functionality of the brain cells.

    The chances of depression occurrence are higher in those people who are pessimistic, Low self esteemed and underestimate themselves. The factors such as a sad incident, major illness, financial crisis etc. acts as a trigger for depression.

    People can learn the adaptive measures to manage stress, family life, daily life, relationships as a preventive measure to get rid of depression in advance. Because life style is a major factor in our psychological development. The depression treatment also includes the of Natural herbal supplements as they are completely free from side effects.

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  • Filed under: Depression Treatment
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