Depression is a clinical condition that causes persistently low mood, loss of interest, fatigue, difficulty with concentration and in some cases recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Depression can range from symptoms in the mild range that make day-to-day life quite difficult, to the severe range requiring immediate intervention. Depression is more than “feeling blue” and often requires treatment to resolve.

What Does Depression Treatment Consist Of?

Depression treatment includes a combination of psychotherapy (often called “talk therapy”) and medication. Psychotherapy helps to change thought patterns, behaviors and relationship trends in a direction that alleviates symptoms. Medications help modulate the amounts and actions of chemical messengers in the brain (called neurotransmitters), and is planned in conjunction with psychotherapy to maximize benefit.

What Symptoms Does Depression Treatment Help With?

Depression can include a wide range of symptoms. Medication and psychotherapy target different symptoms in different ways, which gives helps cover the broadest range of symptoms possible. Some of the most common symptoms that are addressed in depression treatment are:

  • Persistent sadness, hopelessness or pessimism
  • Hypersomnia, insomnia or early awakening
  • Excessive weight gain or loss
  • Social isolation
  • Loss of pleasure in life activities
  • Relationship disruptions
  • Fatigue and decreased concentration
  • Physical symptoms such as chronic pain
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Are There Different Kinds of Depression?

There are several ways that depression can present itself. Major Depressive Disorder includes “episodes” of depression in which one experiences a period of weeks or months of significant symptoms that are not typical for them. In severe cases these episodes may render the person unable to participate in daily life commitments. Another type of depression called Dysthymic Disorder is more chronic, sometimes lasting years. Major episodes of depression can also be experienced as part of Bipolar Disorder which includes shifts between periods of unusually low mood and unusually high mood or anger.

Does Depression Treatment Work?

Depression is frequently treatable and carries a good prognosis with early intervention. Most people benefit from depression treatment that includes a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Research suggests that the skills learned in psychotherapy have long-term protective effects as well, helping to minimize or prevent future bouts of depression. Medication can be a helpful addition, particularly in severe cases.

How Do I Get Started With Depression Treatment?

The first step in getting help is to schedule a first visit. This initial appointment helps gather the information needed to provide a diagnosis and formulate a course of treatment. Your mental health professional can help you decide whether to participate in psychotherapy, medication management or both. It can sometimes be difficult to start depression treatment, but we’re here to help. If you’d like to schedule a first visit or speak with a mental health professional, fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch very soon.