Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Options Of Depression Therapy Bethesda Residents May Benefit From

By Virginia Miller

Depression results in significant social dysfunction and economic impairment among those affected. Without prompt intervention, this mental illness has the potential to lead to death (usually through suicide). There are a number of therapies available and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual. In this article, we will explore some of the options of depression therapy Bethesda residents can access.

If one exhibits signs and symptoms that are in keeping with those of depression, there are a number of things that they may do even as they wait for a proper diagnosis and treatment. One of the most important things is to learn about their condition. This will among other things, give them an insight into the severity of their illness, determine the severity and identify any underlying medical condition if any.

For the mild cases, the starting point is lifestyle changes. Some studies have concluded that physical exercise is as effective as medication in the management of the problem. Regular physical exercise has been shown to boost the secretion of important body chemicals that include serotonin and endorphins. There is enhanced growth of new brain cells and connections (just as happens when medications are used).

Other forms of lifestyle modification include having proper nutrition, adequate sleep and reducing stress. Proper nutrition is good for both the physical and the mental health of the affected individual. Meals should be small, frequent, well balanced with complex rather than simple carbohydrates. Sleep deprivation has been known to exacerbate symptoms. When diagnosed with depression, one should aim for a minimum of seven hours of sleep.

In the event that the symptoms fail to abate with lifestyle changes, the next step is to see your doctor. One of the things that your doctor will attempt to do is to rule out any medical conditions which may mimic depression. Hypothyroidism is a common differential diagnosis among persons considered as having depression. Another frequently encountered cause is drug interactions especially in older patients taking multiple medications concurrently.

When a diagnosis of depression is confirmed, antidepressant drugs and therapy are the main forms of treatment that are offered. The treatments may be offered separately or simultaneously. Different forms of psychotherapy exist. The main principle that underlies each is the need to give an insight to the patients on the cause, triggers and symptoms of their illness.

There are various types of drugs that have been shown to have a positive effect. They include tricyclic antidepressants such as amoxapine, doxepine and amitriptyline (for moderate to severe symptoms). Side effects include visual blurring, dry mouth, urinary retention and constipation among others. Other groups of drugs used for severe symptoms include monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as moclobemide. Lithium salts, and selective serotonin receptor inhibitors are also effective.

Depression is not a lifetime illness but usually requires a long period of time to treat. This is because getting the most effective treatment involves trial and error. Commitment to therapy is key to the success of interventions undertaken. It has been established that the most effective treatments are those that involve combination of various modalities.

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