Treating Depression

OVERCOMING DEPRESSION

Medicine Alone is Not Enough in Treating Depression

Medications can do a lot in treating medical conditions and ailments. However, in the case of mental health, medications cannot directly change a mental condition. What medications can do, however, is treat or manage the symptoms until the patient is better.

Quite a significant number of mental conditions can be alleviated with the use of medications in conjunction with therapy treatments. For instance, schizophrenia can be managed with the use of antipsychotic medications. Mood stabilizers best handle bipolar disorders, and depression is managed fairly well by anti-depressive drugs.

When it comes treating depression, this mental condition is absolutely not solely dependent on medication alone. Depression is like a metaphorical hole, one that is so deep that any person inside it cannot reasonably hope to get out of it easily on their own. Therapies and medication can provide the ladder with which one can use to escape - but it is up to the depressed person to do the work of climbing out. This metaphor is how treating depression is performed and understood in today’s world.

Depression has been analyzed and identified as an imbalance of chemicals in the brain namely the “happy neurotransmitters” called serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Such imbalances can be the result of genetics, exposure to changes in conditions, significant experiences, too much stimuli at one time or any number of related events that would result in a desire to close off to the world. These hurdles make treating depression a difficult objective to achieve with medication alone.

Research has shown that medication can be helpful, even life-saving, in treating depression. But in most cases, medication alone is not enough. In such cases, doctors must play a large role in the treatment of the depressed patient and they must not just relegate themselves to pushing pills into waiting hands.

Doctors today play their part as disseminators of new medications and some at times patients may be on the receiving end of a well tested but not-yet-tried-on-humans drug. For this reason the doctors should be careful about newer drugs and the patients should find out a little about what medications they are taking. However, in most cases it is best to go with the doctor's advice.

Antidepressant medications for treating depression are usually of the neural inhibitor type. The most commonly used are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) but atypical antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are also used in the treatment. In all cases there are side effects. These involve further chemical imbalances in the body, a reaction to medication resulting in nausea, insomnia, anxiety, decreased sex drive, dizziness, weight fluctuation, digestive problems or headaches, or any combination of these.

As a rule, treating depression needs the attention of more than the patient and the doctor. Using medications, specifically anti-depressive drugs do not guarantee full recovery. Depression can be dealt with by a combination of therapy, anti-depressive drugs, and strong support systems. It is highly encouraged that a sufferer’s family, friends, and loved ones provide the highest degree of support possible. Studies have shown that a high degree of success occurs by using this type of conjunctive treatment. Still, the patient needs to remember, that although help is there, it is up to them to climb up the ladder.