What Are The Different Antidepressants And How Do They Work
The most commonly prescribed antidepressants cause changes in brain chemistry that affect how neurons communicate. Exactly how this improves mood remains somewhat of a mystery, but the fact that they do often work is well-established.
- SSRIs This category of drug includes Prozac , Celexa , and Zoloft and targets serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, appetite, and sleep.
- SNRIs SNRIs include drugs like Cymbalta , Pristiq , and Effexor XR , which block the reabsorption of both serotonin and another neurotransmitter, norepinephrine.
- NDRIs This class of medications includes bupropion.
- TCAs TCAs include such drugs as Tofranil and Pamelor . These drugs were among the earliest antidepressants to come on the market. These days, doctors generally only turn to them when treatment with SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs has failed.
- MAOIs MAOIs, including Nardil and , were the first antidepressants developed. Theyre rarely used today, in part because people who take them require careful monitoring to prevent negative interactions with certain foods and other medications.
All antidepressants can have side effects, but some may be more problematic than others. You may need to try several different medications, or a combination, guided by your doctor, before you find what works best for you.
Tips To Help Someone Who Seems Down
- Let them know you care and are there to listen.
- Accept them as they are, without judging them.
- Gently encourage them to help themselves for example, by staying physically active, eating a balanced diet and doing things they enjoy.
- Get information about the services available to them, such as psychological therapy services or depression support groups in their area.
- Stay in touch with them by messaging, texting, phoning or meeting for coffee. People who are depressed can become isolated and may find it difficult to leave their home.
- Try to be patient.
- Take care of yourself.
How To Get Help For Depression
To get medical treatment for therapy, youll need to know what types of treatment are available in your area and how much they cost.
If you have insurance, you can call them to see exactly what types of depression therapy programs your policy covers. Also consider your out-of-pocket costs, like copays, and your yearly deductible amount.
Once you have an idea of what therapy will cost you, you can connect with a resource provided by a general practitioner, or try searching one of the resources listed above.
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Counselling Or Talk Therapy
The primary treatment for depression or anxiety is psychological counseling, also called talk therapy or psychotherapy. Several types of talk therapy have been shown to be safe and effective for the treatment of depression.
- Cognitive behaviour therapy can help us see how our thoughts and actions are connected to our feelings. CBT teaches us how to replace negative, depressive thoughts and behaviours with more positive, constructive thoughts and actions.
- Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on improving relationships by helping us to resolve conflicts that are contributing to the depression.
- Solution-focused therapy focuses on personal strengths and helps us to create a positive future for ourself by finding solutions to our stresses and problems.
Lifestyle Changes For Depression
Lifestyle changes, such as making art, journaling, exercising more, and practicing yoga or mindfulness, can also alleviate depression and the stress that can heighten it. Alternative treatments like massage, acupuncture, and light therapy may also help.
Diet changes, too, can uplift your mood by reducing inflammation and helping to ensure your brain gets the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
One randomized controlled study, published October 9, 2019, in the journal PLoS One, found that self-reported symptoms of depression dropped significantly in just three weeks in young adults who changed from a highly processed, high-carbohydrate diet to a Mediterranean diet focused on vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, unsweetened dairy, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and the spices turmeric and cinnamon. In contrast, the depression scores didnt budge in a control group of people who didnt change their diet.
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What Is Treatment Resistant Depression And Is There Any Help For It
If youve tried at least two different antidepressants and your depression hasnt improved, you may be diagnosed with treatment resistant depression . TRD is a serious condition that has been highly associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Nearly 33 percent of people with TRD attempt suicide in their lifetime, more than double the rate of their treatment-responsive peers, according to a recent report in Psychiatry Advisor. It is not, however, a hopeless condition. A number of alternative treatment approaches are available, including:
Contact Nyc Well For Support
NYC Well has a staff of trained mental health professionals that can help callers find the most appropriate mental health and substance abuse services for their needs. Services include counseling, suicide prevention, crisis intervention, peer support, referrals to care, assistance in connecting to the referral, and follow-up services. NYC Well is free and confidential and operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week via phone, text, and internet chat. NYC Well is multilingual and multicultural:
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Start Healing With Individual Counseling At Family Care Center
The therapists at Family Care Center are trained professionals who provide support and maintain confidentiality. Therapists, whether classified as psychologists or counselors, have varying masters and doctorate degrees and are licensed by the State of Colorado. Therapists can have many titles based on their level of education, training, and area of practice. At Family Care Center, we have Licensed Professional Counselors , Psychologists, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists , Licensed Clinical Social Workers , and Practitioners. We look forward to assisting in-person or telehealth today!
When Should I Seek Help
If your symptoms of depression are causing problems with relationships, work, or your family — and there isn’t a clear solution — you should see a professional.
Talking with a mental health counselor or doctor can help prevent things from getting worse, especially if your symptoms stay for any length of time.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, get help right away.
It’s important to understand that feeling depressed doesn’t mean you have depression. That condition involves not only changes in mood, but also changes in sleep, energy, appetite, concentration, and motivation.
If you have physical symptoms like these and find yourself feeling depressed much of the time for days or weeks, see your doctor.
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Which Types Of Talk Therapy Work Best For Depression
The Society of Clinical Psychology rates several types of psychotherapy as highly effective treatments for depression:
- Behavioral activation therapy The aim of this type of therapy is to reverse the downward spiral of depression by encouraging you to seek out experiences and activities that give you joy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT focuses on changing specific negative thought patterns so that you are able to better respond to challenging and stressful situations.
- Interpersonal therapy This very structured, time-limited form of therapy focuses on identifying and improving problematic personal relationships and circumstances directly related to your current depressive mood.
- Problem-solving therapy This therapy is a form CBT that teaches take-charge skills that help you solve the real-life problems and stressors, big and small, that contribute to depression.
- Self-management/self-control therapy This type of behavioral therapy trains you to lessen your negative reactions to events and reduce your self-punishing behaviors and thoughts.
Signs And Symptoms: How To Identify Depression
If sadness alone isnt a good gauge of depression, what is? According to the American Psychiatric Associations current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which is the diagnostic guide used by most mental health professionals, if youve experienced at least five of the following symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be diagnosed with major depressive disorder , also known as clinical depression.
- Constantly feel tearful, empty, or worthless?
- Have little interest or pleasure in your work, hobbies, friends, family, and other things you once enjoyed?
- Notice dramatic changes up or down in your appetite or your weight not related to dieting?
- Often feel listless or fatigued for no obvious reason?
- Have trouble concentrating or making decisions?
- Find yourself wringing your hands, pacing, or showing other signs of anxious restlessness or the opposite, moving or speaking more slowly than usual?
- Struggle with insomnia or sleep too much?
- Have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death?
To be diagnosed with MDD, one of your symptoms must be a persistent low mood or a loss of interest or pleasure, the DSM-5 states. Your symptoms must also not be due to substance abuse or a medical condition, such as thyroid problems, a brain tumor, or a nutritional deficiency.
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Treatment: When To Seek Professional Help And Where To Find Help For Major Depression
When to Seek Professional Help
Everyone feels low and depressed every now and then. How then, are you supposed to know when your depressive symptoms have reached a point when professional help would be a good idea? Heres a good rule of thumb: If your depressed mood lasts for more than two weeks, or is seriously interfering with your ability to function at work, with your family, and in your social life, or is causing you to contemplate or plan to commit suicide, it would be a very good idea for you to consult with a mental health professional as soon as possible.
This advice to seek out professional help counts double with regard to any suicidal symptoms you may be experiencing. If you find yourself thinking seriously about suicide, please make an appointment with a mental health doctor as soon as you can.
If you are feeling acutely suicidal that you will end up committing suicide within hours or days unless you receive some relief, then bypass the advice about making an appointment with a doctor just take yourself immediately to your local hospital emergency room and tell them there that you are feeling suicidal. In such a case, there is no time to waste with appointments.
Where To Find Help
Do Antidepressants Have Side Effects
Virtually all medicines can cause side effects. Typically, unwanted effects increase when the dose rises. Side effects usually vary from one drug to another and are especially variable between different medication classes. If you have previously taken a medicine and done well or poorly or had bothersome side effects, be sure to tell the doctor what happened. This should affect the choice of your next prescription. If you have never taken an antidepressant, discuss with your doctor which groups have which side effects. Let your doctor know which side effects you particularly wish to avoid, such as sedation or sexual disruption.
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When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
If you have 5 or more of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks, call your healthcare provider:
Lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood
Loss of interest in almost all activities
Appetite and weight changes
Changes in sleep patterns, such as inability to sleep or sleeping too much
Slowing of physical activity, speech, and thinking OR agitation, increased restlessness, and irritability
Ongoing feelings of worthlessness and/or feelings of undue guilt
Trouble concentrating or making decisions
Repeating thoughts of death or suicide, wishing to die, or attempting suicide
Whats The Difference Between Grief And Depression
Given that the primary symptom associated with depression is sadness, it can be easy to think of grief or bereavement as depression. But grief is a natural response to specific experiences, such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. While you might feel regret or remorse, and you might withdraw from usual activities if you are experiencing grief, youre unlikely to feel the overwhelming sense of worthlessness, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and other symptoms of depression. Another important difference is that in grief, painful feelings usually come in waves and are often mixed with positive memories.
In some cases, however, grief and depression do coexist, or grief can trigger depression, according to experts writing in the journal American Family Physician. Having a mental health professional help you distinguish between them can ensure you get the support you need.
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Changes In Sleep Habits
One of the primary symptoms of depression is sleep disturbance. Some people will sleep too much and some too little. Sleep disorders dont in themselves cause depression, but insomnia, irregular sleep, or oversleeping all play a role in mood fluctuations. Pay close attention to your sleep habits and seek help if sleep interruptions dont improve.
Helping A Suicidal Friend Or Relative
If you see any of the above warning signs:
- get professional help for the person
- let them know theyre not alone and that you care about them
- offer your support in finding other solutions to their problems
If you feel there is an immediate danger, stay with the person or have someone else stay with them, and remove all available means of committing suicide, such as medication.
Over-the-counter drugs such as painkillers can be just as dangerous as prescription medication.
Also, remove sharp objects and poisonous household chemicals such as bleach.
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Consider Seeing A Psychiatrist First
There’s a tendency for some new patients to visit a counselor or psychologist for their initial mental health evaluation rather than a psychiatrist. This can be beneficial for many people, especially if your case is not severe, but for others, it’s often not enough.
Only psychiatrists are also medical doctors, which means that they are able to prescribe medications.
If your depression stems from a chemical imbalance, talk therapy will not be sufficient to treat you. It’s best to make your initial visit to a psychiatrist, who can both prescribe medications and offer you psychotherapy if it’s needed. This two-pronged approach of medication and talk therapy is often the most beneficial to patients.
Psychotherapy is a broad term for a variety of different verbal and psychological techniques that are employed to help an individual work through their mental health condition or source of underlying stress. These techniques include but are not limited to psychoanalytic therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy, behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy . Oftentimes, other mental health professionals in the field such as counselors and social workers will draw from psychotherapeutic techniques and use them with their clients.
Where To Get Help For Depression
There are many places to get help for depression or help for an emotional problem. We have a list here.
If unsure where to go for help, check the Yellow Pages under “mental health,” “health,” “social services,” “suicide prevention,” “crisis intervention services,” “hotlines,” “hospitals,” or “physicians” for phone numbers and addresses. In times of crisis, the emergency room doctor at a hospital may be able to provide temporary help for an emotional problem, and will be able to tell you where and how to get further help.
Listed below are the types of people and places that will make a referral to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services.
- Family doctors
- Mental health specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors
- Health maintenance organizations
- Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics
- University- or medical school-affiliated programs
- State hospital outpatient clinics
- Local medical and/or psychiatric societies
NAMI-National Alliance on Mental Illness3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 100 Arlington, VA 22203
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Could I Have Depression
I have a lot of unexplained stomachaches and headaches
I feel very tired and/or restless
I have thoughts of death or suicide
Im feeling more tearful or irritable than usual
If you agree with five or more of these statements and have been experiencing them for more than two weeks you should talk to your doctor.
Depression is very treatable. In fact, with the right treatment, 80% of people with depression feel better or no longer experience symptoms at all. Some common treatments, used on their own or in combination are:
Some people find that herbal remedies, such as St. Johns Wort, help with their depression symptoms. Remember that even herbal remedies can have side effects and may interfere with other medications. Dosages can also vary depending on the brand you use. Talk about the risks and benefits of herbal or other alternative treatments with your health care provider and make sure they know all the different treatments youre trying.
Walk Away From Depression
Motivation to exercise may be scarce when youre feeling well, let alone when you are depressed, but try to do it anyhow.
The typical things that we all know are important to taking care of ourselves become that much more important when youre dealing with depression, Browning says.
Exercise is a proven tonic for depression. For decades studies have been showing that aerobic exercise improves mood in people who are depressed.
Researchers recently found that the amount of aerobic exercise recommended by the CDC for general good health equivalent to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least five days a week can bring about big improvements in depression.
The study, published in the January 2005 issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine, involved people with mild-to-moderate depression who did various amounts of exercise for 12 weeks. All groups in the study, including those in the control group, who only did stretches, had some improvement, but those who exercised as much as the CDC recommends fared best. In that group, 46% of the people reduced their symptoms by one-half, as rated on a scale of depression severity, and 42% no longer qualified as depressed when the study ended.
Its important to start slowly with exercise. Decide what you can do, and as Aikens suggests, do a little bit less than that. If you think you could manage a 20-minute brisk walk, try 15 minutes first, and dont be discouraged if you dont feel better afterward.
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