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Understanding Treatments for Depression

Depression is a serious condition that is often characterized by a sense of hopelessness about the future and a sufferer’s inability to function normally. However, the good news is that because depression is a condition of the brain, treating the brain is likely to relieve an individual’s symptoms. Patients considering treatment for depression may be offered some combination of medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle changes.

Using Medication for Depression

The pharmaceutical market is teeming with medications for depression that may or may not be suitable for any given individual who is suffering from the condition. Some doctors and clinical researchers suggest that the best candidates for depression medication are those who are unable to function properly at home, on the job and in their personal relationships; while the ultimate decision is in the hands of the patient and his or her doctor, some practitioners opt to try other options before turning to chemical relief for depression. Although they are not universally experienced, patients should know that depression medications may be associated with a host of unpleasant side effects.

Treating Depression with Counseling

While many doctors will prescribe medication, they also insist that their patients seek counseling to work through the emotional issues surrounding depression. However, some doctors and patients agree that because an individual case of depression is not strongly impacting the sufferer’s daily life, he or she can try therapy without medication. Either way, those attending counseling must remember to approach treatment honestly and openly to ensure that they benefit from the process.

Lifestyle Factors Affecting Depression

Occasionally, certain lifestyle choices lead to or worsen a patient’s case of depression. For instance, living with an alcoholic, abusing drugs or struggling with poverty are all examples of situations that could cause the condition, and changing such factors is often difficult. Depression sufferers who find themselves facing such tough lifestyle variables may benefit from medication, counseling and access to resources that improve their home life, intimate relationship or proximity to addiction.

Combating Depression at the Community Level

Ensuring that a community has a variety of neuroscience and psychiatry resources available to residents struggling with depression or other mental health issues may be the first line of defense against widespread psychological problems. Whether such assistance is made available through additional state funding or volunteer services, maintaining the ongoing mental health of a community is vital to its successful future.

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