7 Common Types of Treatment for Depression

There are several common types of treatment for depression available today.

Depression affects men, women, and children around the world. One in five Americans reports having a depressive episode, which can be caused by various factors. For example, research shows genetics contributes about 50%. Other factors include home environment, lifestyle, substance use, and brain chemistry.

Depression, because it affects so many people, has been well-studied on its causes, effects, and treatments. Each person with depression is unique in how it affects them. Symptoms can include body aches and pains, overwhelming feelings of sadness, having the blues, being tearful or crying often, feeling hopeless, or wishing you were no longer here.

Whether your symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe, help is available. You don’t have to try and overcome depression alone.

The first step in getting help is to receive an extensive evaluation by a licensed mental health professional. It is crucial to get evaluated by a mental health professional rather than a family practitioner, simply because those working in the mental health industry have specialized expertise in depression that goes above that of a general physician.

The Evaluation

The evaluation determines so many essential factors that must be included in setting up your treatment plan. Here are some examples of vital information used to treat depression:

  • Medical history to eliminate underlying medical reasons that can cause depression-like symptoms or contribute to depression (diabetes, Lyme disease, previous brain injury, nerve damage, etc.)
  • Mental health history to eliminate other disorders similar to depression. Your mental health history may include past traumatic events, relationships with coworkers, codependency, self-esteem, and whether depressive symptoms make it hard for you to function.

Because there are several types of depression, the evaluation will match your information with the right type.

  • Family medical and mental health history to see if you have genetic components that lead to depression.
  • Lifestyle to determine if there are specific causes for your depressive symptoms (drug or alcohol use, abusive relationships, the recent loss of a loved one, chaotic home environment, financial issues, etc.)

Upon completing the evaluation, you will be given a diagnosis, and with your input, a treatment plan will be created.

Types of Treatment for Depression

There are several types of treatment for depression, each of which involves a unique approach. This is an important aspect of depression treatment, as everyone is unique.

Depression offers appears hand-in-hand with other issues, which is why it can be beneficial to explore your options. Some people might benefit from traditional medicine while others may benefit from alternative medicines.

Here are several types of treatment for depression.

1. Medication

Not everyone with depression needs medication. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may not be recommended for treatment with medication. For some, temporary use of depression medicine can help clear the mind enough to benefit from other therapies. It can boost the mood enough to enhance the other treatments for depression.

For others, depression is a lifelong battle that requires lifelong medication therapies. There are various anti-depressants, and using your evaluation, a psychiatrist will prescribe the best one.

2. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy refers to participating in counseling sessions with a licensed mental health counselor. It is often referred to as talk therapy. However, much more happens than just talking. Therapists use a multi-layered approach that includes various techniques and methods to teach you how to cope with and overcome your depression.

Examples include cognitive-behavioral therapy, relationship therapy, goal setting, problem-solving, and trauma-focused therapies.

3. Marriage and Family Therapy

Including your loved ones in your treatment for depression is beneficial because they learn how to help you overcome your symptoms outside of therapy. Loved ones can also be part of the reason you feel depressed. Therefore, they must get the opportunity to learn how to change and heal themselves. Together, you can learn to set healthy boundaries to improve relationships.

Meeting with spouses, partners, and other family members happens separately from your individual counseling sessions.

4. Mindfulness and Self-Care

Because your life can get so busy at times, it’s easy to forget to take care of your own needs. You likely put the needs of others before your own, like working overtime, volunteering, and helping out with activities in the community.

Over time, you will start to feel burned out and depressed. Self-care must happen first. It involves listening to your body and giving it what it needs to heal and thrive. Dialectical behavioral therapy, meditation, and yoga are examples of mindfulness treatments that improve depression.

5. Lifestyle Changes

You may not even realize some of the lifestyle choices you make contribute to depression. You may even choose some activities or products with the idea they will make you feel better. For example, many people self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. While they may give you a mood boost at first, over time, they exacerbate depression.

Positive lifestyle changes that improve depression include a healthy diet, exercise, quitting smoking and other addictive substances, and ending negative relationships. Your therapist can help you make these changes.

6. Ketamine Treatment

If you have tried multiple medications, psychotherapy, made lifestyle changes, and take care of yourself, yet you still feel depressed, then you have what is called treatment-resistant depression. It occurs despite trying everything else to improve your depressive symptoms.

Ketamine treatment offers considerable benefits to those with treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine blocks the receptors in the brain that cause stress. It can only be administered by a psychiatrist in their office, but the positive effects last for months.

Combining psychotherapy and Ketamine treatments can extend the duration of the positive results.

7. Supplemental Treatments

You and your psychiatrist or therapist can discuss the various supplemental treatment options to determine which will further alleviate depression. Examples of supplemental treatments include taking vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, and essential oils.

Other supplemental treatments include attending self-help support groups, equine therapy, art or music therapy, brain stimulation, light therapy, massage, and acupuncture.

Getting Started

As mentioned, the first step is getting an evaluation by a mental health professional. To schedule your evaluation, call the mental health center to make an appointment. If you aren’t ready to meet with someone in person, you can take advantage of telehealth services and have virtual meetings with a psychiatrist or therapist.

Depression is one of the most treatable mental health disorders. You can get treatment too. In a short time, you can see improvements in your mood and overall well-being.