Posted By: Sheri (FunReadin,Last2PostsEngBd) on 'English' Title: Depression Part 2. Date: Tue Feb 16 01:16:57 1999 Therapy for depression Early treatment can help shorten the length of time a depressive episode lasts, lessen its severity and reduce the risk of depression returning. Following your doctor's treatment program improves yoru chances of recovery. The most common approaches for treating depressoin are phychotherapy (also called "talk therapy" or counseling), antidepressant medication or a combination of the two. Psychotherapy A psychotherapist is a medical professional trained to help patients understand psychological illnesses and learn how to deal with them. Talking with a therapist can give you valuable support and advice. Antidepressant therapy As mentioned earlier, antidepressants relieve the symptoms of depression by correcting the chemical imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters (for example, a neurotransmitter called scrotonin) in the brain's nerve cells. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are the SSRIs (selective scrotonin reuptake inhibitors). Types of antidepressants * SSRIs generally have fewer of the side effects associated with the older classes of antidepressants mentioned below. In some patients, SSRIs may cause headache, nausea, agitation, changes in sexual functioning and insomnia. Some of these effects may diminish with time. * Tricyclic antidepressants are as effective as the SSRIs but have a higher frequency of side effects - including blurred vision, weight gain, dry mouth or dizziness. * MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) are prescribed much less frequently than SSRIs or tricyclics because of their side effects. MAOIs cannot be taken with certain drugs and foods. Keep your doctor informed As you continue in your treatment program, keep your doctor informed about how it's going. * When taking medication, follow your doctor's directions exactly * Do not hesitate to contact your doctor about any side effects you may be feeling. If needed, another more suitable medication can always be fuond. * If you are not happy with your progress, discuss with your doctor whether a change in antidepressant medication or psychoterapy may be helpful. Understanding is the key to success Following your doctor's treatment advice and taking your medication as prescribed will help you make the most of your therapy. As teratment progresses, tell your doctor if your symptoms are improving or worsening, and how your current medicatino is making you feel. Above all, call your doctor right away if you start to have thoughts about harming yourself in any way. Seek the support of family and friends, too. They can provide that extra boost of confidence you might need to help break free of depression. Finally, be patient. The factors that caused your depression are complex and do not change overnight - but they can be changed. Do the best you can each day. You'll find that small triumphs add up soon enough.
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