Many treatments for depression are available. In general, medication, psychotherapy, and/or counseling are the most effective and traditional forms of major depression treatment. Sometimes major depression does not respond well to counseling by itself so there are other treatments used in combination with this to achieve the desired remission of symptoms.
Usually a doctor or nurse practitioner prescribe medication to help reduce the negative effects of depression. A psychiatrist is someone who has a medical degree an specializes in mental health disorders, and they are often sought out to aid in selecting the proper medication when it comes to major depression.
Sometimes outpatient depression treatment is warranted if an individual has major depression that cannot be treated by medication or psychotherapy alone. In these cases, the person may need to be aided by a loved one, guardian, or doctor until they are well enough to make the right decisions for themselves.
Check out our severe depression treatment post to learn more about the various forms of medication for major depression.
Major Depression Treatment | Alternative Treatments
The following are treatment options for major depression if medication does not provide the desired results.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy utilizes the passing of currents of electricity through the brain. It is not exactly known how this effects depression, but it often offers immediate relief from major depression. It is believed that this procedure effects brain neurotransmitters. It is one of the most common treatments used when major depression sufferers do not respond to other treatments. Some of the negative side effects of ECT include confusion lasting from minutes to a few hours, and temporary memory loss.
ECT is sometimes used for individuals who have a high risk for suicide, or who do not respond to several medication trials. It is an option for women who are pregnant with major depression and who cannot take medications. It is also effective for older adults who have major depression an are unable to take medications.
Residential treatment programs and Hospitalization
Some people need to stay in the hospital if their depression is so severe that they cannot care for themselves. Furthermore, partial hospitalizations of day treatment programs can be a benefit to individuals with major depression until symptoms subside.
Alternative Major Depression Treatment
There are a few less common procedures that your psychiatrist may consider if common depression treatments are ineffective. These include:
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. This treatment is similar to cranial electrotherapy, and changes brain activity that impacts mood with the use of magnetic fields.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation. This innovative treatment creates electrical impulses in the brain through the use of surgically implanted pulse generators. Similarly to the above treatments it effects the mood centers of the brain. It is often used as a last resort for major depression that does not respond to other forms of treatment.