My Q Health | Overcoming Depression: Putting Together a Treatment Plan
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Overcoming Depression: Putting Together a Treatment Plan

Overcoming Depression: Putting Together a Treatment Plan

By Chris Iliades, MD | Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

A complete depression treatment plan takes into account the physical, social, and emotional aspects of depression.

Dealing with depression means more than just finding the right medication. Since depression can be caused by physical, emotional, and social problems, a complete treatment plan has to take all these causes into consideration.

No two people with depression are the same, and what works well for another person may not work for you. In most cases the best treatment plan involves a combination of professional help, self-help, and lifestyle changes.

Overcoming Depression: Medical Help

Depression may be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters. Research shows that the brains of people with depression look different when viewed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If your depression has a medical cause, there are many reasons why a medical doctor is the right professional to help you conquer depression. A treatment plan for overcoming depression encompasses:

  • Treating depression and any other diseases. Depression may be caused or made worse by other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or thyroid disease. Other medications you are taking may also have side effects that act like depression. Before moving on to any treatment of your depression, you need a good medical evaluation.
  • Antidepressant medications. If your family doctor thinks your depression could be helped by antidepressants, your doctor may prescribe them for you, or refer you to a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is also a medical doctor who can prescribe and monitor you while you are taking medications for depression.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). ECT, also known as shock therapy, is the delivery of an electric shock that causes a seizure and changes the way the brain’s nerves communicate. There are some types of severe depression in which ECT therapy can provide relief to people who don’t respond to other types of therapy. ECT can only be administered under medical supervision.

Overcoming Depression: Psychological Help

To read full article, visit Everyday Health.

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