Electroconvulsive Therapy

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Depression Symptoms And Depression Therapies

Posted on August 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

It is normal for people to feel down from time to time, but feeling desperate and empty most of the time is certainly not healthy. It is more common for women to experience fleeting moments of lows in relation to some hormonal concerns. Men, on the other hand, may have disappointments and setbacks due to life’s struggles and responsibilities. Apparently, many people consider these feelings of sadness, despair, disappointments, and emptiness as severe depression. However, depression is much more than feeling sad or empty at the moment. Depression is a kind of illness that needs to be treated at the earliest possible time. Unfortunately, people’s denial of having depression prevents early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Depression Symptoms Everybody Should Know

Since most people cannot ascertain that they are having depression due to misinformation and guesswork, it is best that everybody should be aware of the symptoms and the risks of depression. The disorder has several types and the symptoms and risks may be relative to a certain type. The more common types of depression include:

  • Clinical Depression- A serious type of depression in which the patient is unable to interact and handle himself properly for a long period of time. This type should be treated immediately as soon as the symptoms manifest.
  • Manic Depression- A type of depression in which a person experiences excessive highs and lows.
  • Bipolar Depression- This type is a result of depression among people that have bipolar disorders and those that have major manic depression.
  • Refractory Depression- This is a major depression in which a patient is resistant to treatments. People with this type do not respond to antidepressants.
  • Post Partum Depression- This type can easily be mistaken as baby blues, but in fact is a more serious type of depression that must be treated immediately in order not to encumber the caring for the newborn child.

Learning about the different types of depression is indeed essential in order to identify if the symptoms are valid. The symptoms and side effects of depression differ from person to person, but there are some that are common to all. Among these are:

  • Loss of appetite. This may result to loss of weight. However, there are times that the opposite occurs in which the patient tends to overeat and gain weight.
  • Loss of enthusiasm. The patient slowly loses interest or pleasure in almost everything that he used to do.
  • Change in sleeping pattern. Patients may either have difficulty falling asleep or staying awake.
  • Extreme feelings of desperation and helplessness. The patient does not take effort to change their situation.
  • Loss of energy. The patients feel extremely tired and drained most of the time. Doing a simple task can take a very long time to finish.
  • Irritability that often leads to anger. The patient’s tolerance level is very low and everything seems to be infuriating.
  • Physical pains and aches such as back pain, headaches, muscle pains, and stomach crams are often experienced without known cause.
  • Extreme and reckless behaviors such as engaging in dangerous sports, compulsive gambling, drug abuse, and reckless driving are symptoms that the patient is not in control and is very vulnerable.
  • Inability to focus and concentrate, which makes the patient experience difficulty in remembering things and making decisions.

The Treatments and Therapies for Depression

Treatments and therapies for depression will greatly depend on what caused the depression and whether it is temporary or part of another mental issue. Normally, clinical depressions are treated with a combination of therapy and medications. Among the treatments and therapies for depression are:

  • Anti-Depressant Medications

There are several types of anti-depressant medications that include SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) that work by selectively blocking serotonin reuptakes in the human brain, atypical anti-depressants that work in various ways, dual-action anti-depressants that work on serotonin, and neurotransmitters, MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) are those which break down neuro-chemicals, and TCAs (Tricyclic Anti-depressants) that consist of three chemical rings.

  • Psychotherapies

There are several types of psychotherapies that can be applied to treat patients with depression. Some of the therapies are long-term and some are short-term. With this procedure, therapists talk to patients to help them achieve rewards and satisfactions through their own effort. Psychodynamic therapies focus on determining the internal psychological conflicts of a patient that may have rooted from childhood. These could be long-term therapies to cover lifelong history and pattern of the patient’s behavior. The cognitive/behavioral and interpersonal therapies are short-term therapies that deal with the patient’s agitated personal relationships.

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT

This treatment procedure uses electric current to pass through the brain in order to treat patients who are not responsive to anti-depressants. The normal frequency is six to ten treatments. During this time of treatment and therapy, it is beneficial for a patient to develop relationships with ECT support groups in order not to feel alone and lonely.