Major Depressive Disorder Treatment

Major Depressive Disorder Treatment Options

Feeling depressed is awful.  Although feelings of low mood can be experienced as a temporary bout of the blues that resolves in days or weeks, major depressive disorder is a serious mood disorder that can have a devastating impact on one’s life.  With so many factors that could have contributed to this mental health disorder it takes some dedicated investigation before finding the major depressive disorder treatment that will successfully eliminate the symptoms.

Thankfully, most cases of major depressive disorder will find symptom relief during the course of treatment.  A psychiatrist will determine the type of treatment, as well as the combination of various treatment modalities, that will best target the symptoms.  In addition to traditional depression treatment measures, alternative, holistic and experiential therapies have also been shown to help individuals who struggle with depression.

About Major Depressive Disorder

Major depression is identified as a mental health disorder that affects 16.2 million U.S. adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.  A variety of causal factors may include genetics (family history of depression), brain chemistry imbalance, stressful life events, or a co-occurring substance use disorder.  Major depressive disorder (MDD) is diagnosed when at five or more of the following criteria have been present most of the time for more than two weeks:

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, including feelings of despair, hopelessness, and sadness
  2. Sudden disinterest in activities once enjoyed
  3. Significant weight gain or loss
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia
  5. Restlessness or slowed movements
  6. Extreme fatigue
  7. Feelings of shame or guilt
  8. Difficulty concentrating, being indecisive
  9. Obsessed with thoughts of death or suicide

The symptoms experienced cannot be attributable to a medical condition, bereavement following the death of a loved one, and must cause impairment in the ability to function in daily life activities.

Major Depressive Disorder Treatment

Once a thorough physical and mental health assessment have been completed, a physician will determine the best treatment plan for the individual’s specific needs based on the severity of the MDD.  In most instances, a doctor will prescribe an antidepressant medication in combination with psychotherapy.  It is common for a patient with MDD to have to trial more than one antidepressant to find one that alleviates the symptoms with the fewest side effects.  Psychotherapy for depression involves talk therapy sessions using psychodynamic and/or cognitive behavioral therapies.

For a psychiatric emergency, such as when the depressive episode becomes so severe that the individual is threatening or actively attempting suicide, an inpatient depression treatment program is appropriate.  Inpatient depression programs are also beneficial for patients whose depression symptoms persist regardless of the medication, called treatment-resistant depression.  An inpatient program can provide more targeted and individualized treatment for those MDD patients.

Alternative Major Depressive Disorder Treatment Options

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a recent entry into the depression treatment arena, using electromagnetic currents to stimulate brain cells that are underactive.  A series of treatments over a 4-6 week period can result in improved mood, energy levels, concentration, and sleep quality.  The TMS therapy success rates continues to demonstrate positive results for patients with treatment-resistant MDD, and is a noninvasive, safe treatment modality.

Holistic and experiential therapies can enhance the effects of traditional depression treatment.  These might include guided meditation, yoga, journaling, mindfulness exercises, equine therapy, and art therapy.  All of these activities foster deeper insights into the emotional pain or past trauma that might be an environmental causal factor of the MDD.

The Treatment Specialist Locates Major Depressive Disorder Treatment

The Treatment Specialist (TTS) helpline and information is a free resource for individuals seeking inpatient, residential, or outpatient treatment for MDD for themselves or a loved one.  The compassionate specialists at TTS will provide a free assessment that will assist them in determining the most appropriate MDD treatment program based on your unique needs.  This guidance can save crucial time in getting the help you need for depression or a dual diagnosis, as when depression coexists with a substance use disorder, and is completely free of charge. The Treatment Specialist also works with a number of depression rehab centers that accept insurance.  To find the best treatment options, contact TTS today at (866) 644-7911.

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