Depression is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Common approaches to addressing depression include medication and psychotherapy. But how do you know which solution is right for you? The answer is complicated. Different people respond well to different treatments. One solution may be particularly effective for your mental health. This is why it is important to consider different options. To understand more about depression treatments, it can help to know how they work. Effective treatments are designed to make your brain healthy and promote lasting mental wellness.
How depression treatments work
- Modulating neural activity — This can require targeted treatments. Some specialized techniques focus on stimulating neurons in specific brain regions. One important brain region for depression treatment is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This area is a major center for mood regulation. By stimulating activity in this area, treatments can help your brain combat depression. The changes in neural activity can work to alleviate symptoms like persistent sadness.
- Promoting resilience — Effective depression treatments can show continued results after the treatment ends. There are many ways to go about achieving remission. One popular approach is through coping mechanisms. A mental health therapist can help you develop coping skills. Part of this is learning to challenge negative thought patterns. As you progress, you can build resilience to manage and overcome depression.
Evidence-based treatment options for depression
- Medication — Medications are often prescribed to manage depression. The most common category is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. These medications work by increasing the availability of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. This can help improve your mood and reduce negative symptoms. However, medications may not always be the right fit. Some patients do not respond to antidepressant medication. These medications can also come with unpredictable side effects. Antidepressants are sometimes so disruptive they can stop a patient from adhering to treatment. If your depression has not responded to medication, you may want to try an alternative solution.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) — TMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate specific areas of the brain. TMS is a noninvasive approach to treating mental health conditions. During TMS sessions, a coil is placed against the scalp. This coil delivers magnetic pulses that stimulate targeted brain regions. This promotes neural activity to relieve your depression. Have other treatment strategies not worked for you? TMS may be able to help. Due to its proven results, TMS is typically used when other options have been ineffective. TMS treatment is localized to the brain, which avoids many of the side effects experienced with typical antidepressants. Many patients often feel no side effects whatsoever. If you do experience side effects, they are generally mild and short lasting. These can include discomfort at the treatment site and tingling along the scalp. TMS can work fast, often delivering improvement in weeks. If other treatments have not worked for you, TMS can be a great solution.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — CBT is a specialized form of talk therapy. With CBT, you can work alongside a trained therapist to explore and address your depression. Finding the right talk therapy program can be difficult. Your depression may respond better to some techniques than others. With CBT, your therapist will base the treatment around your personal needs. A therapist practicing CBT can target your particular mental and behavioral patterns. CBT can allow you to analyze these patterns from a new perspective. While understanding the causes of depression is important, the main focus of CBT is moving forward. With the help of your therapist, you can develop strategies for changing thought patterns and coping effectively.
Active Path can help you receive effective depression treatment
When seeking depression treatment, it is important to find the right provider. At Active Path, our team is committed to offering high-quality mental health care to all patients. We know you may be frustrated after seeing no results from other mental health care. This is why we use solutions like TMS designed to help patients fight treatment-resistant depression. Telehealth services are available in addition to our in-person clinics. With wide availability and proven results, you can put our resources to work on your mental wellness journey.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.