Healing From Depression
By Gretchen Heuring | 07.06.2014
Your body is not the same as my body. Every body is different and so we respond differently to experiences, temperature, beauty and medications. All kinds of things will effect you in one way and me in another.
Treatment for illnesses varies from person to person because we are so different. You might be able to take antihistamines for cold or flu symptoms and have a much better day. Antihistamines put me right to sleep and though I may feel fewer flu symptoms, my day is lost to grogginess and slumber.
Effective treatments for depression vary too. If your friend or loved one is depressed, he may have to try different therapies before he begins to feel better. Of course this causes extra complications for the healing process because a depressed person might believe nothing will help.
The very best and most effective therapies involve talking with a licensed practitioner AND taking medications. I'm going to explain why it's so important to do both things. Before I begin my explanation, I need to emphasize that changes in medication and/or the therapist might be required to get things moving forward on the right track. If a treatment program doesn't seem to be working, don't give up. Go back to your doctor and make arrangements to try something else. Wellness and happiness are available.
Types of Drugs
We may have heard someone say that she has tried this drug or that drug and it "didn't work." Or there were side effects that made her feel disassociated. There are older drugs used for depression that didn't work for everyone and had other unpleasant side effects. Just in case you are interested there were two classes of these drugs, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Some people still take these drugs with no side effects, but generally newer classes of drugs are prescribed now. TCAs include Anafranil, Praminil, Norpramine, Victoril, Asendin, or Evadine. MAOIs might be recognized as Marplan, Niamid, Aurorix, or Azilect. There are others you can find on the Wikipedia for TCAs or Wikipedia for MAOIs. Another older class of drugs for depression are called selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The first SSRI was Prozac. Though many people have taken Prozac successfully, the prevalence of side effects is well known.
Newer medications don't fall neatly into a class and have fewer side effects. The older drugs are still taken by many and work well for them, but newer antidepressants have fewer potential side effects. These include Cymbalta, Effexor, Wellbutrin, and Xanax. There are several others available that could be prescribed depending on the diagnosis.
Psychotherapy is a scary name for a treatment, but it should go hand in hand with drugs for depression. Working with a licensed therapist can help a person manage his problems better and live a healthier, more satisfying life. There are different forms of psychotherapy and trying one form and then another is not unusual. Therapists tend to specialize, so changing forms of therapy would mean changing to a new therapist. The old therapist might have been a good guy, but a new form of treatment most likely requires a different person.
One form of therapy is based on the idea that your moods are directly related to your thinking pattern. Negative thoughts lie "It's all my fault" affect your sense of self and undermine your self esteem. This would be called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and the therapist would help you recognize your self-critical thoughts and ask you to judge the truth of the underlying assumptions. If you are not doing things you enjoy, a CBT therapist might help you schedule enjoyable experiences.
Another form is called Interpersonal Psychotherapy. This type of therapist helps you concentrate on current relationships at home and elsewhere. If you have suffered a loss, the therapist would help you move through the grieving process, talking about memories and regrets. Together, you might explore self-defeating behaviors and practice new ways to solve problems as you interact with others.
Psychodynamic Therapy focuses on early relationships and events that might influence your current situation. This form of therapy is based on the concept that our behaviors are based on unconscious as well as conscious motives and it is important to understand and recognize our unconscious selves.
These forms of therapy are quite different and different people are likely to respond well to one more than another.
Getting Well From Depression Takes Time
Healing from depression takes time, but you can feel better. It takes some other things too. Fresh air, healthy and tasty meals, laughter, and finding beauty. You are what you have. Take care of you!