Depression is a serious and prevalent mental health concern that, according to the World Health Organization, impacts as many as 280 million people worldwide (around 5% of the population), and can lead to a range of emotional and personal struggles, including –
A loss of interest in daily activities
An inability to sleep
The breaking down of relationships
Poor work performance
And much more
Untreated depression can prove especially problematic, yet studies reveal that 65% of people experiencing even severe symptoms fail to seek treatment. This can significantly increase the suffering and risks posed to sufferers, and is most commonly due to fears surrounding everything from mental health stigmas to the treatment options available.
Luckily, stigmas surrounding mental health in general are slowly shifting. However, many people who fear the use of strong antidepressants or outdated therapy options may still hesitate to get help when they most need it.The good news is that change is on the horizon here too, and we’re going to prove as much by considering how to deal with depression using some of the newest cutting-edge techniques.
Medications with Faster Results
Traditional antidepressant medications like SSRIs can be effective but may take upwards of two weeks to provide any notable changes. A range of negative side effects including nervousness and sexual problems throughout that waiting period can also prove too much for many patients who are already struggling. That’s why, moving forward, the FDA is increasingly approving antidepressant medications that are far faster acting, including brezanelone that’s injected directly into the bloodstream, and esketamine that’s taken as a nasal spray. In both instances, patients are provided with far more immediate relief, which experts predict will continue to prove prevalent in severe cases.
Revisiting Brain Stimulation
Brain stimulation that’s most commonly associated with electroconvulsive therapy can seem like an undesirable treatment path, but modern iterations have seen significant improvements to this treatment, which continues to be one of the most effective ways to manage major depressive disorder. The introduction of transcranial magnetic stimulation especially provides many of the same benefits without notable side effects like confusion and altered thinking, as well as ensuring a less invasive treatment route overall. That’s because traditional electrical shocks have been replaced by magnetic pulses that are sent around the skull, thus believed to change the brain’s circuitry in a far less invasive and destructive manner than in the past.
Long-standing criticisms that antidepressants are given too freely without ample support are also being addressed by the ongoing prioritization of therapy. This is especially crucial considering that common causes of depression are thought to include deep-seated issues such as previous trauma, major stress, and more. Most notably, a focus on more open and honest conversations surrounding depression has led more and more individuals working with their healthcare providers to seek crucial depression therapies that provide lasting support, and include –
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: A form of therapy that aims to reduce symptoms by helping individuals to change negative behaviors or patterns of thinking. Most commonly within this talking therapy, a therapist will help their patients to learn a range of techniques, including relaxation and stress management, that they can apply to their personal lives.
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is another talking-based therapy solution that aims to help patients function better in society by addressing past traumas and understanding their lasting emotional impact.
Group therapy: During group therapy, a therapist will work with a group of individuals in each session, allowing them to see first-hand how each individual interacts in social situations and providing a supportive environment from which healing can begin.
Finding the Right Solution For You
Every decision can feel daunting when you’re facing depression daily, especially if this is an issue that has been left to escalate for a while. In this instance, even considering older methods of how to deal with depression can feel daunting, let alone making space for these new and seemingly untested solutions. In reality, though, depression treatments have come a long way in recent years, and FDA approval means that each of these options could be a viable solution for you.
Most notably, ensuring a treatment plan that truly helps you to get better means understanding your options, and how each applies to your unique circumstances. That might sound tough, but it needn’t be as difficult as you expect. In fact, you can start on even a modern path to treating your depression by simply getting in touch to talk with one of our fantastic therapists today.