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Treatment Alternatives for Depression

There are many choices in therapies to pick from when treating depression. These start with those easier treatments that require only the use of medications and progress passed them to the use of augmentors, light therapies, pacemakers, and electroshock. Sometimes if all else fails going to a mental hospital for long term treatment is the only answer left. This is an extreme outcome and only rarely occurs when every other treatment has failed and the person suffering from depression is in a crisis situation. Most often medications are the answer. But if not there are many therapies worth trying.

The first step to treating someone with depression is to start the person using antidepressants. If these don't work, after trying a variety of different ones, the next step is using an augmentor drug. This means to use another medication that will hopefully heighten the ability of the first enough for it to work well. There are also several different kinds of these worth trying. Many health care providers will also suggest seeing a councilor to help to ease the depression.

If these don't work the best alternative is to choose one of the many therapies that are open to you. One possibility is electroconvulsive therapy. This is also known as shock treatment. They don't perform this treatment as often as they used to since it seemed to get a bad reputation. People associate this therapy with torture. Its not and this treatment can have some very positive results when it's necessary to quell a crisis situation. Electric shock treatments have an affect immediately whereas medication usually takes up to four weeks before any results are seen. This treatment is now preformed only when the patient has been put under anesthetic. Some claim that these treatments can have an affect on memory. But clinical studies have been unable to prove it.

The vagus nerve pacemaker has had some good results. It works by being inserted under the skin just under the back of the collarbone. The pacemaker gives little electrical jolts that stimulate the vagus nerve that then sends messages to the brain to alter mood.

Simple exercise has been traced to mood improvement. It is believed that in part this is because the body absorbs the medications better during exercises. But as well, it is felt that the exercise produces chemicals in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin, so that even going for a walk can be beneficial. Any type of exercise is good and has shown that it enhances the mood.

Another choice is light therapy. There is proof that people suffer depression when the days get shorter and so there is not as much sunlight. The answer to this is twofold. First, spend more time outside in the daylight hours and enjoy what sunshine there is. Leave windows uncovered to let in the sunlight that is there. Also the use of light therapy may be beneficial. One of these will help it just requires the patient not giving up.

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