What is the best treatment for Depression?
What really works for depression? What really helps? Is it talk therapy, medication or both? This is an age old question that researchers, clinicians, clients and the lay public struggle with. It is a bit like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg?
This short answer is ... whichever form of treatment the client values and finds helpful. There is most certainly a biological component to depression which can be brutally crippling in its most severe form. Many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, Postpartum Depression and depression associated with thyroid disease to name a few organic reasons for this behavioral change. People with depression report that their energy is low and their mind feels as if they are underwater, as clinicians we call this "cognitive slowing" the information is there but it takes longer for the synapses to fire and the brains slows down to keep up with the internal stress.
For some that need a more acute "jolt" to restore their natural selves, medication has been proven effective despite its side effects. ECT i.e. electroconvulsive therapy has also been known to be helpful for those that are severely ill- sometimes depression becomes a life or death issue and we need to do whatever it takes without blame or judgement.
In more mild cases, depression can be treated with exercise and supplements such as SAM-e, St. John's Wort and TMG. Many people report that under an altered lifestyle, their depression improves.
Whichever route that one takes to climb out of the clutches of depression, everyone agrees that the best complement to psychotropics and lifestyle change is the benefit of cognitive behavior therapy, a form of talk therapy. There is no greater release that sharing your feelings in a non-judgemental environment that helps you to cope with the stressors in your life.
The goal of talk therapy is to explore your emotions and empower the client to take back control of their lives with the support and encouragement of a trained helper. If you find yourself feeling depressed, don't wait, get help before depression overwhelms you.