Posted By: Sheri (FunReadin,Last2PostsEngBd) on 'English'
Title:     Depression Part 2.
Date:      Tue Feb 16 01:16:57 1999

Therapy for depression

Early treatment can help shorten the length of time a depressive episode 
lasts, lessen its severity and reduce the risk of depression returning.  
Following your doctor's treatment program improves yoru chances of recovery.

The most common approaches for treating depressoin are phychotherapy (also 
called "talk therapy" or counseling), antidepressant medication or a 
combination of the two.


A psychotherapist is a medical professional trained to help patients 
understand psychological illnesses and learn how to deal with them.  Talking 
with a therapist can give you valuable support and advice.

Antidepressant therapy

As mentioned earlier, antidepressants relieve the symptoms of depression by 
correcting the chemical imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters (for 
example, a neurotransmitter called scrotonin) in the brain's nerve cells.  
The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are the SSRIs (selective 
scrotonin reuptake inhibitors).

Types of antidepressants

*  SSRIs generally have fewer of the side effects associated with the older 
classes of antidepressants mentioned below.  In some patients, SSRIs may 
cause headache, nausea, agitation, changes in sexual functioning and 
insomnia.  Some of these effects may diminish with time.

*  Tricyclic antidepressants are as effective as the SSRIs but have a higher 
frequency of side effects - including blurred vision, weight gain, dry mouth 
or dizziness.

*  MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) are prescribed much less frequently 
than SSRIs or tricyclics because of their side effects.  MAOIs cannot be 
taken with certain drugs and foods.

Keep your doctor informed

As you continue in your treatment program, keep your doctor informed about 
how it's going.

*  When taking medication, follow your doctor's directions exactly
*  Do not hesitate to contact your doctor about any side effects you may be 
feeling.  If needed, another more suitable medication can always be fuond.

*  If you are not happy with your progress, discuss with your doctor whether 
a change in antidepressant medication or psychoterapy may be helpful.

Understanding is the key to success

Following your doctor's treatment advice and taking your medication as 
prescribed will help you make the most of your therapy.  As teratment 
progresses, tell your doctor if your symptoms are improving or worsening, and 
how your current medicatino is making you feel.  Above all, call your doctor 
right away if you start to have thoughts about harming yourself in any way. 

Seek the support of family and friends, too.  They can provide that extra 
boost of confidence you might need to help break free of depression. 

Finally, be patient.  The factors that caused your depression are complex and 
do not change overnight - but they can be changed.  Do the best you can each 
day.  You'll find that small triumphs add up soon enough. 

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