Treatment of depression. How can depression be treated?

Treatment of depression. How can depression be treated?

Treating depression: psychotherapy

Various sources emphasize that, indeed, pharmacological treatment is the primary effect in the case of depressive disorders, but it brings the most beneficial effects when it is combined with psychotherapeutic interventions.

Just as pharmacotherapy can solve a problem when it has a biological basis, it is not necessarily able to influence other possible causes of depression, such as family conflicts, bullying at school or experiencing a traumatic event.

Various types of psychotherapy can help depressed patients – examples include psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalytical therapy or systemic therapy.

Treating depression is not easy. Pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy play a fundamental role here, however, psychoeducation of the patient and his immediate environment is also important. Other methods are also applicable in the treatment of depressive disorders. How is depression treated, when can a depressed patient be treated on an outpatient basis, and when must he / she be hospitalized, and what changes may the future hold in treating depression?

Treating depression is one of the greatest challenges of modern psychiatry. The prevalence of depression is so great that it is slowly becoming one of the most common health problems in humans – the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that over 264 million patients may struggle with it worldwide.

Depression can occur at any age, as it occurs in children as well as young adults and seniors. In different age groups, not only the course and clinical picture of depressive disorders may differ, but also the problem in patients of different ages may require different therapeutic interventions. This is because the treatment of depression in a child is different from that of a young adult or a senior.

Treatment of depression

In the opinion of many patients, pharmacotherapy is the basic method of treating depression, and indeed, typically it is used as the first-line therapeutic treatment for this mental disorder.

Among the various theories on the pathogenesis of depression, one of the most popular is the one according to which mood disorders are caused by abnormal levels of various neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. Antidepressants, on the other hand, affect the concentrations of such neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin or noradrenaline.

Antidepressants can alter the levels of various neurotransmitters in the body, so they are grouped according to exactly which of these substances they affect. Individual antidepressants used in psychiatry are assigned to such groups as:

  • serotonin reuptake inhibitors (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • SSRIs, examples of which are fluoxetine, escitalopram and sertraline),
  • serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs, including venlafaxine and duloxetine),
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs for short, their representative is, among others, moclobemide),
  • tricyclic antidepressants (TLPDs for short, this group includes e.g. opipramol and clomipramine),
  • selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (NARI for short, reboxetine is a representative of this group),
  • drugs with an unusual structure and mechanism of action (such as, for example, tianeptine or mirtazapine).
  • It is difficult to clearly indicate which of the available antidepressants can be considered the most effective – individual of these drugs have a different profile of action.