Meditation Basics
Stress management

Common Treatment Options for Unipolar Depression

Treatment options for unipolar depression are many. Your doctor may use a combination of treatments in accordance with your emotional and physical condition. The most common treatment option includes a combination of psychotherapy sessions and antidepressant medications.

If the case is severe, doctors could advise immediate hospitalization. This could be to prevent any mishaps if the patient might prove to be a threat to themselves. In some cases, it could be a partial hospitalization session where they sleep at home at night and spend the entire day in a psychiatric hospital.

Doctors may suggest this treatment option for children and adolescents.

1. Psychotherapy
In isolation, this therapy is an effective treatment for mild to moderate forms of depression. Doctors normally recommend it as the first course of treatment for unipolar depression. These sessions could be for you alone or with your spouse and other family members.

The sessions help to identify the root cause for your depression and addresses it by focusing on essential behavior patterns and control of emotions. Psychotherapy sessions consist of talking therapy sessions, behavior therapy sessions and interpersonal and cognitive behavioral sessions.

In talking therapy sessions, psychotherapists talk with you and try to correct your deficiencies, thinking patterns, and behavioral changes. In behavioral therapy sessions, psychotherapists teach you new behavioral forms that could change your depressive state of mind and help you attain better satisfaction and contentment in life. In interpersonal and cognitive behavioral sessions, you learn to overcome your negative thinking and develop a better stance on life that will help to overcome your unipolar depression.

2. Medications
Common medications for unipolar depression include antidepressants. There are many antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These medications stimulate and increase working of natural neurotransmitters in brain. This induces a positive response and helps alleviate problems due to depression.

Doctors prescribe such medications for a minimum period of four to eight weeks. This time is essential for them to cause a marked improvement in your condition.

In some cases, doctors would advise continuing use of antidepressants for six to twelve months, although on a minor dosage. This could also prevent a relapse. Antidepressants may cause various side effects like nausea, fever, diarrhea, headaches etc.

Doctors prescribe an appropriate dosage according to the severity of your condition.

If you are on MAOIs, you should follow specific dietary and medication restrictions.

If you are on common medications for any other ailments, MAOIs could react negatively with such medications.

3. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
This therapy involves passing of mild electric current to create seizure-like situation in brain.

Doctors prescribe this treatment option if all other forms of treatment for unipolar depression have failed to yield any positive results. Although this treatment is the best option for those with severe unipolar depression, it could cause serious problems if administered wrongly. A complete treatment involves twelve sessions spread over three to four weeks. Normally, it is three sessions per week.

Each session involves passing of electric current for one to two seconds while you are on anesthesia. As you are also under the effects of muscle relaxants, these induced seizures do not affect other parts of your body.

There is no single proven treatment option that can deliver optimum results from unipolar depression in all patients.

Every treatment option is for an individual. Therefore, you should discuss with your doctor for a treatment best suited for you.


About the Author (text)Source: Depression A Misunderstood Disease, a complete handbook which covers everything you need to know about depression. Visit

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