Treatment of depression
In broad terms there are 2 main treatment avenues for depression - psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.
Psychotherapy is aimed at addressing the abnormal patterns and negative thoughts that may have led to the occurrence of depression through regular sessions conducted by a qualified therapist. In many cases, psychotherapy successfully relieves depression without implementing medication treatment.
Pharmacotherapy typically involves the use of antidepressants, which are a class of medications that is used specifically for depression, but they may also be prescribed by a psychiatrist for anxiety disorders or other mental health problems.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work by increasing the concentration of the neurotransmitter serotonin in brain cell synapses, which may facilitate depression relief or increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Antidepressants from older generations are also approved for depression and prescribed in certain cases, but SSRIs are the first choice because they cause less side effects. In complex depression, the use of other classes of drugs such as mood stabilisers and antipsychotics may also be required under supervision.
A combination of psychotherapy and medication may be recommended in some cases, but usually psychotherapy alone is tried first, especially when the diagnosis is made early and the symptoms are mild.