The severity and type of depression dictate the treatment option available for patients. A patient diagnosed with mild depression can wait for symptoms to subside. If the symptoms persist, the patient can exercise or join a self-help group to assist in managing depression. Patients with moderate depression can join a talking therapy such as counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Individuals diagnosed with severe depression should seek treatment options such as antidepressants, combination therapy, and mental health teams.
There are various types of antidepressants available in the market that alleviate symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, and mood swings. Antidepressants target the brain circuit system by modulating three vital hormones to uplift one’s mood. These chemical messengers include norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) include citalopram, fluoxetine, escitalopram, paroxetine, venlafaxine, duloxetine, and sertraline.
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) interfere with brain circuits by modulating norepinephrine and serotonin. SNRIs in the market include duloxetine, desvenlafaxine, levomilnacipran, and venlafaxine. Both SNRIs and SSRIs increase the serotonin concentrations in the brain, thereby elevating patients’ moods. Fluoxetine can be administered to children under the legal age following the prescription of a physician.
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) elevate the serotonin levels and norepinephrine in the brain, thus elevating depression patients’ moods. TCAs include imipramine and amitriptyline. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and selegiline. MAOI are among the first antidepressant types developed and have close interactions with like decongestants and food such as cheese
Brain stimulation is used in severe depression that is unresponsive to conventional treatment. The therapy passes electromagnetic currents to specific areas in the brain to alleviate the manifestations of depression. For example,