Talk Therapy for Depression
Psychotherapy – or talk therapy – is a common treatment option for many mental health concerns, including depression. Many individuals use therapy in the treatment of their depression, either in conjunction with medication or without.
Many forms of therapy have been proven to assist in the treatment of depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy are just two more common options, but many others exist.
Whether or not it is paired with medication, psychotherapy can aid in the treatment of depression by teaching the following:
- Identifying negative beliefs and behaviors, then replacing them with healthy, positive ones
- Developing positive interactions with other people
- Setting realistic goals for yourself
- Adjusting to a crisis or other difficulties
- Finding coping methods and problem-solving techniques
- Regaining control over your life and your symptoms
Talk therapy can be offered on a one-on-one basis, between a therapist and a patient, or may also be provided in a group format. Group therapy is often a more affordable option, as individual therapy sessions are often costly, depending on the level of insurance coverage you have.
Group therapy also offers the additional benefit of allowing you to connect with other people who may be going through a similar experience as you. Group therapy sessions are often run by hospitals, faith groups, or local mental health clinics/programs.
If you are interested in what individual and group therapy options are available in your area, your primary care provider will be able to point you in the right direction.
Alternative Therapy Options
For those who may not have access or the resources necessary to explore talk therapy, there are other therapy options available that may be of interest. Therapy is also available through computer programs, online sessions, websites, or mobile apps, as well as textbooks or workbooks.
These alternative therapy options are very accessible to a wide range of individuals and can be used in conjunction with traditional talk therapy, or on their own. Your doctor or therapist may be able to suggest books or programs to you, to ensure that the form of therapy offered will be beneficial to you.
Brain Stimulation Treatments
For those who have explored many of the options available to those with depression, but have not found success, brain stimulation therapies may be the solution.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
This therapy option involves the passing of electrical currents through the brain, which impacts the function and effect of neurotransmitters, thus relieving depression.
ECT is generally reserved for those who have not found success with medications or cannot take antidepressants for health reasons, or those who are at a high risk of hurting themselves or someone else.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
This treatment involves a coil being placed against the scalp, which sends brief magnetic pulses to stimulate the nerve cells within the brain that are involved in mood regulation.
TMS is also another option for those who have not responded to antidepressants.
The Treatment Journey
For most individuals, the treatment of depression is a long and winding journey, with its own ups and downs. Remember this and try to be gentle with yourself as you explore the various options that are available to you.
Keep your primary care provider informed on what you have tried and the results of that attempt. Even treatments that fail offer clues into what works and what doesn't when it comes to your personal experience with depression.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes when it comes to the treatment of depression, but do not give up!
Many people struggle for years with therapies or treatments that do not work for them, only to find something that works when they least expect it.
You deserve to feel good about yourself and the world around you. You will find a treatment option that allows you to cope with your depression in a healthy way, so long as you remain open to that possibility.
The treatment of your depression can also change over time. Something that has worked for you in the past may suddenly stop being as effective, and that is okay.
This is why treatment is a journey that we all must take, but it is a journey worth taking. We all deserve to live free of the burden of depression and to find a treatment that allows us not only to cope but to thrive.