Finding New Ways to Treat Depression
I think it’s good to think outside the box. Especially when it comes to finding solutions to some pretty major problems. Let’s take depression for example.
Starting in May 2007, the FDA started requiring that a warning be posted on antidepressant drugs. The warning was about the increased risk of suicide for patients in the 18-24 age range. This warning was the result of a FDA analysis of patient data.
So it seems to me that depressed young people need more options besides medication. Of course, all people who suffer from depression need options but for this age group, in light of this study, it seems necessary. So, let’s look at other possible options.
Therapy: This is a standard treatment and it can be a good one. But unfortunately this method of treatment requires a good therapist and this isn’t always easy to find. Not because there’s a shortage of capable therapist out there but because it can get complicated. Sometimes the therapist doesn’t practice the type of therapy that is best for your condition. Maybe you live in a very small town with only 1 or 2 practicing therapists. Many times therapists don’t accept insurance or don’t accept your insurance.
In the case of depression, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the better therapy choices. But it can be hard to find a therapist that specializes in this type of therapy. Many may offer some form of it but there’s something to be said for someone who knows the intricacies of treating depression using only this therapy.
Classes: This isn’t a usual treatment option but I think it’s a good one. It’s my outside the box contribution, if you will. Many people who are depressed suffer from various thinking patterns that make depression more likely to occur or enable the depression to stay around. Bringing these patterns to patients’ attention and then teaching them other ways to think can go a long way towards helping a depressed individual become healthier.
Other Support Systems: There are a myriad of options available for supporting those with depression. Whether it is some type of group therapy, support group, or study group. One option that I find alluring is telephone treatment. This type of treatment was offered to over 604 employees aged 18 years and over in various U.S. companies. The treatment involved telephone assessment and facilitation to inpatient treatment, a psycho-educational workbook, support and monitoring of treatment. The results were very positive.
Although medication is usually the first or second line of defense against depression, there are more options available. Since medication may not the best treatment choice for many, and since traditional therapy isn’t always accessible, I think it’s necessary to search for other ways to offer support and help so that those who need to treat their depression have a number of viable, encouraging choices at their disposal.
Barbui, C., Cipriani, A., Geddes, J.R. (2008). Antidepressants and suicide symptoms: compelling new insights from the FDA’s analysis of individual patient level data. Evidence-Based Mental Health, 11(2), 34-35. DOI: 10.1136/ebmh.11.2.34
Gilbody, S. (2008). Telephone treatment support improves outcomes for depressed employees. Evidence-Based Mental Health, 11(2), 47-47. DOI: 10.1136/ebmh.11.2.47