Depression, anxiety, and pain are often very challenging to treat. Treatment of these conditions often requires many medications and many adjustments to your medications to find the right combination and right dose. If you are concerned about your medications and your overall well being and want to make changes, it is important to find a doctor that you trust and are confident in his or her ability to listen to and address your concerns about your symptoms and responses to medications. When making changes to your medications, you will want to work closely with your doctor, especially if you are trying to decrease your doses. To stop medications that affect mood and behavior, it is recommended to slowly decrease the dose over time so that your body can adjust easier and avoid side effects of stopping the medicine too quickly. Discuss your fears about getting off your medicines with your doctor. You may want to ask your doctor to take the approach of changing one medicine at a time to see how you feel after each change. It will be a slow process but it will help you determine how each medication affects your mood and whether or not the medication is needed to help you feel better. If you haven't done so already, you may also want to try to find a support group - this may be an organized group specifically for people who have lost loved ones, or maybe a pain support group, or maybe some other group that organizes around an activity that interests you. There are many people that struggle with your conditions and it's often helpful to share your stories and know that you are not alone. The people in these groups may be able to recommend doctors and specialists if you are interested in finding a new doctor.
1 AnswerDr. Tarique D. Periera, MD , Psychiatry, answered
Clinical psychiatrist and TMS specialist Dr. Tarique Perera discusses whether or not transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) should be used along with other therapeis to treat depression. Watch Dr. Perera's video for tips and information on mental health and well-being.
1 AnswerInternational Bipolar Foundation answeredWhere medication targets mood, talk therapy targets behavior. Studies have proved that therapy can be quite effective. In fact, therapy has brought some out of depression without the help of medication at all. Doctors agree, however, that talk therapy works best when the patient uses even a small amount of medication as well.
Therapists help individuals learn coping strategies, educate them about how others react to trauma and help them see which of their behaviors work and which don't. Mood elevates as the motivated client makes positive behavioral changes. The support the therapist provides also reduces the patient's stress, improving brain chemistry.
1 AnswerPeer support groups, or group meetings with other people with depression, can be helpful for some people. These groups, especially when well run and organized, provide insight into day-to-day coping with the disorder. Research has shown these groups to be helpful in particular areas, such as providing support, helping participants cope with problems and crises, and enabling participants to stick to treatment plans. However, a systematic review found that more research is needed to fully understand and evaluate what conditions make these groups effective. Currently most existing peer-to-peer communities have been evaluated only in conjunction with additional interventions and interactions with healthcare professionals that coincide with participation in support groups.
Although peer support groups are not for everyone, participation may make you feel less isolated and alone, and provide you with an opportunity to see how others with the disorder are successfully managing their lives. They also offer structured activities to cope with your illness.
You should first seek help from your primary care providers. Through questionnaires and assessment of your current psychiatric health, your provider should be able clearly grasp the degree to which you are depressed. An appropriate medication and/or referral to other services can be made at this time. If you are depressed, as well as suicidal, the questions a provider would ask are : 1) Do you have a plan? and 2) Do you have the means?. If you or the provider feel that you have potential to hurt yourself, then immediate referral to inpatient psychiatric facility is warranted.
I inform my patients, as well as their loved ones, if their depression worsens and they feel suicidal, it is important that they either call "911", go to their nearest ER, or admit themselves immediately into inpatient treatment.
Depression is very common and there can be a stigma associated with antidepressants. It is important that a patient know that treatment for depression may only last for a few months. The sooner depression is diagnoses and treatment begins, many times, the less time it takes to effectively treat it.
1 AnswerDonna Hill Howes, RN , Family Medicine, answeredTranscranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is not FDA approved for treatment of depression. There are clinical trials being done at this time to determine its safety and effectiveness. It's thought that it helps correct chemical imbalances in the brain that trigger depression. Some side effects may include feelings of lightheadedness and/or mild headaches.
1 AnswerDr. Lara Honos-Webb, PhD , Psychology, answeredMost psychotherapies adopt the perspective that depression is a clinical disorder to be eliminated without considering the meaning or context of the symptoms. Therapy is usually focused on clarifying the client's impairments and working toward eliminating them. These approaches therefore keep the focus on clients' impairment rather than their strengths.
The practice of strength-based assessment encourages clinicians to pay attention to the strengths of the clients in addition to their impairments and disorders. The theory of strength-based assessment doesn't challenge the existence of an impairment. Rather, strength-based assessment looks for strengths alongside the diagnosis or impairment.
Find out more about this book:Listening to Depression: How Understanding Your Pain Can Heal Your Life
1 AnswerDr. Mehmet Oz, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
If your depression is severe, a prescription medication may be your best option. But milder forms of depression can often be treated with simple lifestyle changes or certain supplements. In this video, natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola shares with Dr. Oz his favorite non-drug remedies for depression.
1 AnswerWithdrawal symptoms happen when you stop an antidepressant drug suddenly. It is often tapered down which helps to minimize or prevent withdrawal side effects. Effexor XR works well for many people, as does Celexa. If at some point you decide that you would like to go off Celexa, be sure to speak with your doctor, as he/she may want to slowly take you off of it.
1 AnswerDr. John Preston, PsyD , Psychology, answeredDialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment designed to help those who have trouble regulating their emotions. Originally developed for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, DBT has also shown promise in treating depression. The major goal of DBT is to minimize or eliminate self-harming behaviors by teaching people the skills needed to tolerate the emotional discomfort that causes them to turn to self-harm or, in a worst-case scenario, suicide. A DBT practitioner will teach you how to accept contradictory thoughts at the same time -- specifically, how to accept yourself with all of your problems and issues while also understanding that you will need to change some of your behaviors and thought patterns to function in healthier ways.
Find out more about this book:Depression 101: A Practical Guide to Treatments, Self-Help Strategies, and Preventing Relapse