Treatments of Depression (Anti-depressive)

Treatments of Depression (Anti-depressive)

Depression treatments

Depression presents a very complex clinical picture. She is still too often stigmatized as perceived as evidence of staff and incompetence. Nowadays, depression can be cured, provided it is properly treated. And yet, we have missed out on effective and well tolerated treatments for their depression is not detected or severely underestimated. Even when the diagnosis is made, less than half of the patients take a systematic antidepressant treatment. There are several reasons for this: either the prescribed treatment is not effective, or it is not followed or abandoned for fear or lack of information, or by the proposed psychotherapy.

Any anti-depressive treatment must aim at complete healing to allow the patient to resume the course of his life. Healing from depression requires time and patience.

Different national and international professional associations have developed treatment guidelines based on the latest knowledge of therapeutic options. Not only do they describe different treatment algorithms for personalized care, but they also provide insights in the absence of response or in the case of insufficient response, on the duration of treatment required and on preventive therapies for those at risk.

The treatment of depression is essentially in three stages: acute phase treatment (6 to 12 weeks), maintenance treatment (4 to 9 months) and prevention of relapses (beyond one year). The detailed description of these three phases can be found in the chapter "Medication treatment".

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Any effective treatment of depression must include psychotherapy. This must be adapted to the emotional profile of the patient, with the aim of a different management of stress, another looks at self-esteem and the assimilation of stressful events. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) are the best-documented psychotherapeutic options of the day and most effective.

The treatment guidelines recommend accompanying psychotherapy with antidepressants in moderate to severe depression.

Drug treatment


As with their first generation predecessors, the mode of action of modern antidepressants is to enhance and increase the concentration of neurotransmitters (messenger substances) such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine at the points of contact between neurons. (nerve cells) at the cerebral level. Indeed, these neurotransmitter systems lose their balance during a depression. Antidepressants are differentiated by the area in which their activity is spreading. Therefore, modern antidepressants often have different efficacy and side effect profiles that can be used to advantage in therapy. For example, some antidepressants may promote sleep or alleviate pain, they may also improve through mental (cognitive) functions altered by the disease such as attention, mental clarity and the ability to perform.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence to suggest that antidepressants create addiction or alteration of personality.

The treatment takes place in three stages:

Acute treatment - 6 to 12 weeks, approximately

Despite the sustained efforts of research, it is not yet possible to precisely define which antidepressant will be the most effective for a given patient. Although patient-specific symptoms and therapeutic history may be indicative, nearly 30% of patients do not respond well to initial treatment. The effectiveness of antidepressants unfolds over days and weeks. But if no change, even timid, occurs in the first two weeks, the treatment must be adjusted, either by increasing the dose, or switching to another drug or several other drugs. The goal of removing symptoms to a large extent is achieved in the acute phase in 40-50% of patients. It is therefore crucial to continue treatment to prevent relapse and fight against any residual symptoms.

Maintenance to avoid relapses - 4 to 9 months after the disappearance


Since depressive episodes usually last 6 to 12 months, treatment should be continued for at least the same amount of time to avoid relapses during this critical period. In case of premature discontinuation of treatment (because we are well again and we think we can stop treatment), nearly 80% of patient's relapse. Even after successful acute treatment, some residual symptoms persist such as sleep disturbances, cognitive impairment, or lack of energy. Residual symptoms increase the risk of relapse. The fight against residual symptoms is therefore the second major objective of the continuation of treatment. This should be continued with the same antidepressant at the same dose.

Prevention of relapse

If the patient is depressed for the first time in his life or if the current episode occurs years after a depression, the antidepressant can be gradually decreased before being stopped. But if the depressive phases are cumulative or if the depression is very severe, the treatment is continued prophylactically without time limit in order to avoid any subsequent episode. Such a prophylactic treatment is very effective and prevents the occurrence of a new depression in 80% of cases.

The illustration schematizes the three phases of antidepressant treatment.

Light Therapy

This therapy with virtually no side effects has been shown to be very effective not only in winter depression, but also in other forms of depression. It consists of exposing oneself to a source of bright light (2,500 to 10,000 lux) every morning for 30 to 60 minutes. It is possible to read during this time. As a general rule, the earlier morning light therapy is performed during the illness, the better the results. In case of recurrent depression in autumn and winter, this treatment can be applied in prevention.

Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation is good for morale. At first glance, this seems surprising since many depressed patients suffer from sleep disorders. However,

Even partial sleep deprivation, starting at 1 am, is effective in the treatment of depression. The bedtime is at normal time and the alarm clock is 1 o'clock in the morning. It is important not to go back to sleep for a few moments during the rest of the night and all the next day, at the risk of losing all the beneficial effects of the treatment on morale. This therapy can serve as a relay until the antidepressant begins to take effect. It is usually practiced in a group with a medical supervision, because it is difficult to follow alone.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

ECT is indicated for the treatment of depression refractory to any treatment and severe depressive episodes - usually when other therapeutic methods have failed or have not been effective enough. It is a method known to be effective with few side effects and whose effectiveness is generally felt quickly. The therapeutic principle is based on a cerebral convulsion triggered gently after brief narcosis and muscle relaxation. During the procedure, which lasts nearly one minute, the patient is put under anesthesiological supervision.


Alongside these forms of treatment, personalized support measures can be very useful to improve the perception of body sensations, such as biofeedback, progressive muscular relaxation, stress management, massage acupuncture, Tai Chi, etc.

Treatments of Depression

Please if you have any questions about Treatments of Depression, you can ask us by commenting below this text, we'll answer you as soon as possible.

basic rules during the treatment of a depression

-Be patient! Depression usually settles slowly and also disappears gradually even with treatment. Therapy takes time, but it's worth it!

-If you need medicine, follow the doctor's instructions carefully. Be patient, the effects are rarely immediate.

-You should know that there is no evidence that antidepressants induce addiction or impairment of personality.

-It is important to communicate to your doctor, openly and with confidence, any changes in your condition, as well as concerns, fears and doubts that you may have as part of the treatment.

-Report any unpleasant side effects immediately. The observed side effects are generally mild and appear especially at the beginning of treatment.

- Do not stop taking medication, even if you feel better. Discontinuation of treatment should be carefully prepared.

-Plan each day exactly the night before (with an hourly schedule, for example). Also plan nice activities.

-Set small achievable goals. Your doctor or therapist can help you.

-Keep a daily journal of your moods. Your doctor or therapist can show you how to do it and discuss it regularly with you.

-Once awake, get up quickly, do not stay in bed. When one is depressed, lying down opens the door to black ideas. This advice is not always easy to follow. If you are in this situation, develop strategies with your therapist to achieve this.

Move: Physical activity is a valuable antidepressant and promotes neurogenesis. -

-Once you get better, talk with your doctor or therapist about how to reduce the risk of relapse. Distinguish the warning signs and establish a crisis plan.

Warning signs of Depression drugs

To quickly detect and prevent a new depressive episode, it may be helpful to identify the warning signs that are usually:


-Mild irritability


Sleeping troubles-

-Difficulty getting up in the morning

Great tiredness, exhaustion, feeling of overwork and stress-

Loss of appetite or abnormal appetite-

Sensitivity to noise-

-Pressure on the chest, head

General physical ill-being, headaches-

Loss of memory-

Difficulties of concentration-

-Physical appearance and neglected body care

-Difficulty making decisions in everyday life

-Declining performance at work

-Activity level down

-No desire

-Less joy of life


Feeling of inner emptiness, insensitivity-

Black ideas, obsessions-

Concern about the future-

-Doubts and lack of self-confidence

Feeling sick, morbid thoughts-


It is extremely important to follow a medical treatment prescribed by the family doctor or a psychiatrist very quickly. Depressed mood is effectively treated, as well as suicidal thoughts and suicide intentions. It is therefore very important to encourage depressed people to consult a doctor, contact a psychosocial service.

Treatments of Depression

Please if you have any questions about Treatments of Depression, you can ask us by commenting below this text, we'll answer you as soon as possible.

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