How Does Depression Treatment Work?

The causes of depression aren't yet fully understood by the medical community. It may be caused partially by genetics and partially by life circumstances. However, depression is a very real disease that should be treated by a specialist. Therapists specialize in treating all kinds of different mental illnesses, including depression. Here are four things that will be included in your depression treatment when you see a therapist:

1. Depression Assessment

Before a therapist can help you manage your depressive symptoms, they need to fully understand your struggles. A depression assessment can help your therapist determine what symptoms you are experiencing. The assessment will also allow you to score each symptom based on its severity. This will allow your therapist to determine how severe your depression is. You should be as honest as possible when filling out your assessment. Don't hesitate to ask your therapist to clarify questions for you if necessary.

2. Discussion Of Current Treatment Methods

Most people with depression try to alleviate their symptoms through home care. Many self-treatment methods are effective, such as exercising, getting enough rest, and eating a healthy diet. Your therapist will talk with you to make sure you understand the steps taken to treat your depression. Hearing more about what has helped and what hasn't can assist your therapist in developing a treatment plan. Make sure to bring up all the coping mechanisms you use, even the unhealthy ones like drug and alcohol use.

3. Therapeutic Action Plan

Once your therapist understands a little more about your depression and situation, they can start to formulate a therapeutic action plan. You will have the opportunity to make suggestions during this step of your treatment. As a patient, your desires and goals are important. Your therapist will help you set goals and treatment milestones, which will help both of you evaluate the efficacy of your therapist's treatment approach. You will periodically revisit your goals and action plan to ensure that they still work for you.

4. Ongoing Talk Therapy

The most effective tool in a therapist's repertoire is talk therapy. Talk therapy is a dialogue that enables patients to discuss their thoughts and feelings with a trained therapist. Your therapist can point out areas where your thoughts are distorted by depression. For example, people with depression often have a negative self-image that isn't supported by reality. By pointing out untrue thoughts, your therapist can help you train yourself to combat the cognitive distortions caused by depression.

For more information about depression treatments, contact a local mental therapist near you.