Given that mental health receives more attention than any other disease, there is a need for everyone to understand various related ailments that affect them. Depression is well known as one of the common mental health problems that plague people today.
Depression comes with complex emotions associated with its symptoms. It causes sadness, frustration, unexplained anger, and to some extent, it lowers interest in certain activities.
There are two major forms of depression; unipolar and bipolar. Of the two forms, unipolar depression is the most common. It is usually because of the pessimism, passivity, decreased motivation, change in appetite, and a deep sense of sadness. All these characteristics best describe unipolar depression. But more information is needed to give a clear explanation of this ailment in detail.
Bipolar depression, however, portrays the opposite extreme in comparison to the unipolar depression. Oftentimes, it is referred to as the manic form. It is usually associated with euphoria and uncontrollable impulses. These two symptoms are linked to activities such as increased shopping or sexual promiscuity, among others.
The Need For Medication
Medication is particularly necessary to help relieve symptoms of depression. According to numerous studies on humans and animals, antidepressants can work by altering certain processes in the brain. The alteration of such processes is geared towards reversing patterns that normally occur when an individual is under depression.
Most of these processes are linked directly to the production of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. All these chemicals play a critical role in determining the moods or behaviors of a person.
Medications come in handy to help patients show positive responses. This is because they can improve behavioral patterns and symptoms among those suffering from depression.
But there is a great concern about the use of medication shortly after a season of treatment. Patients are more likely to experience a relapse when the symptoms start to pop up again. But this does not imply that this type of medication is ineffective when it comes to the treatment of depression.
Practice guidelines emphasize more on the importance of medication, especially among those who had previously experienced chronic depression.
Perfect examples of such medication include:
- Mood stabilizers for the treatment of unipolar depression (mania)
- Antidepressants, which is useful in treating depression or anxiety
The Need for Cognitive Therapy
Cognitive therapy comes in handy as a perfect alternative to medication. This form of therapy is mainly adopted on the assumption that depression can be triggered by the ingrained negative beliefs, which may include repetitive or habitual negative thoughts.
The cognitive therapy model states that where these patterns (ingrained negative beliefs) are corrected, there is a decreased risk of recurring symptoms. Studies suggest that cognitive therapy is equally effective in reducing acute distress, just like medication. But studies are yet to find substantial evidence on this claim.
Possible Limitation of Medications
- For most people, medication is more likely to cause side effects that are detrimental to their wellbeing. Some have discovered that a great number of antidepressant medications tend to influence suicidal thoughts and behaviors among those taking them. As such, if cognitive therapy comes out to be successful, then it would be the ultimate solution to this problem.
- Some people are also skeptical about the use of medication because it may cause a relapse. So their hope remains in cognitive therapy.
Possible Limitations of Cognitive Therapy
With cognitive therapy, the main limitation is finding a skilled and knowledgeable therapist. In many cases, this remains a difficult task for many patients. Several reasons contribute to this problem which includes:
- There are unscrupulous people online who take advantage of the situation to deceive desperate patients. Such people use the current cutting-edge technology and widespread internet to pose as professionals in this subject matter. To be on the safe side, patients should question the expertise of those who come forward claiming to be good therapists.
- Seeking for a professional therapist could also be difficult due to the shortage or absence of people with such knowledge. As a result, medication becomes the only available option for those struggling with depression.
- Finally, certain individuals cannot respond to any therapy, including cognitive therapy. For that reason, they must turn to medication as the only option.
Both medication and cognitive therapy have their positive sides as well as their weaker sides. Therefore, these types of treatment are, in most cases, combined to provide maximum results.
A combination of medication and cognitive therapy can easily and quickly provide positive results. This means that a patient can still go for cognitive therapy sessions while on medication.
In the end, patients can benefit from both sides, if medication and cognitive therapy are geared towards the treatment of depressive disorders. However, the best option should be for the patients to consult a professional psychologist or mental health expert for advice.