There are many types of treatment for depression. Often, it is difficult to know which type helps in which particular depression case. We namely need to differentiate between different types of depression. There are minor and major depressions, and those in between. The treatment is not the same in all of these cases. In this article, we differentiate between a medical treatment and a psychotherapeutic treatment. Below, we shortly sum up what both types of treatment entail, and we then also note which type of treatment is best for which form.
A medical treatment mainly consists of taking antidepressants. Fluoxetine or Prozac, are generally the most prescribed medicines in the world (Zimbardo, Johnson & McCcan, 2009). Together with other antidepressants, this costs the government 10 billion dollars per year worldwide (Zimbardo, Johnson & McCcan, 2009). We can thus state that a lot is invested every year in the treatment of depression. But do these antidepressants have the effects on depression which everyone hopes for? Yes, from research it has become clear that treatment based on antidepressants is effective (DeRubeis et al., 1999). Antidepressants namely get a quick effect by affecting the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for regulating emotions. Antidepressants work on these emotion, giving us some sort of numb feeling. This will make it so that the negative feelings, linked to depression, are numbed down, which eventually will lead to the depression disappearing.
Another type of treatment is the psychotherapeutic treatment. This type of treatment is part of psychological treatments, as opposed to the medical treatment. There are different types of psychotherapeutic treatments, such as the cognitive treatment, the systematic therapeutic treatment,... The question is whether these types of treatment also are effective. As medical treatment is shown to be effective, psychotherapeutic treatment is so, too (DeRubeis et al., 1999). A psychotherapeutic treatment mainly focuses on the frontal cortex, which takes care of reasoning. In sessions, the psychotherapist will help people to reason in a more positive and therefore healthier way. This will have a slower effect than antidepressants. That is why this is considered to be the alteration of the slow emotional pathway (Zimbardo, Johnson & McCcan, 2009).
Comparison of the two treatment types
Research has shown that both the psychotherapeutic treatment and the medical treatment are effective (DeRubeis et al.,1999). This study showed, too, that both interventions are just as effective as the other. These results only looked at short-term situations, though. When both methods are compared in the long-term, psychotherapy shows to be more effective than the medical treatment (Zimbardo, Johnson & McCcan, 2009). What is most effective, then? Apparently it is a combination of the two types of treatment which is best (DeRubeis et al., 1999). They namely affect different parts of the brain which have to do with depression. By working together in this way, the treat depression in a more optimal manner.
Usage of treatment
People with a minor type of depression are mainly helped by psychotherapeutic help. The more minor the depression, the more minor the help is. In a minor depression, online self-help is a perfect tool to use, for example. When looking at a major or moderate depression, it is best that a combination of both treatment methods is offered. Here, too, online self-help can support the psychotherapeutic process. There also is a difference between treatment methods when looking at the causes of depression. If a depression is caused by personality and environmental factors, psychotherapeutic treatment is best. Here we should also take the severity of the depression into account. However, if there is a genetic cause for a depression, antidepressants are definitely important in the treatment.
15 Minutes 4 Me
15 Minutes 4 Me is an online self-help program, which was developed by doctors. They find it important to integrate both treatment methods in the online treatment of depression to some extent. This online self-help program will not prescribe any antidepressants, but it recommends close contact with your doctor. These will follow-up what you need and what you might not need. 15 Minutes 4 Me guides you for about 15 Minutes per day in working on yourself. You get solution focused questions and videos which help you to gain new insights. This method has been proven to be effective by research. From this research it was namely shown that participants feel 40% happier after 3 weeks!
Do you feel like you are depressed?
First off you can take our depression test for free. This will get you your results as soon as you have filled out the questionnaire, including a proper interpretation of the results.