precipitating event which brought about the depression or on the depression itself; therefore, they have lost all resiliency. Sometimes, an individual is utilizing all their energy on the depression so they have nothing leftover; therefore, they cannot work, go to school, or interact with others. This is where an antidepressant can assist. An antidepressant can supplement the resiliency to begin treatment, and once treatment begins, assist until remission. Once you have been prescribed an antidepressant, close follow-up is important to measure side effects and treatment goals. These treatment goals should be continuously reviewed with your prescriber. Insurance does pay for antidepressants. Many are offered generic.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recommends antidepressants and Psychotherapy combined as the preferred treatment for depression.
Therapy does work for those appropriate for therapy. How does it work? Let's talk about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT utilizes the principle that feelings follow thought; therefore, if a person has negative thoughts, they will experience negative emotions, and if that person can learn to create positive thoughts, they will experience positive emotions. This might sound very simple, but it can be quite challenging for some without a therapist. People frequently think in habitual ways, learned early in life. CBT helps break these old dysfunctional habits and offers new positive ways of thinking. When a person is experiencing depression, they are plagued with negative thoughts which in turn, invoke negative emotions. Therapists assist depressed individuals to reframe some of their negative thoughts.
We now understand that the brain is plastic, not concrete. When we learn something new, it causes a wrinkling in the cortex and it becomes easier to repeat what was learned. We can continue to do this as we age. This can be compared to a learned activity such as tennis or golf. The same ca be applied to our thoughts. If we can reframe our thoughts to a positive way of thinking, its is a new learned behavior, and if we continue to exercise this way of thinking, our emotions will follow. In fact, according to recent research in Archives of General Psychiatry 2010, it is suggested that CBT prevents relapse of depression.
Article Written by Charlene Rosenfield, MS ARNP