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CMAG

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20

depression, a combination of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy are usually recommended. Antidepressant medications and psychotherapy are the most common methods of treatment; however electroconvulsive therapy might be used when antidepressant medications cannot be taken or if the depression is severe.46 If the individual with depression has the opportunity to choose healthcare professionals and forms of treatment, they may achieve better outcomes.

Below are some important facts about treatment:

  • Up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning medication, psychotherapy, attending support groups, or a combination of these treatments.31

  • Despite the high success rate in treating depression, nearly two out of three people suffering with the disease do not actively seek or receive proper treatment.31

  • An estimated 50% of unsuccessful treatment for depression is due to medical non-compliance.31

  • Patient-to-patient support groups improved treatment compliance by almost 86% and reduced in-patient hospitalization. Support group participants are 86% more willing to take medication and cope with side effects.31

The Role of Psychotherapy Psychotherapy is defined as the treatment of emotional, behavioral,

personality,

and

psychiatric disorders

using

verbal

and

nonverbal

communication and interventions instead of medication or shock therapy or other physical treatments. Psychotherapists may be psychiatrists or clinical psychologists trained and engaged in psychotherapy. However, this group may include nurses, social workers, and others who are state-licensed to provide psychotherapy.47

Psychotherapy sessions encourage individuals to learn the components of their condition so that they can understand it; identify and change behavior; explore relationships while improving interpersonal communication; identify emotions with the purpose of regulating them; and set realistic goals for coping and problem-solving. Psychotherapy may involve many sessions or just a few. Medications also are used in conjunction with psychotherapy for some individuals.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are forms of psychotherapy:48

  • Art therapy

  • Behavior therapy

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