The Role of Psychiatry in Treating Depression

Depression is often characterized by mood changes; a depressed person will display intense feelings of loss, failure, hopelessness and ultimately rejection. Statistics indicate that close to 20% of Americans are likely to suffer depression at one time or the other in life; women being more susceptible than men. The two types of depression are major depression and bipolar disorder. Major depression usually interferes with the victims work routine and everyday activities. The symptoms of major depression include loss of weight, insomnia and lack of interest in non-regular events. Bipolar disorder, on the other hand, is very rare; however, it affects both men and women in equal measure. Because depression is linked to behavioral changes, the condition may lead to social isolation and decreased interest in performing pleasurable activities, exercise and nutrition.

The main risk factors of depression include environmental factors, biochemistry, genetics and personality. Environmental factors include exposure to neglect, mistreatment, violence and poverty. The biochemical factors that cause depression are usually brought about by changes in certain brain chemicals. On the other hand, the main personality factor that is often blamed for causing depression is low self-esteem. Many psychologists believe depression is caused by learned helplessness. This conditions occurs when the affected person believes that all his actions are useless in making a positive change. In contrast, medical research greatly suggests that depression may be tied to deficiencies in serotonin, norepinephrine and neurotransmitters. One popular drug therapy that is used to cure depression is the use of antidepressants.

Antidepressants can help control the flow of neurotransmitters and lithium in patients suffering from major depression and bipolar depression respectively. Treatments for depression are usually formulated based on the severity of the symptoms, how much depression has affected the victim’s ability to work and the patient’s treatment history. Treatment through psychotherapy may also be recommended; this form of treatment involves; eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy among other approaches. The other treatment technique includes the use of Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for patients suffering from major depression. Most depression patients also rely on other sufferers to get emotional support or improve their self-esteem.

A Psychiatrist plays an important role in making diagnosis and formulating treatment plan for patients suffering from depression. Many cases of depression have been referred to Daniel Amen who is the CEO of Amen Clinics. He is also an authority in Adult and children Psychiatry and Nuclear brain imaging. Many of Dr. Amen’s works, which include scientific articles have been published in various prestigious medical and scientific journals. The publications include; Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, PLOS One, Primary Psychiatry and the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.