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Depression can be treated with medicine or counselling, or both. These treatments are very effective. However, in order to understand about the treatment options available for people with depression, we need to identify the level , extent or severity of the depression.

In general, treatments are divided into those used for mild depression and those used for moderate and severe depression.

Talk to your doctor about the right treatment for you

But to give you a brief, let’s first look at various treatment options available for the moderate and severe forms of depression.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Invented by a psychiatrist, Aaron Beck in the 1960’s, CBT is one of the most effective treatments for depression. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, which in turn affects the way they feel.

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2. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

As the name suggests, this is a form of therapy that combines the ideas of cognitive therapy mentioned earlier and meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. It was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale.

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3. Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) was developed by Gerald Klerman and Myrna Weissman in the 1970s. This form of therapy follows a uniquely structured model for the treatment of mental health issues.

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4. Behavioral Activation Treatment (BA)

Developed by Lewinsohn and colleagues in the 1970s, Behavioral Activation Treatment is a behavioral psychotherapy approach that focused on increasing positive reinforcements in one’s life through activity scheduling.

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5. Family Therapy

Families can have a significant influence on a person’s mental health. Family therapy can be used alone or in combination with other treatment approaches. Strategies incorporated in family therapy approach include psychodynamic, structural, strategic, and cognitive-behavioral schools.

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6. Antidepressant medication

Antidepressants are the most prescribed drug for depression. Many antidepressants have been developed over the years. The newer classes of antidepressants are better tolerated and associated with fewer drug interactions than the older class of antidepressants.

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7. Tricylic Antidepressants (TCA)

Introduced in the late 1950’s, tricylic antidepressants (TCA) are one of earlist class of antidepressants used to cure depression and are still considered equally beneficial and effective in treating the disorder.

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8. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

These were the first type of antidepressants developed. This set of antidepressants can unfortunately, cause extremely high blood pressure when used in conjunction with certain kind of food products and drugs.

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9. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure used to treat certain psychiatric conditions. This procedure is done under general anesthesia and mainly involves passing a carefully controlled electric current through the brain which affects the brain’s activity and aims to relieve severe depressive and psychotic symptoms.

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10. Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

VNS is a procedure that involves the use of electrical impulses to stimulate centers in the brain that regulate mood, sleep, appetite and motivation. Initially, it was only used as an approach to treat epilepsy. However, in 2005, VNS was approved for the treatment of both chronic or recurring depression and bipolar disorder.

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11. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS or TMS)

In this procedure, a coil is placed on the scalp. This coil generates a magnetic field for about 4 seconds and this step is repeated every minute for 20-30 minutes per treatment session.