What Happens During Depression Treatment?

Depression is not a sign of weakness. Doctors don't know exactly what causes depression, but many believe it may be caused by an imbalance of neurochemicals. If you experience depression, you don't need to suffer alone. Proper treatment can ease your struggles. Here are four things you might experience as part of your depression treatment.

1. A Preliminary Appointment

Many people first have their depression diagnosed by their primary care physician. If you think you may have depression, your doctor may have you fill out a mental health survey. People who show many of the signs of depression will be referred to a therapist who specializes in mental health issues. At your first therapy appointment, your therapist will ask you questions about your life and history. By getting to know you, your therapist can figure out the best way to treat your depression.

2. Weekly Therapy Sessions

Therapy is an ongoing process. Over time, your therapist can help you discover the root cause of your depression through careful self-examination. Most people can benefit from weekly therapy sessions. During these sessions, you will meet your therapist at their office to discuss your issues. Some therapists offer remote therapy sessions over the phone. People with more severe depression may benefit from seeing their therapist more frequently; your therapist will help you find the schedule that works best for you.

3. Therapy Homework

Your therapist may also give you homework to complete during the week. This homework will likely involve practicing concepts and techniques you learned in therapy. You may be instructed to practice self-care or to cut down on destructive coping mechanisms. Your therapy homework is an important part of your personal growth. Recovering from depression requires dedication and hard work. By working with your therapist and completing all the tasks assigned to you, you can successfully treat your depression.

4. Mental Health Medication

Psychiatric medication can be a helpful part of your depression treatment. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, commonly known as SSRIs, can relieve the symptoms of depression. Your doctor may prescribe these medications for short- or long-term use. Processing painful memories in therapy can be difficult, but SSRIs can make the process easier. If your therapist isn't able to prescribe medication themselves, they may refer you to a psychiatrist who can write you a prescription. Your psychiatrist will monitor your progress and side effects, adjusting your medication and dosages as necessary.

For more information about depression treatment, contact a clinic like LifeLine For Youth.