Does depression treatment make sense? If you ever suffered from depression as a patient or had to deal with depression as someone close to a patient having this mental illness, you most certainly will have had doubts like this in your mind or will have had arguments about this question. It seems that many depression sufferers, especially if they have been hit by this illness recently, have serious doubts about the effectiveness of depression medication. In many cases they can recall stories from patients who did not have success in treating depression via one depression treatment method or another. There are two common misconceptions about depression treatment and modern medicine in general that may lead to such a reaction:
1) If depression treatment xyz did not help this patient it cannot help me either!
Not every depression treatment is for everyone. In fact the more avanced our understanding of human genetics and biomedicine in general and of depression medication in particular gets the more it is obvious that each and every patient is different, though fortunately there are many common traits among large patient cohorts (Over time medical advancements will lead to a more personalized depression medication approach, but we are not quite there yet). Each depression treatment has potential side effects and shows a large range of effectiveness over a given patient population. Both effects are on the one hand dependent on the depression medication dose applied, on the other hand they are a function of the patients’ different biochemical and genetic traits. That some patients experience side effects with depression medication, or do not get healed by a particular depression treatment does not allow the conclusion that the depression treatment in question will not work perfectly well for other patients. Even if a given patient experiences negative side effects of depression medication or her depression treatment does not seem to alleviate her condition even after some time, there is no need to despair. In our day and age the range of depression treatment options is large and still increasing. The likelihood of getting the depression treatment one needs is very high indeed.
2) OK, I will take my pills for a couple of weeks and then it will be gone forever!
Today we expect that anything, including our mind and body, can be fixed fast. There seems to be just no time to really get to the roots of a problem. Just take a couple of pills, eat better and things will be fine in an instant. If they won’t, it must be because the treatment does not work. Well, depression treatment does not quite work like that. The fight with depression is a long though often successful one. Depression medication usually takes a couple of weeks before its positive effect kicks in fully – So does the effect of other depression treatments or treatment supports, be it electrotherapy, herbs, or a change in lifestyle. Even worse, at the beginning of depression treatment things may seem to be getting worse before they get better. This is a natural and well-known effect of depression treatment that has nonetheless led to many patients quitting treatment feeling that depression treatment does not help them at all. Patient beware that you will have to wait to see the effects of your depression treatment and should in no case stop taking depression medication or stop pursuing other activities to treat depression because you cannot see a positive short term effect.
The likelihood for depression treatment on the whole not working in a particular case is very slim indeed. However, for the reasons discussed above, certain treatments for depression may not work yet, not at all or only with many side effects for a given patient. If a patient is in the hands of a good medical professional he can rest assured that the right depression treatment for his particular case will be identified – A depression treatment that will ease the pain and eventually will allow the depressed patient to gain back his life.