Are you depressed? Would you like to overcome those feelings?
Well, there has never been a better time than 2018 to accomplish that goal; there are more effective treatments than ever before.
Keep in mind that when we say “effective treatments,” we’re not talking about trendy, exotic treatments like ketamine injections, microdoses of psilocybin mushrooms, or supplementation with marijuana. We’re interested in the scientifically-tested, psychiatrist approved methods.
To that end, we’re happy to present this video, courtesy of Robert D McMullen, MD. In it, we detail four of the most notable, proven treatments available for depression in 2018. These include:
- Behavior & Diet
- Psychotherapy Treatment
- Medical Treatment
- Electric Stimulation Treatment
We’re certain that the proper combination of the treatments described in this video will provide people in New York City, and the USA at large, with the tools you need to start living a better, healthier life.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the four topics covered throughout this video…
1. Behavior and Diet
We’re consistently impressed at how much an individual’s behavior contributes to their depressive symptoms–for better or worse. It’s been proven through countless studies that many behaviors contribute to, or even worsen depressive tendencies. Just to name a few, these behaviors include:
- Sleeping too much
- Avoiding human contact and social situations
- Failure to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen
This video outlines actionable behavioral strategies for people battling mood disorders. A few of these are:
- Creating a pro-social, engaged life: As social creatures, humans are never healthy when they isolate themselves. Reaching out to friends, family, or even getting a pet can help fight depression.
- Overcoming sleep problems and lack of sunlight: Sleep worsens depression’s effects because it disrupts our natural rhythms. Healthy people need a certain amount of sunlight (at the right times of day). We briefly discuss light therapy
- Reframing and thought exercises: The wrong attitudes toward life will always yield negative results. Distracting yourself and redirecting these thoughts is a powerful way to overcome negative moods.
- Diet, Supplements, and Exercise: “Garbage in, garbage out.” The closer you can get to a natural, plant-based diet, the healthier you and your brain will be. Supplements like vitamins and fish oil are your allies in these efforts. Likewise, exercise is crucial–it should be vigorous and frequent for maximum effect.
There are nearly countless varieties of psychotherapy; while one form works for a large group of people, others will find very little help from it–even if they have been diagnosed with the same mood disorder by their counselor, psychiatrist, or MD.
We understand this fact and sympathize with the struggle to find the right therapist and the right psychotherapy strategy. In this video, we discuss how Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective forms we’ve ever found. Here are two reasons we believe CBT is particularly useful:
- It is a strategy based on changing how you think about and respond to the events in your life. CBT can help you move past negative self-evaluation and the other thought processes that exacerbate depression.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy usually has a deadline or “end-point.” People work harder to accomplish goals and make changes when there’s a “completion date” in mind.
3. Medical Treatment
Since the advent of Prozac in the late 1980s, more and more antidepressant medications have hit the market each year. With so many medications available, our ultimate goals are to:
- Find a medication that is effective in treating depression symptoms
- Determine which medication causes the fewest negative side-effects
To this end, our video presents ideas that many will find novel. Here are a few stand-out points:
Side-effects aren’t the end of the world. While a depressed person shouldn’t “settle” on a medication that makes them feel worse, side-effects are often a sign that the medication in question is creating changes in the mental state. Even seemingly negative effects might simply be a sign that the dosage is too high. It’s well-documented that proper dosage is nearly as important as the medication itself.
Many will not benefit from antidepressant medications alone. There is an undeniable stigma around the term “bipolar,” but the fact is that many depressed people have low levels of this disorder, too.
For these people, serotonin medicines will rarely work on their own; they’ve likely experienced beneficial effects from these medications for a short time, but ultimately given up on them.
Traditional bipolar treatments like Wellbutrin, low-dose lithium, depakote, and others often provide better long-term results.
4. Electric Stimulation Treatment
Electric stimulation treatment is the last topic we cover in this video, but it’s one of the most important. It represents a fast, long-lasting treatment that allows the brain to begin healing itself.
Stimulation treatments range from mild (the transfer of brain electricity from one region to another) all the way to rarely-used advanced techniques (implanting a pacemaker into the brain to provide electric stimulation).
These treatments have provided relief for people with even the hardest-to-treat cases of mood disorders. What’s more, they often experience fewer and shorter remission periods.
People can understandably be reticent to accept these therapies; media like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” have essentially slandered shock treatment through misrepresentation.
Methods like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation have been proven to be stable, effective ways to treat depression. Unlike more drastic measures, TMS requires no anesthesia–it can be done on your way to work, as a matter of fact. It’s simply an attempt to utilize homeopathic levels of magnetic energy to help the brain heal itself.
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About Robert D McMullen
Robert McMullen, MD has been a New York City psychiatrist, based out of Manhattan, for more than 35 years. With education from Georgetown Medical School and a residency at Columbia Presbyterian, McMullen has become a recognized expert in both psychiatry and psychopharmacology.