The hyperkinetic pace of U.S. society and the bad economic climate have resulted in an alarming number of people suffering from depression. According to the CDC, one in ten U.S. adults now suffer from some form of depression with well over three percent suffering from major depression.
The American Psychiatric Association's (APA) recently released new guidelines for treating depression. Five years in the making, the guidelines include a more balanced approach to the administration of various therapies. They also urge doctors to more closely assess symptoms and to tailor treatments more specifically to the patient. The recommendations include a mix of medications, talk therapy, exercise, and alternative treatments.
For mild to moderate depression, talking therapy and modern antidepressants can help reduce symptoms and make patients less vulnerable to the onset of future depression. If the depression is serious, medications can play a larger role. And if traditional treatments prove ineffective, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may offer some relief.
In treating serious depression that resists drug and other therapies, the guidelines suggest using older medications like monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Additionally, newer options like transcranial magnetic stimulation (basically using magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain and relieve symptoms) may also be used.
Finally, exercise has been suggested as a way to improve mood symptoms. This would include either aerobic exercise or resistance training. Aerobic exercise can make a difference in patients suffering from mild to moderate depression. Researchers found that 30-minute aerobic workouts of moderate intensity, done three to five times weekly, cut mild to moderate depression symptoms nearly in half.
For an added perspective, check out this video:
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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.