Depression Treatment — Therapies and Alternatives – Reclaim Control of Your Life

Depression Treatment — Therapies and Alternatives – Reclaim Control of Your Life

Depression Treatment — Therapies and Alternatives – Reclaim Control of Your Life 150 150 Neuralia TMS

If feelings of sadness and lack of motivation are affecting your quality of life, and you’ve been dealing with them for longer than 2 weeks, it’s important to find help. The sooner you get depression treatment for these symptoms, the sooner you’ll feel better and more capable of building a support system.

There’s good news – there are many treatment options to consider. Choosing the best treatment for you can be challenging and may take time. But you will find a treatment that will work for you, and with a strong support system in place, there’s hope for improvement and a return to a fulfilling life.

What Are the Categories of Depression Treatment?

Depression treatments can be grouped into three categories: psychological, physical, and alternative therapies. Often, a combination of the different types of depression treatment works best. Everyone responds differently to depression, therapy, and treatment, so it may take some time to find the perfect combination for you. Your healthcare provider will help you decide on an appropriate treatment (or combination of treatments) after a thorough assessment.

Psychological Treatments for Depression

Also called psychotherapy, psychological treatments for depressive disorders are designed to change the way we think. These talking therapies are non-invasive, easy to access, and available in one-to-one or group settings.

This kind of depression therapy treatment may be a first step if you are looking for an alternative to medication, or it could work together with medication to provide a well-rounded treatment plan.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) helps people with depression recognise and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to their low mood. Your therapist will guide you to identify negative thought patterns, which may take some time. You may also need to take notes as these thoughts pop up in everyday life.

Once you’ve identified negative patterns, your therapist will guide you through “cognitive restructuring.” You’ll question the evidence for these thoughts, develop more balanced perspectives, and reframe negative thoughts to be more objective.

CBT isn’t just about changing your thoughts, it’s also about changing your behaviour. As you reframe your mindset, you’ll begin to see things through a different, more empowered lens. This sets the stage for helping you break the cycle and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Evidence shows that cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the best treatments for depression and anxiety. It’s widely used across all ages and usually takes 6 to 10 sessions (or 2 to 3 months) to see a real change.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) takes a slightly different approach to CBT. It focuses on addressing your current interpersonal issues and how they might impact your overall well-being. These issues usually fall into one of four categories:

  • Interpersonal troubles: Conflict with friends, family, or romantic partners
  • Grief: Difficulty coping with the loss of a loved one
  • Role transitions: Challenges adjusting to big life changes like becoming a parent, losing a job, changing roles, etc.
  • Social isolation: Hard time making friends or lack of a social support system

By analysing these aspects of your life, IPT helps you understand how your relationships are affecting your mood and provides tools to build healthier connections. These tools could include techniques for resolving conflicts in a healthy way, asserting your needs, and strengthening connections. The goal is to create a sense of support and ease symptoms of depression.

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Physical Treatments for Depression

Physical treatments for depression include medication, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).


Medication may be prescribed for moderate to severe depression. In general, there are three different types of medications your healthcare provider may consider, based on the severity of your depression:

  • Antidepressant medication: The most common type of depression medication, this medication is designed to alter brain chemistry and balance mood to reduce depressive symptoms. There are various types of antidepressants, and each one works in a slightly different way.
  • Mood stabilisers: These are usually used to treat bipolar disorder (characterised by alternating manic and depressive episodes), but may be prescribed for severe depression to minimise mood swings.
  • Tranquillisers: These are often used as a last resort for those whose depression isn’t responding to other treatment, or whose major depression is accompanied by psychotic symptoms.

If your healthcare professional prescribes medication, they will typically do this together with other therapies, like CBT or IPT. They will also discuss potential side effects and risks, how long the medication generally takes to work, and how frequently to come for checkups.

It’s also important to know that not every medication will be effective for every person. Your doctor will monitor you carefully while you’re taking the medication, and you should report any negative symptoms to them. It may take some time to find the one that works best for you.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

TMS is a non-invasive therapy for depression that uses magnetic field brain stimulation to encourage neuroplasticity and regulate mood. Magnetic pulses are applied to the region of the brain involved in depression – the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

Antidepressants Medication Types
Common Types of Antidepressants

These pulses stimulate nerve cells and strengthen neural pathways, increasing brain activity over time. Studies suggest that it is a safe and effective treatment for depression and other conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

You’ll be fully awake for the treatment, which takes 30 to 60 minutes. A magnetic coil is placed close to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the magnetic pulses are delivered to this region. For long-lasting results, you should have 5 TMS sessions per week for 4 to 6 weeks. Your healthcare provider will discuss the duration of your specific treatment based on your needs.

TMS therapy is typically well-tolerated and may only cause mild side effects, such as headaches, scalp discomfort, facial twitching, and light-headedness. These side effects are mild and temporary, and they will improve shortly after each TMS session.

There are no medications involved with TMS therapy, and you’ll be able to drive home like normal afterwards. However, if you have a history of seizures or any metal fillings, implants, or aneurysm clips, won’t be able to use this therapy.

Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used as a last resort for treatment-resistant depression – severe depression that hasn’t shown improvement with other treatments. It involves using electrodes to give the brain a small “electric shock”, which triggers a seizure and “resets” your brain waves.

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People receiving ECT will be given general anaesthetic and possibly muscle relaxants before the procedure. The application of the electrical pulse and the resulting seizure only take about a minute. You should wake up around 5 to 10 minutes later.

Common side effects after this medical treatment include headaches, nausea, and disorientation. In some cases, short-term memory loss may occur, which usually improves once your treatment is finished.

In treatment for depression in Australia, ECT can be given from 1 to 3 times a week, for 8 to 12 total treatments in total.

Alternative Depression Treatments

These treatments may be effective for improving mild depression. They are often used alongside the above physical and/or psychological treatments for moderate depression or severe depression.


Scientific research shows that physical activity can be an excellent remedy for depressive symptoms. Not only does it release endorphins – happy hormones – but it also increases serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that plays a role in depression if its levels are low.

Most types of regular exercise are effective, although research shows walking, jogging, strength training, and yoga (especially when paired with mindful, deep breathing) to be the most effective for easing depression symptoms.

Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness is a type of self-awareness training that involves being present in the moment, and being aware of your feelings. Moreover, practising mindfulness can cause physiological changes that may help ease depression symptoms. It’s often used as a complement to traditional therapies.

We recommend asking your healthcare practitioner’s advice before engaging in mindfulness practice, especially if you’re receiving other depression treatments. They may recommend:

  • Deep breathing: Deep, controlled breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes mental and physical relaxation.
  • Journaling: A tool for positive self-talk, tracking depression symptoms or situations that may trigger you, and connecting thoughts, your feelings, and your actions.

Finding a Depression Treatment That Works for You

Figuring out how to treat depression successfully requires patience. The first step is recognising that you need help.

  • Recognise the need: Realising that you’re experiencing symptoms of depression is step one. Acknowledging that you need some help is the next step.
  • Visit your GP for an accurate diagnosis: Your GP will assess you carefully and determine whether they can treat you or whether you’d benefit more from specialist help. A GP will be able to develop a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP) for you, which will help you get access to up to 10 one-to-one and 10 group sessions with a mental healthcare provider every calendar year.
  • Weigh up your options: Discuss your treatment options with your mental healthcare provider. These may include medication, lifestyle changes, and psychological or physical treatments.
  • Be patient: Finding the most effective treatment for you can take some time. Be patient and keep communicating honestly with your healthcare provider. Your treatment plan may need to be adjusted every few months until you find the right treatment or combination for your specific circumstances.
  • Build a support network: Rally support from family and friends. You can also join online communities that offer resources and support for those dealing with depression.
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Emergency Support

If you’re struggling with severe symptoms, you can contact:

Depression Treatment FAQs

How do I know if I have depression?

You may have depression if you have persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, hanges in sleep or appetite, difficulty concentrating, or thoughts of death that linger for 2 weeks or more.

Other symptoms include irritability, unexplained physical aches, and withdrawal from social activities. Remember that only a qualified mental health professional can provide a formal diagnosis and recommend the best treatment plan.

Am I depressed or lazy?

Distinguishing between depression and laziness can be tricky. Depression is a mental health condition with persistent, long-term symptoms. Laziness is usually a temporary choice to avoid doing something you don’t want to do.

If you’re unsure, track your symptoms and how they impact your life. If you have significant difficulty functioning, even doing things you used to enjoy, you should speak to a mental health professional. They will be able to help you determine whether it’s a mood disorder. They will also help you look for depression treatment.

What are the three levels of depression?

Depression is classified as mild, moderate, or severe (also called major depressive disorder or MDD). These levels are based on the number of symptoms a person displays, how severe the symptoms are, how frequently the symptoms occur, and how these symptoms affect their daily life.

Is depression different from sadness?

Depression and sadness are not the same. Sadness is a typical emotion and can arise in response to many things. Sadness can feel like a depressive episode, but it has a clear cause, and it passes with time.

Persistent and intense sadness with no specific cause could be a symptom of clinical depression – a medical condition. It’s often accompanied by other symptoms, like hopelessness and a loss of enjoyment in hobbies you used to love.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that may be confused with sadness. However, it’s a specific type of depressive disorder that arises at specific times of the year.

How long does depression last?

Without treatment, chronic depression symptoms can last for years. With the right treatment, your symptoms may improve in as little as a few months. However, it’s important to note that there’s no cure for depressive disorders as yet – symptoms may come back, so treating depression is often an ongoing effort.

Neuralia TMS are the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) specialists in Perth, WA. TMS is non-invasive treatment for depression and several other conditions.

Phone: 6230 3996
Email: [email protected]
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