Depression Treatment Options From a Psychiatrist

Depression Treatment Columbia, MD

Depression is a common but treatable mood disorder. If you or a loved one is struggling, depression treatment can help manage and reduce symptoms—many people with depression experience improvements through talk therapy and medication. In addition, brain stimulation therapy is a great option for people whose depression is more stubborn or severe.

What is depression?

Major depressive disorder is more than feeling a bit down. For people with clinical depression, symptoms make it hard to function on a day-to-day basis. It can be difficult to keep a job, go to school, or even keep up with personal hygiene. Other symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, and empty

  • Loss of interest in hobbies

  • Changes in eating habits and appetite

  • Trouble sleeping or staying asleep

  • Trouble concentrating and remembering

  • Noticeably low energy levels

  • Easily irritated and agitated

  • Suicidal thoughts and ideation

Symptoms must persist for at least two continuous weeks to be considered clinical depression or major depressive disorder. Persistent depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder are other forms of depression.

Effective Treatments for Depression

Although depression comes in various forms, most patients see an improvement in their symptoms after working with a psychiatrist. Here are some of the most common and well-known depression treatments.


Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy is the first-line treatment for depression. Some people benefit from short-term therapy, while others may require months or years of therapy. 

There are many approaches to therapy. However, cognitive behavioral therapy, or “CBT,” is widely used for mood disorders like depression. CBT aims to change unhelpful thinking patterns and replace them with healthier ones.

Prescription medications

Antidepressant medication is an effective depression treatment. However, finding the correct medication and dosage can take some time, as many options exist. In the U.S., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or “SSRIs,” are the most commonly prescribed; Prozac®, Paxil®, Zoloft®, and Lexapro® are all SSRIs.

Other classes of antidepressants include:

  • Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

  • Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

Antidepressants are typically most effective when combined with psychotherapy. Make sure to keep regular appointments with the psychiatrist. If negative side effects arise, the psychiatrist can adjust the dosage or prescribe a new medication that might be a better fit.

Brain Stimulation Therapies

If depression is severe and the patient does not improve with talk therapy and medication, the psychiatrist may recommend brain stimulation therapy. This treatment may also help alleviate depression with psychosis. Contrary to popular belief, brain stimulation is mostly painless.

Electroconvulsive therapy, or “ECT,” is a safe, effective treatment that can help treat patients with severe mental health conditions. In addition, it is not excruciatingly painful, as depicted on TV. In reality, patients who opt for ECT are administered anesthesia so they do not feel pain during the treatment.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, also known as “TMS,” uses both electricity and magnetic stimulation to target nerve cells in the brain. It has been successfully used to treat depression since 1985.

Depression treatment tailored to each patient

While depression may feel like it will never end, this is not true. Our psychiatrist is committed to helping patients manage their symptoms, making it possible to return to life. Contact our office for more information about depression treatment.

Request an appointment here: or call Springs Health LLC at (410) 772-0774 and visit our Columbia office.

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