The symptoms of depression can begin at any age and to anyone, they can manifest as mild symptoms at first, but can become serious if not recognised early or if help for depression is not provided.
Many individuals experiencing depression know that they want to overcome it, however, are not quite sure how.
Here are the top 5 treatments available for depression which are in no particular order because every individual has different circumstances and needs.
Support groups are a great opportunity to connect with others who may be having a similar experience and to help you see that you are not alone. A support group is usually facilitated by one of the members rather than a mental health professional. This person not only facilities the group but also participates as a group member.
Each person speaks about what they need to address and the group members are there to offer support, ideas and any other help they can. Everyone is welcome and there is no pre screening to determine if someone is appropriate to be a part of the support group.
A good option if you are not quite ready to tackle the depression with a mental health professional
Very low cost and sometimes free to attend
Usually these groups are open-ended, meaning anyone can join at any time. This work’s well for the organisation running them because it is more cost effective, however, means there is no real structure or treatment plan involved to overcome the depression
When you are in a support group you often become responsible for supporting each other. Although it is a wonderful thing to offer and receive support, now is a time when you really need to be able to focus solely on you and getting yourself better
Treatment groups are similar to support groups in the way that they are a great opportunity to connect with others who are going through a similar experience, however, are facilitated by a mental health professional.
This means the sessions are usually more structured and involve treatment planning. Regardless of the format, all clients in the treatment group are identified as needing to work toward some form of change by being part of the group. There is usually pre screening involved to determine if someone is appropriate for the group.
Receiving support from a mental health professional at a lower cost, as the cost is being shared between the group
A sense of taking responsibility for oneself rather than relying on the assistance of another member in the group like support groups
Not having the opportunity to have individual sessions with a mental health professional to treat your own unique, individual needs which means a longer period of treatment time and potentially not getting to the root cause of why you are experiencing the depression
Mental Health Retreat
If you feel like you need time away from your current situation to heal then a mental health retreat may be your preferred option. Typically they involve both individual work and group activities and can cover other areas such as training toward diet and fitness.
Enjoying the benefits of a holiday whilst working on your mental health
Having the opportunity to do both individual and group work
These are usually quite expensive and involve a cost for flights, accomodation and food as well as the treatment
Although it is nice to get away from your current situation, you do not have the opportunity to apply your new learnings and skills to your life whilst receiving the treatment
Individual Therapy Sessions
Individual sessions give you the opportunity to connect deeply with a therapist while their attention is solely on you and your needs. They are most effective if they are attended weekly.
When attending individual sessions with a therapist you have the option for public or private treatment. If you qualify for a mental healthcare plan in Australia then Medicare usually cover the first 5-10 visits with a public therapist.
Sometimes this will be enough for the individual, however, sometimes they may have learnt a lot about themselves but require something deeper to assist them with finding and healing the root cause to the problems they have become aware of.
Private practices are typically more holistic in their approach and can offer different programs and resources for your needs.
Public therapy pros:
Working individually with a mental health professional toward your unique situation
You may receive assistance from Medicare toward the cost
Public therapy cons:
You may gain an awareness as to why you are experiencing the depression but not actually heal it
Private therapy pros:
More holistic approach
May use methods that can find and heal the root cause of the depression such as working with the subconscious mind
Online Mental Health Course
Completing an online mental health course is a great way to be able to learn more about yourself and gain tools to help you manage the depression in the comfort of your own home, in your own privacy and at your own pace.
Tools you can access at any time
A great way to continue your progress during or after therapy
Often having the option to work at your own pace when facing depression results in little to no progress due to lack of motivation unless it is done alongside or after other treatment
Written by: Chanel de King, Healer and Therapist at The Melbourne Centre of Healing.
Specialising in Addiction Rehabilitation and Mental Health Programs in Melbourne.