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Depression

Many, if not most people, who have suffered severe injuries from motor vehicle accidents develop depression as a result of their pain, inability to return to a normal life and financial challenges. It is exceedingly important to get both medical and psycholgical treatment if are depressed. People with depression perceive their pain as much greater than if they were not depressed. ICBC will sometimes fund treatment by a psychologist and the cost of medication prescribed for depression. This is covered by your ICBC Accident Benefits. The following are extracts of an article on depression published by the Mayo Clinic, one of the leading medical institutions in the USA (its URL is: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-treatments/). You can replicate the treatments they recommend right here in BC by starting by frankly talking about this common problem with your family doctor. 

Treatment

Depression treatment is unique to each individual. Specialists in psychiatry and psychology work as a team to develop a customized depression treatment plan to meet each patient's needs. Mayo Clinic specialists work closely with the patient to set and monitor treatment goals. Some patients require short-term depression treatment, while others may require lifelong maintenance treatment to overcome depression.

Medications

Antidepression medications are safe and effective, even for treating severe depression. Most patients with major depressive disorders improve significantly when taking carefully chosen medications. Several types of antidepressants are used to treat depression.

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increase the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) increase the availability of two neurotransmitters to the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) prevent the breakdown of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, increasing their availability at nerve receptor sites. These medications are not often used because of their potential side effects. 

Other antidepressants are available that do not fit into the above categories.

Psychotherapy

Individual, group and family psychotherapy are key elements of depression treatment at Mayo Clinic. Therapists talk with patients to help identify, address and modify unhealthy thought and behavioral patterns.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy helps identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches behavioral skills to help individuals tolerate stress, regulate emotions and improve relationships with others.
  • Interpersonal therapy focuses on evaluating the way an individual interacts with others and developing strategies for dealing with relationship and communication problems.
Acceptance and commitment therapy uses the concepts of acceptance, mindfulness and personal values identification to address long-standing internal struggles.

 

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