Best Depression Treatment Options in 2023
Finding the best depression treatment option that works for you can seem overwhelming. Each depression treatment method has its own risks, side effects, and insurance coverage – not to mention personal preference on the treatment method itself. Not only are there multiple treatment options to choose from, but there are also multiple treatment delivery options, such as in-home treatment, online treatment, or treatment in a psychiatrist office.
Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you. Continue reading to discover which depression treatment options will work best for you and your circumstances.
In this article:
Depression Treatment Categories
Depression treatment options fall into three broad categories: therapy, medication, and interventional psychiatry. Within each category there are several options to choose from. While having choices in mental health treatment is fantastic, it does make it harder to find the right depression treatment option for you.
Each category has its own strengths and limitations, so let’s look at each option to find which one is the best depression treatment option for you.
Therapy for Treating Depression
Psychotherapy – also referred to as “therapy” or “talk therapy” – uses guided conversations with a trained therapist to explore mental health issues with an aim to relieving the patient of negative emotions surrounding troublesome memories or events. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy often used with patients suffering from depression or other mental health issues. CBT is one of the most widely-used forms of therapy.
You may be able to conduct your therapy sessions online. During the pandemic, many therapists moved their sessions online and have continued to offer online sessions to their clients. However, therapists and clients alike have reported concerns that online sessions were less effective than in-office therapy.
Success Rate of Therapy for Treating Depression
A meta-analysis research study published in 2021 found a 41% response rate for therapy when treating depression. Response rate, as defined in the study, means at least a 50 percent reduction in depression symptoms as measured by a standard depression rating method. In other words, 59% of patients using therapy to treat depression do not achieve at least a 50% reduction in severity of symptoms.
Depending on your insurance, therapy sessions may be covered under your plan. However, patients have sometimes reported difficulty finding a therapist who accepts their insurance, so that can be a challenge.
Antidepressant Medication for Treating Depression
Antidepressant medication is a well-known and popular depression treatment. Antidepressants are prescribed to more than 33 million adults in the U.S. Source.
A prescription can be obtained from a primary or urgent care provider, or from a mental health provider such as a psychiatrist or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, making antidepressants relatively easy to obtain. There are hundreds of medication options available, which can sometimes result in a trial-and-error approach until the right medication is found. These multiple trials and failures can be frustrating for patients.
Success Rate of Antidepressants for Treating Depression
The largest antidepressant trial, the STAR*D trial, found a 33% success rate for patients with the first antidepressant tried, meaning two-thirds of patients did not find adequate relief. About 25% of patients found adequate relief with the second antidepressant tried, for a combined 58 percent success rate with two medications tried – leaving 42% of patients without a successful result from antidepressants after two attempts. With each subsequent medication attempted, the chances for a successful outcome dropped significantly.
Antidepressants are covered under your insurance plan’s prescription drug benefit. Deductibles, co-pays, and the specific medications that qualify under the plan benefit will vary depending on your insurance.
Interventional Psychiatry for Treating Depression
Interventional psychiatry uses the latest depression treatment technology. One of the most promising interventional psychiatry treatments today is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
This revolutionary approach to managing depression targets the neural circuits in the brain by using magnetic pulses. The electromagnetic pulses are delivered with precision to activate specific regions of the brain linked with mood regulation. By targeting specific brain regions like the prefrontal cortex, TMS can increase neuronal activity and improve connectivity between various parts of the brain, which reduces depression by increasing the brain’s ability to regulate mood.
TMS is painless and has no systemic side effects, making it an especially attractive treatment option for patients who experience side effects from antidepressants.
Success Rate of TMS for Treating Depression
In clinical studies, TMS has shown an impressive 60% response rate (meaning at least a 50% reduction in symptoms). This success rate is higher than therapy and compares favorably to medication treatment. However, many of the clinical studies for TMS are conducted on treatment-resistant patients who have already failed prior treatment efforts. In a normal patient population (i.e. not just the hardest cases), TMS performs much better. At Brighter Day TMS, we see a 90% patient response rate with TMS.
Most major insurance plans include coverage for TMS for depression treatment, so your treatment may be covered in whole or in part by your insurance plan.
Which Depression Treatment Option is Best in 2023?
With so many options available for treating depression, patients can easily become overwhelmed with choices. But sticking with the familiar treatments of therapy and medication may not be the right choice. Newer treatment options, such as TMS, may be the best option for treating your depression.
With few to no side effects, an impressive track record, and treatment covered through insurance – TMS has a lot to offer those looking to finally break free from depression.
TMS Treatment at Brighter Day Psychiatry
For patients looking for depression treatment in the Fort Collins area, Brighter Day Psychiatry is a preferred TMS provider. Dr. Rose George has been treating patients with TMS for more than ten years, with several thousand TMS treatments conducted. She has deep expertise in all forms of depression and how to alleviate or eliminate depression through TMS therapy.
To learn more about the best depression treatment option for you, call us today at 970-430-5458 or submit an appointment request. We look forward to helping you achieve a meaningful reduction in your depression.