How We Can Help
Depression Treatment Information
IU Health Behavioral Health providers and therapists use a multidisciplinary approach that combines therapies, medications and complementary treatments to help you overcome depression.
- Antidepressants. These medications help you think more clearly and can assist in achieving significant recovery from depression. Antidepressants are most often used in severe depression. These prescription-only drugs should only be taken under your doctor’s supervision. Your provider will discuss with you which kinds of medications may work best for you.
- Medication management. When you seek treatment for depression, you either see an IU Health psychiatrist or one of our psychologists or licensed clinical social workers. Your therapist may refer you to a psychiatrist if he or she thinks medicines would help manage your depression. Psychiatrists are highly trained to prescribe and monitor your body’s reactions to psychiatric medicines. You continue to see your therapist for psychotherapy. You follow up with your psychiatrist to discuss any medicine-related concerns or needed changes to your prescription. All of our psychiatrists answer their own calls.
- Psychotherapy. Pills do not teach skills. While medications enable you to focus on taking action, therapy sessions can teach you the tools to use if a situation arises again.
- Individual therapy. In sessions with your mental health provider, you work to understand why you act and think in ways that are troubling to you or others. Sessions focus on your current and past thoughts and experiences. This helps you regain control of your behaviors and learn skills to make changes in your actions.
- Interpersonal therapy. Your therapist can assist you in improving your interpersonal skills. We are social animals. By learning how to live with others, you can recover from your depression. Your therapist can teach you how to evaluate your interactions with people and how to make yourself aware of difficulties you may have getting along with and understanding others.
- Group therapy. By meeting with others who share your mental illness, you will gain ongoing support. You are able to share and gain referrals to resources and information about what works when seeking recovery.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. In this form of treatment, you actively work with your therapist to examine the relationships among your thoughts, feelings and behaviors and what leads to self-destructive actions. You learn how you can modify your thinking patterns to improve coping.
- Psychological testing. A variety of tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis, rule out certain conditions or uncover other issues. Tools like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial inventory help you and your therapist determine what’s really going on. Psychological testing provides information used to determine the best treatment for your situation.
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). If you are battling severe depression, you may be a candidate for rTMS. This new therapy sends weak magnetic impulses to the frontal lobe of the brain. This creates electrical currents that stimulate the neurotransmitters (like serotonin) implicated in depression. rTMS resets your brain’s chemistry. It is akin to rebooting your computer. This daily treatment is offered at the Indiana University Health University Hospital adult outpatient center during a four-to-six week period. IU Health is one of the first centers in the state to offer rTMS treatments and continues to conduct research on the therapy.
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you find that other treatments for your depression are not successful, ECT may offer some relief. In this procedure, electric currents are passed through your brain in a controlled setting while you are under general anesthesia. This triggers a seizure, which causes changes in your brain chemistry and can reverse your depression symptoms. You may be able to decrease or eliminate your depression medications after treatment.
- Vagus nerve stimulation. If you are dealing with resistant or major depression, vagus nerve stimulation may offer some relieve. A pacemaker-like device is implanted in your chest. It generates an electronic pulse to the vagus nerve every five minutes. The nerve transmits this signal to the brain. Over time, the electronic stimulation can relieve the symptoms of depression.
Depression Locations & Physicians
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Depression Support Services
Learn more about depression treatments at these websites:
A Sampling of Depression Support Services
IU Health Access Center
Housed at IU Health Methodist Hospital, the Access Center refers patients to the appropriate provider 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients can show up in person or call 317.962.2622. A live person will always answer the phone.
National Institute of Mental Health
A scientific organization dedicated to the research and understanding of depression and all mental illness.
Mental Health America
A national, community-based network that helps people live mentally healthier lives by advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy, and by delivering programs and services.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
This is a large, national, grassroots mental health organization. Its website offers extensive information about treatments, support and research for depression and other mental illnesses.