Depression is an illness which has become common in recent a times. This mental illness is associated with deep thoughts of the patients which makes them think they are loosing the charm and the glitters of life. It has many different forms and is associated with many other physical illnesses as well. According to a recent report issued by the World Health Organization, more than 11 million people are diagnosed with clinical depression.
People who experience major depression feel persistently sad. They do not take pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable. Other physical and mental problems often experienced include sleep problems, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, memory problems, and aches and pains.
Acute Depression is the most severe form of depression.
Treatment options for Acute Depression
Although guidelines state that antidepressant treatment should continue for up to six months after an acute depressive illness, there is considerable variation in practice and widespread uncertainty about the optimal duration of therapy.
For primary care patients with acute major depression or dysthymia, including elderly persons without significant comorbid conditions, physicians should consider either tricyclic antidepressants or newer antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as equally efficacious treatments. For short-term treatment of mild acute depression, St. John’s wort may be considered.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe and effective treatment for major depressive disorder, in patients who have failed adequate antidepressant medication trials, are unable to tolerate antidepressant medications, have severe or psychotic symptoms, are acutely suicidal or homicidal, or have profound stupor or agitation.
Some studies suggest that elderly patients tend to respond to ECT more slowly than do young patients, because the seizure threshold increases with age.