How is depression treated?
Depression can be treated with either drugs or talking treatment, or with both of these strategies. Antidepressant medicines work by enhancing the action of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. The most important ones are serotinin and norepinephrine. Their function is to transfer nerve impulses from one nerve cell to another, like ferries transporting trucks from one side of a river to the other, so they can continue.
ECT (electroconvulsive treatment) or “electrochocks” means electrical stimulation to the brain, resulting in seizures, similar to epilepsy. The main use of ECT is in depressions and bipolar disorders. The patient is sleeping (under narcosis) while being treated. ECT is acknowledged as an effective treatment in depression. The use of the method is limitied by side effects on memory. Besides this, the method is regarded as safe.
Its mechanism of action is not established.