Depression has been accepted as a notable symptom of misbalanced mental health characterized by a feeling of dejection, low mood and aversion towards all types of activities that starts to affect the person's behavior, thought patterns, feelings as well as state of his health. A depressed person may become totally withdrawn and catatonic. Severe form of depression requires immediate medical attention, as it is taken to be one of the basic reasons for the rising number of suicide. A severely depressed patient needs to be treated with utmost care and respect. Such patients can be despondent and panicky. It is an utterly fallacious idea to think that such a person can be slighted or treated in a neglectful way, which does even greater harm to him, causing him to feel totally worthless. The first thing that a psychiatrist must do is to start with adopting caring attitude towards the patient. He should also determine and explain the nature of depression to the patient who needs to be convinced that his present state is the outcome of an imbalance in the brain and that it can happen to anyone. The psychiatrist should start the treatment by prescribing some antidepressants.
It is also imperative for the psychiatrist to make his patient aware of the side effects of these medicines, which can be at times severe and upsetting. They are slow to produce action and can sometimes worsen the depressive state. The patient often gets deterred from using these medications, being appalled by the side-effects, so he might need a lot of encouragement to continue his medicines.
The psychiatrist should also schedule at least one meeting with that particular patient in the course of a week. The handling of such patient demands patience and calm on the part of the doctor. There are cases where the medication shows reverse effect by strengthening suicidal tendencies and worsening the patient's mental condition. Such patient needs much assurance regarding the hope of recovery. It is commendable if some supportive friend or relative accompanies the patient to the doctor's chamber. That person can be updated about the condition of the patient as well as act as a support-offering pillar for the patient.
The psychiatrist must lend a willing ear to listen to the patient when he talks about the side-effects. Although these effects will diminish over time, but they are painful and real for the patient, so it might be necessary to strongly reinforce the positive results of the medication. It is incumbent for the psychiatrist to closely monitor the depression symptoms of the patient and inform the patient about the progress he is making in terms of proceeding towards cure. This will definitely act as a positive reinforcement for the patient and will encourage him to stay on the medication. If it happens that the patient is refusing to take the medicines, it might become necessary to make arrangements for his hospitalization. If the patient becomes hell-bent on not taking medicine, sometimes even the mere mention of hospitalization can make him resume his medicines and continue his status as an outpatient.
As soon as the antidepressants begin to display their effects, this fact alone should act as a glimmer of hope for the doctor. Psychiatrist should encourage the patients to talk about the topics that happen to depress him. The patient might still feel diffident, shaky and panicky which might be taken care of by providing counseling. The shakiness and nervousness that he feels should be treated as an integral part of the state of depression and hope and encouragement can be affected in terms of psychotherapy.
The psychiatrist should be available for the patient around the corner until he recovers completely and visits should be scheduled with long interval in between. The bottomline of the treatment of depression is to create the impression in the mind of the patient that it is a curable condition and they can regain the sense of personal worth and dignity. The most important thing is that the treatment should orient the patient towards the belief that they capable of coping with life and to be self-sufficient once again.