In medicine,diseases are classified into
--> Communicable and
--> Non communicable diseases.
Depression comes under affective disorders (mood affection) which is under the broad category of non communicable diseases. Most communicable diseases are curable and non communicable diseases are usually not and hence treated symptomatically (that is the symptoms are treated and not the cause of the disease as such) thus depression as an illness cannot be cured per se but the symptoms of the disease can be suppressed.
The treatment of depression often depends on the severity of the illness, mild cases are self limiting and curable even without antidepressants. An increase in physical activity and exercise is sufficient to counter the episodes of low mood . The more severe forms are treated by two ways, medication and psychotherapy. The problem lies that there is no possible way to prove if an individual who has been treated is cured from depression or not, that is there are no medical tests that can depict if the victim is free from the disorder.But it has been proven that the treatment reduces the pain and suffering of depression. Successful treatment removes all of the symptoms of depression and returns you to your normal life. The earlier you get treatment for your depression, the sooner you will begin to feel better. As with other medical illnesses, the longer you have the depression before you seek treatment, the more difficult it can be to treat.Most people who are treated for depression feel better and return to daily activities in several weeks. Because it takes several weeks for treatment to work fully, it is important to get treatment early before your depression gets worse.
The major treatments for depression are:
--> Antidepressant medicines
--> Psychotherapy and
--> Antidepressant medicines combined with psychotherapy.
--> In some cases of depression,other treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and light therapy are also useful.
The treatment regime for this illness is usually given for 9 months to a year, individuals who do not have any episodes of depressive mood during that period are said to be under control. They then wean off the medicines and are evaluated, in a large number of people the condition never returns. These people are said to be temporarily cured, though there is no way to be sure in a certain person that the condition will not come back. Over fifty percent of the people have relapses of the condition. In these people, treatment must be resumed and continued indefinitely. Severe refractory cases are treated with procedures such as electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Unless a case of depression is dealt with thoroughly, it's very likely the condition will continue or the person will relapse at some point in the future.hence we can say that depression is not curable but treatable.
Hence if you feel you have the symptoms of depression, you must not hesitate to approach a health care personnel such as a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or nurse.