Treating Depression

Treating depression may depend on the type of depression one is suffering from. Some people resoond well to antidepressant medications while others may feel more results from therapy or support groups. Keep reading for more info on depression treatment options.

Treating depression is undertaken in a variety of ways, depending both on the type of depression experienced and what works best for the particular patient. In addition, new research continues to lead to new discoveries and treatment options. This article provides an overview of different approaches to treating depression.

General Information About Treating Depression

A treatment plan for depression may have a number of components that address a wide range of aspects of the depressed person’s life.


Especially with new understandings being gained about the relationships between insomnia and depression and circadian rhythms and depression, a sleep plan may form an important element of treating depression. The ability of exercise to lift mood may lead to an exercise plan being part of the treatment as well.

A regimen of medication therapy, either tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), may be prescribed. Especially in the case of MAOIs, which present many possible food interactions, a nutrition plan may form a crucial part of the treatment plan. In cases in which medication is ineffective or contraindicated, electroconvulsive therapy may be used instead.

If depression is coexisting with another health condition, treatment for that condition will also figure into the treatment plan. Or, if you have seasonal affective disorder and your treatment includes light therapy, you will need to figure out your daily schedule, making time for you in the lights.


Psychotherapy often forms a central element in treating depression. Whether family therapy, group therapy, interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy is chosen, all of these types of therapy attempt to help the depressed person come to new understandings that can alter his or her life for the better. Some therapists specialize in a particular kind of therapy or a particular group of clients (for example children or geriatric patients), and some have an approach that combines several types of therapy, such as a blend of cognitive behavioral therapy with psychodynamic therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy are short-term therapies that are aimed at addressing a specific, current issue in a focused way. Psychodynamic therapy is a longer process. Other types of therapy may have the duration set by their purpose. Regular visits to the health care professional who is helping you get through this situation is likely to be a key element of treating your depression.


Family and friends, loved ones, pets, support groups, and other people with whom you share something (neighbors, others who worship where you do, etc.) may all, in their own way, contribute to your health and may be part of your treatment in a general or specific way. You may commit to weekly support group meetings as well as planning positive activities that make you feel better - whatever they might be. This could include weekly trips to your place of worship, taking advantage of local entertainment, even if it’s just going to a movie, or interacting with nature, such as planning a walk and picnic lunch in the park.

Work or School

Although a job or class may seem like an exercise in going through the motions for some people who are depressed, for others it can provide an anchor for their daily schedule, provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and get them out of bed in the morning. Having something you have to do - whether it’s getting to the office or walking the dog - tasks that reinforce that one’s presence matters and giving one a reason to get out and about can be very helpful in moving through an episode of depression.  So, for those who don’t already have something like this in their lives, part of their treatment may involve creating a situation in which some commitment with positive feedback is undertaken.

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