Treatment for depression includes counseling, medicines, and lifestyle changes. You and your health care team will work together to find the best treatment for you.
- If your depression is mild, you may need only therapy.
- If you have moderate to severe symptoms, your doctor probably will suggest medicine and/or therapy.
- If you are using medicine, your doctor may have you try different medicines or a combination of medicines.
- You may need to go to the hospital if you show Reference warning signs of suicide, such as having thoughts about harming yourself or another person, not being able to tell the difference between what is real and what is not (Reference psychosis Opens New Window), or using a lot of alcohol or drugs.
If you don't get treated, depression may last from months to a year or longer. A small number of people feel depressed for most of their lives and always need treatment.
If you need help deciding whether to talk to your doctor about depression, see Reference some common reasons people don't get help and how to overcome them.
You can help yourself by getting support from family and friends, Reference eating a balanced diet, avoiding alcohol, Reference staying active, and Reference getting enough sleep. See Reference Living with Depression.
Other treatments for depression include:
- Reference Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
- Alternative treatments such as the herb St. John's wort and omega-3 fatty acids.
To learn more about these treatments, see Reference Other Treatment.
One Man's Story:
"...[T]his was the first time I was willing to do anything to recover. It's changed my whole life."—Stan
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 15, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry