Treatment for Depression

It is important to seek treatment as soon as you suspect you or someone you love is experiencing depression. Waiting to seek treatment for depression may make recovery more difficult. Getting early treatment improves the chances for a quick and full recovery.

Family involvement in the treatment for depression can be very important, especially for children and teens. Sometimes parents of depressed children and teens may also become depressed and need treatment.

Early treatment and family involvement are also important in older adults. Many times, in older adults, early treatment can delay nursing home placement.

Depression is successfully treated 70% of the time through medication and counseling.

Consider that the best treatment may be a combination of medication and counseling. It is possible to treat mild to moderate depression effectively with behavioral therapy alone. However, behavioral therapy tends to work better in moderate to severe depression after an initial course of medication treatment.

It can take 4 to 6 weeks for medications to take effect, although medications often work much quicker. You may need to try more than one medication to find one that works for you.

Types of counseling that are most often used for the effective treatment of depression are:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy which helps you develop new ways of thinking and coping with situations.
  • Interpersonal therapy which involves learning how ongoing relationship problems affect the onset of your depression.
  • Problem solving in which a trained medical person (such as a practice nurse) guides you through the immediate problem and then helps you develop tools for responding to future problems.

Always remember to tell all of your health care providers what medications you are taking and the treatment you are receiving. If you have another illness along with your depression, you need to continue receiving treatment for your other illness too.