June 15, 2024

Depression Help – The 25 Most Popular Methods

Those recently diagnosed with depression may feel overwhelmed by the variety of treatments available, but the upside of the number of possible depression treatments is that almost everyone will find a solution that will help reduce their depression symptoms.

The 25 Most Popular Methods for Depression Help

Depression help is possible but it’s important to know the treatment options available.  Here are the 25 most common methods used to treat depression.

Prescription Medication

1.  Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors  (SSRI’s)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most popular antidepressants prescribed to depression patients.  They work by altering the amount of serotonin in the brain and generally cause fewer side effects than their other antidepressant counterparts.  Examples of SSRIs include Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft.

2.  Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI’s)

SNRIs treat depression by increasing the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.  Examples are Cymbalta, Pristiq, and Effexor; side effects can include dry mouth, fast heart rate, and constipation.

3.   Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

TCAs function similarly to SNRIs but are not used as often since they tend to have more severe side effects.  Those who have not improved after taking other antidepressants may take TCAs such as Elavil, Pamelor, or Tofranil.  Side effects may include blurred vision, weight gain, and confusion.

4.  Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are not often prescribed because they can have serious side interactions with foods and other medicines.  MAOIs such as Nardil and Parnate are antidepressants that are only used when all other antidepressants have failed.

5.  Anti-Psychotic Medications

Anti-psychotic medications such as Seroquel and Abilify are prescribed for those depression patients that are also suffering from psychotic symptoms.  They are often used in conjunction with antidepressants and are prevalent with more serious cases of Bipolar Disorder.

6.  Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is an experimental therapy meant to relieve depressive symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes from women suffering through menopause.  Since women may also suffer from depression during menopause, some believe that estrogen replacement therapy will help women through depression.

Psychological Therapy

7.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective means of treating depression that centers around the belief that an individual controls his or her own thoughts and is not at the mercy of other people and situations.  Therapists encourage patients to replace negative thought patterns with positive ones, boosting the patient’s mood.

8.  Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy works from the premise that a person’s thoughts and actions stem from the subconscious mind and that patients must uncover these repressed thoughts and feelings in order to heal.  The patient talks freely about thoughts and ideas, and the therapist helps the patient see helpful patterns.

9.  Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal Therapy helps people with depression better relate to friends, family, and acquaintances.  Of shorter duration than other psychotherapies, this type of therapy helps patients deal with specific problems and people.

10.  Maintenance Therapy

Maintenance Therapy involves extending normal therapy beyond its normal time limits.  Most therapies end after several months, but those with long-term depression may need maintenance therapy to continually relieve depression symptoms.

11.  Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a form of shock therapy that doctors often use on the highest-risk depression patients.  For those who do not get better using antidepressants or psychotherapy, this type of treatment involves sending a small shock into the brain via attached electrodes.

12.  Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Vagus Nerve Stimulation is another type of shock therapy that is done to those with long-term depression.  A small stimulator emits electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerve, helping to relieve the symptoms of depression.

13.  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation sends a small electric pulse to a specifically targeted area of the brain using a magnetic field.  This is meant for those suffering from less severe forms of depression.

Natural Remedies

14. Yoga

Yoga combines physical and mental exercises into routines that help increase flexibility and decrease stress.  While yoga will not cure depression, many patients find that yoga decreases anxiety and betters their moods.

15.  Meditation

Meditation is a broad term that encompasses different types of calming and centering practices.  Some people sit quietly and listen to calming music, others pray, and some listen to positive messages.

16.  Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy involves rubbing the muscular parts of the body to relieve pain and muscle tension.  Those suffering from depression may find that massage therapy helps them unwind and reduces anxiety.

17.  Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that seeks to alleviate pain and stress by inserting tiny needles into certain bodily points.  Those who are afraid of needles may not like this form of therapy, although a qualified, competent acupuncture provider will not cause pain during the procedure.

18.  St. John’s Wort

St.  John’s Wort is an herbal supplement that has long been believed to relieve stress.  The medical value of this claim is disputed by physicians, and the herb can interact severely with antidepressants and other drugs.

19.  SAMe

SAMe is a synthetic form of the naturally-occurring S-adenosylmethionine that boosts production in several neurotransmitters.  It is not FDA-approved, but is instead classed as a dietary supplement.

vitamins and herbs for depression20.  Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found most often in cold-water fish and walnuts and are helpful with boosting the effectiveness of antidepressants.  These fatty acids help guard against heart disease, although they may contribute to manic episodes for the bipolar.

21.  Folic Acid

Folic Acid is the synthetic form of the B-vitamin folate and can increase depression symptom relief when used in conjunction with antidepressants.  This will not work as a stand-alone depression treatment; folic acid may be found in citrus fruits, greens, and breads.

22.  Healthy Diet

Eating healthy food rich in vitamins and protein can help provide the body with the necessary nutrients to reduce depression symptoms.  Beans, lean meat, and various nuts are also good depression-fighting foods, and patients should avoid alcohol and drugs.

23.  Exercise

Exercising reduces depression symptoms by increasing feel-good endorphins in the brain.  Many doctors also believe that physical activity is good for introducing purpose and action to the lives of the depressed.

24.  Sleeping

Sleeping well is essential for general health and well-being but is especially important for those suffering from depression.  Since depression often stems from chemical imbalances in the brain, sleeping the night through is essential for good mental health.

25.  Following a Treatment Plan

Sticking to the treatment plan ensures that patients will not relapse back into depression.  While skipping therapy or a medicine dose may be tempting, depression symptoms could reemerge without constant vigilance.  Depression treatment is most successful for those who follow and stick with a treatment plan.

Untreated depression can lead to damaged relationships, medical illness like cardiovascular disease, a poor immune system, and even suicide.  Approximately 19 million people in any given year experience clinical depression, but 80% will improve with timely and effective treatment and support.


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