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Depression (cont.)

Treatment Overview

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 or therapy or both.
  • 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 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 (psychosis), 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 some common reasons people don't get help and how to overcome them.

You can help yourself by getting support from family and friends, eating a balanced diet, avoiding alcohol, staying active, and getting enough sleep. See Living with Depression.

Other treatments

Other treatments for depression include:

A man

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

Read more about Stan's struggle with depression.

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