An Introduction to Treatment of Depression

By Josepha Cheong, M.D., Michael Herkov, Ph.D., and Wayne Goodman, M.D.
20 Nov 2000

Fortunately, there are many effective treatment options for depression. To be most effective, treatment should be specifically tailored to each individual. That is why a detailed interview by a mental health professional is extremely valuable. Established treatments for depression may include:

  • antidepressant medications
  • psychotherapy (also known as "talk therapy" or "counseling")

All of these treatments have been shown to successfully treat depression. The choice of treatment will be determined by several factors, including the type and severity of depression, by previous treatment history, as well as by patient preference. A combination of medications and psychotherapy is used to treat most patients, although mild forms of depression may be treated with psychotherapy alone.

Effective treatment is based on an accurate assessment, which identifies the causes of depression in any person. Usually depression is a result of biological, psychological and social factors, and an effective treatment plan is one that identifies all of these and develops strategies to reduce their frequency and intensity.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Mar 2015
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