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Depression Treatments

What are the Treatments for Depression?


Updated October 30, 2009

Treatments for Depression?

The good news is that depression is treatable. However, only one-third of depressed people ever seek treatment, leaving millions of Americans with untreated depression.

Treatment should involve a medical assessment for factors that may be contributing to a woman's mood, such as birth control, hormone replacement therapy and thyroid disease.

Treatments include talk therapy, medications such as antidepressant medications, and in severe cases electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Some of the mostpopular antidepressants include Prozac, Celexa, and Paxil.

Women may metabolize antidepressants differently than men. There may need to be adjustments to avoid or manage side effects.

The length of treatment varies among patients. As a general rule, if this is the first time you are being treated for depression, you may need to take the antidepressant for 6 months to a year. If you have recurrences of depression, you will likely have to be maintained on medication for more extended periods.

There are some alternative treatments for depression, but discuss all alternative or "natural" treatments with your doctor, as they can interact with other medications and carry their own medical risks.

If you or someone you know feels depressed for more than two weeks, seek help from your physician or a mental health professional.


Major Depression In Adults Primary Care. National Guideline Clearinghouse. http://guidelines.gov/summary/summary.aspx?doc_id=12617&nbr=006525&string=depression+AND+treatment. Accessed 08/18/09.

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