How is depression treated?

Treating Depression

  • The options: When you are treated for depression, you will often see both a medical doctor and a therapist. You usually need medications as well as counseling, or psychotherapy . Some types of depression, such as seasonal affective disorder, have other treatment options.
  • The outcome: Most people feel much better after receiving treatment for depression. People who don't receive treatment are much more likely to have recurring episodes of depression.
  • How long it takes: It is likely to take several weeks of treatment before you notice a big change in how you feel. You may need to continue some kind of treatment - medication or therapy - even after you feel better to keep you from having recurring episodes of depression.

To treat your depression, your healthcare provider will offer you tools and strategies. These may include medications to control and monitor depression, as well as information or actions for you to take. Your role in treatment is to work every day to monitor and control your depression. Working to make adjustments in your life can improve how you feel.


With effective treatment, depression can definitely be controlled. Treatment can help stop depression from limiting your ability to participate in and enjoy life. Today, there are more effective treatments for depression than ever before. In fact, mental health experts say 80% to 90% of people with depression can be treated successfully. It's especially important to get treatment as soon as possible. Evidence suggests that treating depression early can prevent the illness from becoming worse or chronic.