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Depression is the most treatable of all mental health diagnoses.

Click on each treatment to learn more.

Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” can help people with depression. Some treatments are short-term, lasting 10 to 20 weeks; others are longer, depending on the person's needs. Psychotherapy can be used alone or in combination with medications.

Therapy can be done alone or with other people (such as a spouse) or it can be done in group settings. Therapists receive different training, and some specialize in family counseling or marriage counseling.

Over 80% of older adult patients in one study recovered from depression when treated with this approach.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on helping people change negative thinking and any behaviors that may be making depression worse. CBT is considered the gold standard in the medical community and is often suggested with medication.

Antidepressants are prescription medications that treat depression. There are many different types of antidepressants. They are meant to improve the way your brain can process certain chemicals that control mood or stress.

Antidepressants take time, usually 2 to 4 weeks, to work. Often symptoms such as poor sleep, appetite, and concentration improve before mood improves, so it is important to give the medication time and a chance to work before deciding whether it works for you or not.

If you are already taking medications for other conditions, it is important to talk with your doctor about drug interactions or side effects that may occur while taking antidepressants.

Studies suggest that meaningful social connections and an active social life improve physical, mental, and emotional health, which is especially important for people experiencing depression.

  • Stay in regular contact with friends and family
  • Take part in group activities such as participating in a garden club or group exercise class
  • Attend community events
  • Volunteer for a group important to you

Physical activity plays an important role in maintaining health, well-being, and quality of life. Staying active can also improve mental health by reducing depression and anxiety. For all older adults including those with disabilities, physical activity can help support independence by maintaining strength, range of motion, and balance.

Any amount of physical activity that gets your heart beating faster can improve your health. Creating a daily activity goal is one way to commit to regular movement. Some activity is better than none!