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What Is Involved in Chronic Depression Treatment?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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Chronic depression treatment varies depending on how much the depression interferes with a person's life. If the depression is unmanageable and the patient is willing, medications can be taken. In many cases, psychotherapy is more commonly recommended as a first step to overcoming this type of long-term depression. Sometimes, a person who suffers from a very specific type of depression relating to an event or even the season may find success with other methods. Changes in eating habits, exercise, and even work can all be part of a person's treatment.

Most commonly, chronic depression treatment begins with psychotherapy. Talking with a therapist whom a person trusts can help develop better coping mechanisms and, if the depression is caused by a condition in someone's life, may allow that person to overcome depression by making specific changes. Psychotherapy can be very different depending on the therapist, but the patient's needs and wishes must always be at the center of treatment.

In many cases, people who are chemically depressed may not be suffering due to any specific life condition, but rather need help to rebalance the mind. Problematically, many people are opposed to the use of antidepressants because of the side effects they have and the way they affect personality. Unfortunately, when a person's mood disorder runs the risk of swinging into major depression, taking drugs may be the safest and best option. When medication is not considered an appropriate solution, therapy may focus on how to deal with the feelings of being depressed even while knowing that the problem is chemical and will therefore not likely go away.

Some types of treatment work for only specific kinds of depression. For example, some diseases have depression as a side effect, and resolving the underlying disorder can completely eradicate the depression. Many people suffer from seasonal depression and may benefit from light therapy. Treatment of problems like these is often less complex than solving depression without a source because a problem can be identified and explained to the patient.

While the center of most chronic depression treatment plans is therapy, making other changes can greatly reduce the impact of depression on a person's life. Getting exercise and eating healthier food, for example, can make a person feel better overall and can even result in attitude changes. Taking up a hobby or activity that is out of a person's normal daily routine can also be helpful with depression, but it can be difficult to get up the energy to try new things. Chronic depression treatment is an ongoing remedy for many people, as there is not often a single event that can fix it completely.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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