Sign Up for Inside Depression Updates  

Keep learning about depression with this free program that delivers insights and support directly to your inbox—with inspirational extras to help you stay focused on your commitment to feeling better.

Create a Doctor Discussion Guide  

Create a list of customized questions about your condition that will help focus your conversation, so you can get the most out of your next doctor’s appointment.

Depression treatments

Successful treatment of depression is a realistic goal. The majority of people with depression can get better with treatment. A common approach is a combination of prescription medication and talk therapy. Some people may try natural remedies or lifestyle changes. Together, you and your health care professional can determine the appropriate option to effectively treat your depression.

Prescription medications

There are several types of prescription antidepressant medications that are divided into different classes. Each antidepressant class affects the levels of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, which are thought to be involved in regulating mood. The most commonly prescribed prescription antidepressants are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs are believed to treat depression by affecting the levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. SNRIs are believed to treat depression by affecting the levels of two neurotransmitters called serotonin and norepinephrine.

In general, it can take several weeks to feel the full benefit of a prescription antidepressant, although some people will start to feel better sooner. It is important to give the medication a chance to work and to take it exactly as directed by your health care professional.


Psychotherapy is also known as "talk therapy." Research has shown it can be very helpful for people with some forms of depression. Like all treatment options, psychotherapy can be used alone or in combination with medication.

The two main types of talk therapy that are used to treat depression are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps to reduce depression symptoms by challenging and reversing negative beliefs and attitudes
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT) helps to overcome problems with social skills and other interpersonal factors that may impact the development of depression
Healthy living

The following are some suggestions for a natural approach to a healthy lifestyle, which may help provide some relief of depression symptoms:

  • Maintain proper sleep habits as advised by your health care professional
  • Eat a well-balanced diet as advised by your health care professional
  • Manage stress as advised by your health care professional
  • Participate in a structured and supervised exercise program as advised by your health care professional
  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Create small and manageable tasks
  • Let others you can trust, such as family and friends, help you

If depression is holding you back from the things you enjoy, treating it may help. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the majority of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. And almost all patients who treat their depression experience some relief from their symptoms.

Research suggests that the longer people wait to treat their depression, the more the condition can impair them down the road. So schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms with your health care professional as soon as you possibly can.

PRISTIQ®(desvenlafaxine) is FDA approved to treat depression in adults. Ask your doctor if PRISTIQ may be right for you.

See How PRISTIQ Can Help >

PRISTIQ could be a key in treating your depression symptoms.

Browse Other Articles