Common Depression Treatments

For people struggling with clinical cases of depression, there may be a need for others to take control of their care until they are mentally fit to take part in this decision making process. If they are experiencing severe symptoms of depression, they may need to enroll in an outpatient treatment program until their depression starts to improve. In any case, there are a wide range of treatments available for people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression.

Woman undergoing therapy as a treatment for her depression


Antidepressant Medications

Most people experience periods of depression during their lifetimes, and there are a number of medications which can help treat these symptoms. Currently, there are many different types of antidepressant medications, which are categorized by how they affect the chemical reactions within the brain. Simply put, these medications can affect your mood in different ways.

Available antidepressants include:

  • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs like venlafaxine (Effexor XR), duloxetine (Cymbalta), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), and venlafaxine (Effexor XR) are commonly prescribed for depression. The side effects of this form of antidepressant includes dry mouth, sweating, fast heart rate, and even constipation.
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): These antidepressants are often the first line of treatment for people with clinical depression. SSRIs tend to be well tolerated by the patient and cause minimal side effects compared to other antidepressants. SSRIs are marketed under many brand names including Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Celexa (citalopram), and Paxil (paroxetine). Patients should be warned that these antidepressants can cause lowered sex drive and other sexual complications.
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants: This type of antidepressant has been available to patients for some time now, and it still proves to be just as effective as many of the latest medications. The drawback to tricyclic antidepressants is that they can cause quite a few adverse effects, so they are usually not prescribed as a first line of treatment. Common side effects include blurry vision, cottonmouth, accelerated heartbeat, constipation, and mild confusion. This type of medication can also cause patients to gain some extra weight.


Counseling is another key component to treating severe depression. The term psychotherapy refers to the treatment of depression through the discussion of the patient’s issues and mental state with a licensed therapist. Psychotherapy is often referred to as talk therapy, psychosocial therapy, counseling, or simply therapy.

During these sessions, the patient is encouraged to open up and uncover the underlying causes that may be causing their depression. With this understanding, they can identify the negative behaviors, experiences, or relationships that may need to be changed or even removed from their lives. This counseling has been used effectively to help many people regain a measurable level of happiness in their lives, while allowing them to let go of the negative feelings that have been keeping them down.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

This form of treatment involves electrical currents which are passed through a patient’s brain, and it has become quite controversial in recent years. ECT is believed to be able to change the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. While the side effects are hotly debated, studies have shown that it does provide rapid relief of severe depression when other treatments couldn’t. However, ECT treatment can produce episodes of confusion in patients, and even some temporary memory loss.

If you have been struggling with the symptoms of depression, please be sure to contact your healthcare provider. They can help you decide the steps that you may need to take in order to win back control over your depression, and they may also suggest a psychologist in the area.

Clinical Trial Indications