Treatment for Major Depression

The common components of treatment for major depression include pharmacological and psychological treatment modalities.

Pharmacological Drugs

Some of the most effective pharmacological treatment options available to treat major depressive disorder are as discussed.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI variety of antidepressants are said to be effective in reducing major depression disorder problems. Some of the SSRI medications are fluoxetine or Prozac, sertraline or Zoloft, escitalopram or Lexapro, and fluvoxamine or Luvox. In patients who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks accompanied with depression, physicians might recommend taking lorazepam or Ativan. Therefore, based on individual cases, physicians might prescribe one or more medications.

While most of such drug treatment for major depression are said to work well in relieving affected persons from the condition, one must note that it is ultimately an individual’s choice or preference whether or not to use such methods. Our stand, as always, is that pharmaceutical drugs come with many dangerous, even fatal, side effects, and their use should thus only be carried out as a last resort. This applies to any type of depression.

Should one choose to use drug medications as treatment for major depression, then there are a few important things to remember. Firstly, one must understand that all medication must be administered as per physician advice and there should be no lapse at any point. This is because defaulting on medication can end up making the entire effort ineffective.

Sometimes, patients tend to feel that since most of the symptoms of major depression have disappeared, they have recovered fully and thus can discontinue medication. This is an absolute no-no mainly because it can be dangerous to abruptly stop medication, and the repercussions could be serious; relapses as far as depression is concerned can also be extremely difficult to manage and control. Therefore, all medication should be tapered or stopped only after consulting the psychiatrist or physician who is treating the patient.


While most antidepressants may have short term useful impact, it is very important to understand the causes of depression and try and eliminate them. This can be done mostly through psychotherapy. There are several forms of psychotherapy which can be used as treatment for major depression, and some very effective ones are as discussed:

  • Behavior Therapy: This form of psychotherapy encompasses several skill building activities like problem solving, anger management, and other skills training, but is often combined with some amount of pharmacological treatment.

  • Psychodynamic Therapy: Here, the therapist tries to understand and establish the patient’s past history, like childhood experiences, conflicting emotions, and conditioned behavior patterns, that could be working against the patient.

  • Cognitive Therapy: This works well with patients who have certain unexplained fears, beliefs, and notions about themselves, as well as a general tendency to feel negative about themselves, their immediate environment, and hopelessness regarding their future.

    This kind of thought process and behavior pattern is broken through cognitive therapy and a more optimistic and positive thought pattern is encouraged and induced. This treatment for major depression is found to be especially effective in patients who are in the initial stages of the condition. Therefore, early diagnosis and immediate help can make a huge difference to patients suffering from major depressive disorder.

  • Interpersonal Therapy: Interpersonal therapy mainly deals with a patient’s problem with handling relationships. Here, a lot of importance is given to educating the patient about his or her condition so that they are in a position to understand how their mental condition is affecting everyone, including themselves. It works towards making patients recognize their moods, become wary of the various symptoms, and try and discuss this is a calm and peaceful manner with loved ones.

In addition to the above, persons suffering from major depression should ensure they consume a diet rich in folic acid, omega-3 fatty acid, and vitamin B compounds. All three items are found to help prevent and decrease the symptoms of depression, especially because of their unique composition, and are thus useful additions to any treatment for major depression.

Enrolling persons suffering from major depression disorder into some mild exercise program, yoga, and meditation also helps immensely, mainly because these activities help relax the mind and body.

Friends and family can also help ensure that major depressive patients are introduced to some kind of hobby or mentally stimulating activity, such as reading, solving crossword puzzles, or Sudoku, etc. This will ensure that that their mind is occupied and will channel their emotional energy into something positive and creative.

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