There are three main types of treatment for depression: medical, psychological, and social. Management of depression often involves a combination of treatments.
- Medical treatments include not only medication but also other treatment options
that are usually only applied in specialised centres;
- Psychological treatment refers to psychotherapy or "talking therapy", which has several
theoretical and clinical subtypes. Psychotherapy can be used on its own for less severe forms
of depression or in combination with medication for more severe depression;
- Social and other interventions are also very important. These include social activities, relaxation strategies, moderate regular exercise, medical leave (if necessary), learning about the illness and how to self-help. These activities can help to promote hope and empowerment that add to the therapeutic effect of both medication and psychotherapy.
Depression is usually managed in primary care through antidepressant medication and referral to relevant psychological services. The next sections provide more detailed information on antidepressant medication and managing referrals to relevant services.