Depression - major; Unipolar depression; Major depressive disorder
In general, treatments for depression include:
- Medications called antidepressants
- Talk therapy, called psychotherapy
If you have mild depression, you may only need one of these treatments. People with more severe depression usually need combination of both treatments. It takes time to feel better, but there are usually day-to-day improvements.
If you are suicidal or extremely depressed and cannot function you may need to be treated in a psychiatric hospital.
MEDICATIONS FOR DEPRESSION
Drugs used to treat depression are called antidepressants. Common types of antidepressants include:
- Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), citalopram (Celexa), and escitalopram (Lexapro).
- Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), venlafaxine (Effexor), and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Other medicines used to treat depression include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
If you have delusions or hallucinations, your doctor may prescribe additional medications.
WARNING: Children, adolescents, and young adults should be watched more closely for suicidal behavior, especially during the first few months after starting medications.
Review Date: 03/15/2011
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.