No matter what is causing your depression, effective treatments and resources are available. Medication and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) have proven very effective for most people, and many types of professionals treat depression.
To find options for diagnosis and treatment, your primary care provider is a good place to start. In some cases, a primary care physician can prescribe medication to relieve depression symptoms. They may also recommend that you see a mental health professional for psychotherapy.
Evidence-based psychotherapies are among the most effective treatments for depression. They include the following — which in many cases are available at a local VA medical center. Contact your VA provider to learn more.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression (CBT-D)
CBT-D is a structured, time-limited psychotherapy that helps people develop more balanced and helpful thoughts about themselves, others, and the future. This type of therapy modifies thought patterns to change moods and behaviors. CBT-D also helps people achieve personal goals and solve problems by learning and practicing new skills.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Depression (ACT-D)
ACT-D is a psychotherapy that helps people overcome emotional pain and worry by encouraging them to take positive actions that are in line with their values. Based on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, ACT-D helps people recognize, commit to, and achieve what matters most to them in life.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
IPT is a form of treatment that focuses on the relationships that may be the cause or the result of depression, helping people understand the connection between their depression and current relationship problems. IPT also builds social skills that help people to deal with their problems, helping improve how people feel as well as their quality of life.