Well, there’s some bad news and some good news.

The bad news is that (so far) there is no superior depression treatment, guaranteed to work for everyone.

The good news is that you have quite a few solutions based on solid neuroscience and psychological research to choose from. If one doesn’t work, another one will.

And if nothing seems to help – try combining two or more treatments to increase their effectiveness.

Here’s a list of 14 depression treatments, all resting on a big pile of peer-reviewed research studies:


1) CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy teaches you how to become your own therapist. It has proven to treat depression and improve quality of life by changing unhelpful patterns of thinking and acting which maintain depression. Research suggests that CBT is as effective as antidepressants in the short term and more effective in the long run.


Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy is a research-based method with results comparable to CBT and antidepressants. STPP aims to uncover the true sources of troubling feelings and thoughts which interfere with work, relationships or other important aspects of life.

3) IPT

Interpersonal Psychotherapy is another evidence-based therapy recommended for depression. IPT is based on the fact that how you act in relationships is closely related to your mental health. Depression can both be triggered and maintained by interpersonal problems.

Antidepressant medication

4) SSRIs

Several forms of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors have proven effective against depression. Around 50% of people who take SSRIs report a 50% or more reduction of their depressive symptoms. Side effects include insomnia, weight gain, sexual problems, headaches, dry mouth, profuse sweating, skin rashes, nausea, and diarrhoea.

5) Ketamine

Ketamine is approved for treatment-resistant depression or for people who consider suicide. Ketamine can provide almost instant relief and is administered under the supervision of a health care provider at a certified clinic. Side effects include dissociation, high blood pressure, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, anxiety and vomiting.

Brain stimulation

6) tDCS

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation uses the brain cells’ favourite tool of communication – electricity – to stimulate brain areas connected to depression. The effectiveness is similar to antidepressants, but side effects are significantly fewer and milder.

Since the development of a unique safety system, tDCS by Flow Neuroscience can be bought online and used at home without prescription.

7) TMS

With Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, electromagnetism is used to alter the activity in specific regions of the brain. It’s usually well-tolerated and has proven effective against treatment-resistant depression. TMS is administered by professionals at health care clinics.

8) ECT

Electroconvulsive Therapy is used to treat the most severe cases of depression or treatment-resistant depression. During an ECT session, an electric current is administered to the brain to induce a controlled seizure while the patient is under general anaesthesia. ECT is used with caution because side effects can be severe and include memory loss.

Physical exercise

Regular exercise is a well-established depression treatment which rivals both medication and psychotherapy in effectiveness. 30-45 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week treats and prevents depression. And a single workout session can significantly increase your mood. Physical exercise is also an effective anxiety treatment.

Research-based forms of exercise include:

9) Aerobic exercise

10) Resistance training

11) Yoga

12) Taichi quan


13) Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation strengthens connections between brain cells in areas related to mood regulation and cognitive function. Daily meditation sessions (13-20 minutes for 6-8 weeks) can significantly decrease depressive symptoms and prevent the onset of depression. It’s also effective against stress and anxiety.


14) The Mediterranean diet

Switching from a high-fat, high-sugar diet to the traditional Mediterranean diet can significantly improve depression and even lead to a full recovery.

Luckily, there are more than one depression treatment. We are all different. And please, keep searching until you find the ones that help you.

Hope this helps.