Major depressive disorder (major depression) is the most common type of depression, impacting more than 16.1 million U.S. adults. To be clinically diagnosed, symptoms must persist for a minimum of six months. Persistent depressive disorder (PDD), formerly called dysthymia, is a form of depression that typically continues for a minimum of two years. It affects an estimated 3.3 million American adults or about 1.5% of the U.S. adult population in any given year.1 The term treatment-resistant depression is used for cases that do not respond to the most commonly used evidence-based treatments.

Other Types of Depression

Atypical Depression – A subtype of major depression, this is characterized by increased appetite or weight gain, sleepiness or excessive sleep, marked fatigue or weakness, moods that are strongly reactive to events and extreme sensitivity to rejection.2

Seasonal Affective Disorder – Depression that comes and goes with the fall and winter seasons or frequent overcast days.

Bipolar Disorder – Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating episodes of major depression and mania (periods of hyperactivity, rapid speech, sleeplessness and impulsivity).

Types of Depression Therapy

Treatment for depression typically includes a combination of psychotherapy, antidepressants and alternative approaches. It is common for people to try different depression therapies until they find an effective combination. What works for one person may not work for another person, so an individualized treatment approach is essential.


During sessions with trained therapists, clients are encouraged to discuss symptoms, identify unhealthy thoughts and behavioral patterns and learn better ways to cope with stressors. Psychotherapy is effective both on an individual and group basis. Cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy are among the best therapies for depression. Multiple studies have proven the efficacy of these approaches. The coping skills learned in therapy help alleviate symptoms fairly quickly and can be relied on if depression symptoms return.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Across all ages, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most rigorously tested psychosocial treatments for depression. CBT is based on the concept that depression results from a triad of negative views about oneself, one’s future and the world. CBT teaches people to identify and change maladaptive behaviors and thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Psychiatric treatment guidelines recommend psychotherapy and/or pharmacotherapy for initial treatment of individuals with major depressive disorder. Older adults are more likely to not take medications due to issues including cognitive decline and prohibitive costs. CBT can be modified to reflect physical and cognitive changes, established beliefs, spousal loss and late-life transition issues.3

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on mental and emotional processes rather than behavior and thought patterns. It is an in-depth form of talk therapy based on the theories and principles of psychoanalysis. Several features distinguish psychodynamic therapy from other types of talk therapy. Clients focus on recognizing, acknowledging, understanding, expressing and overcoming negative and contradictory feelings and repressed emotions. This helps alleviate symptoms and improve interpersonal experiences and relationships.4

Alternative Approaches

For those seeking complementary approaches, a number of alternative treatments can help alleviate symptoms of depression, such as acupuncture, yoga, massage therapy, meditation, herbal supplements, and dietary, exercise and lifestyle modifications.

Several studies have shown the efficacy of yoga for reducing anxiety and depression. Yoga improves overall well-being, increases feelings of relaxation, improves self-confidence and body image, increases attentiveness, decreases irritability, encourages a more optimistic outlook on life and improves interpersonal relationships.5

The Ranch embraces a comprehensive approach to depression treatment. A combination of evidence-based medications, individual therapy, group therapy and traditional, experiential and alternative approaches helps clients address issues that fuel depression. In this supportive setting, clients learn to overcome depression and recover from co-occurring disorders including substance abuse and behavioral addictions.

Life can be better. We can help. Call today for a free consultation: 18448767680.

  1. Facts & Statistics. Anxiety and Depression Association of America website Updated August 2017. Accessed October 16, 2017.
  2. Atypical Depression. WebMD website Updated February 27, 2016. Accessed October 16, 2017.
  3. Renn BN, Areán PA. Psychosocial Treatment Options for Major Depressive Disorder in Older Adults. Curr Treat Options Psychiatry. 2017;4(1):1-12. doi:10.1007/s40501-017-0100-6.
  4. Psychodynamic Therapy. Psychology Today website Accessed October 16, 2017.
  5. Woodyard C. Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. Int J Yoga. 2011;4(2):49-54. doi:10.4103/0973-6131.85485.

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