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Depression Health Center

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Depression Treatment: Your Options

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Exercise to Curb Depression continued...

Each of those studies was different. Some lasted for a few months. Some assigned depressed people to specific exercise plans to do on their own or in a group. The result: Exercise eased depression symptoms and helped to keep them at bay.

When you’re depressed, you may not have the energy to be active. Or you may find it hard to keep it up. Just remember, it does help.

Although there is no “dose” that is proven to work for everyone, you may want to start with 3-5 sessions a week that last for 45 minutes to an hour each. If that sounds like a lot, work up to it. Some is better than none.

You may also need to take medicine or get psychotherapy. That’s OK. Being active still helps.

If you’re not active now, ask your doctor for their advice on what activities are best for you and how often you should work out to see benefits.

When Is Electroconvulsive Therapy Recommended?

Electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock therapy, or ECT) is used to treat severe depression that doesn’t respond to other treatments.

During ECT, you’ll be given medicine to go to sleep while a doctor sends a brief and painless electric current through your scalp to your brain. This current induces a seizure. ECT is both safe and effective at treating depression.

Doctors might also use ECT if a depressed person poses a threat to themselves or others and it is dangerous to wait until medications take effect.

For in-depth information, see WebMD's Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) for Depression.

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