ZocdocAnswersIs chronic depression curable?

Question

Is chronic depression curable?

What helps chronic depression? Winter doesn't help. Should I move somewhere sunnier?

Answer

Chronic depression can be a terrible disease to live with. Luckily, there are treatments available today which can markedly reduce symptoms. It sounds like you have had depression for a long time, and your symptoms are worse in the winter months. This is extremely common. Moving to a different state just because of these symptoms should only be done as a last resort after all therapies have been tried and failed. The first line therapy for depression (including exclusively winter depression) is a class of medications called the SSRIs (stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). Examples of these drugs include Prozac, Celexa, and Zoloft. These drugs help to increase the brain chemical serotonin in the brain. This has been shown to give people with depression relief from their symptoms. There are several other classes of medications that have been shown to work in depression that can be used if an SSRI does not work, or if the SSRI is not tolerated. If you have not tried one of these medications yet, then I suggest that you first schedule an appointment with your primary care physician (such as a family doctor). Primary care physicians have a lot of experience treating depression and they can start you on one of these medications. If they do not work, then you may warrant a referral to a psychiatrist.

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