Harvard Health Letter

Drug-free options to fight depression

Treatment for depression isn’t limited to drugs. There is good evidence that nondrug treatments and lifestyle changes can ease the symptoms of depression. Exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may help with mild to moderate depression. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is considered a last-resort alternative for people with moderate to severe depression that hasn’t responded to treatment. While CBT is usually covered by insurance, rTMS is not always covered. A primary care physician can recommend a CBT therapist. A psychiatrist can recommend an rTMS practitioner.
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