Harvard Health Letter

Drug-free options to fight depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, and magnetic stimulation can make a difference.

When it comes to treating depression, medication isn't always effective. While a majority of patients get at least some benefit from antidepressants, as many as a third get no relief from them at all.

But treatment isn't limited to drugs. "There is good evidence that nondrug treatments and lifestyle changes can ease the symptoms of depression too. Depending on the severity of depression, any of them might work in place of or as an add-on to medication," says Dr. Michael Craig Miller, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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