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A 21-year-old member asked:

what are the recommended lifestyle changes for depression treatment?

4 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Adler
Family Medicine 40 years experience
There are many.: Exercise ! eat well. Get plenty of sleep. Talk to those you love.
Dr. Aletha Tippett
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Exercise/diet/sleep: Exercise (any amount is good but ideally you should get at least 30 min on most days), make healthy food choices (see http://www.Hsph.Harvard.Edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/) & practice good sleep hygeine (get enough sleep, go to bed & get up at the same time every day). Try to spend some time outside daily, especially when it's sunny. Try keeping a journal.
Dr. Stephen Perret
Child Psychiatry 15 years experience
Exercise in particularly is a very important "natural anti-depressant" and should likely be part of any treatment plan. There have been some studies that have shown that depression treated with an exercise regimen can be as effective as standard treatments like antidepressants.
Jan 31, 2012
Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine 30 years experience
There are many.: Definitely agree with my colleagues here and would recommend exercise, and sleeping regularly. Also would recommend getting plenty of b vitamins like b-complex and eat well and try doing things that you enjoy regularly. Staying away from alcohol and illicit drugs as well. And finally keep your self engaged with family and friends and not to isolate yourself. Socialization is important too.
Dr. Mounir Belcadi
Specializes in Psychiatry
I agree with my colleagues and would recommend socializing as well...see friends,visit family and as Dr Adler said : Talk to those you love :)
Nov 8, 2011
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Lifestyle changes: Good health, nutrition, exercise & sleep.

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Is drug treatment for depression a long-term solution or only for a short period? Do some doctors recommend lifestyle changes over medications?

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Dr. Donald Jacobson
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
It depends: If you have had one episode of depression you have a 50% chance of recurring after medication stop. This is over a 15 year period. If you had two episodes the risk goes up to 70% and if you had three episodes the risk goes up to 90%. Once someone has reached the 90% relapse risk point, provided that the episodes of depression are reasonably close together, a psychiatrist will recommend lifelong treatment. Certainly all the other things that can be offered by psychotherapy in its various forms are also recommended.No to depression are awake. It is the patient's illness course that will largely dictate a decision as to whether to stop medication or continue long-term. Anything that is learned from therapy can certainly also help to reduce the further risk of relapses which can occur even on medication.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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