Dear Dr. Archer,
I'm 23 and have been stressed and depressed for seven years. What's the best way to treat depression -- medication or therapy, or just be strong and pretend it isn't real and fight through it? Please help.
By all means, if depression can be treated by making simple but effective lifestyle changes, like the nine suggestions I discuss in How Can I Snap Out Of Depression, that's the easiest and the best method. That said, sometimes depression, which can be a medical condition, is severe enough to warrant therapy, medication or both.
Depression is very treatable, but there are different severities. The more severe the depression, the more intensive the treatment that will be needed. It's also important to note that we are all unique, and our bodies react differently to different medications. That is why many times finding the right medication for depression is a matter of trial and error.
Whatever route is necessary, it's important to remember that treatment takes time, so please be patient and commit to the process. Sometimes the progress is slow, but that's normal.