Medications and psychotherapy are the most common treatments for depression, according to Mayo Clinic. Other treatments such as bright light therapy, exercise, taking St. John's Wort and eating healthy are effective in relieving mild to moderate depression, according to WebMD. Depression is a common feature of several psychiatric disorders, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and chronic depressive disorder.
Psychotherapy is generally used as the first treatment option for depression. Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and atypical antidepressants are the most common drugs used to treat depression, according to Mayo Clinic.
One herbal alternative to prescription medications is St. John's Wort, which is a plant with naturally occurring antidepressant properties that scientists believe is similar to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The University of Maryland warns that St. John's Wort has only been proven to work for mild to moderate depression and isn't proven to be an effective treatment for severe depression.
According to WebMD, bright light therapy is frequently used to treat seasonal affective disorder, a type of seasonally based depression that usually occurs during the fall and winter. The bright light replaces sunshine during the darker fall and winter months, giving relief to the patient.