Depression seems to be particularly responsive to staying busy, and engaging in productive, goal-centered activities.

Many of the suggestions herein also work for other forms of mental illness. This section is to focus in on the various positive effects specifically as relating to depression.

  • Does medication and therapy work more than just therapy?
    • This is what a meta-analysis including almost 2,000 participants in 18 randomized studies, studied
    • Though cognitive behavior therapy was somewhat close to the combination therapy (medication and therapy), the combination therapy was more effective
  • A study, compiled of several meta-analysis, sought to answer some questions related to depression
    • The authors speak of a publication bias and poor study quality, the main focus of this paper
    • Psychotherapy (talk therapy) works about as well as antidepressants for mild to moderate depression
    • As the first cited study states, psychotherapy and medication is more effective than just psychotherapy, but this study goes forward to state that just medication is also less effective than the combined approach
      • They evaluated many different psychotherapy approaches
        • This includes cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral activation therapy, interpersonal therapy, problem-solving therapy, non-directive supportive therapy, interpersonal therapy
        • A conclusion: one method was not significantly better than another (the various talk-therapy types were roughly equally effective)
  • Interestingly, a meta-analysis of 19 randomized experiments and 40 studies concluded that psychological programs on computers significantly improve depression, even after treatment ends

  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for people afflicted with depression that’s suicidal in nature, was shown to reduce the link between their experience of depression, and thoughts and feelings of suicide
  • Mindfulness-based therapy in general, as meta-analysis found, “robustly” works against the symptoms of depression 
  • Meditation can be a powerful ally against depression. This meta-analysis, including almost fifty separate studies, found that it significantly improved depression after eight weeks.
    • In particular, Buddhist walking meditation was effective at treating mild to moderate depression in people aged 60 to 90.
  • For those of the Christian faith whom would feel uncomfortable practicing meditation rooted in eastern religions, Christian mysticism offers centering prayer
    • This might protect against relapse of depressive episodes
  • Another systematic review and meta analysis on exercise and depression integrated 13 studies out of 89. It was found effective for mild to moderate depression.
  • A study in children found exercise to be well-associated with a more positive physical self-perception and self-esteem, which battle depression
  • Qigong is a sort of meditative exercise that was recently found to significantly alleviate depression in people suffering from excessive fatigue.

Sources: Ben Komor, American Psychological association, Dr. John Bezirganian