Are There Useful Self-Help Treatments for Depression? A Review of the Evidence

Depression is a brainy affliction that is accepted and can affect anyone. Depressed humans acquaintance a low affection or aloofness in life, as able-bodied as agitation sleeping and concentrating, cutting fatigue, and activity baleful and worthless. Recommended treatments for abasement cover antidepressants and psychotherapy. The a lot of accepted blazon of antidepressants are careful serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which plan able-bodied for abstinent to astringent depression. Altered types of psychotherapy cover cerebral behavior therapy, botheration analytic therapy, and interpersonal therapy. However, abounding humans self-treat their abasement with techniques that about don’t absorb a professional. Self-help treatments are about adopted as an antecedent advantage if affection are still mild.

There are abounding self-help treatments that accept been appropriate as accessible for depression. These cover altered herbal remedies, comestible supplements, changes to diet and lifestyle, cerebral techniques, and concrete or acoustic techniques. Yet are they acceptable to plan for you, or are they a decay of effort, time and money? Accurate analysis can accommodate advice about what treatments are acceptable to be helpful, and which should be larboard on the shelf. It’s accessible that treatments that accept claimed testimonials may plan for you even if they haven’t been researched thoroughly. However, you can be abundant added assured that treatments will plan for you if they accept apparent capability for a accumulation of humans in a accurate study. Accurate studies can appearance that treatments are able behindhand of whether humans advance by itself with time, or apprehend to improve. This commodity will accord an overview of what self-help treatments are able for abasement as apparent by accurate research. Only affirmation from top superior studies (randomized controlled trials) will be examined.

Helpful treatments


Bibliotherapy is addition name for self-help books. The accessible ones use cerebral behaviour analysis to change cerebration and behaviour patterns. Several studies advance it is accessible for depression. However, it may crave a lot of action to abide with the analysis to see benefits.

Computerized cerebral behaviour therapy

This is agnate to bibliotherapy but uses the internet or a computer affairs instead of a book. Several studies advance it is accessible for depression. However, it may crave a lot of action to abide with the analysis to see benefits.


Thinking about or visualizing affable or aloof thoughts (e.g. the appearance of the African continent) may advice advance depressed affection temporarily. Studies appearance that it is bigger than sitting quietly. It may advice if you about anticipate about why you are depressed and the abrogating outcomes from depression.


There is acceptable affirmation that exercise is accessible for depression. It is not ablaze whether aerobic exercise (e.g. running) is bigger than anaerobic exercise (e.g. weights). The bulk bare to be benign is aswell unclear.

Light therapy

Light analysis uses a accessory to betrayal the eyes to actual ablaze ablaze for a aeon of time anniversary day. The affirmation is able for winter abasement (or melancholia melancholia disorder). It may aswell accept a baby account for non-winter depression.

Pleasant activities

Systematically accomplishing added of the activities you usually adore is acceptable to be helpful. Studies with administration by professionals appearance it accessible for depression. However, it may be beneath accessible if done on your own.

Relaxation training

Progressive beef alleviation is acquirements to relax by abbreviating and adequate specific beef group. It can be self-taught from books or audio instructions. Several studies appearance it is accessible for depression, admitting beneath accessible than psychotherapy.


S-Adenosylmethionine is a admixture that is fabricated in the physique and is accessible as a supplement. It is complex in abounding biochemical reactions. It aswell helps accomplish serotonin, a academician actinic targeted by antidepressants. Studies about appearance it is accessible for depression. However, the dosage appropriate is unclear.

Sleep deprivation

Sleep denial is blockage alive for the accomplished night or akin beddy-bye to allotment of the night. Studies appearance that abounding humans acquisition it briefly improves depression. However, the aftereffect disappears already beddy-bye is resumed.

St John’s wort

St John’s wort is a acceptable herbal antidote for depression. It is accessible as a supplement. Studies consistently appearance that it is bigger than a placebo for balmy depression. Be acquainted that herbal supplements are not usually able-bodied regulated, and that brands may alter in their effectiveness. It aswell interacts with some medications, so analysis with your doctor afore using.

Promising treatments

These treatments appearance able evidence, but added studies are bare to be sure.

Autogenic training

Autogenic training is the approved convenance of simple brainy contest in physique acquaintance for relaxation. One abstraction showed auspicious results.


Borage is a assemble commonly acclimated in Iranian medicine. Its flowers can be acclimated in herbal teas. One abstraction begin it was bigger than placebo for depression, but added studies are bare to be sure.


Carnitine is a comestible produced by the physique and is accessible as a supplement. Carnitine has been activated in 3 studies for a balmy anatomy of abasement alleged dysthymia. Able after-effects were apparent for earlier adults.


Massage by accomplished therapists has able affirmation for depression.

Negative Air ionization

A abrogating air ionizer is a accessory that uses top voltage to electrically allegation air particles. One abstraction showed it accessible for winter abasement (seasonal melancholia disorder).


Saffron is a aroma fabricated from the Crocus sativus flower. It is acclimated in Persian acceptable medicine. Several studies appearance that saffron is a able analysis for depression.


Yoga contest the apperception and physique through concrete postures, breath techniques and meditation. Antecedent affirmation suggests it may be accessible for depression.

There are abounding added self-help treatments, but these were not advised because they accept not been advised in acceptable superior studies.

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