Can Depression Be Cured?

man in therapy for depression

Depression is a psychiatric disorder. The primary symptoms that characterize depression are sadness, disinterest in activities, and hopelessness. Untreated depression can significantly interfere with your daily life, relationships, work, and well-being. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and for some people, it occurs as one episode, while for others, it’s a recurring condition throughout their lives.

Depression is typically viewed as a chronic condition, meaning that while it can’t be cured necessarily, it can be treated and well-managed to where your symptoms don’t interfere with your life.

Why Is Depression Considered a Chronic Disorder?

As a chronic disorder, depression can persist over an extended period and may require ongoing treatment and management. The reasons that many people experience depression as a chronic disorder include:

  • Depression is linked with changes in neural pathways and brain chemistry, contributing to its chronic nature. When you have imbalances in neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, it’s a factor in the development and persistence of symptoms of depression.
  • There’s evidence that shows genetics can influence how susceptible an individual is to depression. If there’s a history of depression in your family, you could be at higher risk of developing it yourself. Genetic factors may contribute to the chronic nature of depression.
  • Certain psychological factors, including harmful thought patterns, maladaptive coping mechanisms, and low self-esteem, contribute to the longer-term patterns of depressive symptoms. Without intervention and treatment, these are factors that can perpetuate the cycle of depression.
  • If someone doesn’t receive adequate treatment or respond to their current treatment plan, their depressive symptoms could persist or recur.
  • Recurrent symptom episodes, with periods of remission, characterize depression. For many people, depression follows a chronic or episodic course, meaning they might experience multiple episodes throughout their lives.
  • Depression frequently co-occurs with other mental health disorders, including substance use disorders. Comorbid conditions can make treatment more complicated, contributing to the chronic component of depression.

People tend to have very different experiences with depression. It can vary in the patterns of recurrence and its duration. For some people, it’s long-term, and while symptoms improve with treatment, they don’t entirely disappear. Individuals may have periods of remission that are then followed by relapse, which is the typical course of other chronic disorders.

For other people with episodic depression, there may be less noticeable periods of depression, with periods of wellness in between. There are even cases where a person experiences just one depressive episode in their life.

Types of Depression

The type of depression someone has may impact how treatable it is and what the treatment plan looks like for them. Types of depression include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): The most common type of depression, MDD symptoms include a persistently low mood and loss of pleasure and interest in activities. Symptoms can also include fatigue, weight or appetite changes, sleep patterns, problems concentrating, and feelings of worthlessness and guilt. Thoughts of death or suicide may also be symptoms.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): Once known as dysthymia, this type of depression involves long-term or chronic symptoms that are less severe than MDD, but last for years. Symptoms of PDD may include irritability, low self-esteem, and problems functioning generally in daily life.
  • Bipolar Disorder (BPD): A mood disorder, BPD involves cycles of depressive episodes that alternate with periods of mania or hypomania. Hypomania is less severe than full mania. During depressive episodes, the symptoms are similar to MDD. Manic episodes include elevated mood, risky behavior, racing thoughts, and increased energy.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): This form of depression is seasonal, with symptoms typically occurring during the winter months when there’s less sunlight naturally. Symptoms can include weight gain, low energy, oversleeping, and social withdrawal.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): This is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that involves significant disturbances to mood, like anxiety, sadness, or irritability, around a week or two before the start of menstruation.
  • Atypical Depression: A subtype of depression, this disorder includes symptoms like weight gain and increased appetite, excessive sleeping, and feelings of heaviness in the arms and legs.

Depression is complex. Individuals can experience a combination of symptoms from the different types.

Is Depression Curable?

This has been touched on, but depression isn’t always curable, at least not in the traditional sense where it’s entirely eradicated. What can and does happen, however, is that with evidence-based treatment approaches, people with depression can see major improvements in their symptoms and quality of life. The vast majority of people with depression show a response to treatment, and it’s usually significant.

Some people experience a complete remission of depression, no longer meeting the criteria for a diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Depression

The treatment plan that might work well for one person’s symptoms of depression could be ineffective for another. This highlights the importance of an individualized treatment approach to increase the likelihood of an extended remission from depression.


Psychotherapy (talk therapy) can be beneficial for managing depression symptoms. Examples include cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT, which focuses on identifying and challenging negative thinking. From there, you can work to develop coping strategies to help yourself more effectively manage depression symptoms.

Other examples of psychotherapy for depression include interpersonal therapy, which addresses interpersonal conflicts and relationship issues, and psychodynamic therapy. Psychodynamic therapy explores how past experiences, unconscious feelings, and thoughts influence your current emotions and behavior.


Antidepressant medications work to increase the levels of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. There are different classes of antidepressants, like serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Your treatment team has to work with you closely to find the proper medication and dosage because there’s a lot of variation in individual antidepressant responses. At Midwest Recovery Centers, we can test which medicines are most likely to work well for you.

Brain Stimulation Therapies

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, which we offer at Midwest Recovery Centers, uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain’s nerve cells. In TMS, the areas of the brain that play a role in depression are mainly focused on. This is a non-invasive procedure and is most often used for treatment-resistant depression after other treatments haven’t been effective.

Self-Care and Lifestyle Changes

As part of a more comprehensive treatment approach, your therapists and care providers might recommend a variety of lifestyle and self-care strategies to help manage depression symptoms and prevent a relapse. So many things can work well, from regularly exercising and eating a healthy diet to avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Peer support group participation is also essential because it’s a place where you can provide and receive encouragement and validation. You can also learn coping strategies from people going through similar challenges.

People with depression must work with experts to develop a personalized treatment plan addressing their specific goals and needs. Treatment effectiveness varies between people, and finding the right combination of therapies and interventions that will work best for each person can take time.

Why Choose Midwest Recovery Centers?

At Midwest Recovery Centers, we work with patients to help them overcome their depression symptoms and live self-directed, fulfilling lives. Our 45-day depression mental health program provides a safe, supportive, and structured environment that prepares you to transition back into your daily life when treatment is complete.

Our integrative approach to the treatment of depression ensures that your needs are met in all ways, physically and mentally. And we don’t simply treat the symptoms. Our integrated approaches to treating addiction include:

  • Talk therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • PGX DNA testing for medication accuracy
  • Psychoeducation groups
  • Experiential groups
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Light therapy
  • Creative writing
  • Process groups

We also offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS. This innovative, noninvasive treatment uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the nerve cells in brain areas associated with depressive disorders.

Our residential environment at Midwest Recovery Centers ensures you’re nurtured as you identify triggers and stressors and find ways to cope.

Depression can be debilitating, but it is treatable. Contact us today if you or someone you love lives with depression to learn more about how we can help or take the next step.

Staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Click or Call Today! 844-990-1578

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