- What is depression?
- Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- What is Parkinson's disease?
- How are depression and Parkinson's disease linked?
- How is depression treated in people who have Parkinson's disease?
- For More Information on Depression
- For More Information on Parkinson's Disease
How is depression treated in people who have Parkinson's disease?
Depression is diagnosed and treated by a health care provider. Treating depression can help you manage your Parkinson's disease treatment and improve your overall health. Recovery from depression takes time but treatments are effective.
At present, the most common treatments for depression include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, that helps people change negative thinking styles and behaviors that may contribute to their depression
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a type of antidepressant medication that includes citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft), and fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), a type of antidepressant medication similar to SSRI that includes venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
While currently available depression treatments, particularly SSRIs, are generally well tolerated and safe for people with Parkinson's disease, talk with your health care provider about side effects, possible drug interactions, and other treatment options. For the latest information on medications, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration websiteExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.. Not everyone responds to treatment the same way. Medications can take several weeks to work, may need to be combined with ongoing talk therapy, or may need to be changed or adjusted to minimize side effects and achieve the best results.
A variety of medications can provide dramatic relief from the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. However, no current medication can stop the progression of the disease, and in many cases, medications lose their benefit over time. In such cases, the doctor may recommend deep brain stimulation, a surgery that places a battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator—similar to a heart pacemaker—to deliver electrical stimulation to areas in the brain that control movement. Some doctors recommend physical therapy or muscle-strengthening exercises to improve movement and balance and make it easier to continue doing daily tasks, such as getting dressed and bathing. Although usually associated with treating severe or treatment-resistant depression, electroconvulsive therapy may improve Parkinson's disease symptoms in some people.5
More information about depression treatments can be found on the NIMH website. If you think you are depressed or know someone who is, don't lose hope. Seek help for depression.