How is persistent depressive disorder treated?

The two primary methods for treating persistent depressive disorder include pharmaco-therapy (antidepressant medication) and psychotherapy (talk therapy). The combination of both longer-term treatment methods may prove to be most effective.

What can I do to help myself feel better?

Methods of improving symptoms of persistent depressive disorder include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Exercising on a regular basis.
  • Engaging in enjoyable/creative activities.
  • Taking prescribed medications correctly and discussing any potential side effects with your healthcare providers.
  • Watching for early signs that your symptoms may be worsening, and having a plan in place for how to respond if they do.
  • Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive influences.
  • Talking to trusted family members and friends about how you are feeling.
  • Avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs which can negatively affect mood and impair judgment.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/05/2015.


  • American Psychiatric Association. (2103). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Depression Accessed 2/15/2015
  • National Institute of Mental Health. What is Depression? Accessed 2/15/2015
  • Kriston, L., von Wolff, A., Westphal, A., Hölzel, L. P. and Härter, M. (2014), Efficacy and Acceptability of Acute Treatments for Persistent Depressive Disorder: A Network Meta-Analysis. Depress. Anxiety, 31: 621–630. doi: 10.1002/da.22236

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