How is depression typically treated in people with dystonia?

While a combination of medication and talk therapy is generally accepted as the preferred and most effective treatment for depression, people with dystonia face a variety of medical issues. Therefore, there is no one 'best' treatment for depression. Seek out a mental health professional who is compassionate and familiar with the needs of people with chronic illness and/or disability. The following treatments for depression might be used if you have dystonia:

Mood disorders such as depression respond to an array of antidepressant drugs and drug combinations. If side effects are problematic, discuss them with your doctor and ask for a change of dosage or medication.

Psychotherapy has never been so comprehensive. What was once seen as a discipline for treating serious mental illness has expanded to include:
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • existential therapy
  • short-term supportive therapy
  • interpersonal (or relational) psychotherapy
  • group therapy
Complementary body-related therapies that can promote overall wellness when combined with your medication and psychotherapy include:
  • biofeedback
  • non-verbal body work
  • nutrition therapy
  • gentle massage
  • physical therapy
  • daily exercise as recommended by your clinician
This content originally appeared on the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation website at

Continue Learning about Dystonia


When your muscles contract involuntarily, the condition is called dystonia. Dystonia causes a twisting or clenching of whatever body part is affected. For example, when you have a stroke, the affected arm and hand may be clenched ...

and held in a strange position. Dystonia can be very mild or very severe. It can make your life very difficult and this can lead to frustration, depression or anxiety. See your doctor to treat your symptoms and talk over your frustrations.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.