Though there are many various methods which allow to reduce the symptoms of depression, but the basic methods (and this is the official point of view of medicine) are only two. These are drugs and psychotherapy. What is more effective? The answer depends on that who gives an answer. For example, almost all psychiatrists prefer pharmaceutical treatment, and psychologists who are not able to prescribe a drug protect psychotherapy. But the border here is very conditional. At times psychologists send their patients to psychiatrists to get a pharmaceutical treatment and many psychiatrists offer psychotherapy.
In the last years time and again there was made benchmarking study of the results of pharmaceutical treatment and psychotherapy. So, according to the results of one of the researches, at the end of the 16th week more than in half of the patients who took all three methods of treatment (behavior therapy, insight-oriented therapy and antidepressants drugs) serious symptoms of depression have been eliminated. For patients with mild depression all three methods of the treatment plus placebo are equally effective. And for those with deep depression pharmaceutical treatment is admitted more effective.
How to decide what method is the best for you? Ultimately this is a joint decision. It depends on a specific situation, but recently the combined therapy has been more widespread (therapy+drugs).
But there is the fundamental difference between psychotherapy and drugs. The drugs work with the symptoms of depression and can facilitate its course or the symptoms of depression can even completely disappear. Pharmaceutical treatment works with the symptoms of depression and the psychotherapy works with immediate cause of the depression. And if immediate causes of the depression are found during the psychotherapy the depression clears up.