Depression - What you need to know


Depression is a serious mental disorder that can impact every aspect of your life. It is treatable and there are many options for treatment. There are many treatment options, including psychotherapy, also known as talking therapy, exercise, diet changes, sleeping changes, and medication.
Depression is thought to be caused by a variety of factors. It can be triggered by a medical condition or certain life events such as a loss of employment or relationship breakup. Depression also runs in families and is thought to be a genetic condition.

Remember that although depression is a very real illness, it’s not a character flaw or weakness. Once treated, it is a treatable illness. Untreated depression can cause feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thinking, as well as physical problems such as weight gain, sleep issues, and poor digestion.

Make an appointment to see your doctor if you suspect you may be depressed. It could be your primary health care provider, a mental healthcare professional such as a social worker or psychologist, or even a psychiatrist. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask you about your symptoms, feelings, and thoughts. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used to diagnose depression.

Treatments for depression include medication, support groups, psychotherapy, exercise, diet changes, sleep modifications, and talk therapy. You can learn how to better manage and cope with your symptoms through psychotherapy. You may try several different types of therapy before you find the one that works best for you. 

Exercise, particularly 30 minutes daily of walking, can improve your mood and boost your energy. Regular schedules, like a regular bedtime and waking time, will help you to feel more in charge. It is important to get enough rest and avoid alcohol and drugs. Support groups can be a great way to share your experience and connect with others. They can make you feel less alone and provide you with helpful tips for coping with depression.

The medications for depression work by balancing the chemicals in your brain that influence your mood. Antidepressants come in many forms, and it may take several to find the one that works for you and doesn’t have any side effects.

People with this disease may choose to participate in a clinical study, which is an ongoing research study that examines new methods to treat or prevent diseases, such as depression. These studies are conducted by NIMH researchers and others with healthy individuals as well as people who suffer from depression. Speak to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking part in a clinical study.