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How to Cope With Depression
Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects every part of your life, from your mood to your thoughts and behavior. You can have one episode of depression or more throughout your lifetime, but treatment is usually effective and helps you get better.
Depression can be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals or other factors. These include your family history, hormone levels and medical conditions. It’s also more common in people with a history of substance use or mental illness. Some types of depression are linked to childhood trauma.
Depressed mood can be a normal reaction to life events or may be a sign of a medical condition, but it needs to be treated by a doctor. A prolonged depressed mood can lead to a mental health diagnosis, such as major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder.
Symptoms of depression vary from person to person, but they can include feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, a loss of interest in everyday activities, irritability, tiredness or weight gain. These symptoms can interfere with work and relationships, and can be very difficult to deal with.
Your therapist can help you learn how to identify and change unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviors. They can also help you understand how your symptoms are connected. Some kinds of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy, have been shown to be effective in treating depression.
Treatment for depression focuses on changing the way you think and feel about your condition and your situation. It also can help you manage stressors and improve your relationships.
Medications that are used to treat depression, called antidepressants, are prescribed by a doctor and can be very helpful. They work by changing the chemicals in your brain, which can make you feel less depressed. You may need to try several medications before you find the right one for you. Some of these drugs have side effects, but they typically improve as you continue taking them.
You can try a combination of medicine and talk therapy to treat your depression. These approaches may help you feel better faster and longer.
Other ways to cope with your depression are to take care of yourself, eat healthy foods, be physically active and get enough sleep. You can also practice mind/body techniques, such as meditation and relaxation.
Keep in touch with your therapist and stick to your treatment plan. If you stop treatment, your symptoms may come back or worsen.
Your therapist can also recommend other treatments that can help you feel better, including exercise, diet and mindfulness practices like meditation and visualization. If you’re interested in trying these methods, discuss them with your therapist and your doctor.
Getting help for depression should be your first priority. It’s important to get help so you can be a healthy person who can enjoy life.
There’s no cure for depression, but with help and support, you can feel better. It can take some time to get over a depressive episode, but the sooner you seek help, the faster it will be over.