Links to cited articles are in the notes below.
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Diet, Stress and Mental Health.
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How to Cope With Depression
Depression is a serious mental health condition that can affect every person at some point in their lives. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, from sadness and feelings of hopelessness to suicidal thoughts.
The first step in getting help is seeing a healthcare provider, whether it’s your primary care doctor or a mental health specialist. They’ll ask you about how long you’ve been feeling depressed, your behavior patterns, and other details about your life. They may also order physical and lab tests. They’ll use the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5) to help make a diagnosis.
They may also ask about any other medical conditions or medications you’re taking. These tests can help identify the underlying cause of your depression or other symptoms.
Treatment for depression is different depending on the type of disorder you have and your needs. It can be a combination of medication and counseling, or it may just involve talking with someone about your feelings and how you’re coping.
Medicine can ease depression by changing the way the brain makes chemicals that control mood and sleep. It can take 4 to 6 weeks for these medicines to have their full effect. If you’re taking an antidepressant, be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully. If you stop taking the medicine, you could have withdrawal effects or another mood episode.
Counseling can help you cope with your depression by changing the distorted thinking that can lead to feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. It can also help you improve your relationships and stress-coping skills.
If you need a referral for a therapist, look for one with experience and training in treating depression. National mental health organizations and local senior centers often have a list of licensed credentialed providers.
There are many different types of therapy for depression, including cognitive behavioral and interpersonal therapy. It’s important to choose a therapist who you trust and can communicate with well.
The goal of therapy is to help you get to the root of your problems, which can prevent a recurrence of depression or other mood disorders. Your therapist will teach you practical techniques that can help you manage your symptoms, such as improving your sleep, eating habits, and exercise.
Your therapist can also teach you to cope with stress by identifying and avoiding triggers. They can also help you change behaviors that can worsen your depression, such as drinking or smoking.
Having a positive outlook and engaging in activities that you enjoy can also help you feel better. Try to do things that make you happy, and try to spend time with people you like.
In addition, if you’re feeling depressed for an extended period of time, talk to your therapist about how to find a way to cope with the problem, such as by taking up a hobby or joining a support group. You might also benefit from working with a counselor who specializes in couples or family therapy.