Depression is something we tend to recognize in others, but may have a hard time seeing in ourselves. It can show in many physical and emotional ways:
- Loss of appetite
- Not being able to sleep
- Sleeping too much
- Tiredness not related to physical exertion
- Restlessness or irritability
- Slowness of movement or speech
- Feeling depressed or withdrawn
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Trouble concentrating, poor memory, trouble making decisions
- Thoughts of harming or killing oneself, or thoughts that life is not worth living
- Low self-esteem
The treatment for depression may include both medicine and psychotherapy. Antidepressants can reduce suffering and can improve the ability to function during the depressed period. Therapy can offer emotional support and help you understand emotional factors that may be causing the depression.
- On-going care and support helps people manage this disease. Find a healthcare provider and therapist who meet your needs. Seek help when you feel like you may be getting ill.
- Be kind to yourself. Make it a point to do things that you enjoy (gardening, walking in nature, going to a movie, etc.). Reward yourself for small successes.
- Take care of your physical body. Eat a balanced diet (low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables). Exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Even mild-moderate exercise (like brisk walking) can make you feel better.
- Avoid alcohol, which can make depression worse.
- Take medicine as prescribed.
- Tell each of your healthcare providers about all of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take. Certain supplements interact with medicines and can result in dangerous side effects. Ask your pharmacist when you have questions about drug interactions.
- Talk with your family and trusted friends about your feelings and thoughts. Ask them to help you recognize behavior changes early so you can get help and, if needed, medicine can be adjusted.
Follow up care
Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.