If you've been feeling depressed for a long time and you're not sure why, or you've been through a sad or traumatic event, talk to your doctor about how you're feeling. Having depression is different from feeling grief or sadness. You may need medical help for your depression. Here are some treatments that might get your condition under control so you can continue working and enjoying a fun social life.
Your doctor or therapist might recommend lifestyle changes, such as exercise, eating a healthy diet, sticking to a sleep routine, and doing activities with friends. Depression can cause you to undereat or overeat. You may need to watch your diet closely so you don't lose or gain too much weight due to depression.
You can also become sedentary when you're depressed. You may not have enough energy or motivation to do much of anything, and that can make your condition worse. Exercise is good for combating depression, but you may need to force yourself to do it.
Medications are a major part of depression treatment because they're often quite effective. There are different classes of medications for your doctor to consider. You may need to take a medication for several weeks before you notice much of an effect. If one type of medication doesn't help, your doctor might switch you to another or change your dosage.
It's important to take antidepressants exactly as your doctor prescribes and not stop taking them just because you feel better. You may need to be on the medication for months to keep your symptoms away. You might take oral medications, but your doctor might also try nasal medication that you take in the office if regular antidepressants don't help.
Brain stimulation is sometimes given, especially if antidepressants don't help. Two common types of brain stimulation are electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation. These treatments are given with medical equipment in a clinic or hospital. They don't require surgery, but they are sometimes considered when other treatments don't help. They may be especially helpful for severe cases that include thoughts of suicide.
Therapy might be a helpful depression treatment alone or in combination with other treatments. You'll have someone to talk to so you can work through old trauma that may be causing your symptoms. Therapy can also help change your responses to negative thoughts by teaching you to recognize thoughts you can change and then replace with positive thoughts.
For more information about treating depression, contact a local therapy office.