Depression is different for different people. It’s important to work with your healthcare provider to work out a suitable treatment that fits your needs. Here are some of the treatment options your doctor may discuss with you.
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There are various drugs available that are used to treat depression. It’s a good idea to be as detailed as you can in sharing your symptoms with your doctor, because he or she will base your medication on these symptoms. All depression medications are not the same; they are specifically designed to treat certain symptoms. In cases of severe depression, medication is often needed to enable the patient to seek other forms of treatment.
One thing to keep in mind is that it may not be a good idea to rely on medication alone. Most sources agree that you should seek other forms of treatment in addition to your medication. One final point on medicines for depression – if you don’t like the side effects or think you’re “all better now” and don’t need them, don’t just stop taking them on your own.
For depression that is mild or moderate, psychotherapy can help a great deal. Professional psychotherapists work with depressed people to help them talk things out and focus on the thought processes and habits that contribute to the patient’s depression. Psychotherapists sort of “explain” the depression to the patient so it seems less frightening and overwhelming; they help the patient gain control. Therapy sessions may include family members or be done on an individual basis.
Research has shown the effectiveness of exercise in treating depression. Exercise helps boost “feel good” brain chemicals and helps improve overall health and fitness, which may boost self-esteem. Most sources suggest 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily to get the full benefits.
Studies suggest that supplements may help depression. Vitamins, minerals, and certain herbs may relieve the symptoms of mild or moderate depression. St. John’s Wort has been shown to help decrease depression symptoms. Other supplements that may help include:
* Fish oil * Evening primrose oil (said to be particularly helpful for depression in women) * B-complex vitamins * Magnesium * Flax oil * Valerian (a mild herbal sedative)
A healthy diet may help boost mood in depressed individuals. Nutrient-dense foods can provide your body with the necessary substances that it needs to fight depression and get your brain in optimal working order. Here are some dietary tips for helping treat your depression.
* Whole grains and complex carbs may help boost serotonin levels in the brain. Some depressed people crave sugar; this may be your body’s way of telling you it needs carbs. Give it what it needs, but not in unhealthy forms like sugar or white flour baked goods.
* Fresh fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants and nutrients. Make sure to include lots of these in your diet.
* Healthy fats can be helpful in treating depression. Go for fish and nuts to give your body the healthy fats it needs.