What should you do if you're depressed?


Quick Answer

Depression is a mental illness, and people who are depressed should visit a primary care doctor or a mental health professional to ascertain the best treatment plan. WebMD lists a number of different treatment options for depression: medication and therapy are the most common. Additionally, exercise, good diet, control over one's thoughts and having a proper sleep schedule are known to help with depression.

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Full Answer

WebMD states that psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy and various medications are the most frequently used treatment plans. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are the most commonly prescribed medications for depression. Rarely, electroconvulsive therapy is used to treat severely depressed patients if other options have failed.

Mayo Clinic warns that all antidepressant medications carry a "black box warning," meaning that one possible side effect is an increased risk of suicide. Patients who have recently started taking antidepressants, or who have recently changed their dose, should be carefully monitored by themselves and others for worsening symptoms.

Mayo Clinic states that there is a rare treatment option known as transcranial magnetic stimulation, which involves stimulating nerve cells in the emotional regulation centers of the brain. This effect is produced by delivering brief magnetic pulses through the cranium and into the brain using an external coil.

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