How to Get Help For Depression
Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects people of all ages and genders. It’s often associated with feelings of sadness or hopelessness and can cause problems with sleeping, eating and relationships. Symptoms of depression last for weeks or months at a time.
Getting help for depression is an important step in improving your health and quality of life. There are effective treatments, including medication, psychotherapy and a combination of the two.
There are a few possible causes of depression, including genetics, brain chemistry, stress and hormone levels. Hormone changes that occur during pregnancy, postpartum periods, menopause and other life events also can increase a person’s risk of depression.
Medications: Prescription medicines called antidepressants can change the brain chemistry that causes depression. It may take some trial and error to find the medicine that works best for you.
Medication can also have side effects, but these usually improve with treatment. Talk to your healthcare professional about taking a different medication if one doesn’t work.
Self-help: Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, healthy diet and good sleep can reduce symptoms of depression. Writing in a journal, getting social support and reducing your commitments can also help.
Family support is a vital part of treatment and recovery from depression. Make sure to let your family and friends know you’re feeling depressed and get them to help you.
Psychotherapy (talk therapy): Working with a trained mental health professional can help you learn skills and ways to manage your feelings. It can also teach you how to prevent depression from returning.
Your therapist will help you learn to recognize and change unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviors that can cause or worsen symptoms of depression. There are many types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy.
BetterHelp can match you with a qualified therapist. Simply fill out a short questionnaire and we’ll pair you with a practitioner in your area who matches your needs.
Choosing the right therapist is an important decision for you and your family. You’ll want to choose a therapist who is a caring and supportive partner in your recovery from depression. Look for a therapist who is licensed and credentialed by national mental health organizations. You can also try using a referral list from your primary care doctor or other trusted resources.
A therapist who understands your particular situation and your personal goals is a key component of any effective depression treatment program. It’s also important to seek out a provider who offers counseling on a sliding fee scale.
Brain stimulation therapies: A variety of brain stimulation therapies can reduce depression and increase mood. For example, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation sends magnetic pulses to parts of the brain that are involved in controlling feelings of sadness and low energy.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is another treatment option for severe depression that doesn’t respond to drug treatment. ECT may be used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, as well as depression.