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Know What to Do When You Are Depressed

Depression is an experience much of the population around the globe experiences. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the world is slowly becoming more and more depressed. The WHO expects depression to be the second most prevalent medical condition in the world by 2020.

There are various levels of severity when it comes to depression. Some might experience sadness, while others are so depressed they can't get out of bed. Others experience depression from time to time and some people experience depression as a result of a life experience, such as the death of a loved one. Depression is an experience that many men and women have experienced at least once in their life. However, if depression goes untreated, it can become deadly.

This might sound like an extreme statement, but suicide and depression go hand in hand. When someone feels depressed and he or she has not been treated, depression can lead to suicidal thinking and even acting on those suicidal thoughts. For this reason, it's important to know what to do if you're feeling depressed.

The following is a list of action steps to take if depression takes a hold of your life.

1.      Call a therapist or psychologist and get assessed for depression.

2.      If you are diagnosed with depression, talk to your therapist or psychologist about a treatment plan.

3.      Make sure to ask questions about how the treatment plan can meet your unique needs.

4.      If you need to take medication, talk to your psychiatrist about the medications side effects and how that may affect your daily functioning.

5.      If you are going to begin psychotherapy as part of your treatment plan, be sure to attend every session to get the most out of your experience. Usually, medication for depression addresses the chemical imbalances in the brain, while psychotherapy addresses any underlying issues that might be contributing to the depression.

6.      Sometimes, when participating in psychotherapy, symptoms of depression can feel like they are getting worse. It is sometimes true that once certain uncomfortable topics are being discussed, symptoms of depression might worsen. Yet, this uncomfortable period is part of the healing process. Once a person can talk about their experiences without becoming numb or emotionally charged, it's a good sign he or she is healing.

7.      Continue to follow your treatment plan. If you feel the need to make any adjustments, talk to your therapist or psychiatrist.   

8.      If you were experiencing suicidal thinking before treatment began, it might take some time before those thoughts come to an end. In time, both the medication and the psychotherapy can help alleviate symptoms of depression, including suicidal thinking.

9.      Continue to communicate with your therapist or psychiatrist throughout your treatment. Once you're feeling better you likely will bring your treatment plan to an end.  If you were to experience a relapse of depression, you might return to the same mental health provider for assistance.

It's important to know what to do if you're feeling depressed. In fact, if you or someone you know is experiencing depression, contact a mental health provider today. 

 

 

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Chris Massman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Agoura Hills, CA. She graduated Phillips Graduate Institute with a Master of Arts in Psychology in 2014 and received her Chemical Dependency Specialty in 2014. Today, she practices Congnitive-behavioral therapy to help individuals, couples, and families identify and overcome a variety of unique challenges.