Depression affects about one in five women and one in ten men over their lifetimes. Depression and anxiety are the “bread and butter” of mental health clinics and there are many treatment options available. There is no need to hide your symptoms from your doctor. No one chooses to become depressed and it is not considered a failure of character or morality. In fact, your doctor may appreciate hearing you are depressed; after all it is a condition which responds well to treatment.

Good psychotherapy can be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. However, when symptoms are severe an anti-depressant medication is usually prescribed. The brain is an organ and cannot be expected to work perfectly from birth to death. Over a few weeks, an anti-depressant can raise one’s mood, improve concentration, and promote motivation. Problems that seem insurmountable tend to shrink and one usually feels more capable of dealing with factors that may be contributing to the depression.

Symptoms of depression usually include:

  • Sad mood.

  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep.

  • Fatigue and lack of motivation

  • A blah response to life factors that normally provide pleasure.

  • A lack of interest in sex

  • Decrease or increase in appetite.

  • Social withdrawal

  • Thoughts of suicide

Important – it is critical to determine what type of depression you have for if you have bipolar disorder anti-depressants can make your symptoms worse. If you do take anti-depressant meds it’s important to limit your use of alcohol and street drugs. If you decide to quit taking anti-depressants; go off them gradually.

Internet Resources

American Psychological Association

Online Depression Screening Test

Depression Information

Myths About Anti-depressant Medications

Recommended Books



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