Things To Do When You Feel Depressed – Being sad is a normal reaction to difficult times in life. But usually the sadness goes away with a short time. Depression is different – it’s a mood disorder that can cause severe symptoms that can affect the way you feel, think, and do everyday activities like sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is more common in women than men, possibly due to several biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women.
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Symptoms of depression can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy your life. Although researchers are still studying the causes of depression, current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Most people with depression need treatment to feel better.
Things To Do When You Feel Depressed
Good friends or family members tell a person with depression to “snap out of it,” “just stay positive,” or “you can be happier if you try harder.” But depression is not a sign of a person’s weakness or character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.
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If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never deny his feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that with time and treatment, she can feel better.
If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your health care provider. This may be your primary doctor or a health provider who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions (for example, a psychologist or psychiatrist). Certain medications and certain medical conditions, such as viruses or thyroid disorders, can cause depression-like symptoms. A health care provider can rule out these possibilities by performing a physical exam, interview, and laboratory tests. Your health care provider will examine you and talk with you about treatment options and next steps.
Good communication with your health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Read on for tips to help you prepare and make the most of your trip. For additional resources, including questions to ask your health care provider, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Sadness is a small part of depression. Some people with depression don’t feel sad at all. A person with depression may also experience a number of physical symptoms, such as aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems. A person with depression may also have problems sleeping, waking up in the morning and feeling tired.
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If you have been experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:
Talk to your health care provider about these symptoms. Be honest, clear, and concise—your provider needs to know how you feel. Your health care provider may ask when your symptoms started, what time of day they appear, how long they last, how often they occur, if they seem to be getting worse or better, and if they are affecting you. Causing to go out or get better. Activities prevent normal functioning. It may be helpful to take the time to make some notes about your symptoms before visiting your provider.
Pregnancy, the postpartum period, perimenopause, and the menstrual cycle are all associated with dramatic physiological and hormonal changes. Certain types of depression can occur at different stages of a woman’s life.
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, refers to mood swings and irritability in the weeks before menstruation. This is quite common, and symptoms are usually mild. But there is a less common, more severe form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a serious condition with disabling symptoms such as irritability, anger, depressed mood, sadness, suicidal thoughts, appetite changes, bloating, breast tenderness, and joint or muscle pain.
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Being pregnant is not easy. Pregnant women commonly struggle with morning sickness, weight gain and mood swings. Caring for a newborn is also challenging. Many new mothers experience the “baby blues”—a term used to describe the mild mood swings and feelings of anxiety, dissatisfaction, and exhaustion that many women first experience after having a baby. Experience in two weeks. These feelings usually last for a week or two and then go away when a new mother gives birth to a newborn.
Perinatal depression is a mood disorder that can affect women during pregnancy and after delivery, and is more serious than the “baby blues.” The term “perinatal” refers to the period before and after childbirth. Perinatal depression includes depression that begins during pregnancy (called prenatal depression) and depression that begins after childbirth (called postpartum depression). Mothers with perinatal depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and fatigue that can make it difficult for them to perform daily tasks, including taking care of themselves, their new baby, or others.
If you think you have perinatal depression, you should talk to your health care provider or a trained mental health care professional. If you notice any signs of depression in a loved one during pregnancy or after childbirth, encourage them to see a health care provider or visit a clinic.
Perimenopause (the transition to menopause) is a normal phase in a woman’s life that can be challenging at times. If you are going through perimenopause, you may experience irregular periods, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and hot flashes. Although these symptoms are normal, feeling sad is not. If you’re dealing with irritability, anxiety, sadness, or loss of pleasure around the time of the menopausal transition, you may be experiencing perimenopausal depression.
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Not every woman who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some women experience only a few symptoms. There are many others. The severity and frequency of symptoms, and how long they last, will vary depending on the individual and the severity of the illness.
Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated. Depression is usually treated with medication, psychotherapy (also called “talk therapy”), or a combination of the two.
Antidepressants are drugs that are commonly used to treat depression. People respond differently to antidepressants, and you may need to try different medications to find what works best. Researchers are also studying and developing other drugs for depression, such as braxanolone and esketamine for postpartum depression. You can find out about recent developments on these and other drugs on the Science News webpage under the “Treatments” topic.
There are many different types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. The specific approach the therapist uses depends on the condition being treated and the therapist’s training and experience. Therapists can also combine and adapt elements of different approaches.
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Depression affects each person differently. There is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment. Finding the treatment that works best can take some trial and error. You can learn more about different types of depression treatments, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation treatments, on the About Depression webpage. For the latest information on drug approvals, warnings, and patient information guides, visit the Food and Drug Administration website.
Therapists and patients work together, and finding a good match is important. The following tips can help you find the right therapist.
Ask about their areas of expertise. Physicians have a variety of professional backgrounds and specialties. You want to find a therapist who has experience working with your specific situation.
Find out what type of treatment they use. Ask if those treatments are effective in dealing with your specific mental health issue or problem.
Things To Do When You Feel Depressed
Figure out how you will evaluate progress. Determine how long treatment is expected to last, and when you should expect relief from symptoms and an improvement in your quality of life.
Don’t be afraid to keep looking. Consistency and trust are essential. Discussions in therapy are very personal, and it is important that you feel comfortable with the therapist you choose.
5. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) and researchers across the country are dedicated to women’s mental health research.
Researchers continue to study depression to improve the way this medical condition is diagnosed and treated. For example, researchers are currently working to understand how and why changes in reproductive hormones trigger mood disorders, including postpartum depression, premenstrual discomfort, and perimenopausal depression.
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Scientists are conducting a large number of research studies with patients and healthy volunteers to better understand why some women are at greater risk than others, and how they can translate these findings into new treatments or new uses for existing treatments.
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of a clinical trial is to determine whether a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals can benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge to better help others in the future.
In addition to volunteer research opportunities for the patient groups listed above, research opportunities are also available for healthy volunteers. Healthy volunteers play an important role
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