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    October Is Depression Awareness Month

    Our experts give tips for coping with depression and feeling your best.
    By
    WebMD Magazine - Feature
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Each issue, WebMD the Magazine's "Health Highlights" focuses on a national health theme for the month with expert tips, reader comments, and eye-catching factoids. October is Depression Awareness month. Follow these tips to stay at your peak!

    1. Feeling down?

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    Rise Above Rivalry

    By Julie Taylor Your friend with the “perfect” life gets dumped, and you’re a teeny, tiny bit happy about it. Your coworker got passed over for a big promotion, and you find yourself cheering a little on the inside. Yes, you know it’s horrible... but you just can’t seem to help it. The Germans dubbed this "schadenfreude" (literally, "harm joy"), and most of us have been guilty of feeling it at one point or another. That said, it’s just not healthy to take "malicious pleasure" in someone else's...

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    Oct. 11 is National Depression Screening Day, so get checked out. Visit www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    2. Help yourself

    If you have suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 800-273-TALK.

    3. Open up

    The sooner you seek treatment -- talk therapy and/or medications -- the better your outlook.

    4. Sleep better

    Treat problems such as insomnia or sleep apnea to help ease symptoms.

    5. Call in

    Try therapy by phone when you can’t meet in person.

    6. Eat well

    A quality diet rich in veggies, fruits, whole grains, and fish may help fight depression.

    7. Monitor your mood

    Download the WhatsMyM3 app for iPhone and Android.

    8. Find a resource

    Visit WebMD’s Depression Center for comprehensive info and the latest news.

    9. Walk away

    Depression can cloud your judgment. Take a deep breath, and make big decisions when you start to feel better.

    10. Watch out

    Depression can return, so make sure you talk to your doctor if you begin to feel symptoms again.

    Expert Tips on Depression

    • Tips from Robert Rowney, DO, psychiatrist, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland

    "Reduce stress to help relieve depression. I make lists of the important things I need to do and then focus on one at a time. That keeps me from feeling overwhelmed."

    "Socialize! Get out of the house and interact with people. That will reduce stress, expand your interests, relieve boredom, and sharpen your mind, all of which can counter depression."

    • Tips from Jennifer Payne, MD, director, Women’s Mood Disorders Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and associate professor, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore

    "Keep a mood calendar to track how you feel from day to day. This is especially helpful when you start a new medication, which may take weeks to become effective."

    "Exercise boosts the mood. We know that from studies, and I see it in my patients who work out. An early walk gets you up and outdoors first thing."

    • Tips from Bryan Bruno, MD, acting chair of psychiatry, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City

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