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Depression Health Center

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Depression Support

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Is Psychotherapy a Good Place to Get Depression Support?

Yes, psychotherapy is another way of getting much-needed depression support. The role of psychological counseling in managing depression is to relieve symptoms and help you develop appropriate and workable coping strategies to deal with all of the issues that affect you.

Psychotherapy -- also called talk therapy -- is a vital part of depression recovery for most people. Research has shown that a combination of medication and therapy is often the most effective strategy for people with depression.

Psychotherapy also helps you identify early warning signs and your therapist can teach you ways to cope with potentially harmful thought patterns and perceptions.

How Can I Self-Manage my Depression?

Ongoing studies are published all the time on new ways of diagnosing and treating depression. Sure, we all wait for the next cutting-edge discovery to increase our understanding of depression. But until then, you must be your mental health guardian each day. Here are some easy ways to give yourself daily depression support:

  • Monitor your mood each day and make notes of what makes you feel better and what makes you feel worse
  • Keep a regular routine that requires you to get up, get dressed, and have meaningful work or activities
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Eat a balanced diet, even if you aren't hungry
  • Get plenty of sleep at night but be aware if you're sleeping too much, as this may indicate that your depression treatment is not yet adequate
  • Avoid detrimental habits such as cigarette smoking and alcohol use
  • Avoid street drugs like marijuana or cocaine, which can make depression worse or cause medication treatments to be less effective.
  • Take your prescribed medications daily and make sure you don't run out
  • Call your doctor if your mood is low or if your treatment is not working.

It can take time -- sometimes a few weeks or even longer -- for your depression treatment to take full effect. It's important to stay in touch with your doctor and therapist and alert them if your depression symptoms are not improving.

It's true that depression is a disease defined by emotional pain. But depression is also a common and treatable illness. With the proper depression support, along with medication and talk therapy as necessary, you can get started on the road to a meaningful and fulfilling life without suffering with the feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on September 19, 2014
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