Interactive Tool: Are You Depressed? - What's next?
If your symptoms include plans or
thoughts about harming yourself or another person, detachment from reality
(psychosis), or excessive use of alcohol or drugs,
contact your doctor or local hospital for help right away.
Many people with depression delay
seeking medical advice and treatment because they believe depression is not
serious or they think they can get through it, or even beat it, on their own.
Sometimes people who are deeply depressed feel that nothing will help. But like
other major health problems, depression cannot be overcome without treatment.
In fact, untreated depression can get worse, cause other health problems, and
may last for years or even a lifetime. It can have a serious impact on both you
and the people you care about.
Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Although serotonin is manufactured in the brain, where it performs its primary functions, some 90% of our serotonin supply is found in the digestive tract and in blood platelets.
With treatment such as counseling
and medicines, the symptoms of even major depression may begin to improve in a
few weeks. The choice to seek evaluation and treatment is a very important
first step on the path to feeling better. For more information, see the topic
copyright 2005, Pfizer, permission granted. The PHQ-9 assessment is adapted
from PRIME MD TODAY and developed by RL Spitzer, JBW Williams, K Kroenke, et