The first step to treating depression is a physical examination by a physician. There are different types of medications and viral infections that can also cause the symptoms associated with depression. Once a physical cause of the illness has been ruled out, a psychological evaluation should be done by either your doctor, or your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional&.
If the diagnosis is a depressive disorder, the treatment you need will be determined by the outcome of your evaluations. There are a number of medications and psychotherapies that can be used to treat depression. People with milder forms of depression may do well with just psychotherapy. People with moderate to severe depression most often need a combination of medication and therapy.
It is important to follow the treatment prescribed for you by your doctor. If you have questions about your treatment, you should talk with your doctor.
In addition to the treatment your doctor prescribes, there are things you can do for yourself to deal with negative feelings you may be experiencing.
- Set realistic goals for yourself, but take some reasonable amount of responsibility.
- Break large tasks into smaller ones, and set priorities. Do what you can as you can.
- Be with other people and confide in someone.
- Do things that make you feel better.
- Do mild exercise or participate in other activities
- Look for your mood to improve over time, not all at once. Understand this process takes time.
- Don't make important decisions until your treatment is complete. If you must make a decision that will affect your life, talk with others who know you well and may have a more objective view of the situation before you take any action.
- Know that positive thinking will begin to replace the negative feelings gradually as the treatment progresses.
- Let those who care about you care for you during this time.