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  1. NIMH » Depression: What You Need To Know
  2. How depression feels
  3. How To Explain Depression To People Who Don't Believe It's Real
  4. What is Depression?

These neurotransmitters are thought to play an important role in regulating your mood as well as being involved in many other functions throughout your body. You do not need to suffer if you have depression. There are several very effective treatment options available to you, including medications and psychotherapy. In addition, there are new treatments being developed all the time which are proving to be effective in cases where other treatments have failed. The proper diagnosis and treatment of depression is very important in preventing suicides.

And, most of these people have depression which is either undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated. Everything feels more challenging when you're dealing with depression. Get our free guide when you sign up for our newsletter. There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. More in Depression. How to Recognize Symptoms of Depression. Karen Friedman Lang, I was able to return to the life that I knew.

I continue to work with Dr. Karen Lang to this day to ensure that I stay healthy. Depression is a debilitating and serious illness. Having survived depression, I vowed to do all I can to help individuals that suffer from depression. I wish the blood test that Dr. Redei is working on now was available when I was going through depression. The blood test would have led me to the appropriate treatment sooner. Northwestern Researcher develops first blood test to diagnose depression in adults from Northwestern Feinberg on Vimeo.

You gotta get it together. Come on, snap out of it. Your therapist could be only a mouse click or email away. There are many therapy programs available online or on the computer e. But results can vary from program to program, and each program is different. But they may be in different formats. For example, you might learn from materials online and get support from your therapist by email. It could be a video conferencing session that progresses much like a face-to-face session.


NIMH » Depression: What You Need To Know

Or you may use a computer program with video, quizzes, and other features with very little contact with a therapist. Sometimes these therapies are used along with face-to-face sessions. Sometimes they are not. There are pros to receiving therapy on the Internet or on the computer.

Also, tech-savvy teens who feel uncomfortable with office visits may be more open to talking to a therapist through a computer screen. There are also cons. For example, your health insurance may only cover therapy that is face-to-face. And although these various formats may work for a range of patients, they also may not be right for certain patients depending on a variety of factors.

If you are interested in exploring Internet or computer-based therapy, talk to your doctor or mental health provider.

How depression feels

You may also be able to find an online mental health care provider on your own. Speak with your provider first to see if he or she can provide a recommendation or trusted source for more information. Sometimes you may need to have a conversation with more than one provider to find the right one for you. Some of these apps aim to provide treatment and education. Other apps offer tools to help you assess yourself, manage your symptoms, and explore resources.

With a few taps on the screen, you could have information and tools to help your depression in the palm of your hand. But, just like with online health information, it is important to find an app that you can trust. Many mobile apps for depression provide information or general patient educational tools. Because these are not considered medical devices, the FDA does not regulate them. Some mobile apps carry minimal risks to consumers or patients, but others can carry significant risks if they do not operate correctly. The FDA is focusing its oversight on mobile medical apps that:.

This means you can access the NIMH website anywhere, anytime, and on any device—from desktop computers to tablets and mobile phones. If medications do not reduce the symptoms of depression, electroconvulsive therapy ECT may be an option to explore. There are a lot of outdated beliefs about ECT, but here are the facts:. Some people believe that ECT is painful or that you can feel the electrical impulses. This is not true. Before ECT begins, a patient is put under brief anesthesia and given a muscle relaxant.

He or she sleeps through the treatment and does not consciously feel the electrical impulses.

Within 1 hour after the treatment session, which takes only a few minutes, the patient is awake and alert. Other more recently introduced types of brain stimulation therapies used to treat severe depression include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation rTMS and vagus nerve stimulation VNS. In , the FDA approved rTMS as a treatment for major depression for patients who have not responded to at least one antidepressant medication.

In , the FDA approved VNS for use in treating depression in certain circumstances—if the illness has lasted 2 years or more, if it is severe or recurrent, and if the depression has not eased after trying at least four other treatments. VNS is less commonly used, and more research is needed to test its effectiveness. This information may have changed since the publication of this booklet, so please visit the NIMH website at www.

If you have depression, you may feel exhausted, helpless, and hopeless. It may be extremely difficult to take any action to help yourself. But as you begin to recognize your depression and begin treatment, you will start to feel better. Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment:.

Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. You are not alone. Sometimes living with depression can seem overwhelming, so build a support system for yourself. Your family and friends are a great place to start. In addition to your treatment, you could also join a support group. These are not psychotherapy groups, but some may find the added support helpful. At the meetings, people share experiences, feelings, information, and coping strategies for living with depression. Remember: Always check with your doctor before taking any medical advice that you hear in your group.

You can find a support group through many professional, consumer, advocacy, and service-related organizations. On the NIMH website www. Some of these partners sponsor support groups for different mental disorders including depression. You can also find online support groups, but you need to be careful about which groups you join. Check and make sure the group is affiliated with a reputable health organization, moderated professionally, and maintains your anonymity. If unsure where to start, talk to someone you trust who has experience in mental health—for example, a doctor, nurse, social worker, or religious counselor.

Some health insurance providers may also have listings of hospitals offering support groups for depression. Remember: Joining a support group does not replace your doctor or your treatment prescribed by your doctor. If a support group member makes a suggestion that you are interested in trying, talk to your doctor first. Do not assume what worked for the other person will work for you.

If you know someone who is depressed, it affects you too.

How To Explain Depression To People Who Don't Believe It's Real

The most important thing you can do is to help your friend or relative get a diagnosis and treatment. You may need to make an appointment and go with him or her to see the doctor. Encourage your loved one to stay in treatment or to seek different treatment options if no improvement occurs after 6 to 8 weeks. Caring for someone with depression is not easy. Someone with depression may need constant support for a long period of time. Make sure you leave time for yourself and your own needs. If you feel you need additional support, there are support groups for caregivers too.

NIMH has a variety of publications on depression available at www. If you need additional information and support, you may find the following resources to be helpful.

Causes of Major Depressive Disorder

Visit www. Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. To learn more about participating in a clinical trial, please visit www.

The PDQ cancer information summaries are peer-reviewed, evidence-based summaries on topics including adult and pediatric cancer treatment, supportive and palliative care, screening, prevention, genetics, and complementary and alternative medicine. Within the Federal Government, a bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration provides a Health Center Database for a nationwide directory of clinics to obtain low or no-cost health care.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is pleased to provide this online resource for locating mental health treatment facilities and programs. The Mental Health Treatment Locator section of the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator lists facilities providing mental health services to persons with mental illness.

Many NAMI affiliates offer an array of free support and education programs. Find your local NAMI at www. Created for middle and high school students and their teachers, this website provides accurate and timely information for use in and out of the classroom. NIHSeniorHealth www.

What is Depression?

This fact sheet has information about St. Asking questions and providing information to your doctor and other care providers can improve your care. Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction. Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website for tips at www. This publication is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from NIMH.

We encourage you to reproduce it and use it in your efforts to improve public health. Citation of NIMH as a source is appreciated. However, using government materials inappropriately can raise legal or ethical concerns, so we ask you to use these guidelines:. Bethesda, MD: U.

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