Conditions > Managing Depression
Much more than the blues, depression is a persistent feeling of sadness. Depression is characterized by the following symptoms:
Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
Feelings of emptiness, worthlessness, pessimism.
Changes in appetite.
Significant changes in weight
If you have experienced these or related symptoms for three weeks or more, you may be struggling with depression. Statistically, depression affects women more than it does men. It is not known whether higher rates of depression in women are related to higher reporting, gender/hormonal differences or other causes. What is known is that if you are experiencing depression, you cannot just snap out of it.
Be patient with yourself. You will not make yourself feel better by beating yourself up. It takes time and often treatment to recover from depression.
Health advocates and pharmaceutical companies have launched a very successful campaign that has increased awareness of depression and available treatment options. It is not unusual to hear water cooler conversations about therapists and anti-depressant medications. The result has been widely accessible information, treatment and support for depression.
There are a number or herbal remedies, prescription medications and therapeutic models that can be employed to alleviate symptoms related to depression. Therapeutic models include talk therapy and behavior modification programs. Herbal and prescription remedies include St. John’s Wort and Zoloft respectively. You may need to experiment with several options before you find the one that works best for you.
Generally, once you begin treatment you can expect to find relief within 4-6 weeks. If you choose a prescribed remedy, be sure to keep your doctor informed if the depression is not responding to the current medication or if the side effects are bothersome.
Again, be patient during your recovery process. This can be a wonderful time of introspection and discovery. Depression can also provide the legitimate excuse we seem to need in a hurry and rush society to slow down and accept a little TLC. Although, it feels interminably dark in the midst of depression, know that the light is on the horizon.