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Depression

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Depression is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness or hopelessness that do not go away. Depression may cause you to lose interest in things you used to enjoy. These feelings may interfere with your daily life.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You think about harming yourself or someone else.
  • You have done something on purpose to hurt yourself.

Call your therapist or doctor if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve.
  • You cannot make it to your next appointment.
  • You have new symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

The following resources are available at any time to help you, if needed:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
  • Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE)
  • For a list of international numbers: https://save.org/find-help/international-resources/

Medicines:

  • Antidepressants may be given to improve or balance your mood. You may need to take this medicine for several weeks before you begin to feel better.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Therapy

is often used together with medicine to relieve depression. Therapy is a way for you to talk about your feelings and anything that may be causing depression. Therapy can be done alone or in a group. It may also be done with family members or a significant other.

Self-care:

  • Get regular physical activity. Try to be active for 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week. Physical activity can help relieve depression. Work with your healthcare provider to develop a plan that you enjoy. It may help to ask someone to be active with you.
  • Create a regular sleep schedule. A routine can help you relax before bed. Listen to music, read, or do yoga. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Sleep is important for emotional health.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, and cooked beans. A healthy meal plan is low in fat, salt, and added sugar.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use drugs. Alcohol and drugs can make depression worse. Talk to your therapist or doctor if you need help quitting.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Your healthcare provider will monitor your progress at follow-up visits. He or she will also monitor your medicine if you take antidepressants. Your healthcare provider will ask if the medicine is helping. Tell him or her about any side effects or problems you may have with your medicine. The type or amount of medicine may need to be changed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Depression (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Symptoms and treatments

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