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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.
Call 911 if:
- You think about harming yourself or someone else.
Contact your healthcare provider or psychiatrist if:
- Your medicine is not helping to improve your mood.
- You cannot make it to your next appointment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- 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. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him 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.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or psychiatrist as directed:
Your healthcare provider will monitor your progress at follow-up visits. He will also monitor your medicine if you are taking antidepressants. He will ask if medicine is helping to reduce your symptoms of depression. Tell him about any side effects or problems you 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.
Therapy may be used to treat your depression. A therapist will help you learn to cope with your thoughts and feelings. This can be done alone or in a group. It may also be done with family members or a significant other.
- Get regular physical activity. Try to exercise for 30 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week. Work with your healthcare provider to develop an exercise plan that you enjoy. Physical activity may improve your symptoms.
- Get enough sleep. Create a routine to help you relax before bed. 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 from all of the food groups. A healthy meal plan is low in fat, salt, and added sugar. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about a meal plan that is right for you.
- Limit or do not drink alcohol. Ask your healthcare provider how much alcohol is safe for you to drink. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
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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.