Skip to Content

Depression

AMBULATORY CARE:

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.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Appetite changes, or weight gain or loss
  • Trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or withdrawn
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless, discouraged, or guilty
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering things, doing daily tasks, or making decisions
  • Thoughts about hurting or killing yourself

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/

Treatment for depression

may include medicine to relieve depression. Medicine is often used together with therapy. 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 (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Hide