If you’ve ever felt persistent sadness, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue, you may be depressed. And you’re not alone. Depression is a common mental health condition that affects 19 million Americans.
Those symptoms, along with trouble sleeping, sleeping too much, and feeling hopeless or worthless, can interfere with your day-to-day life.
Thankfully, there are ways to treat and control your depression. But can you separate fact from fiction when it comes to depression treatment?
Don’t be misled by myths surrounding depression treatment. Learn the facts and help yourself seek appropriate care.
Fact. One study of 74 people with depression published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found 52 percent of those given the injection experienced an improvement in their symptoms.
Fact. Exercise is a proven remedy for depression and can work as effectively as medication for some people. Even taking a brisk 10-minute walk may provide hours of relief from depression symptoms.
Myth. Combining Saint-John’s-wort with prescription antidepressants could cause a fatal increase in the brain chemical serotonin. Taking the herb could also reduce the effectiveness of many prescription medications, including antidepressants, birth control pills, blood thinners, and some cancer drugs.
Although you may find relief from depression using other avenues, seeking help from a mental health professional is the one proven remedy. If you believe you could be depressed, ask your doctor to recommend a therapist or psychologist who can provide a diagnosis and treatment.
Research shows the most effective treatment for depression often includes a combination of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy, which teaches you how to identify negative thoughts and behavior patterns and replace them with positive ideas and behavior.
There are a variety of antidepressants available. You may have to try more than one to find what works for you.
If you think you may be depressed, visit Mental Health America at www.liveyourlifewell.org and search for “take a depression screening” for a free, confidential test to determine whether you have depression symptoms.