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Depression

How do you know if you're depressed?

People who are depressed generally know that something is wrong, even frighteningly wrong. But sometimes they and those around them do not identify their problem as depression. Out of lack of awareness of what depression consists of or an aversion to admitting a mental or emotional illness, they see themselves as suffering from stress, fatigue, or...

FAQs about Depression

FAQs about Depression

What does it mean to be bipolar?

In bipolar disorder (or manic depressive disorder), as in major depressive disorder, there is a basic disturbance in the background emotional tone we call mood. Unlike people with major depression (or unipolar disorder), bipolar patients have a variable pattern of depressed and manic episodes. Mania is the opposite of depression: exuberance,...

Can you get addicted to antidepressants?

Antidepressant drugs and lithium are not habit-forming or addicting. Craving does not develop, nor does tolerance (requiring higher and higher doses for the same effect). Abrupt cessation (or even skipping doses of some drugs) can cause withdrawal symptoms such as jitteriness and insomnia, but this can be prevented by avoiding missed doses and...

Are we experiencing a depression epidemic?

Major depression is a common malady. Twenty percent or more of the population can expect to have at least one bout of depression in their lifetime. It is a disorder that is widely unrecognized, undiagnosed, untreated, and stigmatized. Depression is often trivialized, seen as a sign of "weakness" and self-indulgence that can be dissipated by will-...

Are you always disappointed?

IF SO, HERE ARE WAYS TO SET MORE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. People who score high on the disappointment scale are at greater risk of physical or emotional difficulties, or both. Such individuals appear to have a greater frequency of headaches, gastrointestinal difficulties, moist palms, and over-perspiration than those scoring low on this scale. For...

Depression resources - Organizations

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) http://www.dbsalliance.org/ 730 N. Franklin Street, Suite 501 Chicago, Illinois 60654-7225 USA Toll-free: (800) 826-3632 Fax: (312) 642-7243 National DMDA is a not-for-profit organization established to educate patients, families, mental health professionals, and the general public concerning the...

Depression treatment - Self care

While psychotherapy and antidepressants can be effective treatments for depression, there are steps you can take on your own to keep depressive episodes at a minimum, or better cope when they hit. Get exercise Medical studies have shown that exercise is an inexpensive and effective supplemental therapy for depression and is also helpful for...

Depression - Choosing a doctor or therapist

Your options, of course, will vary depending on your health plan. Typically a general health care provider -- a family physician, internist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant -- can provide needed medical therapy for most people who have mild or moderate depression. If the depressed person has medical problems or is taking numerous...

If a friend says she's suicidal, should you take her seriously?

Depressed people often have suicidal thoughts. They see no end to their anguish; they can't believe in a happy outcome; and they sometimes think they don't deserve to live or their families would be better off without them. As many as 10 to 15 percent of depressed patients commit suicide. Some 50 to 70 percent of all suicides are committed by...

How do you find a good psychiatrist?

You might ask your primary physician for a referral. Then there's a word-of-mouth referral from a friend or relative. The local medical society or psychiatric society (a local branch of the American Psychiatric Association, for example) can help. If there's a medical school or big hospital in town, a call to the director of the department of...

Is depression genetic?

Genetic factors play an important role in major depression and bipolar disorder. These are illnesses in which familial patterns are often apparent, particularly in bipolar disorder, where a first-degree relative (a child) has an approximately 25 percent chance of having the disorder if one parent is afflicted and a 50 percent chance if both...

Depression- Glossary

ANXIETY DISORDER: a disorder in which an individual is chronically and extremely anxious to such an extent that it limits his or her ability to function. ATYPICAL ANTIDEPRESSANTS: a variety of antidepressants that includes buproprion (Wellbutrin), mirtazapine (Remeron), nefazodone (Serzone), trazodone (Desyrel), and venlafaxine (Effexor). They...

Are there alternative treatments for depression?

It would be nice to report that self-help works! Unfortunately, serious depression is a very disillusioning affair. The most intelligent, educated, cultivated people are equally laid low. They include those with the best plans for better living; the most prudent and health-conscious; college professors and Olympic athletes; Mets pitchers and...

When should you stop taking antidepressants?

How long a person takes antidepressants or lithium depends on the nature of that individual's illness. In general, people with severe, frequent, or prolonged bouts of depression (in the form of major depression or the depressed side of bipolar disorder) will require prolonged maintenance medication. Others with isolated depression who have been...