I think I have Depression. What do I do now?

If you have depression it is important to understand that it is not your fault, and that there is help available. Depression is a treatable medical illness. It is important to be patient — it may take some time for your treatment to work, or to find the best treatment for you. If not treated properly by a doctor, depression can last for months or even years. depression can lead to difficulties in your personal, social, or work life. If you think you have depression, it is important to see your doctor immediately.

Your doctor will want to give you a thorough physical examination to rule out the possibility of any physical illnesses. As well, you can expect to be asked about any medication or drugs that you may currently be taking. It is not uncommon for people with depression to use/abuse alcohol and drugs as a way of coping with their sadness. It may give you temporary relief but it is important to understand that alcohol and drugs often make you feel worse in the long run. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all your symptoms and about all medications, alcohol, or drugs you may be taking.

A word about Suicide

The anxiety and distress of depression can be so severe that some people think about hurting themselves or committing suicide. If you have had these thoughts or are having them now, see your doctor immediately. Help is available.

It is important to realize that thinking about suicide is not shameful; it is part of the illness. Share all of these thoughts with your doctor. She/he can help you through this period and may give you medications that can ease the pain and make you feel better or she/he may recommend psychological therapy to help you discuss your situation.