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Is Depression Self Help Possible?

If you or a loved one are suffering from depression, you may be unsure of what to do. Depression is an issue that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Although it is most prevalent with adult women, depression can affect both males and females of all ages. The exact cause of depression is unknown, although there are various theories. Many professionals attribute depression to a chemical imbalance in the brain, while others point to external factors like personality and lifestyle. Regardless of the cause, depression can be a debilitating illness. Many sufferers wonder if depression self help is possible for them.

This is a tricky question. After all, there are different types of depression and different levels of severity. A person may have mild depression which could potentially respond to certain types of self treatment. On the other hand, some types of depression may require medication. The best thing to do is to keep a list of symptoms, when they occur, and whether or not they are mild, moderate or severe. For mild symptoms, a sufferer may try a change in routine or lifestyle to see if symptoms improve.

Examples of changes that may help mild to moderate depression include modifications to diet and activity level. A person who thinks they are suffering from mild depression might try eliminating sugar, caffeine and alcohol and getting more exercise. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, which are chemicals that invoke a feeling of well-being. Some people find that a daily walk in the sunshine goes a long way towards raising their spirits. Supplements might also provide relief, but should be taken with care. For example, some studies have shown that taking a fish oil supplement may not only benefit the cardiovascular system, but may have an effect on depression. Before taking any kind of herbal remedy or vitamin, consult with your physician. This is especially important if you have any existing medical conditions or take other types of medication.

When it comes to depression self help versus professional help, professional help is probably best. Your doctor or psychiatrist can diagnose depression and recommend treatment options. If you are uncomfortable taking antidepressants, speak up. Many doctors are happy to let their patients try other remedies for depression before turning to medication. In addition to things like diet and exercise, counseling may also be effective when it comes to treating depression.

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