Just "the Blues" or Clinical Depression: Making the Distinction to Get the Help You Need
Symptoms of Depression
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
- Loss of appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Sleeping too much or too little, early-morning awakening
- Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling "slowed down"
- Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
The Need for Treatment
Types of Treatment
- Psychotherapy or counseling
- Prescription medicines
- Combination of psychotherapy and medicines
- Prozac ( fluoxetine ), Zoloft ( sertraline ), Paxil ( paroxetine ), Luvox ( fluvoxamine ), Celexa ( citalopram ), Lexapro ( escitalopram )
Ways to Get Help
- If you need immediate help or if you are having thoughts of death or suicide, call the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
- Talk to your healthcare provider or doctor about your symptoms and treatment options.
- Contact a hospital near your home to determine if they have or can recommend a mood/affective disorder clinic. If not, ask for their referrals to doctors in the community who specialize in the treatment of depression.
- If you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with depression and treatment has not been effective within three months, get a second consultation. Preferably, this should be from a physician who specializes in the treatment of this illness.
Steps to Take for Managing “the Blues”
- Adjust your expectations. Set realistic goals you can achieve, breaking large tasks into smaller tasks to make them more manageable.
- Be patient with yourself. You may not be able to accomplish everything you usually do. Ask your friends and family for help when needed.
- Postpone important decisions until you are feeling more optimistic.
- Participate in activities that make you feel better, such as spending time with friends, making time for hobbies, traveling, and meditating.
- Increase your social and/or spiritual support.
- Reduce stress .
- Exercise regularly .
- Eat a healthy diet .
- Consider attending a support group or talking with a counselor to help you come up with other strategies to improve your mood and functioning.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance http://www.dbsalliance.org/
National Institutes of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov/
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.ontario.cmha.ca/
Mental Health Canada http://www.mentalhealthcanada.com/
Depression. American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: http://www.psychiatry.org/mental-illness/key-topics/depression. Accessed June 12, 2012.
Antidepressant use in children, adolescents, and adults. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM096273 . Published May 22, 2009. Accessed June 12, 2012.
Depression. National Institutes of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed June 12, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 06/12/2012 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing
All rights reserved.