What is depression?
Everyone feels sad sometimes, but depression is more than just normal sadness. It is a serious medical condition that can affect your thoughts, feelings and physical health.
Symptoms can differ from person to person, but some of the most common are:
- Frequently feeling sad, “empty” or worthless
- Often feeling hopeless
- Losing interest in work, family or the things you normally enjoy
- Eating and sleeping less or more than usual
- Having little or no energy
- Having trouble remembering things or making decisions
There are many ways to treat depression. Use the information below as a guide to help you understand your treatment options. Always speak with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.
Counseling, also known as talk therapy, can be an effective way to treat depression. It involves regular visits with a mental health professional who will help you learn ways to cope with stress, manage your symptoms and improve your relationships. It is important to feel comfortable and safe with your mental health professional, and you may need to talk with a few to find one who feels right.
Antidepressant medication can be an effective tool in helping to treat depression. It works by helping to balance chemicals in the brain, which can help you feel more like yourself again.
Tips about antidepressants
- Keep taking your medication as prescribed. Most side effects are minor and temporary. Discuss any side effects with your doctor so you can decide together if the treatment is right for you.
- Some antidepressants may take time to work. You may not feel better immediately, so it is important to give them time.1
- Antidepressants are most effective when taken at the same time each day.2 Try setting an alarm, using a pill box or taking your medication with regular activities to help make it a part of your daily routine.
Find out if you may have depression
This screening can help determine if you are experiencing symptoms of depression. We encourage you to share your results with your health care provider.
Take this screening >
1 Mental Health Medications. National Alliance on Mental Illness.
2 General Medication Guidelines. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. (2014)