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How can People Find Help for Depression?

It may seem overwhelming to try to find help for depression, but it is possible to find help and to feel better. Being patient and persistent is important, as is being honest with yourself and with the people who are helping you. It is also important to remember that many people have depression and have found help, and you will too.

It is important to tell someone if you feel depressed. If you are still in school, you might be able to talk to a counselor or a free therapist at a health center on campus. If not, beginning with your family physician or another general practitioner is a good place to start. This physician will be able to refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and will also begin to rule out any underlying medical causes of depression. There are numerous medical causes that could cause you to feel depressed and fatigued, so it is best to start there.

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If any potential medical causes are ruled out, your physician will refer you to a therapist or a psychiatrist. You might also be prescribed antidepressant medication, though medication is not always necessary. Individual or group therapy can be a great help for depression, and may be all you need to start feeling better. In most cases, it will take some trial and error no matter what you choose. You might try a few different therapists or a few different medications before you find ones that work -- this is normal and an important step to feeling better.

Making some changes in your lifestyle are often recommended as help for depression. This might include quitting drinking alcohol, getting more exercise, cutting back on caffeine or sugar, getting more sleep and reducing stress as much as possible, among others. Developing positive relationships is another suggestion as help for depression. A therapist might also help you work through difficult times and learn how to better solve problems and manage stress in future situations you may encounter.

Some find help for depression in other areas as well. Learning yoga or meditation is helpful for some, because you learn relaxation techniques along with getting some exercise. Remember that seeking help for depression may take some time, and it may be a while before you feel better. If you ever feel suicidal, call for help: contact a friend, a suicide hotline or emergency services immediately. Remember, it is possible to find help for depression and to start feeling better.

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