Successful treatment for depression goes beyond taking medicine. It involves learning successful strategies for dealing with the disease.
There are a couple of things that everyone with depression should do. This includes:
* Following your treatment plan exactly as your healthcare provider recommends, even when you start to feel better; and
* Having realistic expectations. People rarely "snap out of" depression, but they can feel a little better day by day. So expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
Other strategies that have been shown to be helpful include:
* Exercise. Even in moderate doses, exercise seems to enhance energy and reduce tension. Some research suggests that a rush of the hormone norepinephrine following exercise helps the brain deal with stress that often leads to depression and anxiety. A similar effect may be obtained through meditation, yoga, and certain diets.
* Learn as much as possible about depression. Research has shown that people who are better educated about their disease are more likely to have a successful outcome.
* Set realistic goals in light of the depression.
* Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you are able.
* Participate in activities that may make you feel better.
* Postpone important decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition, such as changing jobs, moving, or getting married or divorced, discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
And finally, let your friends and family help you. Dealing with depression should not be done alone. Friends and family can be an integral part of successful depression treatment.