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It is normal for anyone to feel sad or down from time to time. However, depression is an illness that leads to you feeling sad, down or miserable most of the time and makes it harder for you to function from day to day. As a result, depression can have a significant impact on your life and overall well being.
There is strong and consistent evidence that people who experience depression or who are socially isolated (e.g. live alone or who are lonely), or do not have quality social support, are at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease. Thus anyone with depression should seek professional help, and talking to your Doctor or Advantage Pharmacist is the best first step.
Common behaviours associated with depression are listed below. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak to your local Doctor today.
Depression is an illness that is likely to get worse if left untreated. There are many Health Professionals and services available to provide you with information, treatment and support. It is important that you learn about the types of effective treatments available and how you can access them.
Talking and Support
Talking is often the first step in managing depression. If you feel that you may have depression, speak to your local Doctor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist or Counsellor about your feelings and symptoms.
For urgent assistance, you can contact the following services:
Your Doctor may decide to prescribe you a medicine known as an ‘antidepressant’ to help with your depression. Antidepressant medicines can correct the balance of chemicals in your brain that relate to emotions and motivation. Different types of antidepressant medications work in slightly different ways, thus you may need to try several different types of antidepressants before finding the one that suits you. Important information regarding antidepressant medication is listed below. Antidepressant medicines:
Many people with depression try to manage the illness themselves. It’s important to know that while there are non-medical treatments available, some may be helpful (e.g. physical activity), however, others may be harmful (e.g. smoking marijuana and drinking more alcohol). Some alternative therapies with good evidence include:
Additionally, other alternative therapies with some evidence in the treatment of depression include: acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga breathing exercises, SAMe (e.g. Bio Organics SAMe Forte 400) and high strength fish oil (e.g. Bioceuticals OmegaSure Liquid Fish Oil). It has been established that 15-38% of people with depression are also folate (also known as folic acid or vitamin B9) deficient. Good dietary sources of folate include fresh green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage and spinach, asparagus, broccoli, legumes, mushrooms and nuts. Your Doctor may be able to determine your folate level by doing a blood test. If you are deficient in folate, your Doctor may recommend that you take a supplement on its own or in addition to your antidepressant medication.