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How Is Depression Treated?
From medication to therapy to regular exercise, there are several treatment options for depression. Medications that affect specific neurotransmitters (such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of depressive episodes—or completely eliminate them. It can take four to six weeks for these medications to produce results, and sometimes it is necessary to experiment with dosage and/or medication type to get the desired results with minimal side-effects. Only your doctor can prescribe medication, if necessary, and work with you to find the proper dosage to meet your needs.
Cognitive and behavioral therapy can also help you learn to recognize the cognitive distortions mentioned above and effectively manage them. Typically, a short course of therapy with a trained doctor or therapist is all that's necessary to produce positive results.
In addition to medical help like medication and counseling, there are also many things you can do to help manage depression. Regular exercise has been shown to be just as effective as many forms of counseling in combating depression. Effective stress management and good nutrition practices can help you keep things on a more even keel, and avoid the emotional slide that often ends in a depressive episode.
If you do find yourself struggling with depression, know that things are not nearly as hopeless as they may seem to you. If you can reach out and ask for help, you can find yourself back on the road to recovery and wellness very soon.