- Psychiatric medicine works well for some patients but not everyone.
- Psychotherapy or depression counseling are very helpful for most people.
- Combining psychotherapy with psychiatric medicine works well for some people.
- Improving personal self-care is helpful for most people and supports psychotherapy and medicine.
Do You Want to Try Medicine?
You may want to try psychiatric medicine to control the symptoms of depression. If you do, then you might want to consult first with your primary care physician about treatment. Most anti-depressant medications in the USA are prescribed by primary care medical providers however they sometimes refer you to a psychiatrist for evaluation and initial prescriptions.
I tend to refer clients to psychiatrists because they specialize in mental health problems and psychiatric medications.
After assessing that you are a good candidate for psychiatric medicine, prescribing the first medication can be tricky. There are many different medicines to choose from and no physician can predict how you will respond to one. If you are lucky your first prescription will be quite helpful and include no negative side effects.
Usually, your doctor will need to make several adjustments before deciding to stick with one medicine and he/she will rely on your feedback to make changes. So, be sure to make a follow-up appointment, take the medicine exactly as prescribed, and accurately write down the positive and negative effects of your medicine. Keep meeting with your doctor until you find the right medicine and dosage.
Do You Want to Try Counseling?
Perhaps you want to talk about your depression with a counselor. You may want human support form a professional to get relief from your depressed state. Talking with an understanding and warm psychotherapist is popular and often helpful.
With depression counseling, most psychotherapists will want to evaluate you before suggesting a treatment plan. There are a number of different types of treatment approaches so be sure to ask your therapist what type of methods they use to treat depression. If it makes sense to you and you feel comfortable with your new therapist, then accept treatment and attend your sessions regularly.
In the USA, there are usually 3 different types of state licensed mental health professionals for you to choose from: 1) Clinical Psychologists, 2) Clinical Social Workers and 3) Marriage and Family Therapists.
Are you Interested in Combining Medicine and Counseling?
For some people, neither medication or psychotherapy may be effective enough alone. Therefore, combining the two is considered by many professionals and patients to be the best route to take if you can find a therapist you trust and get good results from medicine.
Do You Want to Improve Your Self-Care on Your Own?
There are actions you can take to combat depression however they require effort and discipline.
Here is a list of some practices to consider: nutrition, exercise, skin exposure to sunlight, watching humorous movies, talking to friends and loved ones, wrapping up old unfinished business, allowing yourself to grieve a loss, relaxation, massage, meditation, mindfulness, travel, withdrawal from toxic relationships, stop using alcohol and illicit drugs, etc.
Without much difficulty or interference, you can always combine these in with medication and depression counseling. In these self-care areas, you may need to consult professionals as well, such as: nutritionists, personal trainers, masseuses, meditation teachers.
Are You Depressed?
If you suspect that you are suffering with depression for more than a few weeks, don’t allow your painful feelings to linger on. You deserve more than sadness, pain and isolation. If you are concerned about your mood, make an appointment to get evaluated by a mental health professional and carry through with the treatment recommendation.
If you suspect that a friend or relative is suffering with depression, reach out and take action. Intervene and discuss their feelings with them and persuade them to get professionally evaluated. Help them to find treatment and encourage them to make their first appointment. Support them in trying to overcome their depression.
Take Action Now. Don’t wait!
A depressed mood usually will not vanish on its own unless it is a reaction to a mildly stressful event. Don’t prolong or put-up with the pain and suffering. Depression treatment is vital. Hoping, praying and wishing will not make it disappear.
If you are depressed, then you are not alone. You can feel better.
As a clinical psychologist, I am available to help. Please call me soon for an initial meeting at 805-448-5053.
Learn more about my depression services here: Depression Counseling