Blues; Gloom; Sadness; Melancholy
If you are depressed for 2 weeks or longer, you should contact your doctor, who can offer treatment options. Regardless of the type and severity of your depression, the following self-care steps can help:
- Get enough sleep.
- Follow a healthy, nutritious diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid alcohol, marijuana, and other recreational drugs.
- Get involved in activities that make you happy, even if you don't feel like it.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- If you are a religious or spiritual person, talking to clergy or spiritual advisors may help give meaning to painful experiences.
- Consider meditation, tai chi, or related activities as ways to relax.
- Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, which you can get in over-the-counter supplements or from eating fish such as tuna, salmon, or mackerel.
If your depression occurs in the fall or winter months, try light therapy using a special lamp that mimics the sun.
If you have moderate to severe depression, the most effective treatment plan will likely involve a combination of talk therapy, lifestyle changes, and medication.
Call your health care provider if
Review Date: 03/31/2010
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.