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Major depression

  • Alternative Names

    Depression - major; Unipolar depression; Major depressive disorder


    Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. These substances can make depression worse and might lead to thoughts of suicide.

    Take your medication exactly as your doctor instructed. Ask your doctor about the possible side effects and what you should do if you have any. Learn to recognize the early signs that your depression is getting worse.

    The following tips might help you feel better:

    • Get more exercise
    • Maintain good sleep habits
    • Seek out activities that bring you pleasure
    • Volunteer or get involved in group activities
    • Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling
    • Try to be around people who are caring and positive


    Fava M, Cassano P. Mood disorders: Major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusette General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 29.

    American Psychiatric Association. Practice guidelines for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. 2nd ed. September 2007. Accessed January 22, 2010.

    Little A. Treatment-resistant depression. Am Fam Physician. 2009;80:167-172.