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Where to turn when you feel depressed

At some point in every person's life, there will be a period of days, weeks, or maybe even months, when you feel down and depressed. For many of us, this will be a passing thing, which may make you feel miserable for a while, but will eventually leave you and you will return to your normal personalities. But during the period of time where you feel depressed, you may need an anchor of hope to bring you through. But what should you do when you feel depressed? Where can you turn when you're feeling depressed?

A short disclaimer: some people experience depression in short bursts and quickly return to feeling normal. These people may not require medical attention during their depression. However, for some people this feeling of depression will not so easily leave them. No matter what they try to do they cannot seem to regain those feelings of happiness and contentment that they remember from former days. These people may be clinically depressed and require professional medical attention. If you have been experiencing feelings of depression for several months, or have had thoughts of death or suicide, contact a medical professional immediately. The suggestions in this article are for those with less serious forms of depression.

So where can you turn if you feel depressed?

When a person is feeling depressed it can often help to talk to someone about your feelings. But it may be that your feelings are not something you'd like to share with your friends or family. Maybe you're depressed because of your friends or family. If this describes you, it may be beneficial for you to call a depression hotline. A depression hotline is a number that you can call with people simply willing to listen. Most of them are counselors trained to deal with people with depression. There are hotlines that specialize with child or teen depression and others that work with adults. You can find these numbers by looking for them in your phone book, or by doing a web search for "depression hotlines."

Another suggestion along those lines is therapy. There are many different types of therapy available for people with depression. Some of these include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps you identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that contribute to depression; interpersonal therapy, which looks at how depression can be connected to troubled emotional relationships; psychodynamic therapy, which links depression to traumas that occurred earlier in your life; and group therapy, which allows you and other people with depression to share experiences.

Sometimes even temporary depression (post-partum depression, for example) can seem unbearable. Remember that you always have the option of seeing a doctor for your problems. S/he can prescribe antidepressants such as Wellbutrin or Paxil to relieve your symptoms. Your doctor is also a person who should be willing to listen if you want to discuss your depression. Or s/he may suggest that you join a therapy session, as mentioned above.

This final suggestion does not involve the assistance of others-it is solely up to you. But some people have found that that their depression is alleviated by exercise. Before you balk at this suggestion, consider this: research shows that 30 minutes of exercise a day for three to five days a week significantly decreases symptoms of depression. Smaller amounts of activity (as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time) can improve your mood in the short term. The reason for this is that exercise positively affects the levels of certain mood-enhancing transmitters in the brain. It also releases tension, helps you sleep better, and reduces stress; all things that can improve you mood and decrease your stress.



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