Understanding depression and the treatment options

Depression is defined as having a consistent depressed mood every day for at least two weeks. If you think you may be suffering from depression, talk to your primary care physician. They can assess you, compare your current state to what they know of you, and offer guidance on what the best next steps can be. Before you seek other forms of treatment, there are a few home remedies you can try, including:

  • Create a new routine and stick to it
  • Set new goals for yourself and the steps you need to take to accomplish them
  • Eat healthy
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
  • Challenge your negative thoughts
  • Do something you find fun!

If none of those help you feel better, talk to your primary care physician about what other treatment options are available.

Developing a relationship with your physician or provider is important because it helps them recognize when you aren’t feeling like yourself. No matter if it’s your gynecologist, urologist or any other health care professional, letting them get to know you can help you catch a variety of different health issues early.

Traditional treatments for depression may involve:

  • Exercise – 30 minutes a day of rigorous activity can improve your mood in the same way as taking one antidepressant.
  • Talk therapy – Finding a therapist that you can relate to is extremely important. Don’t be afraid to consult more than one or treat your first consultation as an interview.
  • Medication – Your doctor can prescribe or refer you to a psychiatrist to help you find the right medication for your symptoms.
  • Bio feedback – An alternative therapy that uses bodily responses, like breathing, to help patients relax and elevate mood levels.
  • Neuro feedback – Also called EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, is a research proven way to help you improve your brain function through intensive brain training exercises. This type of treatment is only provided by specialists.

If all forms of traditional treatment aren’t enough, talk to your physician about invasive therapy options that are available to you. If you experience thoughts of suicide or self-harm get help immediately. Visit your local emergency department or call the Cone Health Help Line at 336-832-9700. Cone Health has an exceptional network of psychiatrists, therapists and related behavioral health experts dedicated to treating individuals throughout the community who are suffering from depression, and helping to restore their quality life.

Spokesperson Background

Jennifer Becker is a therapist and manager of the Cone Health Employee Assistance Counseling Program. She received her Bachelor of Science in elementary education and her master’s in clinical mental health counseling from the Univesity of North Carolina at Greensboro.