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November 18, 2023

Health tips-Fighting depression.

1.Commit to getting help

Make an appointment with a mental health professional.

“If you’re feeling unremittingly down, if you’ve lost interest in life, if your sleep and your appetite are altered, if you feel hopeless, if you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, these sorts of things — that’s what depression is,” Raison said.

Getting help is especially important if you’ve experienced those symptoms for a couple of months.

“All of us who struggle with depression know that having a clinician … can help you — either with psychotherapy or medications … or both,” he said.

2.Lifestyle interventions can help

It turns out that what is good for the body is also good for the brain.

“Really try to do the sort of things that you would do for your physical health,” Raison said. “I often tell people, ‘Think about what you’d do if you wanted to deal with your heart health and do the same thing.’

All those things are also antidepressants. So managing body weight, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, getting enough exercise, getting sunlight.”

3.Be around people

Try to maintain close relationships.

“(Tip) No. 3 is sometimes very hard when you’re depressed. … But it is probably the single most important thing, which is trying to maximize our interpersonal connections with other people,” Raison said.

“If you have caring, smaller, supportive relationships with other people, it’s a big protective factor against getting depressed. It’s also a factor that can really help you get over depression.”

4.Don’t give up

Be persistent in seeking help.

“The way people, especially in United States, respond to antidepressant medications tends to be very bifurcated,” Raison said.

“There’s a smaller group of people that just start an antidepressant, and they feel better within a couple of weeks and … and the depression goes away,” while others struggle with chronic depression.

So, if one antidepressant doesn’t work, he said, “Try another.”

But don’t be afraid to move on.

“We’ve known for a long time, for instance, that people who don’t respond to a bunch of antidepressants in a row are less likely to respond to the next one, but they’re not less likely to respond to psychotherapy,” he said.

5.Embrace appreciation

Generate a state of thankfulness.

“Work on developing an attitude of gratitude,” Raison said.

Raison admits doing so is not always easy when you’re depressed.

“If you can make it a habit, it can be very powerful both to prevent depression, but also to feel better if you are depressed,” he said.

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