Women and Depression

By National Institute of Mental Health

The Path to Healing Depression

Reaping the benefits of treatment begins by recognizing the signs of depression. The next step is to be evaluated by a qualified professional. Although depression can be diagnosed and treated by primary care physicians, often the physician will refer the patient to a psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, or other mental health professional. Treatment is a partnership between the patient and the health care provider. An informed consumer knows her treatment options and discusses concerns with her provider as they arise.

If there are no positive results after 2 to 3 months of treatment, or if symptoms worsen, discuss another treatment approach with the provider. Getting a second opinion from another health or mental health professional may also be in order.

Here, again, are the steps to healing:

  • Check your symptoms against the symptoms of depression
  • Talk to a health or mental health professional.
  • Choose a treatment professional and a treatment approach with which you feel comfortable.
  • Consider yourself a partner in treatment and be an informed consumer.
    If you are not comfortable or satisfied after 2 to 3 months, discuss this with your provider. Different or additional treatment may be recommended.

  • If you experience a recurrence, remember what you know about coping with depression and don’t shy away from seeking help again. In fact, the sooner a recurrence is treated, the shorter its duration will be.

Depressive illnesses make you feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such feelings make some people want to give up. It is important to realize that these negative feelings are part of the depression and will fade as treatment begins to take effect.

Along with professional treatment, there are other things you can do to help yourself get better. Some people find participating in support groups very helpful. It may also help to spend some time with other people and to participate in activities that make you feel better, such as mild exercise or yoga. Just don’t expect too much from yourself right away. Feeling better takes time.

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APA Reference
Mental Health, N. (2007). Women and Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/women-and-depression/0001290
Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.