~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – Don’t Ignore Depression – Part 3 of 3 ~


Treatment for Depression
Depression should never be ignored. If you think you may be suffering from depression, it is important to see your doctor. While there is no proven way to treat depression, there is a range of effective treatments and health professionals available to assist you. While different treatments work for different people its important to work with your doctor to find the right approach for you. Your doctor may refer you for psychological treatment (talking therapy) or prescribe antidepressant medication. If you’re experiencing moderate to severe depression, your doctor may prescribe antidepressant medication, along with psychological treatments. Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed when other treatments have not been successful or when psychological treatments aren’t possible due to the severity of the condition or a lack of access to treatment. People with more severe forms of depression such as bipolar disorder and psychosis will usually need to be treated with medication which may include a combination of mood stabilizers, anti-psychotic drugs, and antidepressants. Only take antidepressant medication exactly as prescribed. Don’t stop taking your medication without first consulting your doctor. The length of time medication may need to be taken for will depend on how the individual responds to treatment and the severity of their condition.

Depression and Suicide Risk
Sometimes, when a person has a deteriorating mental health condition or a person faces a serious, negative life situation, a person may consider self harm or suicide. While this is not the case for everyone with depression, it is important to take any suicidal talk or behaviour seriously and learn to recognize the warning signs.
Warning Signs of Suicide:
– A sense of hopelessness or no hope for the future.
– Isolation or feeling alone – “No one understands me.”
– Aggressiveness and irritability – “Leave me alone.”
– Possessing lethal means – medication, weapons.
– A negative view of one’s self – “I am worthless.”
– Drastic changes in mood and behaviour.
– Frequently talking about death – “If I died would you miss me?”.
– Self-harming behaviours like cutting.
– Engaging in ‘risky’ behaviours – “I’ll try anything, I’m not afraid to die.”
– Making funeral arrangements.
– Giving things away (clothes, expensive gifts) – “When I am gone, I want you to have this.”
– Substance abuse.
– Feeling like a burden to others – “You would be better off without me.”
– Making suicide threats – “Sometimes I feel like I just want to die.”
Remember: Depression is treatable, if you or a loved one are experiencing signs of depression talk to your doctor. If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide head straight to your nearest emergency department.