Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Depression generally isn't an illness that you can treat on your own. But in addition to professional treatment, these self-care steps can help:
Sept. 17, 2015
- Stick to your treatment plan. Don't skip psychotherapy sessions or appointments. Even if you're feeling well, don't skip your medications. If you stop, depression symptoms may come back, and you could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms.
- Learn about depression. Education about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan. Encourage your family members to learn about depression to help them understand and be supportive of you.
- Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your depression symptoms. Make a plan so you know what to do if your symptoms get worse. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel. Ask relatives or friends to help watch for warning signs.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, be physically active and get plenty of sleep. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or another activity that you enjoy. Sleeping well is important for both your physical and mental well-being. If you're having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about what you can do.
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. It may seem like alcohol or drugs lessen depression symptoms, but in the long run they generally worsen symptoms and make depression harder to treat. Talk with your doctor or therapist if you need help with this issue.
- Depressive disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed July 30, 2015.
- Depression. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed July 31, 2015.
- Depression. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Overview. Accessed July 31, 2015.
- Lojko D, et al. Atypical features in depression: Association with obesity and bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2015;185:76.
- Stress and relaxation techniques: What the science says. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/relaxation-science. Accessed Aug. 10, 2015.
- Cristancho MA, et al. Atypical depression in the 21st Century: Diagnostic and treatment issues. Psychiatric Times. 2011;28:42.
- Ohayon MM, et al. Challenging the validity of the association between oversleeping and overeating in atypical depression. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2015;78:52.
- Koyuncu A, et al. Relationship between atypical depression and social anxiety disorder. Psychiatry Research. 2015;225:79.
- Silverstein B, et al. Evidence for broadening criteria for atypical depression which may define a reactive depressive disorder. Psychiatry Journal. In press. 2015;2015:575931. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Rohren CH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 19, 2015.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 27, 2015.