Q: Can you self-treat depression?
A: Although research has shown that a combination of therapy and medication typically yields the best outcome in moderate to severe depression, there are some interventions that are useful in targeting depressive symptoms, especially in milder cases of the disorder.
• Activities such as walking or other forms of exercise
• Deep breathing exercises
• Spending time with loved ones
• Volunteering in your community.
It is also important to receive adequate amounts of sleep and to eat nutritious foods, as lack of sleep and poor diet can contribute to decreased mood. Most importantly, I always recommend talking to a trusted provider about any changes in mood as soon as possible, so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and you both can decide on the best course of action. The sooner treatment is started, the sooner you could be feeling better!