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depression: can anyone give me tips for how to deal with depression?

Question Posted Sunday April 29 2012, 4:28 am

i get very depressed a lot. my doctor says i have a mood disorder. i think im bipolar but he is the doctor. he hasn't found the right dosage of medicine for me yet. i tried to kill myself with pills a few months ago. i dont want to do it again. can anyone give me tips for how to deal with depression.

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adviceman49 answered Monday April 30 2012, 11:52 am:
I agree with NinjaNeer for the most part.

I too have suffered from Depression and can say factually that if you are being treated by your family doctor for depression your being treated by the wrong doctor. You could, emphasis on the word could. be right when you say you may be bipolar. That diagnosis though has to come from a doctor trained in making that diagnoses.

All doctors go through a psychiatric rotation during residency. That does not make them psychiatrists. If you are suffering from depression or possibly bipolar disorder you need to be seen by a BOARD CERTIFIED PSYCHIATRIST. Being Board Certified in the field of psychiatry means this doctor has done a fellowship and passed test to practice as a psychiatrist. This doctor has the proper training to diagnose and treat you, including finding the proper medications and dosages.

You most likely will also need to work with a psychologist to get at the root cause of your depression or to learn how to live with your bipolar disorder.

My advice is if you are not seeing a psychologist then you need to find one and make sure he or she is Board Certified. If you need a referral from your PCP demand one. Then follow the doctors advice. Most of all be truthful when talking with your doctor and therapist. Everything you say in therapy stays in therapy. It is all totally confidential. No one but you, the doctor and the therapist will ever no what is said in therapy.

[ adviceman49's advice column | Ask adviceman49 A Question

NinjaNeer answered Sunday April 29 2012, 8:50 pm:
Don't ever, ever say "You're the doctor" when it comes to your health.

I'm not saying that you should use Google to diagnose yourself, but if you don't agree with a diagnosis and have real reasoning to back it up, fight until your doctor will listen to you.

I have bipolar disorder. I was misdiagnosed as having depression when I was a young teenager and subjected to years of antidepressants that did nothing but make me manic and miserable. It took until I was 20 or so before I had the guts to stand up to my doctor (thanks to a great counselor I had!) and tell him that I don't think I have depression. The problem is, rapid cycling bipolar disorder is easily mistaken for depression. The main question they'll ask is if you've had a mania lasting longer than a few weeks. Mine don't, usually, so my complaints of days of insomnia and high-flying were mostly ignored.

Chart your symptoms day by day in a journal. Take note of how much you sleep and when, what your activity levels are and what your mood is like. Don't just use the 1-10 scale. Are you happy, sad, agitated, euphoric, depressed? Did you experience anything like paranoia, hallucinations, etc? I'm not sure if you're female or not, but if you are keep track of your menstrual cycle in the same place, because hormones can affect your mood cycles as well. Keeping track of all of this can help your doctor in figuring out how best to treat you. If there's clear evidence that you're suffering from something other than depression and your doctor won't listen to you, find one who will.

Whatever you do, make sure you keep taking the medication, even if you don't feel it's working. The withdrawal from antidepressants is killer and can make you extremely ill.

Don't get in a situation where you can obsess over bad thoughts. If you get stuck in a loop, go do something else. Read a book, play a video game, knit a sweater, cook a dozen loaves of banana bread. Go for a walk and listen to music so loud that you don't get a chance to think.

If you're really struggling, open up to someone near you. Stay with a friend or family if you normally live alone. Avoid being in a situation where you are alone and suicidal in a house with anything that can harm you. Find a safe place, even if it's just a coffee house.

I know it's hard sometimes to keep living life when you're depressed. Even little things like getting in the shower can be a huge chore. So celebrate those little accomplishments. Be proud of yourself for getting out of bed, for showering, for putting on clothes. Every tiny step you take gets you closer to being better.

Most of all, don't lose track of the fact that you are not your depression. You are still yourself, and as soon as you're out of the fog you will be back to normal (mostly). Depression can make us miserable, awful people to be around, but that is always temporary.

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solidadvice4teens answered Sunday April 29 2012, 7:24 pm:
Start by telling your doctor this stuff. He needs to know that you tried to kill yourself and must be called immediately is drugs aren't working. He can't fix things unless you tell him what really is happening. That's the best tip I can give you. Follow his advice to the letter and tell him exactly what you have been feeling and let him adjust medication or diagnose from it.

[ solidadvice4teens's advice column | Ask solidadvice4teens A Question

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