This week Dr. Ravi Srivastava, a psychiatrist on Hilton Head Island, provides tips for managing and alleviating depression.
Question. When dealing with depression, medication and therapy take time to work. What are some ways to help alleviate symptoms of depression in the meantime?
Answer. Depression is a medical illness. It is not something that one snaps out off. I usually see patients after they have suffered and struggled for many months and tried their best to cope without success.
The core symptoms of depression are best treated by medications, however, the medications sometimes take about six to eight weeks to work adequately.
It is very difficult for someone to wait this long. The depressed person is already feeling hopeless, helpless and struggling in taking care of his/her functioning at work and home. The lack of immediate response feels like a failure.
In addition, the medications are not great in addressing a lot of the behavioral symptoms and psychological complications of depression. This is why the psychosocial aspect of treatment is an integral part of its treatment.
It starts with education about the nature of the illness, its symptoms and its course and outcome. This alleviates the anxiety of the patient as it is easier to deal with something when we have a road map of its course.
Here are some tips to help you navigate through the first few difficult weeks:
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