ZocdocAnswersAre there ways to deal with depression without medication?

Question

Are there ways to deal with depression without medication?

I'm afraid I might be depressed but I don't want to take Prozac or some other medication for crazy people. How else could I deal with depression without medication?

Answer

It is common for people to feel sad or down in the dumps temporarily but if these feelings persist for more than two weeks than it is possible that you are suffering from depression. It is very important that you make an appointment with your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms. Symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, fatigue, changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping, agitation, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide. There are other medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, that can mimic some of the symptoms of depression so again, it is important to see your doctor. If it is determined that you are suffering from mild depression or are simply in a low mood there are many things that you can do to alleviate your symptoms that do not include medications. One of the best mood boosters is exercise. Getting your heart pumping releases endorphins which have been proven to improve mood. It is also important to avoid alcohol as it is a depressant. Talk therapy can be extremely effective. This is most effective when done with a psychologist or counselor, but talking to supportive family and friends or joining a support group can also be very helpful. Again, please see your doctor soon.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.