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Last Updated on April 28, 2023

You have been identified as having major depressive disorder (MDD), and perhaps you are going between disbelief — the investigation has to be incorrect — to relief: You finally know what’s been making you sad, lethargic, and subject to frequent weeping spells.

First thing you need to realize is that you are not alone, says Marilyn Blackston, MD, a wellness coach in Baltimore, Md. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that about 7 percent of the adult U.S. population has major depressive disorder.

“Now you must take the steps required to get your own life back on track,” Dr. Blackston says. As overwhelming as that may seem to you at this time around the quicker you’ll get better.

Here’s a step by step guide for dealing with your diagnosis of major depressive disorder:

  1. Learn about your treatment alternatives. Treatment generally includes psychotherapy, either alone or in combination, depending on your own unique investigation as well as the kind of depression you’ve got. “Normally, the most effective treatment is a mixture of psychotherapy and drugs,” Blackston says, “but talk to your doctor about your special illness.”
  2. Call your medical insurance provider. Some health insurance policies cover mental illness differently from other illnesses. Get the names of the mental health professionals who are members of your provider’s network to see in case you may need referrals when appointments are scheduled by you. Inquire about coverage should you need to visit a caregiver outside your network.
  3. Prepare questions for your physician. You might be nervous or distracted during your physician’s visit. When you’re speaking to your health care provider should you write them down and prepare questions in advance, you will not forget them. Question your family members because the responses may aid them to enable you to better when they will have any questions about major depression. Take notes so that the replies can be reviewed by you if you are residence.
  4. Make healthy lifestyle choices. To supplement your treatment, eat healthy foods and get exercise. “When someone is identified as having depression it triples their chances of dying,” Blackston says. “The reason is individuals that have major depression usually do not take good care of themselves and to have high-risk behaviors.” You can do a great deal for the mental health should you eat a low-sugar, low-fat diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Exercise also is demonstrated to enhance depression as it releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals in the mind, Blackston says.
  5. Remove stressors. Figure out what is causing stress in your life — at home and on the job. Ask family members to help you with tasks such as meal planning, grocery shopping, and laundry — whatever you find adds to your everyday pressure. Communicate with your supervisor in case you can get help with any overwhelming responsibilities at the office and see. Try to stay positive, Blackston says: “You have to be really alert with your ideas. If you see yourself having negative ideas, try to turn it around and start thinking positively.”
  6. Give it time. when you’re diagnosed with major depressive disorder, you might feel hopeless, as though you’re never going to be joyful again. But those feelings are symptoms of your illness. In the event you allow yourself time, work together with your physician on your own treatment strategy, and take your drugs as prescribed, you need to feel better again.
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You might find it hard to come to terms with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder at first. But if you participate in your treatment, you may shortly begin prepared to start out living your life and to feel in control. “If you are proactive, you’ll be [better] in a position to cope with your depression,” Blackston says. “You might never get rid of your investigation, however you can manage with it.”

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