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Don't Let Depression Rule Your Life
10/26/2001

Everyone gets a little blue now and then. But when the blues last too long, causes erratic behavior or leads to suicidal thoughts, it is time to seek help. Fortunately, depression often can be easily treatable, said physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health Resources.  

Depression has many faces. Clinical depression involves a long-standing pattern of unhappiness, problems with sleep and appetite, low energy level and often a feeling of profound isolation. When symptoms go on for longer than a few weeks, it may progress to suicidal thoughts. 

Clinical depression can be treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy, doctors said. Research shows that exercise also helps alleviate depression. Bipolar depression – formerly known as manic depression – is characterized by significant mood swings. The person’s mood may range from a major depression to episodes of euphoria. People with bipolar depression may be at risk for suicide. It is important for them to be evaluated by a psychiatrist and engage in a program of medication and therapy. 

Seasonal affective disorder occurs in winter and often disappears in spring. Sunlight causes a biochemical reaction in the body that affects mood. The lack of sunlight in winter causes loss of energy and sadness. Light therapy often helps. 

Grief from the loss of someone or something significant in their lives may cause depression. If the depression does not lift with time, contact your physician.

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