If you are suffering from depression, your medical doctor or psychiatrist will, in all likelihood, prescribe an antidepress medication.  For many patients, the medication will relieve symptoms and they will begin to feel much better.

     However, that is not true for all patients.  A 2009 study published in the journal, PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE: MEDICINE, found that four of the most well-known and extensively prescribed antidepressants, Prozac, Serzone, Paxil and Effexor were really only effective with patients termed "very severely depressed".  For many others the medications were no more effective than a placebo. In addition, antidepressants can cause a fair number of side effects including weight gain, headache and erectile dysfunction. 

    For these reasons, depressed patients often stop taking their antidepressants.  If you are thinking about stopping your use of an antidepressant, talk to the prescribing doctor. Discontinuing these drugs can cause physical symptoms such as sweating and diarrhea and emotional symptoms such as irritability.  So if you decide go off antidepressants, do it under the supervision of your doctor. 

    Consider your depression your body's cry for help.  A complete physical may indicate a physiological health problem that can affect mood.  Medical conditions such as  gastrointestinal or thyroid problems, heart disease, yeast infections, cancer or  diabetes can be the underlying issue for your depression.  Make sure there is not an undetected physical illness.

    Once you have had your physical, if you choose to not use drugs to treat depression, there are many things you can do to help.  Research has found that nutritional deficiencies can contribute to depression. Consciously improving your diet may be a first step to feeling better.  In addition,some easily available supplements such as a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement, omega-3, and vitamin D can be valuable in raising mood.

     Exercise is another way to deal with depression.  So many times, a depressed person becomes extremely lethargic.  Getting up and moving can shake the depression away.  Aerobic exercise such as walking or biking has been shown to improve depression.  Dancing can be fun and is energizing.  If you are bedridden, move what you can, as you can.  Taking a class can be a fun way to move and spend time with others.  Do what you enjoy.  Think about when you were a child, if you liked to run and play, then get out and take that walk.  If you liked to swim go to the Y, if you liked team sports join a group your own age, or take a yoga class or a zumba class. But get up and move.  Release endorphins to help you feel better.

    Deep breathing is a wonderful way to deal with depression as well as stress.  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, slowly and deeply.  When ever you feel anxious or overwhelmed, breathe deeply and exhale completely.

     Use any therapy that helps to boost your mood.  Psychotherapy, meditation, acupuncture and hypnotherapy all can cause actual positive changes in your brain to improve happiness.  If you have given up on antidepressants, try these nondrug options to feel better soon.