Doctor’s Tips to Better Manage Your Depression in Yuma.
Letter to the Doctor
I would like to learn more about how to better manage my depression on a daily basis and take any tips that you care to share.
I’m a 55-year-old white male. I just received a diagnosis of depression from my family doctor. I have been left with a few questions and concerns, and I’m hoping that you can provide some guidance to help me better understand my situation.
Doctor’s Expert Insights on How Best to Manage Your Depression
Dear Mr. S.,
I hope this response finds you well. I want to congratulate you on taking important steps toward improving your mental health.
A new diagnosis of depression can be daunting and difficult. I want you to feel comfortable with talking to your healthcare team and understand that we’re here to support and guide you (and others) through this journey of better mental health.
After a new diagnosis, there are a few things I’d like you to know and be on the lookout for. I will also discuss what to anticipate and highlight crucial aspects to be aware of while managing your condition.
Depression can look different on a daily basis.
In order to get a better understanding of your depression symptoms try to assess your symptoms every 2 weeks. You may consider keeping a symptom diary. But, try to look at your symptoms in chunks of 2-week increments.
However, if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others, call your doctor, 911, or 988 immediately.
Monitor Your Symptoms
As you start monitoring your symptoms, I’d like you to know that depression can manifest in various ways. These symptoms can be both emotional and physical.
Here are some major symptoms of depression. Keep in mind, you may not experience all of these symptoms.
Persistent sadness or feeling low.Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed.Changes in appetite and weight (either increase or decrease).Insomnia or excessive sleeping.Fatigue and lack of energy.Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Use the PHQ-9
Keep track of any changes you notice and communicate them to your healthcare providers by using the following tool: PHQ-9 questionnaire.
Fill it out and take the results to your doctor.
Time for Medicines to Work
Many people expect their depression medications to start working immediately. You should know that’s, generally, not the case! Do not stop your medications during this crucial time.
It is important to remain patient and committed to your treatment. Accept that it may take time for you to notice significant improvements.
Most often, people see some improvements in their symptoms 2 weeks after starting their antidepressants. Though, in some instances, it can take up to 6 weeks before one can see/experience significant changes.
Other Steps to Take
In addition to prescription medication, there are several options available to help manage your symptoms.
These may include:
Psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).Engaging in activities you enjoy.Lifestyle changes such as improving sleep habits, and regular exercise.Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or mindfulness meditation.Keeping a journal to express your thoughts and feelings.
Together, you and your healthcare team will work to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.
Never Ignore These Symptoms
The most important thing to do is this: never ignore severe symptoms of depression.
If any of the following occur call your doctor, 911, or 988.
Suicidal thoughts or plans.A significant increase in the severity of your symptoms.Inability to care for yourself or complete daily tasks.Substance abuse or other harmful coping mechanisms.
Finally, I want to emphasize the importance of open communication throughout this process. I encourage you to share any concerns or questions you may have, as this will help your healthcare team tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs.
They are committed to supporting you on your journey towards better mental health. You got this!
Dr. Puja Uppal, Family Medicine.
Living in Yuma, here are some statistical data to show you that you’re not alone in your journey of depression and mental health:
Did you know that 19.9% of the adults living in Yuma County have depression?In Yuma County, the life expectancy average is 80.5 years of age.In Yuma County, the mental health provider ratio is 1294:1.13.0% of the adults have diabetes.32.2% of you have high blood pressure in Yuma County.28.4% of you lack health insurance.16.4% of the adults in Yuma County say that they smoke.
All of these variables can impact your mental health in Arizona.
Mental Health in Arizona
Below is a chart that shows the percentage of adults in each county of Arizona who’ve been diagnosed with depression.
The data are eye-opening when you realize that so many of our neighbors are also struggling with the same conditions.
It’s time to go out and say hello!
The Health Standard Newswire. Data/CDC
The Health Standard Newswire