8 Symptoms of Depression & Treatment Options

Buying and giving gifts during the Holiday season to the people you care for is a true expression of love. That joy has a potential downside, Bills, Bills and more Bills!  This post, “8 Symptoms of Depression & Treatment Options,” talks about a frequent byproduct of the holidays; Depression.

Psychology Today said many people experience sadness when the holidays are over. Sometimes it hits them hard and seems to come out of the blue. If I’m describing you, please don’t be alarmed. This reaction to the end of the holiday season is not at all unusual.

There are many reasons people get sad after the holidays. Here are some of them1:

  1. January is a dark, cold month where people tend to hibernate. So you may feel stuck at home.  Additionally, it’s a month that can bring lots of snow leading to cancellations and the inability to go out as often as you may want.
  2. You may have overindulged in food and/or drink during the holidays, and now when you get on the scale, you feel guilty, inadequate, and/or weak.
  3.  Holidays tend to bring up memories of those no longer with us, or those with whom we no longer have a relationship. The loss might be because of death, divorce, or distance. Holidays can make us feel like we’re going through the mourning process all over again.
  4. Perhaps you’re disappointed by the holidays. It wasn’t what you had hoped for and now feel let down that they’re over.

Above are some of the reasons why the end of the holiday season may cause sadness, even depression in some.

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Depression2 is a serious medical illness. It’s more than just a feeling of being sad or “blue” for a few days. If you are one of the more than 19 million teens and adults in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:

  1. Feeling sad or “empty.”
  2. Loss of interest in favorite activities
  3. Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
  4. Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  5. Feeling very tired
  6. Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
  7. Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  8. Thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms of clinical depression for African Americans3

Due to cultural backgrounds, depression may be exhibited differently among African Americans. To help decide if you—or someone you care about—needs an evaluation for clinical depression, review the following list of symptoms. If you experience five or more for longer than two weeks, if you feel suicidal, or if the symptoms interfere with your daily routine, see your doctor, and bring this sheet with you.

Depression is a disorder of the brain. There are a variety of causes, including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age, but it often begins in teens and young adults. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.

Treatment Options

8 Symptoms of Depression & Treatment Options

The most common ways to treat clinical depression are with antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. The choice of treatment depends on how severe the depressive symptoms are and the history of the illness.

Medication: Research strongly supports the use of medication for more severe episodes of clinical depression. Antidepressant medication acts on the chemical pathways of the brain related to moods. The two most common types are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are also prescribed by some doctors. Antidepressant medications are not habit-forming. It may take up to eight weeks before you notice an improvement. It is usually recommended that medications be continued for at least four to nine months after the depressive symptoms have improved. Those with chronic or recurrent depression may need to stay on medication to prevent or lessen further episodes. People taking antidepressants should be monitored by a doctor to ensure the best treatment with the fewest side effects. Do not stop taking your medication without first talking with your doctor, since some medications cause problems if stopped abruptly.

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy can help teach better ways of handling problems by talking with a trained mental health professional. Therapy can be effective in treating clinical depression, especially depression that is less severe. Scientific studies have shown that short-term (10-20 weeks) courses of therapy are often helpful in treating depression.

Making the most of your treatment: In addition to treatment, participation in a patient support group can be very helpful during the recovery process. Support group members share their experiences with the illness, learn coping skills and exchange information on community providers. Also, be sure to take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, exercise in moderation, stay away from alcohol and drugs and eat regular, well-balanced meals. Some find strength from faith or spiritual communities.

Commonly Asked Questions about Clinical Depression

How do I get help for clinical depression? The first step is to talk to your doctor, who may recommend a physical checkup to find out if there is any underlying physical cause for the depressive symptoms. If clinical depression is diagnosed, then your physician or health maintenance organization will refer you to a mental health specialist. Mental health professionals include psychiatrists, psychologists, pastoral counselors, and social workers.

What if I don’t feel comfortable talking to my doctor? Many people find strength and support through their religious and spiritual communities; however, only a physician or mental health professional is able to diagnose clinical depression. Pastoral counselors offer an integrated religious and spiritual approach to treatment.

How do I pay for treatment? 

If you participate in private insurance, such as a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan, your costs for treatment may be covered. Contact your health insurance provider for details.

If you’re over 65 years old, Medicare pays for 50 percent of the costs of mental health treatment, and Medigap insurance will typically reimburse the remainder. Depending on the rules of each state, many low-income or disabled residents may also be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Counseling by a certified pastoral counselor is generally covered by health care plans if the pastoral counselor is licensed by the state. Your workplace may also have an employee assistance program (EAP) available to provide counseling or to help you find appropriate care.

If you don’t have insurance or can’t afford treatment, your community may have publicly-funded mental health centers or programs that charge you according to what you can afford to pay.

8 Symptoms of Depression & Treatment OptionsSome mental health professionals in private practice also work on a sliding-fee basis. University or teaching medical centers can be a source of low-cost or free treatment services. Many publicly-funded entities have waiting lists or other barriers to treatment. If you have trouble accessing treatment, contact your local mental health association or MHA for assistance. You can enjoy your life again! With proper diagnosis and treatment, clinical depression can be overcome.

There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants, talk therapy, or both.

Antidepressants are medicines that treat depression. Your doctor can prescribe them for you. They work to balance some of the natural chemicals in our brains. It may take several weeks for them to help. There are several types of antidepressants. You and your doctor may have to try a few before finding what works best for you.

Antidepressants may cause mild side effects that usually do not last long. These may include a headache, nausea, sleep problems, restlessness, and sexual problems. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects. You should also let your doctor know if you take any other medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

It is important to keep taking your medicines, even if you feel better. Do not stop taking your medicines without talking to your doctor. You often need to stop antidepressants gradually.

List of Antidepressant Drugs with Medication Guides4

(From the Food and Drug Administration)

•Anafranil (clomipramine)
•Asendin (amoxapine)
•Aventyl (nortriptyline)
•Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide)
•Cymbalta (duloxetine)
•Desyrel (trazodone HCl)
•Elavil (amitriptyline)
•Effexor (venlafaxine HCl)
•Emsam (selegiline)
•Etrafon (perphenazine/amitriptyline)
•fluvoxamine maleate
•Lexapro (escitalopram hydrobromide)8 Symptoms of Depression & Treatment Options•Limbitrol (chlordiazepoxide/amitriptyline)
•Ludiomil (maprotiline)
•Marplan (isocarboxazid)
•Nardil (phenelzine sulfate)
•nefazodone HCl
•Norpramin (desipramine HCl)
•Pamelor (nortriptyline)
•Parnate (tranylcypromine sulfate)
•Paxil (paroxetine HCl)

•Pexeva (paroxetine mesylate)
•Prozac (fluoxetine HCl)
•Remeron (mirtazapine)
•Sarafem (fluoxetine HCl)
•Seroquel (quetiapine)
•Sinequan (doxepin)
•Surmontil (trimipramine)
•Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine)
•Tofranil (imipramine)
•Tofranil-PM (imipramine pamoate)
•Triavil (perphenazine/amitriptyline)
•Vivactil (protriptyline)
•Wellbutrin (bupropion HCl)
•Zoloft (sertraline HCl)
•Zyban (bupropion HCl)

Medication guides5 are FDA- approved documents that address issues that are specific to particular drugs, and can help patients avoid serious adverse events (side effects). This database does not include Medication Guides for FDA-approved allergenic or cellular/tissue products.

Jay Harold provides relevant and practical knowledge for your life, your health, and your wealth. This post, “8 Symptoms of Depression & Treatment Options” is part of that effort to make you a more knowledgeable healthcare person.  Please Share it and read more about Jay Harold here.  Please take this advice from  Muhammad Ali and give back to others. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.


  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-without-anxiety/201401/the-holidays-are-over-why-am-i-so-blue
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/depression.html
  3. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/depression-and-african-american
  4. https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM161647.pdf
  5. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/daf/index.cfm?event=medguide.page

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