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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5770
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have been struggling with OKMH629211

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I have been struggling with depression for 3 years now (initiated by the loss of my life partner). I was in psychotherapy for 6 months in the latter half of the year following his death. I have had many weeks and months of good mental health, but last several months I have slipped deeper into a depressive state. I just don't "care" about very much and consequently have let my housework go to hell or not bothered to pay bills on time (because it just seems so mundane and worthless). Possibly the state of my household gives me an excuse to keep friends at a distance. I am wondering if it is time to consider medication, as I have, in some extremely anxiety-ridden instances, turned to alcohol to self-medicate (which I know only exacerbates the depression).

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

If you have been battling depression for three years now and you are to the point you are using alcohol to help you cope, you may want to consider medications. It is good to try therapy and other methods first, but if you are struggling and feel worse, medications can help you.

Medications are helpful to ease the symptoms but they do vary in their effectiveness so you may need to try a few different ones to see what works for you. Each person has their own body chemistry and what works for one may not work for another. Also, once you take medication for a while, your body becomes accustomed to it and you either need an increase in dosage or you need to try a new medication. But they can help you deal with the symptoms until therapy helps you. Here is a resource to help you learn more about depression medications:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/medications_depression.htm

It may also help to try to reduce or eliminate your alcohol use. Alcohol is a depressant, which can make your depression worse. While it makes a lot of sense that you want to escape what you feel, ending your alcohol use will help a lot.

Motivation is also very difficult symptom of depression. It often keeps people from helping themselves and reaching out to others. But support and self help are vital in helping you overcome depression. Consider support groups, either on line or in person. People who are experiencing the same symptoms as you are can offer invaluable support, ideas and companionship to help you feel better. Also, working on your depression at home can supplement your therapy or other treatment. Here are resources to help you get started:

http://psychcentral.com/resources/Depression/Support_Groups/

http://depression.supportgroups.com/

http://www.nami.org/

http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm

Once you are able to reach out, you will start to feel better. Let others support you and offer help. You do not have to do this alone.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus. I appreciate it!

Take care,
Kate

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