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Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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I've felt depressed lately. I have taken self diagnostic

Resolved Question:

I've felt depressed lately. I have taken self diagnostic tests and the results state that I am depressed. I know an in person evaluation is needed, but I don't have money or insurance for that. I'm in college and I'm worried because I'm just not into school right now and I might mess up and not graduate because of this. I want help, but I don't know where to get it and I don't have the resources. I'm the only one working in my family. I'm also embarrassed to ask for help. I tried to talk to my family, but they don't understand. What do I do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi there. I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems with depression. I know it's very hard to take care of things in your life when you aren't feeling well. So first of all, I'm glad you're looking into some solutions. It's important that you feel better as soon as possible.

I would start by contacting the student health center at your college. You should be able to receive low-cost or no-cost counseling there, at least for a short time. You can also go to the student health center to talk with a Dr. about getting a prescription for an antidepressant. Getting on medication for awhile might be very helpful to you.

If these aren't options, or if you would like to try something on your own, I would then suggest you try some cognitive-behavioral exercises on your own. There are numerous workbooks you can use that will give you exercises to help with depression, anxiety, etc. One I would recommend is Thoughts & Feelings: Taking Control of Your Moods and Your Life by Matthew McKay, ***** *****, and Patrick Fanning.

In addition, there are many supplements that some people believe are helpful with depression. You may want to do further research on these yourself, but check into St. John's Wort, SAMe, fish oil, and tryptophan. Many people believe these work as well as prescription antidepressants, while others believe they don't work at all. So do some research and see what you think.

But overall, if you can get to a Dr. for an antidepressant, I think that would be the best place to start. Your regular physician can prescribe it, or even your OB/GYN.

Best wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much for your response. I desperately need some advice and I appreciate you taking the time to reply and thank you for providing me with a few solutions. I do have a few questions that I hope you can help me with. Is it possible to feel better without resorting to medication? Thank you for recommending the workbook it is most likely what I will be looking into. Do you know how long it would take for me to feel better when implementing the workbook on average?

Thanks again!
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi again. It should work fairly quickly if you are good about following the exercises. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is shown to be the most effective therapy with depression, so you should be able to see some differences soon after implementing the techniques. In terms of time - you should notice a difference within a week.

Yes, it is possible to feel better without the medication. Many people do it. But it sometimes can be a good boost to help you get out of a slump and get back on the right track. So keep it in mind for the future if you think it might be helpful. Good luck. Tamara
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