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What do I do about depression?

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Psychologists Cameron Staley and Jennifer Miesch discuss why we experience symptoms of depression, how to cope, and some available treatments.

Depression is a complex topic because there are lots of factors that contribute to feelings and symptoms of depression and there are several diagnosable depressive disorders. These various types of depression have some common elements but can differ in terms of severity, duration, timing, and cause.

A lot of things can look like or cause depressive symptoms, such as sleep deprivation, hunger, medical issues, hormonal issues, grief, burn out, discrimination or oppression, and other situations. Sadness is a normal human emotion and can be helpful and adaptive when understood. However, if it feels like your depression is suddenly worse or you are having feelings of depression you haven’t had before, consider an evaluation or check up with your health care professional.

Coping with depressive symptoms through taking care of physical health (including physical movement, adequate nutrition, sleep, and hydration), maintaining social connections, practicing self-compassion, and engaging in what matters in life is a helpful way to reduce the likelihood of developing a depressive disorder. If you are interested in learning more about whether you meet criteria for a depressive disorder, meet with a mental health or medical health professional instead of attempting to diagnose yourself.

The information provided in this conversation is educational in nature and not intended to replace professional mental health services. The information should not be used as psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a mental health problem. Please be aware, the content of this podcast could be potentially upsetting at times as conversations address sensitive topics such as trauma, substance use, and suicide.

To learn more about counseling services for currently enrolled ISU students or general mental health resources, visit the ISU’s Counseling and Testing Service website. Crisis support is available by calling or texting 988.