Depression is a disorder that affects millions of people at some time in their life. For some, it becomes a chronic condition that can last for months or even years. There are many misunderstandings about this disorder and many ways to treat those who suffer from it. The following article provides you with all the information you need to help yourself or a loved one understand and cope with this oftentimes debilitating illness.

Never downplay the impacts that exercise, diet and sleep have on your mental health. If you’re getting depressed, try fixing it quickly with a brisk walk, swim, run, or bike ride. You may be able to permanently avoid the blues by getting eight hours of sleep, exercising a little every day and avoiding processed foods.

Exercise is one of the best tools to help combat depression. Leading an active, physical lifestyle will help you to alleviate stress and increase your endorphin levels. The next time you feel sad, instead of wallowing in your depression, or engaging in negative activities like drinking alcohol or overeating, try going for a nice long walk or bike ride, and you will be amazed at how much better you feel.

Even if you are regularly taking medication, you should also be sure to regularly have therapy. Speaking with a therapist who understands what you are going through is much better than you dealing with it on your own. Loved ones don’t have the training necessary for this job.

If you have begun taking medication for depression, do not be alarmed if you do not feel better right away. In fact, you may even feel worse when your medication does not work because you are nervous. Most anti-depressants take at least three weeks to settle into your system and help your symptoms.

You may want to discuss pharmaceuticals with your physician. When it comes to treating depression, a combination of medication and therapy tends to work best. Medication can help if the cause of your depression is a chemical imbalance or any other hard to solve trigger.

Turn to family or friends who have suffered from depression, if you are suffering from it yourself. Many times, talking with someone who has or has had depression in your past can help you feel better, since they know where you are coming from. Also, they may have ideas on what you can do to control your depression.

A great way to deal with depression is to change your attire. It is true that the way you dress can often directly impact how you feel about yourself. Be sure that you always dress your best no matter what it is that you are doing and both you and others will have a more positive view about you.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression and understanding the facts and fallacies about this common mood disorder can help you live a happier and more fulfilling life. In fact, if you are one of the millions who suffer from chronic depression, the information in the above article may even save your life.