Depression For Dummies
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If you are depressed, you want to avoid doing nothing or having the wrong thoughts about it. Here are a few things you should do — or absolutely should not do.
  • Do get help. You can start with self-help resources like books and the Internet, but you need to see a professional if your mood doesn't lift soon. There is nothing wrong with asking for help.

  • Don't ignore feelings of hopelessness or suicidal thoughts. These symptoms are serious! Seek help immediately.

  • Don't think that there's nothing you can do. Depression is highly treatable.

  • Do keep trying. If your first attempt to treat depression doesn't work, try something new. A variety of ways exist to help you.

  • Don't blame yourself. Depression has many causes, and you certainly didn't ask for it.

About This Article

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Laura L. Smith, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and former President of the New Mexico Psychological Association. She presents workshops and classes on cognitive therapy and mental health issues for national and international audiences.

Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D.  (Corrales, New Mexico) is a clinical psychologist and a Founding Fellow in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He is also a member of the faculty at Fielding Graduate University. He specializes in the treatment of adolescents and adults with obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, anger, depression, and personality disorders. He presents nationally and internationally on new developments in the assessment and therapy of emotional disorders.

Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. (Corrales, New Mexico) is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of adults and children with obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as personality disorders, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and learning disorders. She is often asked to provide consultations to attorneys, school districts, and governmental agencies. She presents workshops on cognitive therapy and mental health issues to national and international audiences.

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