Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs

Overview Feeling down from time to time seems a normal part of life, but when emotions such as helplessness and distress take hold and won’t go away, you may have depression. More than just sadness in response to life’s struggles and drawbacks, depression changes how you perceive, and perform in daily routine. It can hinder […]


Feeling down from time to time seems a normal part of life, but when emotions such as helplessness and distress take hold and won’t go away, you may have depression. More than just sadness in response to life’s struggles and drawbacks, depression changes how you perceive, and perform in daily routine. It can hinder your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Just trying to get done with day can be an achievement.

Although some people apprehend crippling depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of forthcoming doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men, in particular, can feel aggression and discomfort. However, if you encounter depression, it can become a severe health problem if left untreated. But it’s important to recall those feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are signs of depression—not the reality of your situation.

You can get still better regardless, how helpless you feel. By understanding the main cause of your depression and identifying the different symptoms and types of depression, you can take the first step to feel better and lessen the problem.

Genetic depression

Maybe your mother had it. Or your father, aunt, or your sister. Watching a family member suffer from depression can be difficult. But does that mean that you are vulnerable too?

Clinical depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is the most common form of depression. The Stanford School of Medicine estimates that 10 percent of Americans will experience this type of depression at some point in their lives. This type is also more likely to be shared by siblings and children. A sad person who feels I am sad relatively suffered from genetic depression is almost five times as likely to develop it.

Crippling Depression 

Crippling depression is clinical depression (major depressive disorder) that is severe to the point of limiting basic functioning, including the ability to work and live normally. Some of those afflicted experience episodes that last for a few weeks or months, as in after a loss or the death of a loved one. In other cases crippling depression is resistant to treatment and becomes a lifelong struggle.

Everyone who has lived with crippling depression has a unique experience, but there are some common threads such as difficulty sleeping or getting out of bed. When describing his period of crippling depression, mental health writer Stefan Taylor mentioned dropping out of college and “laying in bed all day.”

What is major depressive disorder?

Sadness is a natural part of the human experience. People may feel sad or depressed when a loved one passes away or when they’re going through a life challenge, such as a divorce or serious illness. However, these feelings are normally short-lived. When someone experiences persistent and intense feelings of sadness for extended periods of time, then they may have major depressive disorder (MDD).

MDD, also referred to as clinical depression, is a significant medical condition that can affect many areas of your life. It impacts mood and behavior as well as various physical functions, such as appetite and sleep. People with MDD often lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and have trouble performing everyday activities. Occasionally, they may also feel as if life isn’t worth living.

MDD is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. In 2015, nearly 7 percent of Americans over age 18 had an episode of MDD.

Some people with MDD never seek treatment. However, most people with the disorder can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapy, and other methods can effectively treat people with MDD and help them manage their symptoms.

Major depressive disorder treatments

Medications and psychotherapy are effective for most people with depression. Your primary care doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms. However, many people with depression also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional.

If you have severe depression, you may need a hospital stay, or you may need to participate in an outpatient treatment program until your symptoms improve.

Postpartum Blue depression

The birth of a baby can trigger a jumble of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. But it can also result in something you might not expect — depression.

Most new moms experience postpartum “baby blues” after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Baby blues typically begin within the first two to three days after delivery, and may last for up to two weeks.

But some new moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression. Rarely, an extreme mood disorder called postpartum psychosis also may develop after childbirth.

Postpartum depression isn’t a character flaw or a weakness. Sometimes it’s simply a complication of giving birth. If you have postpartum depression, prompt treatment can help you manage your symptoms and help you bond with your baby.

DSM 5 Depression Diagnostic Criteria

The DSM-5 outlines the following criterion to make a diagnosis of depression. The individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  4. A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  5. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  6. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  8. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

To receive a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must cause the individual clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The symptoms must also not be a result of substance abuse or another medical condition.

Signs and symptoms of depression

Depression differs from person to person, but there are some main causes of depression. Remembering that these signs can be part of life’s normal lows, is crucial. But the more symptoms you have, the rigid they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re coping with depression.

10 common symptoms of depression:
  1. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bare outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to make your situation better.
  2. Loss of interest in daily activities. You lack interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel pleasure.
  3. Appetite or weight changes. Prominent weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5 percent of body weight in a month.
  4. Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early morning or oversleeping.
  5. Anger or irritability. Feeling low, irritated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level remains low, your short temper, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  6. Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  7. Self-loathing. Strong feelings of hopelessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself to think about faults and mistakes.
  8. Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  9. Concentration problems. Trouble concentration, making decisions or remembering things.
  10. Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical problems such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

Is it depression or bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, includes serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it seems so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. This can be a severe problem as taking  types of antidepressants for bipolar depression can actually make the condition worse. If you’ve ever gone through different phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a lack of sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar mania.

Depression and suicide risk

Depression is a high-risk factor for suicide. The deep distress and helplessness that goes with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch these as warning signs, if you have a loved one with depression:

  • Talking about killing or harming
  • Showing strong feelings of helplessness or being mazed
  • An odd preoccupation with death or dying
  • Acting carelessly, as if they have a death wish (e.g. speeding through red lights)
  • Calling or visiting people to say goodbye
  • Getting affairs in order (giving away prized possessions, tying up loose ends)
  • Saying things like “Everyone would be better without me” or “I want out”
  • An immediate switch from being severely depressed to acting calm and happy

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, show your concern, and go seek help immediately. Talking or discussing openly with others about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.

If you are feeling sad or suicidal…

When a person feel depressed or suicidal, your problems don’t seem temporary—they look overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel much better, especially if you get help. There are many people out there who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reaching to people who will help. For instance, Reddit depression community is helping to provide peer support for anyone struggling with depression, the mental illness.

Read Suicidal Help or call 1-800-273-TALK in the U.S. or visit IASP or to find a helpline in your country.

How depression symptoms vary with gender and age

Depression often differs according to age and gender, with signs differing between men and women, or young people and older adults.

Signs of depression in men/depression in men symptoms

Depressed men are least likely to acknowledge feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness. Instead, they tend to take about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies. They are also more to experience depression in men’s symptoms such as anger, aggression, reckless behavior, and substance abuse.

Signs of depression in women / symptoms of depression in women

Women are more to experience depression symptoms such as feelings of guilt, excessive sleeping, overeating, and weight gain. Symptoms of depression in women can also be affected by hormonal factors during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. In fact, postpartum depression affects up to 1 in 7 women experience major depression following childbirth.

Depression in Children/teen depression

Irritability, anger, and agitation are often the most prominent symptoms of teen depression—not sadness. They may also have concerns about headaches, stomachaches, or other physical pains.

Depression in older adults

Older adults tend to be more concerned about the physical rather than the emotional signs and signs of depression: things like fatigue, sudden aches, and pains, and memory-loss issues. They may also avoid their personal appearance and stop taking crucial medications for their health.

Types of depression

Depression comes in many shapes and forms. While defining the severity of depression—whether it’s mild, moderate, or major—can be complicated, knowing what kind of depression you have may help you manage your symptoms and get treatment as soon as possible.

Mild and moderate depression

Mild and moderate depression are common kinds of depression. More than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression can interfere with your daily life, taking away your joy and motivation. Those symptoms become multiplied in moderate depression and can lead to a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.

Recurrent, mild depression (dysthymia)

Dysthymia is a kind of chronic “low-grade” depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief times of normal mood.

  • The signs of dysthymia are mild as compared with the symptoms of high depression, but they last a long time (at least two years).
  • Some people also feel major depressive series on top of dysthymia, a situation known as “double depression.”
  • If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like you’ve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is normal.

Major depression

Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate depression and is characterized by serious, relentless symptoms.

  • Left untreated, major depression typically lasts for about six months.
  • Some sad people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a major disorder.

Atypical depression

Atypical depression is a subtype of major depression with a specific symptom pattern. It responds better to some therapies and medications than others, so determining them can be helpful.

  • People with atypical depression have a temporary mood lift in answer to positive events, such as after receiving good news or while out with friends.
  • Other signs of atypical have weight gain, increased appetite, sleeping excessively, a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, and sensitivity to rejection that requires major depressive disorder treatments.

Seasonal depression/seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

For a few people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD impacts about 1% to 2% of the population, particularly women and young people. When I feel sad, like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: helplessness, tense, or distress, with zero interest in social life or activities you normally love. SAD usually starts in fall or winter when the days become shorter and remain until the brighter days of spring.

Persistent depressive disorder / dysthymics

Another form of depression includes Persistent depressive disorder, also called dysthymics that are continuous long-term (chronic) state. In which you may tend to lose interest in normal daily activities, feel hopeless, lethargic, and have low self-esteem, and an overall feeling of inadequacy. These feelings last for years and may significantly affect your relationships, school, work, and daily activities.

Postpartum Psychosis / postpartum depression

Postpartum psychosis is a unique but severe form of mental health illness that can affect a woman soon after she has a baby. Many women will experience mild mood changes after having a baby, known as the “baby blues”. But postpartum psychosis is very different from the “postpartum blues”. It’s a real mental illness and should be treated as a medical emergency. It’s sometimes called puerperal psychosis or postnatal psychosis.

Smile Depression

Though “smiling depression” isn’t clinically diagnosis for many people, it’s a real problem. Typically, smiling depression occurs when individuals who are experiencing depression cover their symptoms. They hide behind a smile to convince other people that they are happy and okay.

Causes of depression and risk factors

While some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward, depression is far more complicated. Certain medications, such as barbiturates, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, opioid pain killers, and specific blood pressure medicine can trigger depression symptoms in some people—as can hyperthyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). But most commonly, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that can vary wildly from one person to another.

In spite of what you may have found in TV advertisements, read in paper articles, or perhaps got notification from a specialist, depression isn’t only the result of chemical instability in the mind, having excessively or excessively little of any brain chemical that can be just cured with the drug. Biological elements can absolutely play a job in depression, including irritation, hormonal changes, immune system suppression, unusual movement in specific parts of the brain, nourishing deficiencies, and contracting brain cells. In any case, psychological and social components, for example, past trauma, substance misuse, forlornness, low confidence, and way of life decisions—can also play a tremendous part.

Risk factors that can make you more vulnerable to depression


Depression mostly happens due to a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a severe medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could boost you to start drinking more, which in turn could separate you from family and friends. Those factors combined could then extreme depression.

The following are examples of risk elements that can make you more likely to developing depression:

Loneliness and isolation. There’s a strong correlation between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack social support increases your risk for depression but having depression can cause you to separate others, increasing feelings of isolation. Having close friends or knit to talk can help you stabilize your perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems standalone.

Marital or relationship problems. While a connection of strong and supportive relationships can be critical to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can result in the opposite effect and increase your chances for depression.

Recent stressful life experiences. Significant life changes, such as bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring immense levels of stress and higher risk of developing depression.

Personality. Whether your personality traits are inherited from your parents or the result of life experiences, they can affect your risk of depression.

Early childhood trauma or abuse. Early life miseries such as childhood trauma, abuse, or bullying can make you more vulnerable to a number of forthcoming health problems, with depression.

Alcohol or drug abuse. Substance abuse can often result due to depression. Many people use alcohol or drugs as a means of mending their moods with stress or difficult emotions.


The Real cause of feeling depressed may help determine the treatment


Understanding and identifying the underlying cause of your depression may help you overcome the matter. For example, if you are feeling depressed because of a no-end job, the best treatment might be finding a more satisfying career opportunity rather than going for an antidepressant. If you are new to an area and feeling lonely and sad, finding new friends will likely give you more of a mood booster than going to therapy. In such cases, the depression is treated by changing scenarios.

Whether you’re able to separate causes of your depression or not, the major thing is to identify that you have a problem, reach out for support, and do coping strategies that can make you feel better.


Antidepressants are a popular treatment choice for depression. Although antidepressants may not cure depression, they can reduce symptoms. The first antidepressant you try may work fine. But if it doesn’t relieve your symptoms or it causes side effects that bother you, you may need to try another.

So don’t give up. A number of antidepressants are available, and chances are you’ll be able to find one that works well for you. And sometimes a combination of medications may be an option.

Making antidepressants work for you

To get the best results from an antidepressant:

  • Be patient. Once you and your doctor have selected an antidepressant, you may start to see improvement in a few weeks, but it may take six or more weeks for it to be fully effective. With some antidepressants, you can take the full dosage immediately. With others, you may need to gradually increase your dose.
  • Take your antidepressant consistently and at the correct dose. If your medication doesn’t seem to be working or is causing bothersome side effects, call your doctor before making any changes.
  • See if the side effects improve. Many antidepressants cause side effects that improve with time. For example, initial side effects when starting an SSRI can include dry mouth, nausea, loose bowel movements, headache and insomnia, but these symptoms usually go away as your body adjusts to the antidepressant.
  • Try psychotherapy. In many cases, combining an antidepressant with talk therapy (psychotherapy) is more effective than taking an antidepressant alone. It can also help prevent your depression from returning once you’re feeling better.
  • Don’t stop taking an antidepressant without talking to your doctor first. Some antidepressants can cause significant withdrawal-like symptoms unless you slowly taper off your dose. Quitting suddenly may cause a sudden worsening of depression.
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. It may seem as if alcohol or drugs lessen depression symptoms, but in the long run they generally worsen symptoms and make depression harder to treat. Talk with your doctor or therapist if you need help with alcohol or drug problems.

I am depressed, what you can do to feel better

When you feel I am depressed, it can feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are still several things you can help to lift and stabilize your mood. The success key to start with to build small goals and slowly enhance from there, trying to do a little more every day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by selecting positive options for yourself.

To deal with depression

Reach out to other people. Isolation boosts depression, so reaches out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or don’t want to be a discomfort others. The simplest act of talking to someone by face about how you feel can do wonders. The person you talk to doesn’t have to be able to fix you. They just act like a good listener—someone who’ll listen attentively by not getting distracted or judging you.

Moving on. When you’re depressed, just jump out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regularly exercising can be as effective as antidepressants in coping with the symptoms of depression. Go for a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.

Eat a mood-boosting diet. Less your intake of foods that can badly affect your moods, for instance, caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar, and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.

Find ways to engage again with the world. Try to spend some time in greenery(nature), care a pet, pick up a hobby you used to enjoy (or try a new one). You won’t feel like it at first, but as you participate in the world again, you will start to feel much better again.

Supplements and Natural Remedies for depression / Natural antidepressants

  • Ginseng

This supplement comes from the gnarled root of the American or Asian ginseng plant. Siberian, Asian, and Eleuthero ginseng are different plants with different active ingredients.

Some people associate these properties of ginseng with potential solutions for the low energy and motivation that can occur with depression.

However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) advise that none of the many studies that people have conducted on ginseng have been of sufficient quality to form health recommendations.

  • Chamomile

A study in 2012 reviewed data about chamomile, which comes from the Matricaria recutita plant, and its role in helping to manage depression and anxiety.

The results show that chamomile produced more significant relief from depressive symptoms than a placebo. However, further studies are necessary to confirm the health benefits of chamomile in treating depressive symptoms.

  •  Lavender

Lavender oil is a popular essential oil. People typically use lavender oil for relaxation and reducing anxiety and mood disturbances.

A 2013 review of various studies suggested that lavender might have significant potential in reducing anxiety and improving sleep.

Lavender has mixed results in studies that assess its impact on anxiety. However, its effectiveness as a treatment for ongoing depression has little high-quality evidence in support at the current time.

  • Saffron

Some studies cite using saffron as a safe and effective measure for controlling the symptoms of depression, such as this non-systematic review from 2018.

However, more research would help confirm the possible benefits of saffron for people with depression. Scientists also need to understand any possible adverse effects better.

  • SAMe

SAMe is short for S-adenosyl methionine. It is a synthetic form of a chemical that occurs naturally in the body.

However, they also found that SAMe had about the same effectiveness as the common antidepressants imipramine or escitalopram. Furthermore, it was better than a placebo when the researchers mixed SAMe with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications.

As with many other studies into herbs and supplements, the investigations into the safety and efficacy of SAMe are of low quality. More research is necessary to determine its exact effect.

People use the supplement in Europe as a prescription antidepressant. However, the FDA have not yet approved this for use in the U.S.

  •  Omega-3 fatty acids

In a 2015 systematic review, researchers concluded that omega-3 fatty acid supplements are not useful across the board as a depression treatment.

While the study authors reported no serious side effects from the supplement, they also advised that it would only be an effective measure in treatment for depression that was due to omega-3 deficiency.

  • 5-HTP

Also known as 5-hydroxytryptophan, this supplement may be useful in regulating and improving levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that affects a person’s mood.

5-HTP has undergone a number of animal studies, and some, such as this review from 2016, cite its potential as an antidepressant therapy. However, evidence of its effects in human subjects is limited.

5-HTP is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) supplement in the U.S. but may require a prescription in other countries.

More research is necessary, especially regarding concerns that it may cause serotonin syndrome, a serious neurological complication if a person takes 5-HTP in excess.

Supplement manufacturers do not have to prove that their product is consistent. The dose on the bottle may also be inaccurate.

People should ensure they purchase herbs and natural antidepressants from a trusted manufacturer.


SIGECAPS  is a mnemonic used to diagnose symptoms of depression.

But, you probably didn’t know that you can use it to boost a depressed mood.

And your doctor probably doesn’t know that either.

Not because your doctor does not want to help you, but rather because she or he is conditioned to treat depression with antidepressants.

In some cases, antidepressants can save the life of someone in severe distress. 

But in other cases, as when you have treatment-resistant depression, antidepressants can trigger catastrophic mental and physical side effects, including suicidal ideation, and worse, suicide itself.

So says the warning labels for antidepressants.

Therefore, if you find a roadmap to help depression without resorting to antidepressants, why not try it out?

And even if you are already on antidepressants, you might be able to wean yourself off if they are not helping.

The purpose of this article is to give you a path to help alleviate a depressed mood based on the same tool used to diagnose depression – SIGECAPS.

Sigecaps to help overcome depression

Each letter represents one of the eight diagnostic criteria described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as follows:

  • S leep,
  • I nterest,
  • G uilt,
  • E nergy,
  • C oncentration,
  • A ppetite,
  • P sychomotor,
  • S uicidal thoughts
S stands for sleep

Are you sleeping more in the day or less at night?

Excessive daytime sleep or insufficient nighttime sleep are both indicators of depression.

I is for a loss of interest in daily activities

Have you experienced a loss of interest in activities that you once found enjoyable?

A loss of interest is a sign of depression.

G stands for guilt

Do you have; low self-esteem, feel guilty, or have a sense of worthlessness?

Feelings of guilt fuels depression.

E energy

Do you feel fatigued, a lack of energy, or “burnt out”?

Burnt out is a common symptom of depression.

C for Concentration

Do you have difficulty concentrating?

Reduced concentration is a hallmark of depression.

A is for Appetite

Have you lost your appetite, enjoyment in food, or are you bingeing?

Both are classic signs of depression. 

P stands for Psychomotor Agitation or Retardation

Do you feel so anxious you cannot sit still?

Or, are you more sluggish and very slow in your movements?

Increased agitation or much slower movements are signs of depression.

S Stands for Suicidal Ideation

Are you preoccupied with thoughts of death or a plan to commit suicide?

Suicidal thinking is the most obvious sign of depression and requires immediate treatment

You can use SIGECAPS as a roadmap to lift your depressed mood naturally, even without drugs or medications.

  • What can you do when antidepressants are not helping?
  • Even worse, what if you are suffering from the adverse side effects of antidepressants? Such as:
    • loss of feeling in lower extremities
    • night sweats
    • insomnia
    • nightmares
    • hallucinations
    • suicidal thoughts
  • Or you are using drugs for years and are still depressed.

Use the SIGECAPS acronym to help your depressed mood.

As always, consult with your primary care doctor before going to undertake any treatment.

Types of antidepressants

Certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are associated with depression — particularly serotonin , norepinephrine and dopamine. Most antidepressants relieve depression by affecting these neurotransmitters, sometimes called chemical messengers, which aid in communication between brain cells. Each type (class) of antidepressant affects these neurotransmitters in slightly different ways.

Many types of antidepressant medications are available to treat depression, including:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Doctors often start by prescribing an SSRI. These medications generally cause fewer bothersome side effects and are less likely to cause problems at higher therapeutic doses than other types of antidepressants are. SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro).
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Examples of SNRI medications include duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) and levomilnacipran (Fetzima).
  • Atypical antidepressants. These medications don’t fit neatly into any of the other antidepressant categories. More commonly prescribed antidepressants in this category include trazodone, mirtazapine (Remeron), vortioxetine (Trintellix), vilazodone (Viibryd) and bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, others).
  • Tricyclic antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants — such as imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), amitriptyline, doxepin and desipramine (Norpramin) — tend to cause more side effects than newer antidepressants.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). MAOIs — such as tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil) and isocarboxazid (Marplan) — may be prescribed, often when other medications haven’t worked, because they can have serious side effects. Using an MAOI requires a strict diet because of dangerous (or even deadly) interactions with foods — such as certain cheeses, pickles and wines — and some medications, including pain medications, decongestants and certain herbal supplements. Selegiline (Emsam), an MAOI that you stick on your skin as a patch, may cause fewer side effects than other MAOIs. These medications can’t be combined with SSRIs.

Best antidepressants

Antidepressants sold in the United States that the study found to be most effective included:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Remeron (mirtazapine)
  • Trintellix (vortioxetine)

At what instance should you seek professional help when feeling down?

Therapy. Effective treatment for depression mostly includes consulting a therapist who can suggest you tools to treat depression from several angles and thus motivate you to take the necessary step. Therapy can also give you the skills and insight to stop depression from coming back.

Medication may be essential if you’re feeling suicidal or violent. But while it can help relieve symptoms of depression in some people, it isn’t a treatment and is not usually a long-term solution. It also comes with some side effects and other drawbacks so it’s important to learn all the points to make an informed and certain decision.

Some natural antidepressants and natural remedies for depression aren’t a replacement for medical diagnosis and treatment. And natural doesn’t always mean safe. However, for some people certain herbal and dietary supplements do seem to do wonders, but more studies are needed to determine which are most likely to help.

IGECAPS is a mnemonic used to diagnose symptoms of depression. But, you may don’t know that you can use it to boost a depressed mood. And If your doctor probably doesn’t know that either. Not because your doctor does not want to help you, but rather because she or he is conditioned to treat depression with remedies or natural antidepressants. In some cases, antidepressants can save the life of someone in severe distress.

Also, SPRAVATO is a prescription medicine, used along with the best antidepressant taken by mouth, for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in adults.

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