Depression Checklist and How to Deal

Dr. Laura Tanzini

Despite what some people around you might believe, depression is more than feeling upset or sad because something in your life isn’t going the way you expected. Depression is an illness. It isn’t only a matter of feeling sad, although people who suffer from depression usually do feel intense feelings of sadness. Depression includes both emotional and physical symptoms. People who’ve never dealt with depression may not understand completely, and that can make it difficult for them to support you. Much of the support you receive for depression comes from your treatment program and from within yourself. Read through this checklist for help as you go through the process of dealing with depression.

Check Your Symptoms

As we mentioned above, feeling sad isn’t the only symptom of depression. All of us feel sad at one time or another. The sadness and other emotions that accompany major depression don’t go away in a few days or weeks. If you’re not certain you’re suffering from depression, check your symptoms. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Crying
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Sleep issues
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Pain, including headaches and muscle aches
  • Stomach problems
  • Inability to concentrate

Most people who experience depression lose pleasure in doing things that normally bring them contentment. At the extreme, thoughts of suicide are also a symptom of depression.

Find the Right Therapist

When you’re in the throes of depression it can be difficult to not only ask for help, but to participate fully in treatment. Finding the right treatment is critical in dealing with depression. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed because you may have a long list of questions. Or you may not even know which questions to ask.

Your goal is to get help from one of the best treatment centers for depression. Once you find a center you feel might be a good fit for you, you’ll need to make sure you understand a few things about treatment before getting started.

Always ask about credentials and what experience the center has with treating depression. Make sure you understand payment expectations. Do they accept insurance or are you able to set up a payment plan? Check out their treatment approach and ask questions about how long treatment should last. Remember that treatment won’t go on indefinitely, so ask what things the center suggests for you to do on your own in addition to therapy.

Be Gentle with Yourself

Once you’re in treatment, you’ll likely expect to feel better immediately, and when you don’t feel as well as you’d hoped, you may get discouraged. It’s important to realize that treating depression is a journey of small steps. Depression makes it hard to do the things your therapist and treatment team ask you to do. Sometimes the smallest things may feel overwhelming. Don’t pressure yourself. Imagine meeting the smallest goals. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate the small changes. As you continue with treatment, you’ll notice that you’re able to accomplish bigger goals and experience even bigger benefits.

Use Your Resources

Depression is not meant to be a journey traveled in isolation, but the nature of the illness makes it easy to isolate yourself from your support network. At first, it might be extremely hard to reach out. You might reach out to people who want to help but aren’t equipped to be supportive in a healthy way.

Think about the resources you have in your life. Your friends and family, your employer, the staff at one of the treatment centers for depression, and maybe even a support group can all be good resources. Don’t hesitate to do some of your own research and read books and information on websites.

Hopefully, this list helps you as you learn about dealing with depression. For more information about treatments for depression, contact Kinder in the Keys, Inc. We’re here to help.


Author Bio

Dr. Laura Tanzini, DrPh, MA, MFT

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a highly educated and accomplished professional with a background in biology and psychology. She received a BS in Biology from UC Riverside, an MA in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, and a Doctorate in Public Health with a specialty in Lifestyle Medicine from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a Board Certified Professional Counselor, Integrative Medicine Clinician, and PTSD Clinician. She has worked in multiple medical hospitals, mental health institutions, and inpatient eating disorder clinics. Also, Dr. Tanzini has written scholarly papers and spoken on various topics related to nutrition, stress, menopause, obesity, depression, anxiety, and human development.