Recovering from Major Depressive Disorder

Begin with these 3 steps to beat clinical depression.

Living with symptoms of major depression (also called clinical depression, major depressive disorder, or MDD) is exhausting. It changes the way you feel, think, and act. You may feel it's too much trouble to ask for help, that things can't get better, or that no treatment will work. You may even think no one will want to help you, or that they'll judge you for not being able to "pull yourself together" on your own. Remember, these thoughts and feelings are symptoms of major depression, but taking the following small steps can help you start to overcome them and feel more hopeful:

Step 1: Be honest with yourself. Treatment for major depression starts with acknowledging that you may have depression. Get to know the symptoms of major depression, and if they sound familiar, get help.

Step 2: Reach out to friends and family. Major depression impacts your willingness to ask for help—even when you really need it. It also affects your ability to do the things you need to do to get depression help. If you need assistance researching major depression, getting to your doctor's office, or making treatment decisions, ask for support from friends and family. Or, turn to a support group, therapist, or counselor.

Step 3: See a doctor. You can't beat major depression on your own. It's a medical illness that requires treatment. If you think you're depressed or notice symptoms that may be major depression, see your doctor. Talk openly about how you're feeling, and work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that's right for you.

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