As a veteran, how do I handle depression in returning to civilian life?

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The important first step for a veteran experiencing depression is to get treatment to manage your symptoms. In tandem with treatment, there are things you can do for yourself that will help you through the difficult times. Stay active and involved with people in your life, even when you don’t feel like it. Activity and social interaction can lift your mood and improve your outlook. Consider joining a support group of other veterans. Talking to people who have gone through similar experiences will make you feel less alone. Rest, exercise, and a healthy diet will also contribute to making you feel better. Exercise can increase endorphins in your body, which act as natural antidepressants. Try to avoid alcohol using alcohol or illicit drugs to self-medicate, as these can actually increase your depression symptoms. All of these will help your treatment course go more quickly and successfully as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.