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How to Take Stock of Depression Symptoms in Utah

How to Take Stock of Depression Symptoms in Utah

Many Utah residents initially take stock of their depression symptoms is in the days and weeks after a poor mood first sets in. Either the individual believes that their mood will not improve on its own, or the symptoms worsen and develop into an urgent mental health issue. To this latter point, if depression poses a serious risk of suicide or disrupts basic activities of daily living, it’s time to seek an immediate intervention. Given the state’s high suicide rate and the presence of multiple risk factors, Utah residents may be especially vulnerable.

For milder symptoms—especially when tied to a life-changing event—many people wonder how long to wait before seeking mental health services. As a rule of thumb, symptoms must be present throughout the day for at least two consecutive weeks to constitute clinical depression. But again, because the severity of symptoms can wax and wane, there is no set number of days to observe before getting help.

Note: Before considering whether symptoms are getting better or worse, many individuals will benefit from first learning more about the clinical symptoms of depression.

 

Taking Stock of Depression Symptoms in Treatment

Apart from knowing when to seek an intervention or professional assessment, many Utahans who struggle with depression want to know what they can expect from treatment. Outcomes vary considerably, and mental health professionals in Utah will often make personalized recommendations. Yet, there is often a time frame in which to revisit depression symptoms in light of specific treatment protocols:

  • Placebo Effects: Almost any depression treatment may start to show effect right away due to placebo effects. By taking the steps to get help, an individual expects to get better and often does as a result of this expectation. It’s not a trick of the mind, either, so much as using the brain’s innate capacities to generate improvement. The real trick is getting the improvement to stick: Placebo effects will often fade or vanish—though they may persist for long periods of time if the individual becomes conditioned to expect an improvement from a specific treatment.
  • Mood-Enhancement Vitamins and Supplements: How quickly dietary supplements can be expected to act outside of placebo effects really depends on how the supplements are absorbed by the body. Water-soluble supplements may start to work in a few days or a couple of weeks at most. Fat-soluble supplements may take several weeks to build up in the body. It’s also worth pointing out that the absorption and distribution mechanism may play a role in overall effectiveness. Because it’s further along the chemical chain toward serotonin, for example, 5-HTP more easily passes the blood-brain barrier than tryptophan.
  • Antidepressants: These prescription medications also take a couple weeks to work, but it’s nevertheless crucial to monitor any side effects from the beginning. These side effects may show up almost immediately and, in rare cases, can be life-threatening. Even less serious side effects should be carefully examined and coping strategies should be deployed when appropriate. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that these medications take time and not to become discouraged or discontinue use prematurely.
  • Psychotherapy: Arguably, this is the hardest one to pin down. Plenty of people report improvement after a single session. Other individuals find occasional psychotherapy to be beneficial even many years after an initial diagnosis. Moreover, evaluating how a client’s mood changes over time and responds to different treatment approaches is a big role of psychotherapy itself. Another common goal is to build on any early momentum or to sustain a positive outlook when first-line treatments show hardly any effect on depression symptoms.

 

Get Help with Depression

It’s important to evaluate the effects of individual therapies, but the best outcomes usually result when an individual marshals all the resources at his or her disposal. In any case, you’ll want a qualified Utah mental health professional to help examine depression symptoms and treatment effects.

 

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