Over the past few decades, antidepressant use has risen exponentially. A 2011 report from the National Center for Health Statistics found that between the years 1988 to 1994 and 2005 to 2008, the number of American teens and adults taking this medication has increased by almost 400 percent. Yes, you read that right—400 percent. This alarming number begs a major question: Are people more depressed than ever? A 2014 article in Psychology Today seems to think so. A few reasons they cite for the significant spike in mental health issues include a possible decline in the stigma and speculation that we are, in fact, suffering more than before due to weaker community ties (perhaps related to technology), a focus on fame and fortune, and unrealistically high expectations.
Regardless the reason why you may be on medication for depression, the good news is, there are things you can do to make sure you’re maximizing its benefits. While there’s no single cure-all for depression, using these six science-backed strategies in conjunction with your antidepressant can be a step in the right direction. Ultimately, the path to conquering depression is an incredibly individual one where trial and error under a doctor’s supervision is often the best way to determine what works for you.
1. Commit to exercise.
Working out is one of the most talked-about ways to combat depression. When you exercise, your body releases “feel good” chemicals known a…