We’re glad you’re visiting this website. It has been created for you by the professionals at the University of Michigan Depression Center, the nation’s first ever multidisciplinary center dedicated to depressive and bipolar illnesses. We bring together world class resources from across the University of Michigan and the U-M Health System with a common purpose: to understand, diagnose, treat, and eventually prevent depression.
Although you may never visit our center in person, consider our resources your resources. As allies in your fight, we hope the information we’ve included here will equip you to better understand your diagnosis, and inspire you to take an active role in managing your condition.
There is much to be hopeful about. Things are about to get better.
John F. Greden, M.D.
Executive Director, University of Michigan Depression Center
Finding your way around this website
If you think you might be suffering from depression:
This website may be able to help you take the first steps toward understanding and coping with the emotional and physical symptoms you are experiencing. Click on Are you depressed? to find a self-guided assessment that can help you determine whether what you’re experiencing may be depression, so that you can discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.
If you’ve just been diagnosed:
Perhaps your healthcare provider has suggested this site as a place to find out more about your diagnosis and the tools available to help you live with it. Being diagnosed with a depression-related illness can be scary. But a diagnosis of depression can also open the door to opportunities to feel and function much better. Keep in mind:
- Your diagnosis means that someone has heard you. Your thoughts, feelings and concerns have been validated by a professional, perhaps for the first time.
- Your symptoms are real, not imagined, and progress is being made to understand their causes.
- You are not the only one to feel this way. Others have experienced the same symptoms, and have received the same diagnosis.
- Finally, your diagnosis signals that help is on the way. Now that you can put a name on what you’ve been experiencing, you can begin to address it.
Within this site, you’ll find the latest information and tools for living with depression.
Learn about your diagnosis contains information on the different types of illnesses that impact brain health, including depression, bipolar and substance abuse. Here you can also learn more about related conditions such as anxiety, and about how to recognize when more than one brain illness may be present. Note that receiving an accurate diagnosis is a critical step in addressing any illness. A diagnosis can only be made after a full and proper evaluation by a trained health professional that takes into consideration an individual’s symptoms and medical history.
Know your treatment options gives you the specifics on the most common approaches to treating depression, equipping you to better understand what your doctor is prescribing to help you
Take care of yourself is all about how you can help yourself cope with your illness. Depression, like diabetes or asthma, is a chronic condition that must be managed on a daily basis. The tools to do so are found here – make them your tools.
Talk about it suggests proven methods for how best to share your diagnosis, your treatment plan and your recovery with the important people in your life. Talking about depression is never easy, but the tools provided here will help you approach those conversations with confidence.
Rise above it all contains information and inspiration to help with accepting a diagnosis and coping with those around you who may not understand. In this section you’ll also find inspiring stories from actual patients about how facing their illness has actually opened doors to new understanding and a fuller, more satisfying life.
If someone you care about is living with depression:
A diagnosis of depression touches not only the individual who receives it, but everyone around that person. As a family member, friend or co-worker trying to help, you’re also “living with depression.” For Family and Friends will help you ask the right questions and provide the necessary support. Of course, you’ll be the most help to someone else if you first look after your own health and wellbeing. Look here for tips about taking care of yourself, too.