Am I depressed? For years I've struggled at being happy

Patient

Q: Am I depressed? For years I've struggled at being happy and go days at a time of just being completely sad, I went through self harm for three years and have only just gotten over it recently, I thought i was fine for a while but then my friends just left me my grandad passed away and I just feel so lonely, I can't sleep at night and I often get sad after sex with my boyfriend for no reason relating to him, I'll just sit and cry, I cry most days at the moment but then done days I'm absolutely fine I have more confidence than usual but then it only takes a few minutes for me to get sad again, I just don't know if this is a phase or if I'm depressed

Doctor

A:   Hello
Thanks for using "Ask The Doctor" for posting your query.

The symptoms that you have mentioned suggest that you could be having a depression. The mood swings that you are describing are occurring due to an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. The neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Dopamine. This condition can be corrected with the help of medicines such as Fluoxetine, Virtazapine or venlafaxine. These medicines start showing improvement in 2-3 weeks and the illness requires a treatment of 6-8 months. During this period, try to do regular exercise and eat healthy food and try inculcating some hobby. If you averse to medicines, then cognitive behavioural therapy can help you in the treatment of depression. This is a specialized counselling technique mastered by clinical psychologists and is almost as effective as medicine.
You may meet your doctor and get these medicines prescribed, or you can request for a psychologist consult.

Hope this helps.
Wish you a good health.

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