Stand Up For Mental Health
Thousands Have Joined the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign
But we still need you. Let others know there’s no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.
Join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Put a button on your website or blog . We also have .
These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:
- ‘Eating Disorders Could Start As Early As Elementary School’
- 1 in 10 Schoolchildren ‘Require Mental Health Interventions’
- Sense of Invalidation Uniquely Risky for Troubled Teens
- Exercise Protects Against Depression – But How?
- What Are The Adult Health Consequences Of Childhood Bullying?
- Poor Sleep Quality Associated With Increased Suicide Risk In Older Adults
- How Memory Is Processed ‘May Influence Risk Of PTSD’
- Our Desire For Payback Exemplifies Our Capacity For Abstract Thought
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Common Causes And Risk Factors
Depression can be caused by a number of factors. Though a single cause cannot always be found, experts recognize the following as possible causes:
- Genetics: Depression and other mood disorders can run in families, though family history alone does not mean a person will get depression.
- Life events: Major life changes and stressful events may trigger depression. These events include divorce, the death of a loved one, job loss, or financial problems.
- Hormonal changes: Depression and low mood are often
- cultural expectations
- differences in experience
One study of twin brothers and sisters published in The American Journal of Psychiatry found that personality and relationships with others were more likely to play a role in the onset of depression.
In particular, the study stated that marital problems, the relationship with parents, and lack of social support were more likely to cause depression in women than in men.
Neuroticism, or being in a negative emotional state, was also a primary cause of depression in the women studied.
A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders also found that womens symptoms of depression were different. The women studied were more likely to have panic and anxiety disorders in addition to their depression.
Other studies have indicated that women may be more likely to gain weight and have excessive sleepiness than men.
Womens hormone changes may also play a role in how and when depression affects them.
Research on this hormonal link has found:
Depression Affects Each Woman Differently
Not every woman who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some women experience only a few symptoms. Others have many. The severity and frequency of symptoms, and how long they last, will vary depending on the individual and the severity of the illness.
Where Can I Learn More About Depression in Women?
The following agencies have additional information on depression in women.
Read Also: What Are Pills For Depression Called
Concern About Appearing Weak
People with smiling depression often fear that others will take advantage of them if they reveal they have depression. Not only do they worry that others will see them as weak and vulnerable, but they are concerned that others will use their depression as leverage against them. They would rather put on a tough exterior than admit that they need help.
You Cant Just Snap Out Of Depression
Well-meaning friends or family members may try to tell someone with depression to snap out of it, just be positive, or you can be happier if you just try harder. But depression is not a sign of a persons weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.
If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never dismiss her feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that, with time and treatment, she can feel better.
Recommended Reading: Does Hrt Make You Depressed
How To Help Someone Else
If you think someone you know has smiling depression, share your concerns. Normalize mental health issues and talk to them about how they can get help. Offer emotional support as well as practical support.
For example, you might offer a ride to a medical appointment, or depending on the nature of your relationship, you might even offer to attend an appointment with them. Direct them to community resources as well. Tell them about mental health services that may be available to them.
If a loved one refuses to get help, you might consider talking to a therapist yourself. Talking to someone can help you manage your own stress while also reinforcing strategies you can use to help someone you care about.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
When Youre Happy Youre Not Depressed
The purpose of this course is to help you eliminate depression. But how do you know for sure when youve achieved your goal, and that your depression is gone?
You could waste a lot of time wondering things like, Am I depressed or just unhappy and really sad? Often theres not a clear answer to that question.
But when youre happy, you can know without a doubt that youre definitely not depressed anymore.
So making happiness your goal is very smart, because it means when you achieve being happy, even if youre just a little happy, you know without a doubt that you have gotten rid of depression, which is wonderful.
At that point, your goal is then to become happier and remain depression-free.
So this is how to overcome depression and be happy, and know without a doubt that youre not depressed anymore.
Also Check: What To Do If Someone You Love Is Depressed
Too Much Positivity Is A No
Too much of nothing is great. There is a big distinction between being sad and being depressed. Trying to be optimistic is great. Be a positive influence in their lives but dont drown them in unreasonable optimism. This tends to backfire because depression is an inability to feel positive they cannot control the negativity. When you force too much optimism on such a person, the inability to be happy pushes them further into depression.
Is It Possible To Be Happy While Suffering From Depression
When you live with depression, moments of joy may seem out of reach, but you can take steps to bring them closer.
When you’re depressed, happiness can seem excruciatingly elusive. You may feel emptiness, difficulty concentrating, and a lack of energy to get through the day.
|Is it possible to be happy while suffering from depression?|
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about how happy you used to be and wishing you could just go back to that happy version of yourself.
There are no quick fixes for depression, and finding the right combination of treatments for your symptoms may take some time. However, it is possible to experience positive emotions even while suffering from depression.
|Is it possible to be happy while suffering from depression?|
Read Also: How Does Magnesium Help With Depression
Maintain A Regular Exercise Schedule
A physical exercise will not only strengthen your physical features but also improve your mental health. Studies in the past had found that an exercise can increase neurochemical levels responsible for increasing mood.
Physical exercise does not always mean going to the gym and lift weights. A simple 30-minute walk will do. Just spend a few minutes of your day to walk or jog.
What Exactly Is Happiness
There is no formal definition of happiness in terms of mental health. It’s commonly regarded as an emotional state characterised by a range of positive emotions such as joy, serenity, contentment, and pride.
Happiness, according to some definitions, may also include a sense of fulfilment and purpose in one’s life. In research settings, the term “subjective well-being” is frequently used to mean the same thing as happiness.
The experience of enjoying something is defined as joy. It is a brief state of elation, well-being, or satisfaction. It has the potential to increase feelings of happiness.
Also Check: What Should You Do If Your Depressed
You Have Been Overindulging
Many people dont know that not taking care of our bodies and overindulging can lead to depression.
New research is showing the connection between the brain and the stomach and they are discovering that when the stomach is sick, the brain becomes ill.
Have you ever noticed how, if you spend a weekend overindulging on really bad food, or you eat something that doesnt agree with you, you find yourself feeling not quite yourself. Maybe a little bit more down than usual or flat out depressed?
This is most likely because your tummy flora is off and its causing a short-term chemical imbalance in your brain which could be affecting your mood.
How about after a night of drinking? Do you find yourself feeling depressed the next day, not wanting to go to work or hang out with your friends? Did you know that drugs and alcohol can both lead to short term depression?
Alcohol is a natural depressant, which is why it chills us out at the end of a long day. But too much alcohol depresses the nervous system and even after we have stopped drinking it stays in our bodies for hours and can cause depression.
It is important that we take care of ourselves every day. Eat right and drink moderately. One thing my doctor recommended was a daily probiotic to help me manage my moods. I know when my tummy is good, my head is good.
Read What It Means When You Wake Up Feeling Depressed For No Reason
Happiness Is A Good Goal That Motivates You
Finally, if you want to stop being depressed, youre likely motivated to stop feeling bad. But what if you could not only stop feeling bad, but feel great, instead?
Well, you can. After all, when youre happy, you feel great. Its that simple.
Think about it: when you experience happiness, your life is easier and more enjoyable. You enjoy higher confidence and self esteem, and find it easier to socially interact with other people.
Indeed, life, in general, just feels way more meaningful and worthwhile overall.
So happiness is a great, wonderful thing to strive towards, because it helps energize and motivate you to get rid of depression. Even better, once you do attain happiness, youve attained something wonderful that you cant put a price on. Its that good.
So this is how to get over depression and be happy faster by being motivated to achieve something wonderful: greater happiness.
Also Check: How To Beat Depression Fatigue
Depression Doesnt Make You Sad All The Time
When Im having a depressive episode, Im not walking around in tattered black clothes, weeping and wailing. I go out with friends and I crack jokes Scarlett Curtis: YouTube helped me with my depression
One of the most popular, enduring, and irritating myths about depression is that it means depressed people are sad all the time and that by extension, people who are happy cant be experiencing depression, even if they say they are. It is a skewed and horrible version of depression, and its one that further stigmatises the condition and isolates people with depression and related mental health conditions. This is because, put bluntly, depression doesnt make you sad all the time though the level of sadness a patient experiences can of course vary depending on the individual and the severity of depression.
I dont, in other words, do the things that can help ameliorate depression, encourage people to reach out, and help depressed people with functioning, completing daily tasks of life, and finding a reason to live again. I dont find and build a rich community of people who can offer support , because I have to be so wrapped up in performing my sadness at all times to prove that Im depressed enough even as I want to scream that this is a reinforcement of stereotypes that hurt people, that by doing this I am hurting not just myself but others.
This article was originally published on This Aint Livin, part of the
It Could Be The Time Of Year
Every year many of us are affected by something called Seasonal Affective Disorder .
People who are struggling with SAD are people whose mood changes with the seasons. For many people, SAD happens during the long winter months. The cold weather and limited sunshine can have a debilitating effect on a persons mental health.
SAD can be hard to recognize and it can progressively get worse as the season goes on. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with SAD. Light therapy is a great way to help with SAD. As is vitamin D. Or a trip to Jamaica
Talk to your doctor about managing your SAD. You will be glad you did.
Also Check: Can A Blood Test Detect Depression
What Are The Symptoms Of Smiling Depression
Someone experiencing smiling depression would from the outside appear happy or content to others. On the inside however, they would be experiencing the distressful symptoms of depression.
Depression affects everyone differently and has a variety of symptoms, the most distinguished being deep, prolonged sadness. Other classic symptoms include:
- changes in appetite, weight, and sleeping
- fatigue or lethargy
- feelings of hopelessness, lack of self-esteem, and low self-worth
- loss of interest or pleasure in doing things that were once enjoyed
Someone with smiling depression may experience some or all of the above, but in public, these symptoms would be mostly if not completely absent. To someone looking from the outside, a person with smiling depression might look like:
- an active, high-functioning individual
- someone holding down a steady job, with a healthy family and social life
- a person appearing to be cheerful, optimistic, and generally happy
If youre experiencing depression yet continue to smile and put on a façade, you may feel:
- like showing signs of depression would be a sign of weakness
- like you would burden anyone by expressing your true feelings
- that you dont have depression at all, because youre fine
- that others have it worse, so what do you have to complain about?
- that the world would be better off without you
Some risk factors may include:
Signs And Symptoms Of Smiling Depression
An individual with smiling depression may experience some or all of the symptoms associated with depression. Still, when in public, these symptoms will be mostly masked by symptoms related to smiling depression. To someone looking in from the outside, a person with smiling depression may exhibit the following:
- An active, high-functioning individual
Read Also: Does Medicare Cover Tms Therapy For Depression
Finding Joy In The Midst Of Depression
I get it. I really do. Depression and anxiety feel like they have taken over your life. Maybe you know why or maybe you aren’t sure what caused this. All you know is that life sucks and you hate it. I know it hurts.
I know it hurts because I am you.
And because I am you, I have some advice to help you have some hope. Even if it’s just a sliver of hope.
I know others don’t seem to understand you and it frustrates you more when they say, “Just be happy”. That’s like telling someone with cancer to “Just be healthy”it’s not that simple.
You probably still have no desire to do the things you love to do. You don’t like taking pictures anymore. You don’t have the energy to dance. Nothing excites you.
Depression is a constant cloud hovering over your head. It feels like a never-ending winter and your soul craves to huddle in bed with the weight of blankets so you can feel secure and separated from the pains you are feeling.
And since you are me, the worst part is that you can’t even pinpoint how and why the depression is there. You only know that the voice of depression that is all too familiar to you.
When you add the weight of anxiety, it creates a whole new dimension to your suffering. It’s complicated and confusing and utterly exhausting.
I’m sure this inner tug-of-war battle is familiar to you:
Overcoming depression and anxiety does not happen overnight. Every person struggles with it differently and will use varying techniques to get out of the slum.
3. Accept ALL feelings.
Ways You Can Look After Yourself
If youre depressed, there are steps you can take to lift your mood and help your recovery. These steps can help if youve been depressed in the past and want to stay well.
- Talk about how youre feeling. Talking to someone you trust, or finding peer support, can help you feel better and less alone.
- Eat well. A healthy diet can lift your mood and maintain your mental health.
- Stay physically active. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it can ease the symptoms of depression. Research suggests it may be as effective as antidepressants in helping you feel better.
- Spend time in nature. Research shows that being in nature can make us feel happier, feel our lives are more worthwhile, and reduce our levels of depression
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. They may feel like theyre helping at first, but they make things worse in the long run.
- Try talking therapy to stay well. NICE guidelines recommend CBT or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy if youve been depressed in the past.
Also Check: Why Does My House Make Me Depressed