When Should I See My Doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, its best to seek help early and your GP is a good place to start. There’s no need to struggle on your own. Seek help:
- if you are feeling sad, teary or overwhelmed most of the time
- if these feelings have been with you for 2 weeks or more
- if your low mood affects how you cope at home, work or school.
Your GP can suggest effective treatment options, and the sooner your symptoms are addressed, the better the outcome will likely be.
Some people with depression feel that life is too difficult, not worth living or even that they themselves are worthless. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, dont wait seek help now.
Lifestyle Changes For Depression
Lifestyle changes, such as making art, journaling, exercising more, and practicing yoga or mindfulness, can also alleviate depression and the stress that can heighten it. Alternative treatments like massage, acupuncture, and light therapy may also help.
Diet changes, too, can uplift your mood by reducing inflammation and helping to ensure your brain gets the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
One randomized controlled study, published October 9, 2019, in the journal PLoS One, found that self-reported symptoms of depression dropped significantly in just three weeks in young adults who changed from a highly processed, high-carbohydrate diet to a focused on vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, unsweetened dairy, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and the spices turmeric and cinnamon. In contrast, the depression scores didnt budge in a control group of people who didnt change their diet.
How To Beat Depression Fast
How quickly can depression be cured?
Contrary to what many people think, you can get rid of depression very fast.
It is important to appreciate this, because if you think that getting rid of depression will take a long time, no matter what you do, then you will predictably struggle with depression much longer.
Recommended Reading: Need A Therapist For Depression
More Than Sad: Depression Affects Your Ability To Think
- By James Cartreine, PhD, Contributing Editor
ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
When you think of clinical depression, you probably think of feeling sad and down for long periods of time losing your energy and your interest in things you used to enjoy sleeping too much or too little, or eating too much or too little. But besides these, depression can actually change your ability to think. It can impair your attention and memory, as well as your information processing and decision-making skills. It can also lower your cognitive flexibility and executive functioning .
For people with severe depression, medications can provide some relief of low mood and energy, bolster the motivation to engage in enjoyable and important activities, and help people return to normal sleeping and eating patterns.
But we dont know whether antidepressant medications treat cognitive impairment related to depression. Recently, an international research team attempted to answer this question as part of a larger study on depression treatment. Their results were published in The Lancet last month.
What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions
Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.
Textbox module not selected or not found.
Also Check: Crystal That Helps With Depression
What Advice Do You Have For People Who Struggle With Similar Issues
The road to recovery starts with the decision to make a choice every day to get better and do things that fuel your inner superhero. Starting your brain chemistry off on the right note through movement is a great way to help boost your bodys natural endorphins and get you going. Y
ou can do this without leaving your house . Stretching, deep breathing, jumping jacks, dancing or if you feel like doing a five-minute set of squats/pushups/situps/jumps right there on your living room floor can all help ignite this.
I created a series of free workouts on YouTube based on my 5-Minute Mood boosters, a circuit of movements to help get your body and mind buzzing each morning.
Next I recommend listening to positive self-development each day. There are a ton of resources on YouTube and wonderful podcasts of positive mind and life changing thoughts that can help support your inner strength, especially at the beginning.
One of the main things I do everyday is listen to some kind of personal development audio. Some of my favorites are Lewis Howes School of Greatness, Tony Robbins, and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I still listen to something for at least 10 minutes each day, but in the beginning it helped block my negative thoughts and replaced them with positive thoughts. Even if these words were coming from someone else in the beginning, they soon became part of the fuel for my own Wonder Woman thoughts.
Why Treatment Is Important
While many medications, such as antibiotics, cure the illnesses they are designed to treat, antidepressants do not cure depression. Their effect is only temporary. This is because antidepressants work by changing the brain’s chemistry, but only for as long as the person is taking them. They do not address the underlying causes of depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health shares that depression has a number of potential, and oftentimes complex, causes. Some may be genetic or biological and others may be environmental or psychological.
No matter the cause, untreated depression can be extremely debilitating to an individual, interfering with every part of life. In addition, severe depression can potentially lead to suicide if it does not receive immediate attention.
Depression has also been linked to a variety of physical health issues, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic disorders. In the case of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, depression may accelerate the progression of the disease.
Having depression can even make it more difficult to treat other medical illnesses because the lack of motivation and energy associated with depression makes it more difficult for patients to comply with their treatment regimens.
Don’t Miss: Does Hrt Make You Depressed
Finding My Way Out Of Depression
Photo byEduardo Izquierdo~Paulo Coelho
If you had said to me at the peak of my suffering that it would be the best thing to happen, I would have thought you were mad.
If you had told me then that it would transform my life, change the direction of my career and enhance my relationships with my children and loved ones I would never have believed you.
But this is exactly what happened. I was stressed, highly anxious and thoroughly depressed at my worst. I never realised that this experience was a blessing! Up until this point I had been sleep walking through my life and it was the wake-up call I needed.
The majority of people fear anxiety and depression in their lives!
The 10 Thinking Patterns You Need To Recognize To Prevent Relapse
A few weeks ago, I found myself close to relapse after having completed a major projectone Id been working on for a while that needed to be donewhich put all other work on hold. When it was done, I felt pretty good, but the feeling didnt last long, and I soon found my mood changing.
One moment I was feeling happy and proud of what Id accomplished next I was miserable and beating myself down.
I had no reason for feeling the way I did, and this was confirmed when I put the thoughts behind the feelings to the test using the ten thinking patterns of depression to challenge them.
At the core of perfectionism is the tendency to evaluate ourselves in terms of absolutes and nothing in betweengood or bad, winner or loser, smart or dumb. In this situation, not being able to do bothcomplete my project and keep up with other workpointed to not having achieved the perfect situation.
Believing that if something bad happened once, it will happen over and over and over. I did it again, the thoughts that reinforced the belief it will always be this wayunable to manage and prioritize my work.
3. Mental filter.
The tendency to focus on one negative aspect of a situation while ignoring all other positive evidence. In spite of having completed the project, my focus was solely on how behind I was.
4. Disqualifying the positive.
5. Jumping to conclusions.
6. Magnification and minimization.
7. Emotional reasoning.
8. Should statements.
How To Tell If You Have Clinical Depression
Clinical depression affects people in different ways.
The symptoms of clinical depression can be complex and vary from person-to-person.
Generally, if you have clinical depression:
- you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy
- you experience these symptoms for at least 2 weeks
- the symptoms are serious enough to interfere with work, social life or family
There are many other symptoms of clinical depression and you’re unlikely to have them all.
Depression And Suicide: Getting Help In A Crisis
Some people who are depressed may think about hurting themselves or committing suicide . If you or someone you know is having thoughts about hurting themselves or committing suicide please seek immediate help. The following resources can help:
- Call to reach a 24hour crisis center or dial 911. is the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon, which provides free confidential help to people in crisis. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationexternal icon runs this lifeline.
- Get help from your primary doctor or other health care provider.
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community.
Textbox module not selected or not found.
Realize That These Feelings Wont Last
Allowing myself to feel the depression and accept its presence alleviates some of my suffering.
One of the hardest features of depression is that it makes you think it will never end. Which is what makes the onset so scary. A difficult piece of my work in therapy has been accepting that I have a mental illness and building my ability to tolerate it when it flares up.
As much as I wish it would, depression wont just disappear. And somehow, as counterintuitive as it seems, allowing myself to feel the depression and accept its presence alleviates some of my suffering.
For me, the symptoms dont last forever. I have made it through depression before and, as gut-wrenching as it was, I can do it again. I tell myself that it is OK to feel sad, angry, or frustrated.
Life After Depression How To Thrive
What makes the difference.
The research found that social support played a major role in achieving full mental health after depression. Having at least one trusted friend quadrupled the likelihood of a full recovery.
Sometimes depression can make people feel as though they are just out of reach and loving someone with depression can be lonely, frustrating, painful and deeply worrying. If youre close to someone with depression, you might feel as though youre not making a difference, but thats what depression does its the dirty little liar that tries to pull the fight out of all of us those who have the illness and those who care who would do anything to make it better for them. What this research is telling us is that being there, as a trusted friend, has the power to make an enormous difference in helping your loved one find the way out of depression.
Formerly depressed adults who had emotionally supportive and close relationships were four times more likely to report complete mental health than those without such relationships. Having at least one trust friend was critical to cultivating complete mental health. Mercedes Bern-Klug, Associate Professor, University of Iowa.
The research also found that hose who fully recovered from depression were more likely to deal with stress through exercise or spirituality.
The surprising factor that makes no difference at all.
What gets in the way of recovery.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When Stressed Out And Depressed
Where Can I Find Clinical Trials For Depression
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so others may receive better help in the future.
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials information.
Can Depression Be Prevented
Even if you are more vulnerable to depression, there is plenty you can do to keep symptoms away.
Some proven strategies to help you stay well include:
- avoiding harmful levels of alcohol and other substance use
- improving your sleep
- reducing anxiety, such as through relaxation techniques
- staying active
- staying sociable, so you avoid becoming isolated
Recommended Reading: Depression Keeps Me In Bed
Master Your Mood And Stop Being Victimized By Depression
One by one, I challenged and transformed every distorted thought until there were none. As a result, my mood improved, and I went back to relishing the joy and pride the moment warranted for having completed the project.
You can do it too.
Master the mood of depression so it doesnt take over your life.
Learn to master it, and never again feel the fear of relapse.
Break the chains of its prison by giving form to its formless thinking, and free yourself once and for all.
And never allow depression to keep you from fully and uninterruptedly savoring the joy that life brings!
*This post represents one womans unique experience of preventing a depression relapse. If youre struggling with depression and nothing seems to help, you may want to contact a professional.
Coping With Depression Tip : Reach Out And Stay Connected
Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.
You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. And if you dont feel that you have anyone to turn to, its never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
Need to talk to someone?
Get affordable online counseling from BetterHelp or visit HelpGuides directory for free helplines and crisis resources. HelpGuide is reader supported. We may receive a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp through the provided link. Learn more.
You May Like: Books About The Great Depression
Life After Depression: How To Thrive What Helps What Gets In The Way
Depression keeps itself alive with an intense, overwhelming sense of hopelessness. This hopelessness kills the motivation to reach into the world for support, something that is already fragile because of the stigma that is so often attached to mental illness.
New research, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, offers a reason for hope. There is life after depression a strong, healthy, happy life and the research has found the factors that will help to make this possible and those that will get in the way.
In a study involving more than 2,500 people who had experienced a major depressive disorder at some time in their lives, researchers found that about two in five people were able to fully recover and experience full mental health. The researchers defined full mental health as:
- experiencing happiness or life satisfaction almost every day for the last month
- a full year without depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or substance abuse and
- positive social and psychological well-being.
The research revealed important findings about what helped, what hindered and what had no bearing at all on the likelihood of thriving after depression.
Depression Isn’t Always What You Think: The Subtle Signs
Depression doesnt always present as it should. Prolonged sadness, lack of hope, or loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities are the most commonly mentioned symptoms on mental health websites and in antidepressant ads, and they can certainly be the most affecting. But sometimes the disorder is subtler, and harder to identify, since it can make itself known in stranger ways than wed like. Below are some of the less obvious, but nonetheless important, symptoms of depression those you should be aware of . Knowing that depression can play out in counterintuitive ways is important, since knowing that youre depressed is the first step in seeking help for it.
Depression can poke through in unexpected ways, both physical and behavioral its kind of like depression is finding a way out, if it isnt being acknowledged otherwise. Some people, particularly men, are more likely to externalize their depression, says psychologist and author of When Depression Hurts Your Relationship, Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD. Depression symptoms come out through excessively drinking alcohol, seeking out an affair outside of the relationship, becoming aggressive, or withdrawing from those you love. Similarly, physical symptoms like backaches or low sexual desire are less recognized as depression because they’re externalized. Extreme fatigue both mental and physical is a common symptom , as are changes in eating habits or sleep patterns.
Also Check: Motivation To Clean House When Depressed