Getting Help For Depression
If you think you might be depressed, take a depression screening. Print out the results or e-mail them to yourself and then show them to a counselor or doctor.
To get help, start with your student health center or counseling service on campus. Most community colleges provide limited free mental health services and can refer you to local providers for longer-term treatment. You can also talk to your family doctor. Your local Mental Health America affiliate can refer or in some cases provide services as well. To find the nearest MHA affiliate, call 800-969-6642 or go to Find An Affiliate.
Remember, depression and other mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Telling someone you are struggling is the first step toward feeling better. You will need the help of a mental health professional to beat depression. Talk therapy, antidepressant medication or a combination can be very effective.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741 or dial 911 for immediate assistance.
What Causes Eating Disorders
The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown, but they are believed to be linked to a combination of genetic, environmental, social, and other factors.
It is important to emphasize that eating disorders are not a result of lifestyle choices. Instead, they are medical conditions with complicated biological underpinnings.
Some eating disorders appear to run in families, which suggests a possible genetic predisposition in certain cases. Social and cultural pressures, concerns about body image, and other emotional struggles may influence the risk of developing an eating disorder.
Making Other Healthful Lifestyle Choices
When a person is anxious, they may find it difficult to exercise or sleep. However, both sleep and physical activity can reduce anxiety and increase appetite.
Individuals should try to get enough sleep each night by setting a regular sleep schedule.
They should also aim to exercise most days. Even short bursts of gentle exercise can be helpful. People who are new to exercise can start small and increase the duration and intensity of activities over time.
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How Are Depression And Loss Of Appetite Related
Loss of appetite and depression are very much related as depression makes the person not want to eat as it makes them lethargic and devoid of energy and zeal to live a healthy life. The depressed person does not want to eat as they find life hopeless and frustrating.
Depression sometimes triggers anxiety and stress which can make people experience nausea, gastric discomforts, and vomiting which reduces the appetite for any food.
Depression And Sleep: Understanding The Connection
Depression and sleep problems are closely linked. People withinsomnia, for example, may have a tenfold higher risk of developing depression thanpeople who get a good nights sleep. And among people with depression, 75percent have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
Which comes first? Either one can be the starting point, says Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick H. Finan, Ph.D. Poor sleep may create difficulties regulating emotions that, in turn, may leave you more vulnerable to depression in the futuremonths or even years from now. And depression itself is associated with sleep difficulties such as shortening the amount of restorative slow-wave sleep a person gets each night.
If you have depression , daily stressessuch as financial worries, an argument with your spouse, or a jam-packed evening commutecould also lead to more nighttime wake-ups and more trouble getting back to sleep than someone without depression would experience.
Understanding the relationship between insomnia and depression can help you spot risks early, get the right help, and recover more fully if you are experiencing both. Youll feel healthy, well-rested, and able to enjoy life again. Heres what you need to know about depression and sleep:
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Take It One Step At A Time
When youre warm and cozy in bed, getting to work or the kids off to school can feel impossible there are so many steps between where you are and where you to need to be. Instead, dont look at the big picture.
When you wake up in the morning, if you look at everything you have to accomplish for the day, youre going to become overwhelmed, says Dr. Vinay Saranga, a psychiatrist based near Raleigh, North Carolina.
Instead, break the day down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Go one by one and only focus on the task that it is in front of you.
Tell yourself to put your feet on the floor. Then go to the bathroom. Then brush your teeth. Then get dressed and so on. Think just one step ahead until it feels more manageable to look further out.
The idea is to avoid overwhelm and make things simple to knock out, he says.
Is There Anything Else I Should Do
If you are feeling any of the symptoms listed above, it is very important to tell someone. The early days of taking care of a new baby can be hard. Youre probably not sleeping much as you try to meet your babys needs around the clock. Find a friend, family member or someone else you trust who can look after your baby for short periods while you get a break. If people offer help, accept it.
There are many support programs for new mothers. Talk to your doctor, nurse, midwife, or contact your local public health office for a listing of services in your area.
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What To Do If You Think Your Sleep Is Affected By Depression
Dr. Riba recommended talking with your healthcare provider, who can give you the Patient Health Questionnaire diagnostic tool.
“Your doctor will probably ask you about when the symptom or symptoms started and if any big event or change happened in your life at that time,” said Dr. Riba. Be prepared to talk about your and your family’s mental health history and any other symptoms of depression, such as trouble concentrating, aches and pains, or wanting to use sleep as an escape.
Depression can usually be treated with medication and talk therapy. If your sleep issues are minimal, you can try sleep hygiene practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , such as limiting access to electronic devices in your bedroom or avoiding eating too much before bed.
Of course, having a hard time going to bed at night or getting up in the morning doesn’t necessarily mean you have a mood disorder. It can also be a sign of many other issues, including anemia and a thyroid condition. Your healthcare provider should ask about these possibilities too, said Dr. Riba, to get a full picture of your health and what’s going on in your life.
Can I Prevent Nes
You may not be able to prevent NES. But you can take steps to improve your health and get restful sleep by:
- Choosing healthy foods: Make sure you only have healthy foods at home. Getting rid of foods that are high in fat and sugar can help you avoid indulging in them at night.
- Practicing good sleep hygiene: Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, and try to go to sleep at the same time every day. Avoid caffeine and electronics before bed.
- Keeping an eye on your mental health: Try to manage stress with meditation and deep breathing. If you feel sad or anxious, talk to your provider. Counseling and therapy can help you manage emotions and improve your mood.
- Staying active during the day: Regular exercise and physical activity during the day helps you sleep better at night.
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What’s The Relationship Between Sleep And Depression
People experiencing depression may have sleep difficulties, including not sleeping enough to sleeping excessively, according to the NIMH. They can also wake up much earlier than they intended to . These issues are linked to depression through hormones and the nervous system.
According to a March 2015 study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, there are several hormones that play a role in being asleep and awake. Those hormones include:
- Growth hormones
- Ghrelin and leptin
Melatonin and cortisol help regulate your circadian rhythm as they work opposite of one another. If they are out of balance, sleep issues can occur. Additionally, increased TSH or ghrelin levels and decreased growth hormone or leptin levels can all lead to sleeplessness and vice versa.
The nervous system contains neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that send signals between neurons . Certain neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating periods of wakefulness and sleep, according to a January 2022 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry. The researchers found that neurotransmitter system abnormalities can result in both sleep-wake rhythm disorders and the development of depression.
Sure Signs You May Be Getting Depression According To Experts
Life is weird right now. Because of COVID-19, we’re all getting vaccinated and slowly coming out of our shells. In such strange times, your mood is bound to be negatively affected. But it’s important to check in on your mental health to ensure you’re not facing a bigger problem: depression. Check out these 20 subtle signs you may be depressed. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss theseSymptoms Everyone Needs to Know About During This Pandemic.
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Overeating Vs Appetite Loss
People who have persistent anxiety or an anxiety disorder are more likely to have long-term heightened levels of CRF hormones in their system. As a result, these individuals may be more likely to experience a prolonged loss of appetite.
On the other hand, people who experience anxiety less frequently may be more likely to seek comfort from food and overeat. However, everyone reacts differently to anxiety and stress, whether it is chronic or short-term.
In fact, the same person may react differently to mild anxiety and high anxiety. Mild stress may, for example, cause a person to overeat. If that person experiences severe anxiety, however, they may lose their appetite. Another person may respond in the opposite way.
Men and women may also react differently to anxiety in terms of their food choices and consumption.
Individuals who experience a loss of appetite due to anxiety should take steps to address the issue. Long-term appetite loss can lead to health problems. Potential remedies and treatments include:
How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
If someone you know has depression, help them see a health care provider or mental health professional. You also can:
- Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Invite them out for walks, outings, and other activities.
- Help them stick to their treatment plan, such as setting reminders to take prescribed medications.
- Make sure they have transportation to therapy appointments.
- Remind them that, with time and treatment, the depression will lift.
Take comments about suicide seriously, and report them to your loved ones health care provider or therapist. If they are in immediate distress or thinking about hurting themselves, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
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Psychological Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
Besides making you feel drowsy and out of it, sleep deprivation can have major effects on your mental health. Sleep deprivation has been associated with an increased risk of:
- Changes in mood and behavior such as increased irritability, anxiety, depression, and impulsivity
- Issues with higher-level thinking like judgment, planning, and organization
- Trouble concentrating and lower reaction times linked to a higher risk of accidents and injury and decreased productivity and performance at work and school
- Disorientation, paranoia, and hallucinations
Sleep issues like insomnia, sleep apnea, and sleep-wake disorders often coincide with mental health conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , posttraumatic stress disorder , and schizophrenia.
How Can I Take Care Of Myself
Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try to do things you used to enjoy. Even if you dont feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:
- Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
- Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
- Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
- Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.
- Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.
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When You Sleep Too Much
Excessive sleepiness is a common symptom of atypical depression. This subtype of the mood disorder can be tough to identify because it doesn’t involve some of the classic symptoms, said Gail Saltz, MD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill-Cornell Medical College and a psychoanalyst with the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. “Instead of trouble sleeping and loss of appetite, you sleep too much and eat too much,” Dr. Saltz told Health.
What’s more, when you have atypical depression, you don’t always feel low: Your mood may lift temporarily when positive events happen or you hear good news. This makes it easier to brush off other signs that something’s amiss, like using the snooze button more often and having a lack of motivation to start the day.
What Are The Treatments For Eating Disorders
Treatment for eating disorders is usually coordinated by a doctor and/or psychiatrist. Treatment can be tailored to fit the patientâs situation and may involve one or more different approaches.
Counseling is frequently a core element of treatment. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy is a method that helps examine and reorient negative thinking that can give rise to unwanted behavior. Other types of behavioral therapies can involve family members and establishing new routines that promote healthier eating habits.
Medications may also be prescribed that can help treat the symptoms of mental health disorders that often arise with eating disorders. Reducing depression and/or anxiety in this way can have positive effects on the severity of eating disorders.
People with eating disorders can also get support from family members, friends, and through organizations and support groups. For many patients, support can reduce the stigma associated with eating disorders and enable them to more effectively cope with or address the condition.
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Don’t Suffer In Silence
Get support, whether from family, friends, your academic advisor, campus counseling center, or a trusted online community. A heart-to-heart talk with someone you trust can help you get rid of toxic feelings and may even give you a fresh perspective.
If these steps don’t bring relief, or if you are still unable to cope and feel as if the stress is affecting how you function every day, it could be something more acute and chronic–like depression. Don’t let it go unchecked!
Why Does Depression Cause Your Eating Habits To Change
Our eating habits are often linked to a present mood state. For instance, when stressed or anxious, some people will eat more than usual. This is referred to as stress eating. The act of chewing can relieve the feelings of stress or distract you from the stressor.
For someone with depression, a change in their relationship with food is often one of the symptoms. They may feel so sad, so hopeless that they do not have the desire to shop for groceries or cook meals. They may notice their appetite is suppressed, and accept that without forcing themselves to eat, leading to weight loss.
Others with depression may find themselves eating more. They may make unhealthy food choices, such as eating a lot of high calorie comfort foods. This is referred to as emotional eating, as it relieves some of the pain by consuming tasty foods. This can result in weight gain.
There are also studies that describe how the brain is affected by depression and the sight of food. Research shows that there is greater activity among those with increased appetite in the left frontal cortex and bilateral mid-insula. In the group with appetite decrease, there was heightened activity in the left mid-insula.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Nes
If you have thoughts of suicide, get help right away. Talk to your provider or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255. This national network of local crisis centers provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Night eating syndrome can have a major impact on your health and wellbeing. In addition to weight gain and excessive daytime sleepiness, NES can cause you to feel out of control. But treatments can help. Be honest with your provider about your symptoms, including when you feel the need to eat and what helps you fall back asleep. Tell your provider if you feel sad, anxious or embarrassed. These details help your provider plan the most effective treatments.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability, frustration or restlessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not ease even with treatment
- Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
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