Do Something You Enjoy
Depression can push you to give in to your fatigue. It may feel more powerful than preferred emotions.
Try to push back and do something you love something thats pleasurable or meaningful. It could be playing an instrument, painting, hiking, or biking.
The byproduct of engaging in meaningful activities can be a lift in your mood or energy, which can further motivate you to continue to engage in helpful activities that help with navigating symptoms.
Research suggests that walks in nature may improve depressive symptoms in people with clinical depression.
Time in natural spaces may improve mood and cognition, and lower the risk of mental health disorders. However, theres only limited research on the direct effect of nature on those with clinical depression.
Consider taking a walk at lunch among the trees or spending some time in your local park. Or plan a weekend hike. These activities can help you reconnect with nature and soak in some rays at the same time.
Create A Supportive Home Environment
Its important to remember that your partners depression isnt anyones fault. While you cant fix it, your support will help your partner work through this difficult time.
Changes in lifestyle can make a big difference during the treatment process. Because depression can zap a persons energy and affect both sleep and appetite, it can be difficult for depressed people to make healthy choices. You can help:
Respect Your Own Needs
If your spouse has depression, you still deserve everyday nicetiesa neat house, regular meals, a calm family environmentas well as friendships, a social life, and time to pursue meaningful interests, Walfish says. As much as possible, pursue these things. Its easy to spend your time dealing with your spouses needs and issues. But dont sacrifice your own joys and goals needlessly. As we noted, you are susceptible to depression too. Pursuing your personal pleasures will not only help prevent that but also better prepare you for aiding your spouse.
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Take Care Of Yourself
Along with a lack of self-worth, people with depression may feel decreased motivation and a loss of enjoyment for life, says Judith Feld, MD, and national medical director for Ontrak, Inc., a behavioral health care provider.
In fact, it’s common for people with depression to stop caring about their health and hygiene, Feld says. They may even stop showering for several days, stop brushing their teeth, or stop exercising. This can exacerbate feelings of worthlessness or shame and end up making the depression worse.
So, even though sticking to a routine can be difficult for someone with depression, it can also be really important to have structure. It might be helpful to start with two or three small tasks that you do every morning. For example, taking a few moments to stretch and make your bed when you wake up can be a good place to start.
But there’s no need to put pressure on yourself to maintain a high level of productivity, Feld says. Be proud of the small tasks you are doing to take care of yourself. Something as simple as organizing your work area or putting away laundry is an accomplishment.
Your appetite may also be affected by depression. You might feel the urge to eat all the time or not at all. A healthy diet is important, and certain foods can actually influence the chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin, that are linked to depression. Foods that may help relieve depressive symptoms include:
Find Outdoor Activities To Do Together
When it comes to depression, sometimes the little things we take for granted are a win, like the ability to get out of the house. It can be helpful when someone is there to provide a little encouragement.
You may want to suggest doing some fun outdoor activities with your partner. Being in contact with nature may help reduce stress levels and improve mood. Physical activity can also promote the release of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain.
It can be something simple, like taking a walk around the block or a short bike ride on a trail. If your partner is up for it, you could also go for a swim, try rollerblading together, or take an outdoor yoga class.
You can also do something more laid-back, like go to an outdoor concert, take a camping trip, or have a picnic in the park.
Sometimes they may not be up for an activity. Remember, this is not about you, so try not to take it personally. Be prepared to continue on with some plans by yourself or adapt your ideas to what they need that day.
Perhaps bring a good book, take a journal, or find a good podcast to listen to while you sit next to them. If they prefer to be by themselves, they might need you to accept this without trying to convince them otherwise.
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Keep Up Your Usual Routine
When all you want to do is hide under the covers and never come out again, even the simple things that make up our routine can seem impossible.
Its tempting -and much easier- to ignore them but in my experience, doing so has a tendency to make things worse.
Yes, theres a lot to be said for taking a few days off to practice self-care and implement strategies for overcoming your depression, but where possible, keep up with day-to-day tasks like paying the bills, doing the grocery shopping, stopping by for that weekly catch up with family or friends.
When we let those things pile up, those few bills we could have dealt with turn into a literal mountain of debt and bad news, which is not what we need when were trying to overcome depression.
Friends and family worry about us and offer us all kinds of unsolicited advice which only causes us more resentments.
Things that should have been easy get harder and harder to deal with the more we ignore them, so keeping up these day-to-day parts of our routine, no matter how much of a struggle it may feel at times, can actually prove incredibly effective.
Tms Therapy For Depression
If youre suffering from major depression that has been resistant to therapy, medication, and self-help, then TMS therapy may be an option. Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is a noninvasive treatment that directs recurring magnetic energy pulses at the regions of the brain that are involved in mood. These magnetic pulses pass painlessly through the skull and stimulate brain cells which can improve communication between different parts of the brain and ease depression symptoms.
While TMS may be able to improve treatment-resistant depression, that doesnt mean its a cure for depression or that your symptoms wont return. However, it could provide sufficient improvements in your energy and drive to enable you to begin talk therapy or make the lifestyle changessuch as improving your diet, exercising, and building your support networkthat can help preserve your depression recovery in the long term.
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Monitor Your Own Moods And Thinking
Enduring barrages of negative comments, holding the household and family together, and losing the sweetest, most supportive aspects of your marriage isnt easy. Over months and years, the non-depressed spouse may give in to confusion, self-blame, demoralization, and resentment, notes Anne Sheffield, author of Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond. You may conclude that you must leave to save yourself. If this sounds familiar, get help for yourselfand insist that your mate do the same. Depression separates couples with surgical skill and is a major home-breaker, Sheffield wrote in her book.
What Are The Different Antidepressants And How Do They Work
The most commonly prescribed antidepressants cause changes in brain chemistry that affect how neurons communicate. Exactly how this improves mood remains somewhat of a mystery, but the fact that they do often work is well-established.
- SSRIs This category of drug includes Prozac , Celexa , and Zoloft and targets serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, appetite, and sleep.
- SNRIs SNRIs include drugs like Cymbalta , Pristiq , and Effexor XR , which block the reabsorption of both serotonin and another neurotransmitter, norepinephrine.
- NDRIs This class of medications includes bupropion.
- TCAs TCAs include such drugs as Tofranil and Pamelor . These drugs were among the earliest antidepressants to come on the market. These days, doctors generally only turn to them when treatment with SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs has failed.
- MAOIs MAOIs, including Nardil and , were the first antidepressants developed. Theyre rarely used today, in part because people who take them require careful monitoring to prevent negative interactions with certain foods and other medications.
All antidepressants can have side effects, but some may be more problematic than others. You may need to try several different medications, or a combination, guided by your doctor, before you find what works best for you.
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Stay Connected And Find Support
Social connection is fundamental to human health and well-being, but depression makes it really difficult to keep those connections strong.
“Depression looks differently for everybody, but common negative thoughts people have when depressed are ‘I am a burden to others,’ ‘I am worthless,’ ‘It’s pointless,'” Maisel says. “Their depression may even tell them that their friends and family are better off without them around.”
Even though it can feel challenging, reaching out and leaning on your support system is actually one of the best things someone with depression can do.
“Social connection is necessary to help people begin to challenge the idea that they are worthless, to give them something to live for, to allow them space to process their emotions, and to feel connected to somebody outside of themselves,” Maisel says.
To maintain social connection and find support when depressed, Maisel recommends these tips:
How To Deal With A Depressed Wife
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 21,705 times.
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Do The Opposite Of What The Depression Voice Suggests
If you believe an event wont be fun or worth your time, say to yourself, You might be right, but itll be better than just sitting here another night. You may soon see the automatic thought isnt always helpful.
How Do You Deal With Sadness In A Healthy Way
During periods of sadness, it’s important to connect with others for emotional support and to focus on self-care. It may seem obvious but sleep and diet are important aspects of mental wellness and helpful ways to destress. So is regular exercise. It takes courage to sit with sadness and accept your feelings. 2 But if it persistsor starts to impact daily functioningit’s important to seek help from a trained counselor. Working to understand the causes of strong emotions through introspection, education, and professional help can be a helpful way to understand them.
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Recognizing Depression Symptoms In A Loved One
Family and friends are often the first line of defense in the fight against depression. Thats why its important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression. You may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before they do, and your influence and concern can motivate them to seek help.
Be concerned if your loved one:
Doesnt seem to care about anything anymore. Has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities. Has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.
Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life. Is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody talks about feeling helpless or hopeless.
Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. Or complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps. Has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and out of it.
Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers, as a way to self-medicate how theyre feeling.
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How Can I Get A Better Nights Sleep
Sleeping well directly affects your mental and physical health. Fall short and it can take a serious toll on your daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight. Yet many of us regularly toss and turn at night, struggling to get the sleep we need.
Getting a good nights sleep may seem like an impossible goal when youre wide awake at 3 a.m., but you have much more control over the quality of your sleep than you probably realize. Just as the way you feel during your waking hours often hinges on how well you sleep at night, so the cure for sleep difficulties can often be found in your daily routine.
Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can leave you tossing and turning at night and adversely affect your mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and weight. But by experimenting with the following tips, you can enjoy better sleep at night, boost your health, and improve how you think and feel during the day.
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Keep Your Room Dark Cool And Quiet
Keep noise down. If you cant avoid or eliminate noise from neighbors, traffic, or other people in your household, try masking it with a fan or sound machine. Earplugs may also help.
Keep your room cool. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.
Make sure your bed is comfortable. Your bed covers should leave you enough room to stretch and turn comfortably without becoming tangled. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide more or less support.
Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex. By not working, watching TV, or using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed, your brain will associate the bedroom with just sleep and sex, which makes it easier to wind down at night.
Create A Support Network
When you feel depressed, you may have a tendency to hide away and bottle up your feelings. However, the best approach is to build a support network of friends, relatives or even dedicated support groups, who can help you address how you are feeling.
We recognise that talking to someone about your depression can be difficult for you. Whoever it is, its better if it is someone who is able to listen and empathise with you about how youre feeling. Dedicated support groups for depression can be a great way to find like-minded people to share your experiences with, either in person or remotely. Look online to find what depression support groups are out there for you.
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When To Get Help For Depression
If youve tried all of the above and your depression symptoms are persisting or getting more severe, then it might be right to consider seeking professional help. Depression is a treatable condition, and seeking specialist support is not a sign of weakness. These self-help tips will likely play some part in your recovery and help you to prevent symptoms returning once your treatment is complete.
Priory offers outpatient, inpatient and day care treatment for depression, as well as online therapy via Priory Connect. We will work closely with you to decide on the right direction for your recovery. Use the details below to get in touch with a mental health professional today and being your journey to beating depression.
For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or make an enquiry. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here.
Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
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