Supporting Your Loved Ones Treatment
One of the most important things you can do to help a friend or relative with depression is to give your unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process. This involves being compassionate and patient, which is not always easy when dealing with the negativity, hostility, and moodiness that go hand in hand with depression.
Provide whatever assistance the person needs . Help your loved one make and keep appointments, research treatment options, and stay on schedule with any treatment prescribed.
Have realistic expectations. It can be frustrating to watch a depressed friend or family member struggle, especially if progress is slow or stalled. Having patience is important. Even with optimal treatment, recovery from depression doesnt happen overnight.
Lead by example. Encourage the person to lead a healthier, mood-boosting lifestyle by doing it yourself: maintain a positive outlook, eat better, avoid alcohol and drugs, exercise, and lean on others for support.
Encourage activity. Invite your loved one to join you in uplifting activities, like going to a funny movie or having dinner at a favorite restaurant. Exercise is especially helpful, so try to get your depressed loved one moving. Going on walks together is one of the easiest options. Be gently and lovingly persistentdont get discouraged or stop asking.
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Meet Yourself Where You Are
Depression is common. It affects millions of people, including some in your life. You may not realize they face similar challenges, emotions, and obstacles.
Every day with this disorder is different. Its important to take your mental health seriously and accept that where you are right now isnt where youll always be.
The key to self-treatment for depression is to be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself and what youre going through.
Can Depression Be Prevented
You can help prevent depression by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and practicing regular self-care activities such as exercise, meditation and yoga.
If youve had depression before, you may be more likely to experience it again. If you have depression symptoms, get help. Care can help you feel better sooner.
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Does Depression Look The Same In Everyone
Depression can affect people differently, depending on their age.
Children with depression may be anxious, cranky, pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.
Older children and teens with depression may get into trouble at school, sulk, be easily frustrated feel restless, or have low self-esteem. They also may have other disorders, such as anxiety and eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or substance use disorder. Older children and teens are more likely to experience excessive sleepiness and increased appetite . In adolescence, females begin to experience depression more often than males, likely due to the biological, life cycle, and hormonal factors unique to women.
Younger adults with depression are more likely to be irritable, complain of weight gain and hypersomnia, and have a negative view of life and the future. They often have other disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and substance use disorders.
Middle-aged adults with depression may have more depressive episodes, decreased libido, middle-of-the-night insomnia, or early morning awakening. They also may more frequently report having gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation.
Little Signs You’re Recovering From Depression
We talk a lot here about what it feels like to be consumed by depression how the darkness isnt just everyday, moderate sadness but a consuming black hole that can take over your life for weeks, months and even sometimes years.
Whether you go through periods of deep depression or feel mildly depressed all the time, the goal the journey is to wiggle out of depressions grip and start to feel like yourself again, even if only for a bit.
To get a sense of how people with depression knew they were starting to feel better, we asked our mental health community to share little ways they knew they were recovering from depression.
Heres what they shared with us:
1.When I can wake up and get ready for the day. I shower, cook, clean up the house and just face the day like a normal person Amanda T.
2.When I start cooking my own food again instead of wasting money on fast food. When I start showering and brushing my teeth on a more normal basis. When I start to laugh with meaning again. When my hobbies become enjoyable again. When I can get myself to work on time. When I sing. When I cuddle my significant other to enjoy his presence, not just to try and feel better. When I start enjoying the little things again, like a full moon or beautiful sunset. Stephanie F.
3.Laughing, really laughing and realizing in that moment you are actually happy, and you forget everything else for those few seconds and relish in the moment because its been so long. Rebecca M.
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How To Deal With Depression At Work
Your job is a big part of your life. Dealing with depression alone is hard enough. Add to it the demands of work and it can compound depression. How do you know if you are working while depressed and how do you deal with it?
Depression is a complex disease that can be driven by a combination of things, including medical, emotional, and genetic factors, as well as environmental, situational, and even seasonal issues. The workplace may be just one of these factors. If you already battle with depression, then its possible youre also dealing with depression at work.
Signs of depression at work
Here are some signs that you may be working while depressed:
Dealing with depression in the workplace
If youre dealing with depression at work, try these tips. They are not intended as a cure, but could help provide ways to better cope if youre dealing with depression at work.
Self-care alone cannot cure depression. Small positive changes in your daily routine may help you feel better, but working with a behavioral professional is most important for long-term management of depression.
How does depression affect productivity?
Depression and workplace productivity can significantly counteract each other. This is a common challenge for many people suffering from depression. Employers suffer, too: The estimated cost, due to loss of productivity related to depression and its effects, is in the billions of dollars.4
Ways To Help Yourself Through Depression
If you are going through depression, it’s best to get help from a therapist. To get the most from your therapy, you can do things to help yourself, too.
Here are five things you can do to feel better. They may seem simple, but they can help a lot.
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Get A Handle On Stress
Stress can drive up levels of a brain chemical called cortisol, which has been found to be higher in folks with depression. There are lots of strategies for coping with stress, such as time management, meditation, and biofeedback training.
Some stress-relieving activities that you might want to incorporate into your daily life include:
- Deep breathing: A few minutes to slow your breathing and focus your attention on your body in the moment can help you get a better handle on your worries.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity is a great way to blow off steam.
- Progressive muscle relaxation: This process involves intentionally tightening muscles throughout the body, holding that tension for several counts, and then releasing that tension until the muscles are completely relaxed. With regular practice, you may be able to learn how to intentionally relax your body fairly quickly whenever you are feeling tense.
Learning to manage your stress takes time and practice. Talk to your doctor or therapist about other strategies you might try to minimize the stress and your response to it.
Depression May Have The Same Healing Effect On Emotional Stressors As Sickness
Depressed individuals often have the same loss of pleasure , increased sleep, reduced eating, low energy, poor concentration, and reduced life functioning. And similar to being sick, being depressed is a painful and unpleasant experience, resulting in severe suffering and disability.
And perhaps relatedly, from an evolutionary perspective, depression may have the same healing effect on emotional stressors as sickness has on an infection or virus. The general hypothesis is that the symptoms of depression such as loss of enjoyment and low energy force us to pull back and not engage in activities such as work or socializing that would take us away from focusing on and solving the stressful issue.
As an example, the depressive realism hypothesis suggests that depressed individuals are actually better able to accurately process information, which would help in speeding up problem-solving. And the Analytical Rumination Hypothesis posits that the rumination or repetitive thinkingthat often occurs during depression creates an intense focus on problem-solving that increases the speed at which issues are resolved.
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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.
Tap Into Your Spirituality
Religion can be an impactful source of support for many people dealing with depression, but there is no need to join a church, synagogue, or mosque unless you wish to. Simple daily practices such as meditation or adding to a list of things you’re grateful can help boost mood and overall well-being.
Meditation can have a range of beneficial effects such as lowering stress levels and helping people to become more aware of their thoughts and reactions.
Research indicates that an intervention called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy , which combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness meditation, can be helpful in treating depression and preventing future relapses of symptoms.
Studies also suggest that different types of mindfulness meditative practices can also be effective in the treatment of depression.
There are many different types of meditation, but you can get started with a simple meditative exercise with these steps:
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Therapy Strategies For Depression
Wellbutrin is occasionally chosen due to the fact that it is much less likely to have the sex-related negative effects that are common in the other antidepressants. Plus, the adverse can you overcome anxiety and depression effects that prevail this medicine, which can include migraine, trouble resting, and also dizziness, generally go away within one to two weeks.
Several kinds of supplements may have some favorable result on depression signs. Exercise can boost your bodys production of endorphins, which are hormones that boost your mood. In this kind of treatment, your specialist will certainly help can you overcome anxiety and depression you show and also examine your childhood years as well as experiences to assist you comprehend as well as handle your life. Instances of tricyclic antidepressants consist of amitriptyline, doxepin, imipramine, trimipramine, desipramine, nortriptyline, and protriptyline.
How To Cure Depression Tip #: Try Natural Remedies
There are multiple natural health remedies you can take to fight depression. St. Johns wort is a flower extract available in most pharmacies and health food stores. It can be helpful in relieving mild to moderate depression. However, some studies have shown mixed results in treating depression when compared to a placebo. Dopamine supplements can help increase your feelings of motivation and pleasure. Dopamine is naturally produced and released in the body when you approach and reach goals. When dopamine is released, it comes with a good feeling and a boost of energy. Supplements, such as L-Tyrosine, Rhodiola, Mucuna, and L-theanine, can help your body naturally produce dopamine. As is the case with traditional medication, natural supplements can also produce negative side effects. Consult your doctor before trying any natural depression remedy.
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Discuss Supplements With A Doctor
Some supplements may be beneficial when people with depression take them as part of a treatment plan.
However, it is vital to speak to a doctor before taking supplements. Some may interact with antidepressants or other medications, or they may be unsuitable for people who are pregnant or have existing medical conditions.
Examples of supplements that people sometimes take for depression include:
Its Easier Than You Think
Many folks confuse sadness with depression. Sadness is a natural state, a necessary part of living. Friendships end. Death steals loved ones. Life provides us with plenty of reasons to feel sad. Feeling sad is appropriate at such times and indispensable. The need to mourn, to feel sadness, is an essential part of what it means to be human. When we honor sadness, it provides us with essential space for self-reflection, and greater empathy and compassion. It also may compel us to recognize difficult truths or inspire us to make better choices.
Depression, however, offers no solace. It brutally assaults us and promotes hopelessness. This is because depression is not a pure feeling but an effort to ward off a complex mix of unwanted ones. Anger, frustration, irritation, and grief are feelings we tend to find intolerable we dont want to feel them. When were depressed, were engaging in a psychic battle to blot out these unwanted feelings. Common psychic defenses against painful feelings include denial , projection , rationalization or binge eating .
Unfortunately, as long as the true causes of our depression remain unaddressed, it will return again and again.
Hunt Down the Cause of Your Depression
Heres a list of the most common situations that often trigger depression:
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If You Need To Wallow Wallow But Do So Constructively
Suppressing your feelings and emotions may seem like a strategic way to cope with the negative symptoms of depression. But this technique is ultimately unhealthy.
If youre having a down day, have it. Let yourself feel the emotions but dont stay there.
Consider writing or journaling about what youre experiencing. Then, when the feelings lift, write about that, too.
Seeing the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms can be instructive for both self-healing and hope.
Upgrade Your Mind Mood
In my work with clients, I like to teach what I call three different mind moods:
- unkind mind,
- kind mind and
- quiet mind.
Theyre all pretty self-explanatory. But suffice it to say that an unkind mind dishes out negative and critical thoughts. A kind mind is when were thinking positively or kindly toward ourselves and others. And when were in a quiet mind mode, were simply in the present moment and our minds are at peace.
Lets say you become aware that your unkind mind has been running the show. Here you are going about your day and you become aware of thoughts like, why bother, things are hopeless, Ill always be depressed, Ill never be happy or everyone else has more fill in the blank.
Now youre at a crossroad. You can keep recycling and believing the thoughts that your unkind mind is dishing out, or you can make a conscious decision to either upgrade your thought to a kinder one or to quiet your mind by turning your attention to something that is actually factually present in the here and now, otherwise known as reality.
As you gain more awareness of your depressive thoughts and more willingness to upgrade them, you will start to get some breaks in the regularly played unkind mind programs.
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Tips To Help Heal From Depression
I’m a psychotherapist, executive coach, podcast host, and writer who’s here to help you like yourself a little more.
We’ve all had that dream. Something evil is in our room — our bathrobe or lamp has transformed into a menacing being. We try to turn on the light, to scream, to run, to fight back. But we’re paralyzed. Terror. Powerlessness. Defeat. Even if we knew a way out, we’re trapped — betrayed by our own mind.
This is what depression feels like. It chains us to our pain and locks us in the cellar, then calls down from the top of the stairs you’re pathetic and bad things are gonna happen. We can’t “snap out of it.” We can’t “think happy thoughts” or go for a run and watch the pain evaporate. It’s visceral. It’s all-consuming. It holds us hostage for so long, we forget what daylight looks like.
Occasionally, we’re freed from the cellar. Strategically, we find a way out. Other times it’s spontaneous, and though we don’t know the exact cause of our emancipation, we do know we don’t want to think about it. We convince ourselves it was a bad dream and pray we never have it again.
The following tips might help you plot your escape from the shackles of depression. Or, if that’s not possible at this time, they might make your stay in that cellar a little more bearable until you can find a way out. Because you can. And you will.
1. Invite It In
2. Connect Despite Depression’s Advice to Isolate
4) Find Purpose
5) Practice Self-Compassion