Can Meditation Help Ward Off Depression
Studies show that one factor consistently associated with depression is the number and degree of major stresses experienced in life. Meditation provides a way of reducing reactivity to the stressful thoughts, feelings, and situations that are a major precipitant of depression. There are many styles of meditation, and meditation has been incorporated into many behavioral therapies for depression. Meditation slows down reaction so that it is not automatic, and it trains people to recognize that, however troubling thoughts and feelings are in the moment, they are not facts, they are transient, and they can be acknowledged without needing to be acted upon. Mindfulness is a popular form of meditation that teaches people to focus on the rhythm of their breathing while letting thoughts and feelings come and go. The goal is to detach people from their thoughts so that they can choose what to pay attention to, rather than automatically buying the negative thoughts of depression and being dragged down by them.
Get A Handle On Your Household Chores
Depression can make it difficult to complete household chores, such as doing the dishes or paying bills.
But a pile of paperwork, the stack of dirty dishes, and floor covered in dirty clothes will only magnify your feelings of worthlessness.
Take control of your daily chores. Start small and work on one project at a time. Getting up and moving can help you start to feel better in itself. But, seeing your progress in the home can be key to helping you feel better.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Many complementary medicines and alternative therapies are promoted for coping with depression. Some have been tested in scientific clinical trials, but many have not. Here is an overview of some of the most common therapies:
Physical Exercise: Exercise has been found to reduce the effects of depression. Walking three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes has been linked to reducing or alleviating symptoms of depression. If that seems like a lot of time you donât have, then start with 15 minutes once a week. The important message is to get started with a regular exercise activity.
It is unknown whether physical activity prevents the onset of depression or just helps modify the effects. Arranging time for exercise is sometimes difficult for caregivers. It is often seen as a âvalue addedâ activityâsomething to do when everything else is done. You might consider adding it to your âto doâ list, asking a friend to give you a âwalk dateâ each week as a gift, or requesting that your doctor write a prescription for walking or joining an exercise class. All the research shows that for a healthier life, it makes good sense to make time for exercise.
Mind-Body Techniques: There is a growing body of research showing that our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can have a direct impact on our health, and our physical health can impact our mental state. Your mind and body are interrelated. Implementing mind-body techniques into your routine may help alleviate depression.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
Taking Care Of Yourself
Theres a natural impulse to want to fix the problems of people we care about, but you cant control someone elses depression. You can, however, control how well you take care of yourself. Its just as important for you to stay healthy as it is for the depressed person to get treatment, so make your own well-being a priority.
Remember the advice of airline flight attendants: put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. In other words, make sure your own health and happiness are solid before you try to help someone who is depressed. You wont do your friend or family member any good if you collapse under the pressure of trying to help. When your own needs are taken care of, youll have the energy you need to lend a helping hand.
Speak up for yourself. You may be hesitant to speak out when the depressed person in your life upsets you or lets you down. However, honest communication will actually help the relationship in the long run. If youre suffering in silence and letting resentment build, your loved one will pick up on these negative emotions and feel even worse. Gently talk about how youre feeling before pent-up emotions make it too hard to communicate with sensitivity.
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Know When It’s The Depressed Mind And When It’s You
On the 17th day in hospital I wrote in my notebook: “I think the sad thing is you lose a sense of dignity for yourself.”
The depressed mind a) can’t do the things it knows are good for itself, b) will beat itself up over this failure, c) appreciates the irony of these two things on a good day.
Sometimes now I pause and ask myself, “Is this the depression?” because it helps to know who’s talking and who’s in charge.
Talking to a psychologist, reading about helpful strategies, exploring digital mental health treatment such as Mindspot this all helps too.
Reframe What You Think About Depression
Simple steps can help you overcome inertia and move forward, even when you’re down.
Depression can sap your motivation to perform even the simplest of tasks, let alone tackle bigger challenges. Research shows that depressed people have a harder time finding motivation to go to work, go out with friends, even clean the house.
One way to be productive despite depression is to see depression as a habit, says Joseph Luciani, PhD, a psychologist in New York City and the author of Self-Coaching: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression. Viewing depression as a tendency rather than an illness puts you behind the wheel, so to speak, and may help you change your life. Here are 10 ways to find inspiration to take on daily life… despite depression.
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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.
Ok Im Feeling Depressed So Now What
Now that you know the symptoms of depression, some positive coping skills can be useful. All of the following techniques are supported by scientific research and medication prescribers like psychiatrists and these skills are frequently recommended as important parts of treatment even for patients who continue to take antidepressant medications.
WARNING: Do not suddenly go off your prescribed antidepressant medications without first talking to your medical provider. Discuss any questions or concerns about the side effects of your medications with your provider.
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For Those Who’ve Overcome Their Depression What Did You Do
I help mod at r/getting_over_it a depression and anxiety recovery sub. The premise of the sub is what drew me to it: learning to cross that final bridge from subsistence to actually living and enjoying life.
I’ve dealt with depression for most of my life. At the moment I’m doing ok, better than I have been for a long time. Still, it is more that I manage my depression rather than having actually overcome it.
That’s where a lot of info. on depression falls short. There is a plethora of info. on recognizing if you’re depressed, anxious etc. and managing those symptoms. There seems to be far less info. on moving from coping and subsisting to actually thriving. Maybe part of the issue is the very human, unending quest for happiness. Even those who have not been burdened by depression have a difficult time finding happiness.
It only occurred to me recently that those who’ve overcome depression probably don’t spend much time in forums about depression. Hence, why I thought it would be a good question to ask a broader audience.
So, for those who were able to overcome depression in a sustainable manner, how were you able to and what habits did you have to cultivate?
EDIT: Thank you so much everyone for all your incredible stories and words of wisdom! This turned out to be a very gratifying exchange. I’ll be sure to link this post for our next Motivational Monday.
Why Is Your Sense Of Purpose Important
Feeling that you have a sense of purpose can be an important part of your mental well-being.
According to partner studies from 2013 and 2017, this sense of direction may help you stay emotionally balanced not too affected by negative or positive situations.
Research also suggests that you might have a more positive outlook and fewer physical responses during a stressful day when you live with a sense of purpose. It may improve your mood and your ability to manage intense emotions.
In addition to daily benefits, living with intent may help you maintain cognitive function, like memory and decision-making, as you age and may decrease the chances of dementia, according to study data.
Living with depression may mean more than experiencing a lack of purpose as a symptom. Some researchers believe depression is the result of loss of purpose. Heres how they explain it.
In a recent study, experts worked with participants who screened positive on depression tests.
Rather than describing themselves as living with a clinical condition, the participants associated their symptoms directly with a loss of direction in life.
They attributed their depression symptoms to major disturbances to their aspirations for work, relationships, and other factors of life that were meaningful to them.
As their sense of purpose declined, they started to experience formal symptoms of depression, but remained primarily focused on how their dreams and goals were deteriorating.
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Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. This can be a serious problem as taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder can actually make the condition worse.
If youve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder.
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Whats The Difference Between Grief And Depression
Given that the primary symptom associated with depression is sadness, it can be easy to think of grief or bereavement as depression. But grief is a natural response to specific experiences, such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. While you might feel regret or remorse, and you might withdraw from usual activities if you are experiencing grief, youre unlikely to feel the overwhelming sense of worthlessness, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and other symptoms of depression. Another important difference is that in grief, painful feelings usually come in waves and are often mixed with positive memories.
In some cases, however, grief and depression do coexist, or grief can trigger depression, according to experts writing in the journal American Family Physician. Having a mental health professional help you distinguish between them can ensure you get the support you need.
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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.
You Cannot Will Yourself Well
“It is not for a lack of will that you are not better,” said the psych registrar.
“You need to think of this as a medical illness that needs treatment, because it is. There’s no other way to explain that 11-15 per cent of Australians experience it every year,” he said.
Instead of white-knuckled will, it was more helpful to approach recovery with self-compassion.
“Compassion is when love meets suffering and stays loving. That’s compassion,” says author and clinical psychologist Christopher Germer.
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Minimize Your Daily Choices
Have you ever walked into a theme park and been overwhelmed at what you want to do first? Researchers think that having too many choices can actually cause significant stress that can lead to depression.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz, author of the book The Paradox of Choice, describes research that shows that when faced with too many choices, those who aim to make the best possible choice maximizers face higher rates of depression.
For many of us, our lives are filled with choices. Which outfit do we wear, and should we buy yogurt or eggs or bagels or English muffins or sausage for breakfast? The pressure of making the right or wrong choice is thought to contribute to depression.
If making choices stresses you out, simplify things. You can:
- Learn to be decisive more quickly.
- Reduce the decisions youll have to make during the work week: Plan out your outfits, and have your meals prepped and ready to go.
Help Yourself Out Of Depression
Experts give advice about steps people can take to help ease their depression.
Recovery from depression can be a long process. A variety of treatments for depression exists, but they may take time before an effect is noticed. Weeks, if not months, may pass between the time when you see a health care provider about depression and when your mood starts to lift.
While some improvement may be seen after starting antidepressants, they can take at least three weeks to start having an effect on your mood. What’s more, the first medication or combination of medications you try may not work for you in that case you’ll have to start over.
In the meantime, there are things you can do, as well as things you can avoid, to help yourself feel better, or at least keep from sinking deeper into depression.
You are somewhat responsible — but not entirely responsible — for your state of mind, says psychologist James Aikens, PhD, an assistant professor of family medicine and psychiatry at the University of Michigan.
“You’re not responsible for being depressed. Your responsibility is to make some reasonable efforts towards feeling better,” he tells WebMD.
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Why Seeing A Professional Can Be A Game
Were not being hyperbolic when we say that working with a pro can be life-changing. Professionals are trained to assess your unique challenges and tailor an action plan based on those needs.
Not sure if you need to see someone? Greenbaum says if depression symptoms are interfering with your functioning at work, school, or in your relationships, its time to consider professional help.
Its common to be nervous about going to therapy or trying meds for the first time, but both can be extremely efficient and effective at getting you back to a balanced state.
Three common mental health providers people see for depression are psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists.
- Psychiatrists. These are medical doctors who can prescribe psych medications. They are most focused on drug-based solutions.
- Psychologists. These folks have doctoral-level training, earning a PsyD or PhD. They provide psychotherapy, can conduct psychological assessments, and can prescribe some medications.
- Therapists. This category includes a variety of professionals that provide psychotherapy, including social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists. The majority are masters level.
There are many ways to find a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, including searching online or asking your PCP for referrals. Find an expert who matches your needs and values, such as an anti-racist therapist or an LGBTQIA+ friendly therapist.