When To Get Professional Help For Depression
If youve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing additional help doesnt mean youre weak. Sometimes the negative thinking in depression can make you feel like youre a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you can feel better!
Dont forget about these self-help tips, though. Even if youre receiving professional help, these tips can be part of your treatment plan, speeding your recovery and preventing depression from returning.
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.
Define Your Support Team & Stay In Touch
We all need a support team on our life journey. Think of it like a team of people you know, personally or professionally, who have your back and you can turn to in times of need.
Any successful endeavour requires a support team! And life is indeed an endeavour! A daring feat. A rollercoaster. An adventure. There are mountains to climb and valleys to traverse. There is light and there is dark. We have ups and downs. We have strengths and we have weaknesses. We are human after all. We will make mistakes, we will fall over, we will find ourselves at times feelings lost and unsure how we got there, or how to get out.
That’s where your support team comes in handy.
A support team is simply ANYONE positive and helpful that you can trust. This might include family members, extended family, friends, healthcare professionals, acquaintances, role models, members of your extended social/community network, other professional advisers or people in your faith group.
Start by making a list of who is in your support team. They don’t have to know they are in your support team, or even choose to be in it. It’s just a good way for you to FRAME a list of people that are positive and helpful whom you can trust.
Then, get in touch with those people on a regular basis. Just being in their good energy is helpful. But also share with them how you feel, ask questions if you need solutions/answers, ask for guidance.
You don’t have to walk this journey out of depression alone. You are NOT alone.
Recommended Reading: Dealing With Depression On Your Own
Eliminating Excessive Emotional Baggage
The minds of most living beings have the capacity to remember past pain and trauma. So they can recognise situations that are similar to ones where they experienced danger or injury before, and avoid further harm in the future.
Holding on to traumatic memories is therefore a vital survival mechanism.
But humans have taken this clinging on to an extreme. Somewhere in our history, our minds started to hoard memories of every physical, mental and emotional wounds. Note of every grievance, upset and disappointment. Stockpile recollections of every humiliation, injustice and mishap.
No longer only recording dangers to our health. But also including threats to our status in society, our finances, worth and purpose.
And all of these painful memories are stored in our energy system.
This bulk of energetic cutter is clogging up our natural energy pathways, blocking and choking energy flow and causing emotional pain through their mere existence. This problem is amplified by thousands of suppressed emotions we stuff into our energy body every year.
All the anger, resentment and excitement that we cant show because its not socially acceptable. The anxiety, upset and sadness that will make us look weak. The shame, guilt and grief we shouldnt be feeling anyway.
They all end up in our energy body.
And the more trauma we remember, the more emotions we suppress, the more we impede healthy energy flow.
Leaving you without life force, motivation or drive.
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.
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Let Your Hunger Be Your Guide
On the days when youre struggling, think about breakfast or coffee, if youre not hungry in the mornings.
Fantasizing about what youll eat first thing can give you something to anticipate, and youll have to leave bed to go get it. Eventually, your growling belly might be enough motivation to get you moving.
Volunteering Can Be A Great Way To Do Both
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
Bonus: People who volunteer experience physical benefits, too. This includes a
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Learn Your Warning Signs
The first step is to develop your ability to sense the beginning of a depressive episode. The earlier you notice depression creeping in, the sooner you can take proactive steps.
What are your early signals does your sleep pattern or appetite change? Do you become apathetic? Are you more irritable? Do you withdraw from loved ones?
Once you become aware of your particular signs, take action early, and youll be more successful in heading off depression.
Depressed Even Your Darkest Days Have A Bright Side
Posted February 23, 2010
Ten years ago , I hit the lowest point of my life. I was in my Emergency Medicine residency. The days felt so black, and the future felt so empty, that I couldn’t see any point to continuing. I was sure that there was something biologically wrong with me. After all, depression was genetic, right? Even worse, I was still miserable even though I was taking antidepressants.
Back then, it was still pretty unusual to be on antidepressants, and no one was talking about depression. Today, antidepressants are the number one drug class prescribed in America.
Is everyone really this depressed, or have we somehow started calling normal life experiences “depression”? Is there something about Western life that sets us up for disappointment and depression? I think so.
Research tells us that we’ve got the whole money/happiness thing wrong. People chase after money for a lifetime, putting it ahead of everything else, and then feel like they’ve been cheated when they sit in their huge house in front of their stadium-sized plasma TV and feel the same, or worse, than they did when they were penniless and struggling. Studies show that lottery winners aren’t any happier, or end up less happy, than when they were comparatively “poor”. I believe so strongly that the misguided pursuit of money and stuff, while neglecting what really counts, contributes strongly to our culture’s epidemic of depression.
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Endorphins: The Feeling Of Excitement
Endorphins are released by our body naturally in response to pain and stress. Endorphins are crucial to quelling our anxiety and are our bodys natural way of fighting the blues. The more endorphins we have coursing through us, the less we suffer from pain, the easier we are able to modulate our appetite, and the better our immune system. Most importantly, with high endorphin levels, we suffer fewer negative effects from stress. If you are a runner or other athlete, you might be familiar with endorphins because they are pumped during and after a workoutmaking us feel like we are on a high or euphoric.
Hate exercise? No worries! Certain foods, such as chocolate and chili peppers, also cause a boost in endorphins. The release of endorphins upon ingestion of chocolate might explain why many people crave chocolate during times of stress.
Endorphin Boost: Move it! Yes, you can eat chocolate and chili peppers, but exercise has many other positive benefits. And you dont have to hit the gymdancing to your favorite music, going on a walk or throwing the frisbee all are great ways to get your blood and endorphins pumping.
Heres the Deal: We cant prevent bad moods from happening, but we can tap into our natural response to stress and try to harness it. This post is the very tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways to change and modify your moods. But it is a good start! Next time you are in a funk or bad mood, try one of the following:
- Look through old pictures
When Should You See A Doctor For Your Depression
Doctor Google is not the most competent of doctors, and therefore its worth visiting a real one if you suspect you might have depression. At first, you may feel its just seasonal mood swings, but when they persist for several weeks or more, you have no choice but to go to the doctor.
Absolutely go to the doctor if you have suicidal thoughts!
Dont be ashamed – depression is an illness like any other. It is, really.
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When Is Not Feeling Like Yourself Something To Be Concerned About
Most funks are short lived. A couple bad days here and there is really nothing to be too concerned about, says Brodsky. Its when the bad days or negative feelings seem to be lasting longer and longer.
A telltale sign that you might be dealing with something less serious is the ability to have breakthrough moments of joy. You might feel sad, but you find that talking to a friend or grabbing a coffee at your favorite cafe helps to perk you up. Try to identify moments of your day where you feel OK and take note of how long it lasts.
An indicator of something more serious is the inability to identify happiness or good times in your past. It might be cause for concern if you have the sense that things wont ever get better or if nothing improves your mood.
When were dealing with clinical depression, at times the person is not able to identify happy moments from their past, explains Brodsky. Its when you think that youve felt this way forever and its starting to really impact how you function or your obligations.
Clinical depression looks different on everyone, but hallmark signs include changes in appetite, feeling tired or exhausted all the time, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed or even physical pain or achiness.
If youre not experiencing any little joys or breakthrough moments of happiness, it might be time to reach out for support. A mental health expert can help you work through and manage your feelings.
Depression: You Are Not Alone
She stopped me and said, Amee do you realize you have been in a state of depression your entire life.
The hairs on my neck bristled up and I felt my defenses coming up and then I said, No, why would you say that?
She ended up explaining that because of the abuse, because of the lack of protection and the feelings of neglect that I had become so use to being depressed that it became my new normal.
Now that I was trying to break free from the vicious cycle I had to unlearn some of my behaviors that as a child were a perfectly healthy protection mechanism, but as an adult were keeping me from my potential as a mother and woman.
It was at that moment that I felt like a blanket lifted off my shoulders and I could breath again. Maybe she was right, maybe I had been so sad as a child and depressed that I learned to mask it and it became my normal.
Whatever it was it gave me a new mission in my life to dig out of depression. It was my new badge and I was determined to finally LOVE my life and everything that came along with it good or bad.
In this post I am going to share with you 5 ways on how I dug myself out of depression.
Do I still get depressed from time to time? YES!
Unfortunately, depression is a part of my make up and something that I can either choose to ignore or I can combat daily and not let it control who I am.
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Engage In Meaningful Activities
One of the hallmarks of depression is a loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Even if youre not motivated to do the things you normally enjoy, try going through the motions anyway.
Volunteer. Engage in creative pursuits like writing, painting or playing music. Participate in your faith community.
As you move the focus off yourself and onto the activity and start connecting with others, your spirits will lift.
Theres no surefire way to stop a depressive episode in its tracks. But having a plan to address depression when it strikes can make it more manageable and help you to feel better sooner.
Tip : Eat A Healthy Depression
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones .
Dont skip meals. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours.
Minimize sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these feel-good foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy. Aim to cut out as much of these foods as possible.
Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. To get more, take a B-complex vitamin supplement or eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs.
Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna, and some cold-water fish oil supplements.
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Getting Out Of A Funk: How To Help Yourself Through Depression
Everyone has off days where they feel tired, irritable, and sad. Its normal to feel sadness as a response to challenging life events, loss, or changes, but sometimes these feelings can stick around for a while if left unaddressed and make it difficult for you to get through each day.
Heres how you can tell when youre in a funk or maybe even experiencing a mild depression as well as what you can do to help yourself feel better.
Get Control Of Your Thoughts
During a depression, the mind can turn against you, replaying past failures, and resurrecting old guilt. Question and counter these thoughts. Recognise that such thinking is both a cause and a symptom of your low mood. If you can, try mindfulness meditation. Those prone to depression would do well to take up a mindfulness course as an insurance against the next bout.
Also Check: How Does A Psychologist Diagnose Depression
Be Careful Who You Spend Your Time With
Depression feeds depression. Just as two angry people will inflame one anothers anger, so depressives need to stay apart. Seek out the company of cheerful, mellow, life-loving individuals. Animals are another wonderful antidote, especially dogs. If you know someone who has just bought a puppy, or a kitten, ask if you can visit. Be honest. Tell them you are feeling low and could do with cheering up.