Friday, June 14, 2024

How To End A Depressive Episode

What Is Focused Meditation

How To Stop Binge Eating In A Depressive Episode

Meditation is the practice of becoming self-aware through breath and attention to connect the mind, body, and spirit.Meditation as a whole can change the structure and function of our brain. That being said, focused meditation or a guided meditation for focus is by far the best one. Meditation for focus and concentration can come in different forms. Experienced meditators use the following:

  • Mindfulness this meditation involves us to be focusing on your breath and observing thoughts. This allows us to focus on our feelings without becoming too absorbed in them.
  • Concentrative a meditation that gets us to focus on a particular point be it a word, breath, object, or a point in the space youre meditating. This is meant for us to pay attention to that point and prevent our minds from getting distracted.
  • Moving this meditation involves gets us to focus on slow and repetitive movements similar to yoga or tai chi. The goal is again to be focusing on your breath while relaxing your body and mind with the movements.

Focused meditation, also known as concentrative meditation, is the practice of meditating and bringing your attention to one single object. This object can be something practical and tangible, such as a mandala painting or a candle flame. It can also be something abstract, such as a phrase or a sound .

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.

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.

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Tips For Living Well With Major Depressive Disorder

Living with major depression can feel lonely. People may be fearful or ashamed of being labeled with a serious mental illness, causing them to suffer in silence, rather than get help. In fact, most people with major depression never seek the right treatment. But those struggling with this illness are not alone. Its one of the most common and most treatable mental health disorders. With early, continuous treatment, people can gain control of their symptoms, feel better, and get back to enjoying their lives.

Ways I Take Care Of Myself During Depressive Episodes

Experiencing Depressive Episodes: Will It Ever End ...

I have been living with Bipolar Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder for about 14 years now. Along the way, Ive learned that the taboo around talking about mental illness needs to end. It does not further growth, healing, or self-love, so lets just go ahead and throw it out the window.

Ive found a few tricks to ease the blow of my depressive episodes and dark mood swings. Maybe some of them can help you too!

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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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Understand And Accept Depression

Learning more about depression can help people deal with the condition. Depression is a widespread and genuine mental health disorder. It is not a sign of weakness or a personal shortcoming.

Accepting that a depressive episode may occur from time to time might help people deal with it when it does. Remember, it is possible to manage symptoms with treatments, such as lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy.

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When To Seek Professional Help

Self-care is important and necessary when dealing with MDD, but it isnt always enough to solve your problems. See your doctor and mention that your depression seems to be getting worse. If youre taking antidepressants, you may need a higher dose or a different drug. Adding an additional medication on a temporary basis can also bring relief.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health , electroconvulsive therapy may be helpful if medication isnt effective enough. ECT is not painful and is often performed on an outpatient basis. Many advances over the years have made ECT a safer and more effective treatment. It can be useful if youre not responding well to medication and therapy.

Always call your doctor immediately if youre feeling suicidal. Treatment in a hospital is sometimes necessary and may even save your life.

Breathe Deeply And Relax The Muscles

A week in a Bipolar 1 Depressive episode..

Deep breathing techniques are an effective way to calm anxiety and soothe the bodys stress response. Slowly inhaling and exhaling has physical and psychological benefits, especially when done on a daily basis.

Anyone can practice deep breathing, whether in the car, at work, or in the grocery store. Plenty of smartphone apps offer guided deep breathing activities, and many are free to download.

Progressive muscle relaxation is another helpful tool for those experiencing depression and anxiety. It involves tensing and relaxing the muscles in the body to reduce stress. Again, many smartphone apps offer guided progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

We have reviewed some meditation apps that can help with depression and anxiety.

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Socialize With Friends And Family

Even if you are experiencing mild depression or a funk, you might find yourself drawing away from others, avoiding social situations, or not wanting to burden people with your feelings. One of the hardest but most helpful things you can do to see yourself through depression is to find that strong support circle and spend time with the people you love.

Schedule times to visit with family and friends or plan to grab lunch with a coworker so you have a specific time and place where you can lean on others when youre feeling blue. You might also find that some of these people have experienced depression themselves and they might be able to relate with you on the subject and share ideas of what has helped them in the past or just lend an open ear.

Patients With Major Depressive Episode Suicidality Face Significant Care Barriers

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U.S. adults with a major depressive episode and suicidal ideation or behavior with intent had higher mental health care resource utilization and more barriers to care than those with only a major depressive episode.

We were interested in looking at the real-world patterns of health care delivery among individuals with depression and suicidal ideation, co-author Samuel T. Wilkinson, MD, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine in Connecticut, told Healio Psychiatry. This is a population that has historically been excluded from most antidepressant clinical trials.

We were able to confirm that these individuals represent the most severely ill end of the spectrum of individuals with depression, Wilkinson added. As such, they use a very large amount of health care compared with individuals with depression without suicidal ideation.

Despite the fact that individuals with depression and suicidal ideation have a high rate of use of health care resources, there are clearly some gaps where they should be receiving more care, Wilkinson said. For instance, among individuals with depression and suicidal ideation, only 69.4% reported any mental health care in the prior year.

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Experiencing Depressive Episodes: Will It Ever End

When you have chronic depression, a depressive episode can rear its ugly head unexpectedly. Youre just going through your days, living your life, managing your depression as best you can and then . . . you feel the decline. This happened to me this week, surprising me because I had just survived a brief dip in my mood in early May. I wasnt expecting this depressive episode so soon after the last.

Realize That These Feelings Wont Last

POST DEPRESSIVE EPISODE CLEAN UP

Allowing myself to feel the depression and accept its presence alleviates some of my suffering.

One of the hardest features of depression is that it makes you think it will never end. Which is what makes the onset so scary. A difficult piece of my work in therapy has been accepting that I have a mental illness and building my ability to tolerate it when it flares up.

As much as I wish it would, depression wont just disappear. And somehow, as counterintuitive as it seems, allowing myself to feel the depression and accept its presence alleviates some of my suffering.

For me, the symptoms dont last forever. I have made it through depression before and, as gut-wrenching as it was, I can do it again. I tell myself that it is OK to feel sad, angry, or frustrated.

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Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression

Whether youve lost a loved one, moved to a new place, or missed out on a job opportunity, there are plenty of stressful and upsetting events that can get you down. However, the difference between sadness and depression is that sadness usually passes with a little time, while depression is a mood disorder that can appear without any specific cause and last for two weeks or more.

Depression impacts almost every part of your life, interfering with how you think, feel, and go about your daily activities like sleeping, working, and socializing. Some common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling empty
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Aches and pains without clear physical causes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must be present nearly all day, every day for at least two weeks.

Find Something To Look Forward To

This is a technique I routinely use as an anti-blues vaccination. When Im down I search for something to put on the calendar that makes me happy and excited. Indeed, this 2007 study showed that people get an emotional lift when they contemplate a future fun event, versus looking back on a fabulous activity from the past. Book a trip, buy concert tickets, plan a partywhatever brings a flush to your cheeks and rumble of joy to your belly. My biggest mood-turnarounds arise when I begin a project that can potentially create some good in the world and lead to fulfilling connections. For example, Ive volunteered as a mentor to underserved young women who want to write, sought publishing contracts to write a book, taught workshops, submitted a video to do a TedX talk . The point is: stop continually telling yourself nothing good will ever again happenyouve been there, seen that, done that.

The Upshot: Depression is a diagnosable and treatable condition. Theres no reason to suffer in silence, or to guess whether or not what youre feeling qualifies as depression. Your primary care physician can help direct you to someone who specializes in mental health. In the meantime, heres a guide to the signs and symptoms and a quick assessment quiz. You can also download one of these mental health apps for more information.

*Names of patients are changed

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Listen To Upbeat Music

I have always thought of music as food for the soul. An upbeat tune can change an atmosphere instantly and create a more positive vibe. Listening to upbeat, happy music alters brain chemistry and can improve your mood.

One study found that findings indicate that music listening impact the psychobiological stress system, which means music has the ability to lower stress and regulate mood. Both of these can help relieve some symptoms of depression.

Take The Time To Write Down And Put To Words Who You Are Or How You See Yourself

Three Signs Your Mania Is Coming (The Manic Prodrome)

Blank canvas. Thats what you are right now. Ive mentioned earlier that the recovery phase is an opportunity. Use it to create what you want for yourself, in yourself. Redefine who you are. You have the strength and capacity to do so now. Highlight the best parts of you. And identify the area you feel may need some improvement.

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Depression Statistics: Disturbing Trends Helpful Treatment

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who, like Kashuk, know exactly what it means to be depressed. An estimated 17.3 million, or 7 percent, of adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States.

Whats more, a recent report from Mental Health America, a nonprofit founded in 1909, offers startling statistics pertaining to one of depression’s most disturbing symptoms: thoughts of suicide.

According to its 2021 State of Mental Health in America report, suicidal ideation among adults increased by 0.15 percent between the 2016-2017 calendar year and the 2017-2018 calendar year, the most recent years for which statistics are available.

There is a bright side. Although there is no one-size-fits-all cure for depression, there are many effective treatment options, one of which is bound to help you heal if youre struggling with the illness. This cannot be emphasized enough, given that roughly two-thirds of people living with depression do not receive the care they need, according to a report in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, published online February 22, 2019.

Practice Good Sleep Habits

Depression often disrupts sleeping patterns, causing you to sleep too much or too little. Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule youll feel better.

Avoid the urge to nap during the day or to lounge in bed too long after you wake up. If you cant fall asleep or stay asleep, limit your caffeine intake and screen time before bed.

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Separate Yourself From The Depression

A condition does not define a person they are not their illness. When depression symptoms begin, some people find it helpful to repeat: I am not depression, I just have depression.

A person should remind themselves of all the other aspects of themselves. They may also be a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, neighbor, and colleague. Each person has their own strengths, abilities, and positive qualities that make them who they are.

Diagnosis Of A Depressive Episode

Dealing with a depressive episode while on antidepressants ...

After taking the affected personââ¬â¢s medical history and performing a physical examination, a doctor or the mental health specialist to which the person is referred to, can diagnose a depressive episode based on the criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition .

A major depressive episode is characterized by five or more of the following symptoms being present every day, or almost every day, for a minimum of two weeks:

  • Depressed mood for most of the day
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in all or most activities
  • Significant unexplained weight loss or gain, or appetite changes
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Restlessness or sluggishness
  • Tiredness or lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide ââ¬â there may be suicide plans or suicide attempts

These symptoms should indicate a marked difference from the affected personââ¬â¢s previous functioning. For the diagnosis to be made, at least one of the symptoms needs to be depressed mood or loss of interest in most activities. It is also necessary for the symptoms to cause significant distress or impairment in social and job functioning.

If the symptoms are attributed to another mental health condition, the diagnosis and treatment may be different to that detailed here for a depressive episode.

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