It’s Ok To Have Emotions
For a long time, I suppressed uncomfortable emotions like sadness, thinking that would mean the depression would go away.
But it turns out when we suppress one emotion, we also suppress our ability to feel all other emotions, like joy.
It meant that for a long time I’d avoid things that moved me deeply like music in case they made me too emotional.
Now I know emotions exist to tell us important things about ourselves and the situation we’re in, for example, what we need, what we value, what we love.
Looking After Someone With Depression
It’s not just the person with depression who’s affected by their illness. The people close to them are also affected.
If you’re caring for someone with depression, your relationship with them and family life in general can become strained. You may feel at a loss as to what to do. Finding a support group and talking to others in a similar situation might help.
If you’re having relationship or marriage difficulties, it might help to contact a relationship counsellor who can talk things through with you and your partner.
Men are less likely to ask for help than women and are also more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs when depressed.
Medication Can Take A While To Figure Out
In hospital, side effects from trying many different medication combinations was sometimes more uncomfortable than the depression itself.
But getting the mix right has made a big difference to my sleep and my ability to start the day.
It took me a while to manage my medication. Here’s what I do now:
- I always carry my medication with me so it doesn’t matter if I forget to take it before leaving home
- I note in my diary when I need to go to the chemist, and when the prescription will run out
- At every GP or psychiatrist appointment, I check to see if I need a new prescription. This way I can avoid making frantic appointments just for medication
- At every GP appointment, I also ask about my Mental Health Care Plan to see if any new paperwork is required.
Recommended Reading: Depression Loss Of Sex Drive
Tips For Preventing A Relapse
These prevention strategies can help to stop depression from returning:
Keeping up with treatment: Finishing the full course of a prescribed medication can significantly reduce the risk of relapse, especially during the critical 6 months after treatment begins.
Mindfulness based therapies: Mindfulness can help a person understand any negative thought patterns and find ways of dealing with them. One study shows that practicing mindfulness three times a week may reduce depression relapse by up to 50% within a year.
Educating friends and family: Telling friends and family what warning signs to look out for might help catch an episode early.
Prepare for a relapse: It may help to make a plan so that, if warning signs do appear, the individual can act upon them quickly. A doctor can help with this.
When worrying symptoms come back during treatment, it might mean that current treatment is not working as it should.
A doctor may recommend changing the treatment style or increasing the medication dosage.
Treatments that can help include:
Talking therapies: Interpersonal therapy , cognitive behavioral therapy , or both may reduce the risk of depression returning.
Medication: or mood stabilizers can help some people. Following the doctors recommendations for taking these drugs can help reduce the risk of a relapse.
Electroconvulsive therapy: In some cases, a doctor may recommend
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression In Men
Different men have different symptoms, but some common depression symptoms include:
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Feeling anxious, restless, or on the edge
- Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
- Problems with sexual desire and performance
- Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- A need for alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
Not every man who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some men experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many.
Also Check: How Much Of The World Has Depression
Be Aware Of Your Feelings
Feeling depressed is an uncomfortable feeling, and often we tend to push negative emotions away. We understand how difficult these feelings are to cope with, but understanding your emotions can be a big help when coping with depression.
Take the time to recognise and think about your feelings, as they might help you to understand the source of what is making you feel depressed. Depression is often linked to events in the past, and sometimes there can be no explanation at all. Either way, becoming aware of these things is part of coping with depression.
Once you have a better understanding of why you feel depressed, you can take steps towards rectifying the issue and improving your overall wellbeing.
“It is not weakness to ask for help. In fact, it is one of the bravest things that any of us can do.”
Dating Can Be Difficult But Dating With Depression Is A Whole Other Challenge Here Advice To Help You Navigate The Process
Dating means allowing yourself to be vulnerable, to risk disappointment and rejection. Dating with depression carries the added burden of figuring out when and how much to reveal about your condition to the person youre dating. To tell or not to tell. We answer this question and offer expert advice on the art of courting with chronic depression.
Only 18, Isa Zhou has lived with depression for six years. She was 12 when the symptoms first surfaced in 2012. Her motivation for school and life tanked. I was very emotional and had a very negative view of everything, she says. Two years later, she was diagnosed with major depression and a year later, in 2015, with dysthymia . Depression made me insecure and self-conscious for the longest time, says Isa, who lives in Northern California where she attends college. Over the years, as medication and therapy stabilized her, her self-confidence increased. She became more comfortable interacting with others and eventually began to think about dating. She wanted a relationship and in time she sidelined her trepidations.
Read Also: How Can I Treat My Depression
The Important Take Away
Depression is a serious condition that needs full medical attention. It can lead to total nervous breakdown or worse. Thankfully, it is possible to take steps to heal it and recover over time. These steps are indicated above for you. If you are suffering from depression, don’t worry for there is light at the end of the tunnel.
What Is Focused Meditation
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 .
You May Like: Can Depression Cause Panic Attacks
How Can I Help Someone With Depression
Depression is a serious but treatable disorder that affects millions of people, from young to old and from all walks of life. It gets in the way of everyday life, causing tremendous pain, hurting not just those suffering from it but also impacting everyone around them.
If someone you love is depressed, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions, including helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. Its not easy dealing with a friend or family members depression. And if you neglect your own health, it can become overwhelming.
That said, your companionship and support can be crucial to your loved ones recovery. You can help them to cope with depression symptoms, overcome negative thoughts, and regain their energy, optimism, and enjoyment of life. Start by learning all you can about depression and how to best talk about it with your friend or family member. But as you reach out, dont forget to look after your own emotional healthyoull need it to provide the full support your loved one needs.
Understanding depression in a friend or family member
Depression is a serious condition. Dont underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a persons energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one cant just snap out of it by sheer force of will.
If You Believe That You Lack Confidence You Do
The mind is a conundrum and the origin of action can be elusive. Its a bit like the chicken and the egg situation.
Its easy to wonder if you have to feel confident to believe that you are confident. Or whether you have to believe you are confident in order to feel confident.
The reality is its intertwined.
One of the best ways to get a grip on what you believe is to look at what you do.
Think about what someone must believe about their work, if they are always late, etc.
Whether you think that you can or that you cant, you are usually right.
Doing some soul searching during this time and figuring out what you must believe given the actions you are taking, can give you the ability to uncover motives that you may not have known were at play.
This insight can bring you a step closer in dealing with unaddressed beliefs that are keeping you from bouncing back after a bout of depression.
Recommended Reading: Ways To Combat Anxiety And Depression
Evaluate What You Are Afraid Of
For years, I have lived under an unspoken rule. It went something like this. Be nice or something bad will happen to you.
Others may do things to ensure people like them, wont abandon them or generally fear a loss of love from others.
Its amazing what we will do in order to feel loved by others.
I was about 10 or 11 when I faced up to a bully on the soccer field. I finally mustered the courage to fight back and tell him I wouldnt be treated the way he was treating me.
I can still remember the smirk on his face to say go ahead and try, punk.
With all my might I pushed him. Problem was, he was about a head taller than me. My pushing him, caused me to step back.
When I stepped back, there was a hole the size of large pizza about 10 deep.
I lost my footing and fell flat on my back.
I had similar experiences to this growing up when I was confronted. I had an unconscious record that played. If you stand up for yourself, if you dont go with the flow and be nice, something bad will happen to you.
But over thirty years later, my life was still being run by that embarrassed 10 year-old.
The funny part is that its not true, but I have lived most of my life as if were gospel.
What are you afraid of? What do you secretly hope no one finds out about you?
Come to grips with these internal drivers so you can do something about it.
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.
Also Check: Online Support Groups For Teenage Depression
Think About What You Could Be Angry At
While some experience depression as a continual state of sadness or increased painful emotions, some depression can come in the form of a state of numbnessa lack of feeling that weakens all excitement and smothers your potential to feel joy. Suppressing or cutting off emotions could be a defense against something you aren’t comfortable feeling. Many people who suffer from depression are actually masking a feeling of anger, turning their rage toward someone else on themselves. Anger can be a hard feeling to accept, as from a very young age we are often told it is bad to be angry, that we need to behave, and not to throw tantrums or get in fights. While acting abusive is never acceptable, feeling anger is a natural part of our everyday lives. By acknowledging and accepting or discussing your angry feelings, you are much less likely to turn these feelings against yourself or allow them to lead you into a depressed state.
Tips To Help Cope With Chronic Pain And Depression
Depression plays a significant role in chronic paintaking just a few steps to get ahead of it can help patients appreciably by giving them more control over their personal situation.
For some people, the stress and depression resulting from chronic pain can become consuming, and have the potential to significantly worsen and prolong the pain. Increased pain can, in turn, lead to increased stress and depression, creating a cycle of depression and pain that can be difficult to break.
Also Check: Is Depression Treatable With Medication
Is There A Need To See A Doctor Before Starting Out
A doctors advice is always the best, given your mental and general health condition. The doctor should give you a go ahead and tell you how much running is ideal and its intensity. The medications you are on, and your overall conditions will help the doctor make an informed decision.
While exercising, it is also advisable to seek doctors advice in case there are no improvements. You might even notice things are getting worse, and this should warrant a visit to medical personnel.
Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be extremely useful in counteracting depression and is based on the principle that certain ways of thinking can trigger certain health problems, such as depression. The counselor helps you understand your current thought patterns and identify any harmful or false ideas and thoughts that you have that can trigger depression or make it worse.
The aim is to change your way of thinking to avoid these ideas, as well as help your thought patterns be more realistic and helpful.
Read Also: Anxiety And Depression Medication List
Find A Way To Help Others In Need
Receiving support is one of the most valuable ways to deal with depression, and getting your own mental health right should obviously be a priority. However, evidence shows that supporting others might be another great way to boost your mood. The Journal of Happiness Studies found that those who volunteer receive a boost to their mental health and greater satisfaction in their lives.
Think about ways you can give back to your local community, either through charity work or helping someone else out who you know is in need. It might bring you as many benefits as those you are helping out.
Listen To Music That Encourages Positivity
When we search for music to get us through tough times, we often look for songs that adequately express the feelings we experience. Its a coping mechanism.
However, while it is soothing to know how universal a problem can be, it is important to find uplifting music that soothes your soul and play that as you start your journey to recovering your heart.
I personally love Spanish guitar. I dont play guitar, and I dont have a background in this type of music. However, for some reason, when I hear it playing, it puts a smile on my face.
Look for what sparks a bit of joy for you, can play it.
I remember when I was going through my depression, I loved to listen to the song, Dont worry, be happy.
Even though it felt impossible at the time, it sparked a faint spark of hope that I could hold onto.
Recommended Reading: Lavender For Anxiety And Depression