When To Seek Help
It doesnt always matter how hard you try or how much energy you put into self-care and routines depression can sometimes creep up on you anyway.
Try to remind yourself that depression is a mental health condition. Just like all other forms of illness, we dont always have control over how it manifests.
If your symptoms of depression are making it feel impossible to follow your daily routine, or if youre having trouble concentrating or finding joy in things you otherwise would, it may be time to talk with a healthcare professional or therapist who can help you get to the bottom of whats going on.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed
The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.
Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .
When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.
Some symptoms of depression are:
- low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
- having less energy to do certain things,
- losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
- reduced concentration,
You may also find that with low mood you:
- feel less pleasure from things,
- feel more agitated,
- find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
- have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.
There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.
On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/
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Many people suffer bouts of mild or moderate depression as they age. Health issues and the loss of a spouse, family member, or friend are common triggers that can lead to persistent sadness and loss of enjoyment.
While antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be helpful to relieve and control symptoms, they are not always the right choice.
“Many older adults don’t want to be dependent on antidepressants, or are sensitive to their common side effects, such as dry mouth, dizziness, sleepiness, and weight gain,” says Dr. Darshan Mehta, medical director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Fortunately, there are nondrug options available to help treat and manage mild depression. “These are also ideal as a preventive measure for people who have yet to experience depression, but may have a family history of the disease and are at high risk, as well as those who have had past episodes and want to avoid future ones or be better prepared if they occur,” says Dr. Mehta.
Always consult with your doctor if you experience symptoms of depression. Depending on the severity of your condition, medication may be appropriate, at least in the short term. Otherwise, you may be able to manage and even prevent episodes of depression with these four nondrug strategies.
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Trap #: Negative Thinking
When you’re depressed, you’re prone to negative thinking and talking yourself out of trying new things.
You might say to yourself, “Well, even if I did A, B, and C, it probably wouldn’t make me feel any better and it would be a real hassle, so why bother trying at all?”
“That’s a huge trap,” says Goulston. “If you race ahead and anticipate a negative result, which then causes you to stop trying at all, that is something that will rapidly accelerate your depression and deepen it.”
The Fix: Don’t get too attached to grim expectations. “You have more control over doing and not doing, than you have over what the result of actions will be,” Goulston says. “But there is a much greater chance that if you do, then those results will be positive.”
Practice These Coping Skills Every Day
I recommend doing many if not all of the following coping skills and techniques once a day when experiencing depression. Its important to know you probably wont be motivated to do any of them at first because depression frequently saps motivation. In other words, know that its normal to feel unmotivated until youre halfway done.
The patients I work with who frequently practice these coping skills get better.The seven techniques can be memorized with the acronym MY PEERS.
1. Meaning: Find small ways to be of service to others.
Find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Remember service doesnt have to be big to count. Consider this, Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued it must ensue as the unintended side effect of ones personal dedication to a course greater than oneself. Viktor E. Frankl, Mans Search for Meaning
2. Your goals: Find workable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.
Most people feel guilty when talking about goals because they set unreasonable or unworkable goals. A goal is workable if its:
If something goes wrong with your goal, adopt a what can I learn from this? attitude . Also, be careful when comparing your progress with others. We usually compare our biggest weakness with another persons biggest strength. This is unfair .
3. Pleasant Events: Schedule pleasant activities or events.
4. Engagement: Stay in the present.
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Treatments Might Take A While To Work
Depression is a long-term illness, and it wont go away overnight. Antidepressant medications can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to kick in, and sometimes longer to reach their full effect. Therapy is generally considered more effective than medication, but its also harder to predict how long it will take for therapy to work. You never know when youll have a major breakthrough.
Its also possible for a treatment to stop working after a while, or not work as well as it used to. You might have to switch medications, change your dosage, or take several medications at once. Try telling your doctor or therapist that you feel stuckthey can help you find new things to try.
How Long Can Depression Last
At times, depression subsides or fades away on its own but depending on the type and nature of depression, it may take months to get along with the disruption and suffering that is associated with it. If you have been feeling depressed for a prolonged time, you must try to contact the medical health professional without any delays.
Clinical depression will continue to keep a person spell bound for 8 months when it is left untreated. While the person is under depression, he or she will be convinced that this feeling will never go away. This is a classic quality of depression and it is often associated with the way a person thinks.
When the right kind of medication is sought like psychotherapy, it can make a significant difference in the current situation. It is said that if a sufferer of depression does not show positive results in 6 sessions of treatment, he or she should be referred to somewhere else. However, the change is quickly achieved in most cases.
The series of depressive feelings can often take place over again in a few people. The risk of depression recurring is higher in those people who have had more than 3 episodes of depression. The recurrence pattern will vary from person to person and there will be a group of episodes observed in various people. While this is the case, there may be some people who may experience several episodes as they grow in age.
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Dealing With The Winter Blues
For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.
Will Depression Ever Go Away
The reason many people think that depression is a permanent part of who they are, even on days when they feel better, happier, and not depressed, is because they think of depression as some sort of a mysterious condition inside them that causes them to feel depressed.
In other words, when they feel happy, they think theyre not showing any signs or symptoms of depression, but they think that a dangerous, mysterious, invisible condition within them still remains, waiting to sabotage them and make them feel depressed at any moment.
First of all, remember that its both poisonous and absurd to think in terms of symptoms of depression, because it encourages this type of stressful, ridiculous thinking. So dont do that, and avoid the mistake that people in white lab coats make every single day.
And, second, appreciate that it makes no sense whatsoever to think that depression is some sort of a mysterious, invisible, condition that always exists inside you, just waiting to exhibit its terrible symptoms at any moment.
Using this rationale, if a person is happy for the first 99 years of his life, but then becomes depressed the very last year of his life, you would say that hed been living with depression his entire life, but just didnt know it until the very end, when he finally exhibited symptoms of it.
This is completely absurd! Instead, it makes way more sense to appreciate that his condition changed during his last year, and thats when he started dealing with depression.
When To Seek Professional Help
Any level of depression should be taken seriously and the faster you address the symptoms, the less likely you are to develop a more severe type of depression. Seeking professional help is a sign of bravery and self-respect because it shows that you are dedicated to caring for your mind and body. A therapist can offer more clinical advice and guide you through treatment with approaches that are more tailored to your specific situation and needs. However, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, tell someone you trust and seek assistance immediately.
Everyone experiences low points in their life and their mental health, but depression is a treatable mental illness and you can recover. Whether you or a loved one is feeling depressed, every persons experience with mental illness is different but help is available. Visit our Key Services page to learn more about the treatment methods we offer and to explore our list of additional health and wellness classes to support your overall mental health.
If you are in a crisis, please call us at 303-425-0300 or by calling the crisis line at 844-493-8255. The 24/7 crisis walk-in center and withdrawal management program is open at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.
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What Can Therapists In Virginia Help You With
A therapist in Virginia can practice anything from marriage and family counseling to CBT , and can help with depression, stress, or anxiety.
They can help you set and achieve career goals, work on current issues you may be facing, or deal with your past. Around 3078759 people are living in Virginia, and because an estimated one in four people are dealing with some form of mental illness nationally, it is likely that you or someone you know could benefit from the support of a licensed counselor.
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What Are The Different Antidepressants And How Do They Work
The most commonly prescribed cause changes in brain chemistry that affect how neurons communicate. Exactly how this improves mood remains somewhat of a mystery, but the fact that they do often work is well-established.
- SSRIs This category of drug includes Prozac , Celexa , and Zoloft and targets , a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, appetite, and sleep.
- SNRIs SNRIs include drugs like Cymbalta , Pristiq , and Effexor XR , which block the reabsorption of both serotonin and another neurotransmitter, .
- NDRIs This class of medications includes bupropion.
- TCAs include such drugs as Tofranil and Pamelor . These drugs were among the earliest antidepressants to come on the market. These days, doctors generally only turn to them when treatment with SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs has failed.
- MAOIs MAOIs, including Nardil and , were the first antidepressants developed. Theyre rarely used today, in part because people who take them require careful monitoring to prevent negative interactions with certain foods and other medications.
All antidepressants can have side effects, but some may be more problematic than others. You may need to try several different medications, or a combination, guided by your doctor, before you find what works best for you.
How To Overcome Depression: 8 Tools To Escape The Grip Of Depression
The path that led me to want to help others was rocky and dark, to say the least. I spent many years in the grips of depression and I know only too well what its like to live in hopelessness and despair. During my darkest days, I felt very alone, but I know now that I wasnt.
Millions of people battle the dark depths of depression every single day. And if you are one of those people, I sincerely hope that this essay will benefit you in some way.
Id like to share eight tools that can help ease depression. I will be sharing with you all the things that helped me climb out of depression and then became the foundation of the work that I do with others. Of course, like most simple tips, many of these concepts will sound much easier said than done. But since we get better at what we practice, the more you practice, the more they will become your new normal.
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Create Your Depression Emergency Tool Kit
Depression is a serious issue which for many people requires medication, therapy and professional support to deal with, but that doesnt mean that you cant do as much as you possibly can to alleviate the symptoms whilst getting that support.
Create a Depression Emergency Tool Kit full of things that will help you to feel good and keep it on standby for those times when nothing else seems to be working.
You might want to include an old iPod loaded with all your favourite feel-good music, blu-rays or DVDs of funny movies guaranteed to make you belly laugh, old photographs of happier memories, even a voucher to treat yourself to a trip to the cinema, a new outfit, or whatever makes you feel good.
You could even write yourself a letter, reminding yourself that this bout of depression will pass and that you have it within you to overcome it, no matter how tough things get.
You Might Have To Try Multiple Treatment Options
Depression is a complex condition, with multiple causes and many different symptoms. Sometimes a single treatment will target one or two of those, but not all of them. In that case, combining a few different treatments at once can make recovery more likely. For example, therapy and medication are often more effective when used together than either one on their own.
If youve mostly tried therapy and medication, try making some lifestyle changes, like eating right and exercising or finding a new hobby. On the other hand, if youve avoided therapy and medication in the past, maybe its time to give them another look.
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Therapy Benefit #: Accessibility
There are a variety of ways internet-based and other computerized communication with a therapist can work, whether that’s on the phone, via unlimited messaging therapy, or during video chat sessions. This means visiting your therapist’s office in person isn’t required for BetterHelp sessions since all sessions are virtual visits. Additionally, you can select and identify whatever matter you need assistance with within therapy, whether for yourself or for you and your partner, if you would like a couples therapy session. Additionally, if you’re looking to get support for your child/teenager or need a family session… we offer a platform of licensed therapists dedicated to serving teens between the ages of 13-19 years old. Teenagers often respond well to counseling and working with counselors and therapists on our platform because they are more comfortable with messaging or video chatting than they are with sitting in a waiting room at a therapist’s office.
Can Depression During Pregnancy Be Prevented
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says that certain kinds of counseling can prevent perinatal depression for women at increased risk of depression. Counseling is when you talk about your feelings and concerns with a counselor or therapist. This person helps you understand your feelings, solve problems and cope with things in your everyday life.
The Task Force recommends counseling for women who have one or more of these risk factors:
- Current signs and symptoms of depression
- A history of depression or other mental health condition
- Being pregnant as a teenager or being a single mom
- Having stressful life circumstances, like low income
- Being a victim of IPV
The Task Force recommends two kinds of counseling to prevent depression for women at increased risk:
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