Monday, June 17, 2024

How To Get Out Of A Depression Spiral

Keep An Eye On Your Thoughts

How to get out of the Depression Spiral

How can you stop something you dont realize is happening until youre deep in its maw? The first step in preventing the anxiety avalanche is learning to recognize the unique fingerprint of your brains catastrophic thinking.

Practice observing your thoughts without judging their validity or truthfulness. If that sounds hard, you arent alone: theres a reason an increasing number of Americans are taking up yoga and meditation. Sign up for a nearby yoga class or take time each morning to meditate. These practices teach you how to acknowledge your thoughts without getting swept up in their tide.

Stopping catastrophic thinking requires stepping in at the first sign of trouble. Once you understand your personal thought patterns, recognizing a disturbance will be much easier.

How To Beat Depression Fast

How quickly can depression be cured?

Contrary to what many people think, you can get rid of depression very fast.

It is important to appreciate this, because if you think that getting rid of depression will take a long time, no matter what you do, then you will predictably struggle with depression much longer.

Make Yourself Feel Safe

Negative spirals are often the result of us feeling unsafe. When we feel attacked, we go into fight or flight mode. Thats why our bodies feel so threatened by things that are nowhere near life or death situations in reality!

When you feel mentally stuck in negativity, think about what you can do to feel safe again.Think of each of your senses: touch, taste, smell, feel, hear.

Maybe it would feel good to light a scented candle, drink a special tea or go for a long walk. Maybe it would feel wonderful to wrap yourself up tightly in a blanket or to re-read a favorite book. Maybe it would feel amazing to take a candlelit bath or to cuddle with your dog.

The whole point is to make yourself feel good, so go for what inspires you! And please dont be tempted to punish yourself for feeling bad or making a mistake. The punishment just keeps you stuck in that negative mindset for longer than necessary.

Practicing extreme self-care is never a bad idea! You deserve happiness so become an advocate for your own happiness and dont feel guilt about pursuing it.

You dont ever have to feel like youre out of control of your thoughts! With some loving care and practice, you can regain control and be on your way to feeling happier and healthier.

I hope this post serves you. Much ????

Filed Under: Self WorkTagged With: how to get out of a negative spiral, negative spiral, negative thoughts, negativity spiral

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Consider Getting Treatment For Your Mental Health

This might sound obvious, but a way to be more productive if youre depressed is to not be depressed anymore or be less so. Almost universally, people wait far too long before accessing treatment for their mental health. When I was a therapist, I would ask clients when the onset of the problem was. Frequently, the answer would be years ago, not months or weeks.

There are a variety of approaches you can try, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or medication. Taking a broad-based multivitamin and mineral supplement can also help you be resilient to stress and is a simple option, especially if your eating habits have worsened due to your depression. Learning self-compassion skills can also be extremely beneficial for depression, stress, and anxiety if you tend to be self-critical. Skills for identifying and disrupting rumination are important to master as rumination impairs mood, productivity, and problem-solving.

When youre depressed or experiencing emotions like grief or anxiety, you wont always be able to be as productive as youd ideally like. Give yourself grace about this. Try a 5 minute self-compassion meditation if you need it. Be patient with yourself but also give the recommended advice a try. Depression often causes people to have negative expectations, which can include expecting advice not to work for you. If you know this, you can avoid this trap and experiment with the strategies provided.

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Get In Touch With A Professional

8 Ways to Break a Downward Spiral  Mind My Peelings

Not everyone can overcome their catastrophic thinking solo, and thats okay! If youre struggling to rein in your thoughts, reach out to a therapist for additional help.

They can work through the causes of your catastrophic thinking and recommend specific, tailored-to-you exercises and techniques. With their help, you can step out of the spiral and start living again.

Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.

Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.

Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.

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Reduce Your Usual Workload

When youre struggling with your mood and high stress levels, attempting to work at 100% of your usual output is ill-advised. However, not working at all typically isnt helpful either. Why?

Regular work helps provide structure to your day. When you have the structure of regular activities, this helps regulate your biological rhythms, such as those related to eating and sleeping. Without the structure of regular activities, including work and socializing, those biological rhythms will become more dysregulated, which will tend to make depression worse.

Fifty percent of your usual activity is a good sweet spot between not working enough and expecting too much of yourself. You may even find that your productivity doesnt decrease that much with this approach. It will force you to prioritize deep work and other truly important tasks. Limiting yourself to 50% of your usual work will help you let go of activities that were only medium-productive to begin with. Fifty percent isnt a hard and fast rule. You can choose a different number if youd prefer, but adopt the principle.

Recognize That Isolation Can Have A Negative Impact

The only way to address a problem is to recognize that it exists.

When I dont examine why I feel the way I feel, it seems as if I just have to feel this way.

But if I can recognize a reason behind my feelings, then it doesnt feel so inevitable, and I can take a crack at doing something about it.

So heres some evidence to consider:

  • links between social disconnectedness, depression, and anxiety.

In other words, if youre feeling more depressed the longer youre staying at home, youre not alone, and its nothing to be ashamed of.

Also Check: Can A Traumatic Event Cause Depression

Alternate Between Easy Medium And Hard Tasks

Another element of good mood hygiene is that you shouldnt do all easy tasks or all very hard tasks for long stretches. Where does this recommendation come from? Partly it comes from observations of how kids learn best, and people with developmental disabilities. For these groups, negative feelings often manifest as behavioral outbursts. We see that behavior and happiness improve when people are not being under- or over-challenged constantly.

You dont need to take my word for this, you can easily observe for yourself how you feel if you are constantly challenged to the edge of your capacities versus if you intersperse this with familiar activities you feel confident with, but that still feel meaningful and productive .

When youre scheduling your three activities per day that will provide a sense of accomplishment, aim for one hard, one easy, and one medium.

The Downward Spiral Of Depression

How to get out of the Anger/Hopelessness Spiral

The hardest thing for me to cope with as a person with depression is the downward spiral. It could be triggered by something big and life-changing or a series of small things. What begins the spiral is irrelevant. It is the feelings associated with the spiraling down that makes it so devastating.

The feelings of hopelessness and despair become overwhelming. Depression will strike out at all those weak spots, targeting them with a barrage of absolute negatives, reminding me I have no one and nothing will ever get better, nothing will ever work out. My rational side that usually fights to keep those feelings at bay is cast aside, nowhere to be found.

Mentally, I feel like Im flailing, free-falling, with nothing to grab onto, nothing to catch myself on or to break my fall. The world feels like it is slipping through my fingers, though I keep desperately reaching out, hoping to find something, someone to cling to so I am not alone in this darkness. My head is spinning, dizzy from my spiraling fall down.

Again and again I blow my nose. I have no idea how I make so much mucus. I am slumped over, wracked with sobs, clinging tightly to my blanket, wishing it was somebody, anybody, who could hold me back, hold me tightly, make these feelings go away. My entire body aches, not just from my sobbing but from how lost and alone I feel. My chest is tight like a weight has been placed there. I have trouble catching my breath in between sobs. I feel raw and full of despair.

Recommended Reading: Things To Do To Get Over Depression

Find Your Spirals Source

When youre deep in the black cloud of panicked thinking, uncovering the spirals original spark can be difficult. Youre worried about losing your boyfriend, your apartment, and your job but dig deep to find the root. Did this spiral begin because you failed a pop quiz in chemistry class? Because you felt a funny lump in your armpit?

Once youve found what caused the spiral, its easier to deal with the problem. Think about it like killing a fast-growing vine: If you dont dig out the roots, the leaves will continue spreading indefinitely.

Not Just Depression She Seemed Trapped In A Downward Mental Health Spiral The Real Cause Was A Profound Shock

Something was clearly wrong with Blaine Butler. Her family, loath to make the 39-year-old research scientist feel worse, tried valiantly to ignore it during their 2018 Christmas Eve celebration.

She looked awful, her sister Brittney Butler recalled. One of her eyes was pointing inward, she kept wiping her hands on her pants after she ate and what she said didnt really make sense. I didnt want to mention anything and make her feel worse. I thought her depression was just really bad.

Months earlier Blaine had lost her job of 10 years and she seemed trapped in a downward spiral. Brittney, who is five years younger, was due to be married Dec. 30 in Charlottesville, where both women live. Blaine, the maid of honor, had bailed on pre-wedding festivities, a sign that the severe depression she had successfully battled since graduate school was deepening. But instead of attending the wedding, Blaine wound up in a psychiatric hospital where she spent six days.

Less than two weeks after her discharge, she and her family were confronted by shocking news that prompted a wholesale reevaluation of recent events, as well as those dating back years.

Im just happy that Im able to move on, Blaine said recently, and that things went my way.

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How I Manage My Bipolar Depression

As a black man, I’m only allowed to show two different emotions — anger and happiness. Anything else, and I’m considered weak. Seeming weak in this culture can easily get you killed. We definitely don’t talk about mental health. There’s a stigma associated with that.

I grew up in Bertie County, a rural community in northeastern North Carolina. When we’d see certain people around the neighborhood who were homeless or who were always on the corner by one of the stores, we’d write them off by saying, “Don’t bother him and he won’t bother you.” That was the extent of the conversations we would have about mental health.

It was only after my bipolar disorder diagnosis that I had a conversation with my grandmother, and she ran down every symptom that I had going on. I asked her, how did she know? And she said, ’cause she’s been dealing with it all of her life. She just never talked about it or got any help. That was a conversation that only came up after my family had dragged me to the hospital.

How To Prevent A Depression Spiral While Quarantined

The Downward Spiral Of Depression

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We deserve to protect our physical health without sacrificing our mental health in the process.

The seasons are changing. The suns coming out. And for many of us, this is the time of year when seasonal depression begins to lift and we finally feel like venturing out into the world again.

Except this year, most of us are staying home, following shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus disease.

Its unfortunate timing and not only because COVID-19 is ruining our social lives. Its also challenging because social isolation can actually make your depression worse.

What a letdown for a time of year that might ordinarily lift your spirits.

Personally, this isnt my first rodeo with holing up and avoiding social interaction.

For me, like for many people, self-isolation can be both a result and a cause of my depression.

When Im feeling low, I dread socializing, convince myself that nobody wants me around, and retreat inside myself so that I dont have to risk the vulnerability of telling anyone how Im feeling.

But then I wind up feeling lonely, disconnected from the people I love, and afraid to reach out for the support I need after avoiding people for so long.

But I refuse to believe that its my civic duty to let depression get hold of me.

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The Instinctual Response To Negative Experiences Sets Off Cycles Of Avoidance That Feed The Beast Of Depression Thats When Its Necessary To Work Against Instinct

What is depression? Is it a normal reaction to difficulty and loss? A problematic way of coping? A disease of the brain that has little or nothing to do with psychology? Even though depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, there remains much confusion and debate about the best way to conceptualize it. I argue that we should think about depression as a state of behavioral shutdown, biological in an evolutionary sense but not necessarily a disease of the brain. This explains why some people are more prone to getting depressed and how they might climb out of a depressive caveor set up their lives to prevent ever getting into it.

To grasp why it is more productive to regard depression as a state of behavioral shutdown, rather than a disease of the brain, we need to understand something about the evolution of the animal mind. From an evolutionary perspective, animal behavior can be thought of as the process of expending energy to control the environment in accordance with goals. Many of our goals are grounded in deep motives that connect to survival and reproductive successwe strive for control of resources and territory, status and belonging, better food, and more appealing mates.

Things To Remember The Next Time Youre Spiraling

Robin Galante

I notice a dark brown spot on my forehead. I lean closer to the mirror and examine it closely. It is dark in color, with irregular borders.

Itâs melanoma, Iâm thinking. As I brush my teeth, I imagine my final days. My friends visit, bring me flowers and sit by my bedside. My funeral takes place in a beautiful park by my house. People are huddled in small groups, speaking in hushed tones. What a shame, she was so young. I put away my toothbrush and my heart is flopping around like a fish on a pier. I reach up and touch the spot. And it rubs off. It was hair dye.

Now onto the good news: there are ways we can break out of this pattern of doom and gloom, and let go of our worst expectations. Next time you find yourself catastrophizing, try the following:

Recognize it

The first step is becoming aware of your own thought patterns. Take it a step further and write down your worries throughout the day in a journal. Both of these activities allow you to step back and observe your own thoughts, rather than actively engaging with them. Eventually, youâll see your worst-case scenarios for what they are: just thoughts, nothing more.

Ask questions

When you catch yourself predicting a terrible outcome, stop and ask yourself: âIs this something that I know to be true today? Is this outcome truly a catastrophe, or is it just unpleasant? What other possible outcomes are there? Are any of them positive?â

Have faith in your ability to cope

Recommended Reading: How To Get Out Of A Depressed Mood

Creating A Routine Can Help

These days, its way too easy to let my days bleed into one another until I no longer have any idea what the current day or time is.

For all I know, it could be eleventy thirty PM on Twiday, the 42nd of May and we might as well call that depression oclock.

When I lose track of time, I also lose my sense of how to prioritize self-care.

Building a routine can help in a number of ways, including:

  • Marking the passage of time, so that I can recognize each morning as the start of a fresh new day, rather than having emotionally difficult days feel endless.
  • Supporting healthy habits, like getting a full nights sleep and stretching my body on a regular basis.
  • Giving me something to look forward to, like listening to energizing music while Im taking a shower.

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