Alcohol And Illegal Drugs
When youre feeling depressed, it can be easy to turn to alcohol or other methods of self-medication. You may feel short-term relief, but these substances usually only make things worse. Alcohol and drugs throw off your sleep cycles, and cause mood swings and anxiety. If youre taking any prescription medications, alcohol and drugs can make you experience negative side effects, and they can even stop your medications from working.
Talk to your doctor if youre having trouble abstaining from drugs or alcohol. They can recommend you to programs that can help you get sober.
They Can Have Bad Days And Better Days
Depression can have its ups and downs. If someone has hidden or undiagnosed depression, they might seem like they get random mood swings, depending on if their depression is consistent or not. To you , the changes in mood seem without cause, but its simply how some peoples depression manifests.
If you know the person has depression, its possible to falsely believe theyre permanently better because of a few good days. While its always great if someone has a day thats better than the one before it, you should always let them tell you what theyre ready to handle and when.
Assuming theyve completely recovered and pushing them too quickly into things might overwhelm them and make them retreat into themselves again. Be supportive of your friends and family who have depression, but let them make the calls.
Going to the salon every other week gets expensive, but there are useful, free, and creative ways to get the perfect manicure without making that bank account-draining bi-weekly appointment. Check out these hacks for a great manicure.
You Stop Brushing Your Hair
If you’re stuck at home because of COVID-19, the days may run together, and it’s easy to stay in pajamas for hours or maybe forget to brush your teeth. But if you’ve stopped caring about your appearance because you’re feeling listless or lack energy, it may be connected to depression.
According to Deborah Serani, Psy.D, your care for your appearance and grooming is connected to your brain’s frontal lobes: “Depression has long been associated with dysfunction of the frontal lobes, so it’s not a surprise that people with depression find it hard to self-care.” You may not feel like washing your hair because you just started the last episode of Ozark, or you may have lost motivation due to the onset of depression.
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How Depression Changed My Relationship With Food
When you first begin to lose your appetite to depression, you hardly notice. For me, it started off as not being able to finish meals. I didnt think it was a big deal. So what if I couldnt clean my plate? Its not like thats the healthiest habit anyway. But what started as something benign quickly became more sinister. I was suddenly skipping full meals and going days without taking a bite, none the wiser until my stomach growled so loudly that I couldnt ignore it anymore. The thing was, I wasnt depriving myself because I was trying to lose weight. I was doing it because I couldnt remember to eat.
This was new for me. Aside from a few bouts of the stomach flu, Id never really not had an appetite. Food was my whole life . I grew up idling over cookbooks for hours, lurking behind my mother as she dipped caramel apples for Halloween, constantly awaiting the arrival of my next meal with an excited glow. I always imagined myself attending cooking school, writing about food, and traveling the globe in search of exciting cuisine, like a female Anthony Bourdain. But then my appetite was gone and I was suddenly unsure of all the things I’d been sure about. I could always count on food to bring me joy, and then one day I couldnt.
I didnt know what to blame my sudden lack of interest in eating on. I had always dug into bowls of ice cream and plates of pasta with gusto. Now, if I could muster the strength to put a bite in my mouth , it tasted like nothing.
Not All Depression Is Created Equal
Upon reading the above section, it may become clear that both responses to depression have clear explanations, but what determines how a given person will respond? To understand this, we need to look at the brain in a bit more detail. Although one may logically assume that depression is related to a specific part of the brain, there are a number of different areas that are activated during the emotional turmoil of depression.
As it turns out, in-depth studies into the circuitry of the brain has found that different parts of the brain control appetite variation in depressed patients. Depression-related decreases in eating are associated with hypoactivation of min-insula areas of the brain that controls the bodys physiological state. Essentially, the brain isnt as concerned with taking care of the bodys needs, so it doesnt generate hunger, leading to a disinterest in eating food. The apathy you feel when youre depressed can be directly mirrored in chemical apathy within the brain! On the other hand, depression-related increases in eating are linked to hyperactivation of the reward circuitry of the mesocorticolimbic system, which controls our sense of pleasure and enjoyment. Basically, eating will provide even more pleasure than normal when depressed, making overeating almost inevitable.
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Other Physiological And Psychosocial Factors
Another angle of viewing diet and depression involves old age, which is a time of vulnerability to unintentional weight loss, a factor that is often linked to increased morbidity and premature death. Anorexia of aging may play an important role in precipitating this, by either reducing food intake directly or reducing food intake in response to such adverse factors as age-associated reductions in sensory perception , poor dentition, use of multiple prescription drugs, and depression. Marcus and Berry reviewed malnutrition occurring in the elderly, in both institutional and community settings, due to refusal to eat. They suggest physiologic changes associated with aging, mental disorders such as dementia and depression, and medical, social, and environmental as causative factors. Currently to tackle the problem of depression, people are following the alternative and complementary medicine interventions. CAM therapies are defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a group of diverse medical and health systems, practices, and products that are not currently considered to be a part of conventional medicine. Mental health professionals need to be aware that it is likely that a fair number of their patients with bipolar disorder might use CAM interventions. Some clinicians judge these interventions to be attractive and safe alternatives, or adjuncts to conventional psychotropic medications.
Create Your Own Hand Scrub
If your hands have a lot of dead skin, lotion alone wont be able to soothe it. Consider creating hand scrub at home that has the same beneficial effects as the expensive stuff sold in stores. The Beauty Departments blend of lemon, sugar, coconut oil, and Argan oil is instantly enriching while exfoliating skin.
Foods That Help With Depression
When you are dealing with depression, it can be a real struggle to take good care of yourself and your diet. But its such an important thing for you to do.
Research has shown that certain foods can actually help to boost your mood. These include:
- Foods that contain the amino acid, tryptophan, including eggs, spinach and salmon
- Foods that are rich in folic acid, including avocado and spinach
- Foods that are rich in omega-3 acids, including salmon and tuna
- Foods that contain vitamin B12, including fish, lean meat, poultry and breakfast cereal
Below, we have also listed a few quick and easy steps to introduce into your weekly routine, so that you can start eating more and eating better:
Get Used To Going Without And Being Uncomfortable
Contrast the lean, physically active American of 1930 with the average overweight, sedentary American of today. Consider pushing yourself a little bit now while you can still control your circumstances. If you have a sugar addiction, trying to break it can be a great start. Set your thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer . Get used to being a tad uncomfortable much of the time, and smile while youre doing it.
The truth is, for the past 80 years, weve been living in an almost absurdly artificial world. No one other than the most decadent royalty of ages past had access to the variety of food and creature comforts we have. Now, Im not too fond of all the circumstances that have forced us to lose these daily pleasantries. But whether we like it or not, most of us are probably about to lose a lot in terms of enjoyable extras. Not everyone living 100 years ago was miserable all the time. We need to learn how to not be miserable in reduced circumstances, too.
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Warning Signs Of Suicide
Warning signs of suicide include talking about wanting to die, looking for a way to die , talking about hopelessness, and increased use of drugs or alcohol.
Warning signs of suicide include:2
- Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Giving away important personal possessions
- Increasing use of drugs and/or alcohol
- Ongoing social isolation from family and friends
- Loss of interest in things that previously brought pleasure
- Engaging in reckless behaviors
- Saying they feel trapped and have no way out or alternatives
If you suspect someone may be having thoughts of suicide or suicidal ideation, ask them directly: Are you thinking of suicide? While it may be awkward, that moment of awkwardness is worth helping a suicidal friend and saving a life. If they are having thoughts of suicide, listen and offer to help. This may mean taking them to an emergency room or calling authorities.
So How Did I Get My Depressed Mother To Eat
#1: Buy Walgreens Balanced Nutritional Drink Plus. Amazingly, I managed to get my mother to drink 1-2 cans a day. One can is 350 calories. Substitutes would be Ensure Plus or Boost Plus.
If you can get your depressed family member to consume two of these 8 ounce cans, thats a good foundation of 700 calories for the day.
#2: When giving your depressed family member a beverage, include a straw. A straw guarantees more of the liquid will get consumed.
#3: Do not ask your depressed family member if they want something to eat or drink.
My father would ask this to my mother, and every single time, shed say No. Hed then give up. BIG MISTAKE.
I decided to take the bull by the horns and instead of asking if my mother wanted to eat, Id just bring the food to her mouth.
I strongly suggest that you dont even TELL your depressed family member youre going to give him or her some food or drink, because this will give them an opportunity to refuse.
Dont inform them at all of your plan. JUST DO IT: Bring them the food.
When the food is in front of them, they are likely to take a bite or sip.
My mother has always enjoyed eggs. My father would ask her if she wanted eggs. Shed say no. Hed give up.
I insisted, Dont ask. Just make her the eggs. Shell eat some once theyre cooked and in front of her.
My father at first didnt go along with this, but he eventually learned that it was true:
Once the eggs were actually prepared and placed before my mother, shed eat some.
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Some Of The Things People Ate During The Great Depression Are Things We Shun Now
Canned meat wasnt available for many people living in rural areas. However, they had still had access to meats most of us would now consider offal. One of my great-grandmothers absolutely loved pickled tongue. Head cheese was another nutritious food made with animal parts we dont usually consider eating.
People in the country and city may have foraged, depending on what part of the country. One branch of the family in Chicago would pull dandelions out of the cracks of the sidewalk. They would put the greens in salads and collect the heads to make wine. Another branch of the family, living in western Pennsylvania, was utterly impoverished. They did not get electricity or running water until the 1960s. They were coal miners and did not get paid enough to afford much food. Still, they ate better than many city people because they had a garden and could keep chickens for eggs. They spent the Depression eating eggs and vegetables.
Types Of Diagnostic Tools
Researchers have been using such scales since the 1960s. One of the first, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, is still sometimes used today. However, there are many more scales available that are better suited for doctors to use with patients. There are even scales patients can use on their own to track or self-report depression symptoms.
While scales can offer key insights, they tend to be quite different from one another. The way they are administered, the questions they ask, and the way the answers are interpreted may not be the same from one scale to the next.
The inconsistencies of the tools, their use, and interpretation can make it challenging to determine the severity of someones depression, as different scales may provide different results. That said, when used along with other diagnostic measures and the judgment of an experienced clinician, the scales can be useful tools.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eaters usually are unhappy about their weight and many feel depressed.
Someone who’s binge eating also might:
- eat a lot of food quickly
- hide food containers or wrappers in their room
- have big changes in their weight
- skip meals, eat at unusual times , and eat alone
- have a history of eating in response to emotional stress
People who binge might have feelings that are common in many eating disorders, such as depression, anxiety, guilt, or shame. They may avoid school, work, or socializing with friends because they’re ashamed of their binge eating problem or changes in their body shape and weight.
When kids or teen binge eat, parents may first suspect a problem when large amounts of food go missing from the pantry or refrigerator.
Binge eating is different from bulimia, another eating disorder. People with bulimia binge eat, but try to make up for overeating by throwing up, using laxatives, or over-exercising to lose weight.
Increase Intake Of Chromium
Chromium is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because it is required for the functioning of insulin, which clears glucose from the blood. Good food sources of chromium include broccoli, turkey, liver, whole grains, seafood and green beans. Chromium can also be taken in a supplement form called chromium picolinate, although this should be done under the supervision of a doctor, particularly if diabetes medications are being taken .
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Depressed People Are Prone To Self
They might not get out of bed, or stop eating, or avoid hanging out with their friends. They might isolate and lash out at people who love them.
People who are depressed feel so badly about themselves that they are driven to make themselves feel worse.
Unfortunately, they can be prone to being unfaithful purely because of these self-destructive urges.
They believe that they are worthless, that no one loves them, and that they are losers in the world who will never get ahead.
And the best way to reinforce those beliefs is to do something so terrible like being unfaithful.
Being unfaithful helps them believe the worst about themselves, which, unfortunately, will only make them more depressed.
Furthermore, this self-destructive behavior will persist and could get worse, if people who are depressed arent treated. As a result, the infidelity will continue, unabated.
How Can I Help What Can I Do For You
One part of the way many people experience depression is that they have little motivation to do things that need to get done. Offer your support and direct assistance in getting something done for them. It might be picking up a prescription, a few groceries from the store, or simply getting the mail. Offer this help only if youre willing to do what is asked of you.
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I Believe In You Youre Awesome
Sometimes a person has given up hope that theyll amount to anything in life. Theyve lost all belief in themselves, and feel like nothing they do is right or good enough. Their self-esteem is, in a word, shot.
Thats why it can be helpful to reaffirm that you believe in them. You believe in their ability to once again experience hope, to be the person you once were or even more. That they are still an awesome person, if even if theyre not feeling that way at the moment.
How Is Depression Diagnosed
These days, a routine doctors visit with your general health practitioner may be all it takes to receive a diagnosis. Standard screening tools like the Patient Health Questionnaire a survey of yes, nine items, that physicians use to assess the severity of depressionare becoming widely used in primary care settings to screen for the condition.
In fact, most patients with depression are going to be diagnosed and treated by primary care doctors, not specialists or psychiatrists, says James Murrough, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment at Mount Sinai.
Depression is mainly diagnosed by history and clinical presentations, or a specific pattern of symptoms, says Dr. Murrough, which is to say theres no blood test for MDD. But if you have symptoms like changes in sleep or appetite, your doctor may look into other conditions unrelated to mental health .
The first thing your doctor might do is order blood testsnot to make the diagnosis of depression, but to rule out things that could be masquerading as depression, explains Dr. Murrough. For example, an underactive thyroid can present as low mood and feeling sluggish, and iron deficiency anemia is another reason why some people might have low energy.
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