Feeling Guilty All The Time
Guilt is a perfectly normal feeling. If you do something you regret, guilt will follow. The thing with depression though, is that it can cause feelings of guilt over nothing or over everything.
Feeling guilty is actually a symptom of depression and its the reason why when I experience depression, I feel like Im taking on the ills of the world. For example, people with depression may feel guilty about not being able to help people who are victims of a natural disaster and this, in turn, makes them feel that theyre worthless.
Of course, feeling guilty about things closer to home, such as feeling incredibly guilty over a disagreement, is even more common.
Reframe What You Think About Depression
Simple steps can help you overcome inertia and move forward, even when you’re down.
Depression can sap your motivation to perform even the simplest of tasks, let alone tackle bigger challenges. Research shows that depressed people have a harder time finding motivation to go to work, go out with friends, even clean the house.
One way to be productive despite depression is to see depression as a habit, says Joseph Luciani, PhD, a psychologist in New York City and the author of Self-Coaching: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression. Viewing depression as a tendency rather than an illness puts you behind the wheel, so to speak, and may help you change your life. Here are 10 ways to find inspiration to take on daily life… despite depression.
Information For Family Carers And Friends
You can get support if you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with depression.
Being a carer might mean you can claim certain benefits that might help you and the person you care for. For more information, please see the Mental Health and Money Advice services website:www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/what-benefits-are-available-for-mental-health-carers/
You could also get in touch with carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area online or ask your GP.
You can ask your local authority for a carers assessment if you need more practical support to help care for someone.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which may make it difficult for you to get all the information you need in some circumstances.
You can find out more information about:
How can I support the person that I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with depression if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills. You can use this to support them to get help and stay well.
Below are some initial suggestions for providing practical day to day support to someone with depression.
You can find out more information about:
You can find more information about:
Recommended Reading: Depression And Anxiety Center For Discovery And Treatment
Get Out Of Bed And Out Of Pajamas
The simple act of getting up is a good first victory of the day. Leave a few sticky notes with positive affirmations where you can see them, such as: Yes, you can do it, Every long journey starts with one step, or Never give up! Your brain digests whatever thoughts you create, so feed it positive ones.
Why Is It Hard To Admit That You Have Walking Depression
You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Why is that?
Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when youre still getting by. You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you. You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed.
Because your pride and your identity take a hit. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.
Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.
Because you are admitting your own responsibility for your unhappiness and that can trigger self-judgment.
Because you might uncover grief or anger at those around you for not seeing and taking better care of you.
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.
Whats The Difference Between Normal Grief After A Loss And Mdd
When you experience a loss of someone close to you, its normal to grieve and feel down and empty for a period of several weeks or more, but it should get better, says Dr. Murrough. If youre starting to feel worse instead of better as time goes on, thats a red flag. Perhaps, more critically, a typical grief reaction isnt: My life is not worth living anymore. Consider seeking treatment if you or someone experiences this.
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Get A Handle On Your Household Chores
Depression can make it difficult to complete household chores, such as doing the dishes or paying bills.
But a pile of paperwork, the stack of dirty dishes, and floor covered in dirty clothes will only magnify your feelings of worthlessness.
Take control of your daily chores. Start small and work on one project at a time. Getting up and moving can help you start to feel better in itself. But, seeing your progress in the home can be key to helping you feel better.
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder is depression that gets triggered by a change in seasons, usually when fall starts. This seasonal depression gets worse in the winter before ending in the spring.
Some people may get a mild version of SAD known as the winter blues. Its normal to feel a little down during colder months. You may be stuck inside, and it gets dark early.
But full SAD goes beyond that its a form of depression. Unlike the winter blues, SAD affects your daily life, including how you feel and think. Fortunately, treatment can help you get through this challenging time.
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What Do You Want
I know what you want. I want it too. You want someone to love you, someone to care, someone to tell you everything will be okay.
You want someone to tell you that even if you arent perfect, youre enough just as you are.
You want your parents to put your needs ahead of their own, because thats what loving parents do. You want those adults who abused you to think twice before they steal your innocence and your ability to feel.
What you want is for the past to never have existed, and what you want is impossible.
I know what you want.
You want someone to care, and it seems as if there is no amount of caring that will fill the empty hole in your heart, and no matter how hard you try to fill it up yourself it only goes halfway and then starts slipping back to empty.
Every day is a struggle to survive. Every day you wake up and wonder, How much longer can I go on?
The emptiness that fills your heart and your soul begins to take over your rationality.
At some point the things that kept you going have become meaningless. The life you have lived for so many years was just a struggle to survive.
Today you are at a point where nothing means anything. You arent even in pain. You feel nothing. You want to give up. You want to no longer exist. You want to stop being.
The endless negative thoughts swirl around in your brain compelling you to end everything. The hope for the future subsides to a dulling ache keeping you going every day.
Yet, you keep going. Why is this?
Why You Shouldnt Give Up
I dont know why I dont give up sometimes. Most days I want to give up. But the human spirit is powerful. The desire to live is a strongly held need that keeps you in this world.
There is only one reason I dont give up.
There is only one reason I dont spend all my money, write out my will, and deliberately plan my death.
There is only one belief that sits in the back of my mind that keeps me going day after day.
What is that belief you ask?
There is always something that I hope for. I hope for change. I hope for strength. I hope for love. I hope for caring. I hope that things wont always be as they have been.
Hope, my friends, is the only thing keeping me, and probably you, alive.
What does hope mean? To me hope means not giving up. It means constantly seeking a new way. It means looking deep inside to find what exactly it is that seems lacking.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try to do things you used to enjoy. Even if you dont feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:
- Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
- Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
- Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
- Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.
- Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.
Reduce What Stresses You Out
If its a job that is causing you immense stress, maybe it is time to consider taking a leave of absence. Or it could be your own family environment that is causing your symptoms to flare up- consider moving out if your financial situation persists.
The intent here is to reduce or remove the things in your life that add stress. If it is a certain relationship, taking the time to set boundaries or communicate that you are taking time out can be one way.
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Encourage Them To Think About What They Enjoy Doing
Take a step-by-step approach towards helping them do these activities when they feel able to. This could be things like exercising or playing sport, listening to music, doing something creative like colouring or drawing, watching a favourite film, reading a favourite book or going for a walk with you.
Who Is At Risk For Seasonal Affective Disorder
SAD is more common in younger people and women. Youre also at higher risk if you:
- Have another mood disorder, such as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.
- Have relatives with other mental health conditions, such as depression or schizophrenia.
- Live at high latitudes , such as Alaska or New England.
- Live in cloudy regions.
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Coping With Depression Tip : Reach Out And Stay Connected
Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.
You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. And if you dont feel that you have anyone to turn to, its never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
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Pilgrimage Of Desire: A Path Out Of Walking Depression
My lifes work is to help writers and artists recognize their depression and find healing by making their creative work a priority.
One of the ways I do that is by sharing my own story of depression and recovery in a memoir called Pilgrimage of Desire. The book is interspersed with coaching questions and exercises, which help readers take their own steps toward happiness.
As a young adult, I longed to make my mark on the world as a writer. But after university, I got sidetracked by all the demands of ordinary life.
Soon I joined the ranks of the walking depressed. I was working, volunteering, and looking after my family, but I was also desperately sad.
I found the path out of depression by following my desiresto write, to travel, to become a mother and a creativity coach. Eventually I left ordinary life behind. My husband quit his job and we sold our house and headed out on a trip around the world with our kids, aged five and three. I thought Id found my happy ending, but there was more to the story
Do these signs ring true for you? Have you ever been depressed and kept on walking?
I invite you to share your own experiences in the comments. When you do, please be kind to yourself and others. Kindness is the watchword. To keep this space safe and helpful, I remove comments that are unkind or invalidate other peoples experience of depression.
UPDATE: A video for those who responded to this article when it was first posted in March 2012.
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Find Hope In New Treatment Options
If youre on antidepressant medication and symptoms are still bad and you are too depressed to work, you shouldnt give up on feeling better.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a depression treatment that has shown great results, particularly in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
- TMS works by reactivating parts of the brain that become dormant from depression.
- TMS is highly effective and doesnt come with the side effects associated with antidepressants.
- TMS is also covered by insurance and Medicare.
- A typical TMS treatment takes 18 to 19 minutes, and you can drive afterward, meaning you could do it during your lunch break at work.
If youd like to try TMS, Success TMS is a national provider with locations across the country.
You can learn more at SuccessTMS.com, or give us a call at to check your insurance coverage and get started.
Set Your Messages Aside
A common symptom of depression is difficulty concentrating. If a constant flow of e-mails and phone calls is interrupting your train of thought, you may be diverted from the more important tasks you need to accomplish. If this is a challenge for you, resist the urge to constantly check your e-mail, and allow your phone calls to be handled by voicemail. Set aside several times throughout the day to respond to these messages.
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What Does Depression Look Like
Well raise your question with a few Qs of our own: Are you female? Are you a teen? Depression can also affect different ages and genders in unique ways:
Women are more likely to ruminate . This can look like negative self-talk, sudden crying spells, feelings of guilt, or blaming oneself. Women are also more likely to have depression at the same time as an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, eating disorder, or obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Men with depression are more likely to show signs of irritability, anger, apathy, escapist behavior , or reckless behavior .
Younger people can struggle with depression and MDD . Children and teens may sometimes exhibit oversensitivity, social withdrawal, poor school performance, frequent physical complaints , or feelings of incompetence and despair .
Older adults and the elderly are often misdiagnosed or undertreated for depression because their symptoms can be mistaken for other disorders , or they may assume their feelings are just an inevitable part of aging. For many, sadness isnt the biggest indicator of depression instead, physical complaints are often the predominant symptom. Sleep trouble, low motivation, neglect of personal care or hygiene, and fixation on death are other signs of depression in older adults.
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.
Also Check: World Health Organization Depression Statistics