The Next Step: Getting Help
If you notice any of these serious depression symptoms in yourself or someone you love, reach out and get help. In most people, even major depression is a very treatable disorder, with a wide range of medications and therapies that have been proven to work, according to the APA.
When To Seek Help And Support
Dont suffer with depression alone. If you suspect that your symptoms are worsening, seek professional help and support right away. The Nugent Family Counseling team is here to listen, advise, and work with you on a full treatment plan to address your depressive symptoms and manage your condition in the long term.
We recommend multiple types of treatments for patients with depression, including personal cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical-behavioral therapy , as well as individualized psychotherapy. If we think you could benefit from these treatments, we could also recommend:
- Management through medication
If Your Loved One Has Symptoms
- Encourage your loved one to seek professional help. If your loved one is considering harming themselves or having other dark thoughts, immediate treatment is critical. Go to the nearest emergency room or contact a local mental health provider. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 .
- Create a safe environment. If the person expresses suicidal thoughts, remove any potentially lethal items from the home, such as guns, Dr. Dunlop says.
- Be kind. Blaming or chastising depressed people for feeling low or unmotivated is not helpful and typically serves to reinforce negative feelings they already have, Dunlop says. Instead, open the discussion in a nonjudgmental way and encourage the person to seek help.
- Be willing to support treatment. Offer to help your loved one prepare a list of questions for a provider about depression or drive them to appointments.
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Suicidal Thoughts And Behaviors
Strong signs of suicidality include talking about wanting to die, making plans, or attempting to take ones own life. Warning signs of suicidal intention include:
- Acquiring the means to commit suicide
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior
- Extreme agitation or anxiety
- Getting one’s affairs in order
- Increased use of substances such as drugs and alcohol
- Intense changes in mood/mood swings
- Saying goodbye to friends and family as though for the last time
- Feeling trapped or hopeless in ones situation
- Talking a lot about death, dying, and violence
- Talking about suicide or wishing that one hadn’t been born
- Withdrawal from friends or family
Signs Of A Depression Relapse
For this reason, it is important to consider the various potential signs or symptoms of a depression relapse. Below is a complete list of the potential signs to watch for and the sections that follow include detailed descriptions of these signs and symptoms to help you determine if they are impacting you.
- Low mood
- Aches and pains
- Suicidal ideation/thoughts
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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You Experience Insomnia Or Oversleeping
Just like constantly feeling exhausted, not being able to sleep and/or sleeping too much can also be a sign that your mental health is taking a turn for the worst. It can be difficult to fall asleep when your emotions are all over the place or if you’re also anxious. If this appears to be a problem for you, try taking melatonin, listening to classical music or nature sounds, or setting up a before bed routine to allow your body to settle down. Oversleeping can be harder to combat, however, I find it helpful to find one small thing that will help get me up in the morning, like treating myself to Starbucks, or looking forward to something that is going to happen that day, no matter how small!
Youre Just Not There Mentally
Everyone feels a little bit out of it every now and again. Its totally normal for people to feel like their head is stuck in the clouds occasionally.
But those with anxiety will often feel like theyre stuck in this state of mind almost all the time. They just wont be all the way there mentally and will struggle because of it.
If you fall into this category, you might have trouble holding conversations with others. You also might spend your time focused on one thing when youre working on something completely different. It can be a very frustrating way to go about your business.
The good news is that it doesnt have to be like this forever. If youve noticed that youre just not there mentally more often than not, its likely because your anxiety is getting worse.
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What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
- get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
- ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.
You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.
You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.
Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.
- Advocacy by clicking here.
Mild And Moderate Depression
These are the most common types. More than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression can interfere with your daily life, robbing you of joy and motivation. Those symptoms become amplified in moderate depression and can lead to a decline in confidence and self-esteem.
Recurrent, mild depression
Dysthymia is a type of chronic low-grade depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood.
- The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time .
- Some people also experience major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, a condition known as double depression.
- If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like youve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is just the way you are.
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When To Seek Professional Help
If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent enough, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including:
Therapy. Consulting a therapist can provide you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles and motivate you to take the action necessary. Therapy can also offer you the skills and insight to prevent the problem from coming back.
Atypical Depression: Whats in a Name? Article on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of atypical depression.
Depression and Other Illnesses An overview of the mental and physical illnesses that often co-exist with depression, and how this impacts treatment.
Depression support & suicide prevention help
India: Call the Vandrevala Foundation Helpline at 1860 2662 345 or 1800 2333 330
Suicide prevention help
In the U.S.: Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
UK and Ireland: Call Samaritans UK at 116 123
Australia: Call Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14
What Are The Treatments For Depression
Many helpful treatments for depression are available. Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you determine what treatment is best for you.
- Therapy. Many people benefit from psychotherapyalso called therapy or counseling.7,8 Most therapy lasts for a short time and focuses on thoughts feelings and issues that are happening in your life now. In some cases understanding your past can help but finding ways to address what is happening in your life now can help you cope and prepare you for challenges in the future.With therapy, youll work with your therapist to learn skills to help you cope with life, change behaviors that are causing problems and find solutions. Do not feel shy or embarrassed about talking openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. This is an important part of getting better.Some common goals of therapy include:
- Getting healthier
- Making sense of past painful events
- Identifying things that worsen your depression
- Having better relationships with family and friends
- Understanding why something bothers you and creating a plan to deal with it
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Depression Is A Hopelessness That Can Keep You Stuck In A Painful Place A Therapist Explains Five Lifestyle Habits That Could Be Making Your Depression Worse And What You Can Do
When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can be a monumental challenge. Depression is a terrible struggle and a serious medical condition that is linked to an increased risk of suicide.
Risk factors associated with developing major depressive disorder, or MDD , include temperament, environmental factors , genetics, and other mental health and medical disorders. Thankfully MDD can be treated with counseling, medication, or a combination of the two. While most triggers of depression are out of the realm of control, some are not.1,2
Its important to recognize that some lifestyle factors may be contributing to your bad feelingsthings within your control. Making changes to areas you can control can be an important shift toward wellness and go a long way toward alleviating symptoms.
What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Also visit the online treatment locator.
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Ways You Can Look After Yourself
If youre depressed, there are steps you can take to lift your mood and help your recovery. These steps can help if youve been depressed in the past and want to stay well.
- Talk about how youre feeling. Talking to someone you trust, or finding peer support, can help you feel better and less alone.
- Eat well. A healthy diet can lift your mood and maintain your mental health.
- Stay physically active. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it can ease the symptoms of depression. Research suggests it may be as effective as antidepressants in helping you feel better.
- Spend time in nature. Research shows that being in nature can make us feel happier, feel our lives are more worthwhile, and reduce our levels of depression
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. They may feel like theyre helping at first, but they make things worse in the long run.
- Try talking therapy to stay well. NICE guidelines recommend CBT or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy if youve been depressed in the past.
What Is Depression
Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, but when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take hold and just wont go away, you may have depression. More than just sadness in response to lifes struggles and setbacks, depression changes how you think, feel, and function in daily activities. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Just trying to get through the day can be overwhelming.
While some people describe depression as living in a black hole or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men in particular can feel angry and restless. However you experience the problem, left untreated it can become a serious health condition. But its important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depressionnot the reality of your situation.
No matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. By understanding the causes and recognizing the different symptoms and types of depression, you can take the first steps to feeling better and overcoming the problem.
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What Is A Relapse
The definition of relapse in relation to depression is a recurrence of symptoms after remission has been achieved .
While it is possible that those who relapse will experience the same symptoms they did during their first depressive episode, it is also possible that the symptoms that they experience will be entirely different the next time.
You Don’t Seem To Care About Things That You Used To
We all have hobbies and things we enjoy doing. For me, I love playing instruments, writing, and spending time with my friends and family. When I get depressed I never want to pull my saxophone out of its case, I don’t feel like writing, and I’d rather be alone in my bedroom than with my friends. It’s as if I simply don’t care anymore. This one isn’t something you can simply fight, but sometimes it can be helpful to have a friend to do things with. Ask a friend to go for a walk or go shopping! Getting out and doing something different or out of your routine can help boost your mental health and let you hang out with someone who supports you!
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Youre Developing Different Eating Habits
Have your eating habits changed dramatically over the course of the last few weeks or months?
Those who have anxiety may experience changes in their diets when their anxiety gets worse. There are some people who will start eating a lot more and others who will start eating a lot less. Many people get addicted with sugar, and this makes things even worse. Sugar affects to the brain chemistry in a very negative way.
You should take stock of what youre eating and how often youre eating so that you can carefully consider how anxiety might be affecting your eating habits. You dont want your anxiety to take a toll on your weight and cause you to gain or lose too many pounds at once. By being mindful of your diet, you can monitor it for any obvious changes.
Isolation And Avoiding Social Interactions
People struggling with depression often isolate themselves from their loved ones and completely avoid any kind of social interaction. They might feel that they are a burden to others, unnecessarily occupying their time, or sometimes they just do not feel the urge to talk to anyone.
But this self-imposed isolation is one of the reasons for your depression getting worse. We are social beings and some amount of social contact is necessary for us to feel good about ourselves.
If youre still struggling, you might try out the following:
- Make phone calls
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Habit And Lifestyle Changes
Mental health professionals wont necessarily set you up with pills and appointments and send you on your way. In fact, there are a number of things you can do on your own to fight depression.
Some ways to treat depression at home include:
Exercising just 30 minutes a day.
Eating a well-balanced diet.
Talking to friends, family and loved ones about your feelings.
Many of these practices seem simple, yet of course its fair to argue that writing in a journal isnt necessarily going to cure a chemical imbalance in your brain.
But when you begin to replace depressive thoughts and emotional spirals with productive and healthy activities, youre giving depression less space in your life, and that agency means that depression gets less screen time in the movie of your life.
If the goal of treatment for depression is to make it go away, eliminating the spaces where its able to appear is half the battle.