It’s Ok To Have Emotions
For a long time, I suppressed uncomfortable emotions like sadness, thinking that would mean the depression would go away.
But it turns out when we suppress one emotion, we also suppress our ability to feel all other emotions, like joy.
It meant that for a long time I’d avoid things that moved me deeply like music in case they made me too emotional.
Now I know emotions exist to tell us important things about ourselves and the situation we’re in, for example, what we need, what we value, what we love.
Serotonin: The Feeling Of Calm
Sometimes bad moods and funks can happen when we feel listless, out of control, or overly emotional. This can come from being around a toxic person, or feeling overwhelmed with our schedule or work projects. Enter: serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that helps us feel balanced and contributes to our well-being or state of calm. Of the approximately 40 million brain cells, most are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotoninincluding those related to mood, sexual desire, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, and social behavior. Yup, when your serotonin is out of whack, it feels like everything is out of whack. Some research suggests that an imbalance in serotonin levels may influence mood in a way that leads to depression.
Serotonin Boost: One of the best ways to get your serotonin pumping naturally is the process of positive reminiscing. Simply reflecting on your past achievements or thinking about positive memories produces serotonin. Look through your photo albums on your phone or scroll through old Facebook pictures. At home, grab your journal and recall your happiest moments. You might notice after a few minutes your body desires a long, deep breath, and you begin feeling like Itll all be okay. When I tried this, I was shocked at how fast I began feeling more in control and calm. Thats the serotonin working its magic!
Does It Always Take A Long Time To Stop Being Depressed
The belief that it always takes a long time to get out of depression is a self-fulfilling belief.
Heres how it works: when you think that it always takes a long time to stop being depressed, no matter what you do, you feel more powerless and helpless about your situation. This creates feelings of greater stress and anxiety, which contributes to depression.
Furthermore, you dont appreciate yourself or your capabilities, since youre not appreciating that you can do things to get rid of depression faster. This translates into lower self confidence and lower self esteem, which also contributes to depression.
And, finally, when you believe it takes a long time to get rid of depression, no matter what you do, you are less motivated to do things that would help you stop being depressed, like improving your thinking and lifestyle.
The predictable result of all of this is that if you believe it will take you a long time to stop being depressed, you will experience a long struggle with depression, although you might not appreciate the role that your self-fulfilling belief played.
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Separate Yourself From The Depression
A condition does not define a person they are not their illness. When depression symptoms begin, some people find it helpful to repeat: I am not depression, I just have depression.
A person should remind themselves of all the other aspects of themselves. They may also be a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, neighbor, and colleague. Each person has their own strengths, abilities, and positive qualities that make them who they are.
How Can You Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
We have already talked about one way to do this, dealing with your feelings of being a victim. Now lets consider a second way which is totally in your control. In fact, it is up to you to decide to do this.
What you need to decide right now is that you want to stop feeling down and that you want to stop feeling sorry for yourself. I hear you saying of course I do, thats why Im here. But, beware! I know from my own experience with feeling sad and depressed that after a while you can get used to the negative feelings eating away at you. You may even, as I did, accept them as a normal part of your life.
But this is something you need to stop if this is you. You need to decide 100% that now you want to be happy. To stop feeling sorry for yourself you need to choose to act, to take positive steps. That might be getting help from a professional or seeing a doctor. It might be talking to a good friend or taking up exercise. It could mean forming goals and starting to work to achieve them.
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Try A Thought Replacement Strategy
A technique that lies at the heart of cognitive therapy is to question negative thoughts by asking if they are actually true. For example, if you are beginning to feel frustrated and think, “Whats the use? Things never work out, test these thoughts against reality. You say to yourself, Actually, things sometimes do work out for me. I have succeeded by persevering. This might be one of those situations.
The secret here is to be specific and honest with yourself. When any negative thought arises, you challenge its validity. Instead of No one loves me, you replace that thought with My mother loves me, and my good friends. Im not helping myself by exaggeration and self-pity. Once you get accustomed to a thought-replacement approach, youll be amazed at its effectiveness. Moods follow thoughts, which is why discovering that your bank account is bigger than you thought makes you cheerful, while discovering that your credit card balance is twice as high as you thought makes you feel uneasy.
Practice Being Centered And Detached
Being detached can be a positive state its not the same as being indifferent or bored. Instead, you are centered inside yourself, which allows you to view situations as a witness, without being swayed or emotionally rattled. Detachment develops naturally through the regular practice of meditation, because once you experience the centered, quiet, unshakable level of your mind, you easily learn how to return there at will.
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Recognize The Importance Of Self
Self-care is essential for good physical and mental health. Self-care activities are any actions that help people look after their wellbeing.
Self-care means taking time to relax, recharge, and connect with the self and others. It also means saying no to others when overwhelmed and taking space to calm and soothe oneself.
Basic self-care activities include eating a healthful diet, engaging in creative activities, and taking a soothing bath. But any action that enhances mental, emotional, and physical health can be considered a self-care activity.
How To Fight Depression Without Medication
Verywell / Bailey Mariner
For many people living with depression, prescription medications can be life-saving drugs. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac and Zoloft , are the most widely prescribed medication for depression, and while they are often effective, they can have side effects and be expensive depending on your health insurance coverage.
There are many ways to counter some of the symptoms of depression that don’t involve prescription medications. If you have depression, you might like to try managing it naturally without medication or supplement your antidepressant with other options. If so, check out these natural alternatives and then talk to your doctor about which might make sense as part of your treatment regimen.
This article discusses some natural treatments that may help fight depression including lifestyle changes and supplements. It also covers other strategies you might try such as practicing mindfulness or enhancing your home environment.
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Or Spend Time With Loved Ones
Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family, but face-to-face time can help wash away those tendencies.
If youre unable to spend time together in person, phone calls or video chats can also be helpful.
Try to remind yourself these people care about you. Resist the temptation to feel like youre a burden. You need the interaction and they likely do, too.
When you do the same thing day after day, you use the same parts of your brain. You can challenge your neurons and alter your brain chemistry by doing something entirely different.
Research also shows doing new things can improve your overall well-being and strengthen your social relationships.
To reap these benefits, consider trying a new sport, taking a creative class, or learning a new cooking technique.
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
When you do something you love, or even when you find a new activity you enjoy, you may be able to boost your mental health more by taking time to be thankful for it.
Research shows gratitude can have lasting positive effects on your overall mental health.
Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
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Engage In Meaningful Activities
One of the hallmarks of depression is a loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Even if youre not motivated to do the things you normally enjoy, try going through the motions anyway.
Volunteer. Engage in creative pursuits like writing, painting or playing music. Participate in your faith community.
As you move the focus off yourself and onto the activity and start connecting with others, your spirits will lift.
Theres no surefire way to stop a depressive episode in its tracks. But having a plan to address depression when it strikes can make it more manageable and help you to feel better sooner.
Solo Activities To Help With Depression
Coping with depression can feel like an uphill battle as it saps your energy, motivation and self-esteem. Finding ways to climb out of a depressive episode is not easy, but understanding the illness and how it affects you specifically is the first step to being able to find the coping mechanisms that work best for you.
While spending time with trusted loved ones and going to therapy regularly are healthy ways to cope, sometimes depression makes you want to hide. Luckily, many things can help distract from the debilitating feelings of this mood disorder.
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Alternative Herbs And Supplements For Sad:
According to an article published in the Journal of Affective Disorders: Rhodiola rosea, chromium, 5-HTP, and inositol supplementation may act as natural anti-depressants.
Chromium has specifically been suggested to support seasonal affective disorder .
As mentioned earlier, St. Johns Wort may be helpful for depression as it is thought to support serotonin production. Kava is a lesser known and controversial root that may help with generalized anxiety .
Try To Eat A Healthy Diet
Some people don’t feel like eating when they’re depressed and are at risk of becoming underweight. Others find comfort in food and can put on excess weight.
Antidepressants can also affect your appetite.
If you’re concerned about weight loss, weight gain or how antidepressants are affecting your appetite, talk to your GP.
See tips on how to eat more healthily.
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Help Yourself Out Of Depression
Experts give advice about steps people can take to help ease their depression.
Recovery from depression can be a long process. A variety of treatments for depression exists, but they may take time before an effect is noticed. Weeks, if not months, may pass between the time when you see a health care provider about depression and when your mood starts to lift.
While some improvement may be seen after starting antidepressants, they can take at least three weeks to start having an effect on your mood. What’s more, the first medication or combination of medications you try may not work for you in that case you’ll have to start over.
In the meantime, there are things you can do, as well as things you can avoid, to help yourself feel better, or at least keep from sinking deeper into depression.
You are somewhat responsible — but not entirely responsible — for your state of mind, says psychologist James Aikens, PhD, an assistant professor of family medicine and psychiatry at the University of Michigan.
“You’re not responsible for being depressed. Your responsibility is to make some reasonable efforts towards feeling better,” he tells WebMD.
How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
Its important to remember that a person with depression cannot simply “snap out of it.” It is also important to know that he may not recognize his symptoms and may not want to get professional treatment.
If you think someone has depression, you can support him by helping him find a doctor or mental health professional and then helping him make an appointment. Even men who have trouble recognizing that they are depressed may agree to seek help for physical symptoms, such as feeling tired or run down. They may be willing to talk with their regular health professional about a new difficulty they are having at work or losing interest in doing things they usually enjoy. Talking with a primary care provider may be a good first step toward learning about and treating possible depression.
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Dont Be Afraid To Turn To Someone Else For Help
If your depression is more severe or not being able to get out of bed is becoming a chronic problem, dont be afraid to ask for help.
Do you live with someone? Do you have a friend or co-worker on the same work schedule as you? Dont be afraid to ask them to be a part of your routine.
If you live with someone, ask them to come in and wake you or maybe sit with you. It can be anything from making coffee in the morning or making sure youre out of bed before they leave for work.
Or reach out to a co-worker, if youre comfortable with that. Someone on the same work schedule may be able to call you when you need to get out of bed in the morning. Five minutes of encouraging wake-up chatter can put you in a better mood for the day ahead.
Most people are compassionate and open to helping. You dont have to share your entire mental health history for them to understand something is going on. Just acknowledging its a difficult time can be enough.
It can be hard to ask for help initially, so remember this: You are not a burden and those who love or care for you will likely be happy to help.
Can You Get Out Of Depression Quickly
The great news is that you can get rid of depression very quickly, depending on what you do.
Remember, as the placebo effect proves, the most important factor for getting rid of depression is to improve your thinking. If you just improve your thinking, you will already feel better and start getting out of depression.
But if you improve your thinking with other positive changes that youve learned about , you will get rid of depression very fast.
This is because the benefits of these positive changes reinforce each other to create a very powerful upward spiral in your life.
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Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression
Whether youve lost a loved one, moved to a new place, or missed out on a job opportunity, there are plenty of stressful and upsetting events that can get you down. However, the difference between sadness and depression is that sadness usually passes with a little time, while depression is a mood disorder that can appear without any specific cause and last for two weeks or more.
Depression impacts almost every part of your life, interfering with how you think, feel, and go about your daily activities like sleeping, working, and socializing. Some common symptoms of depression include:
- Feeling empty
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Irritability or restlessness
- Aches and pains without clear physical causes
- Thoughts of death or suicide
To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must be present nearly all day, every day for at least two weeks.