Make An Appointment With A Professional Stat
Got a therapist, but don’t maintain regular appointments? Line one up. If you’re regularly scheduled, but feel like you can’t hold out until your usual Thursday time slot, contact your therapist or other mental health professional to let them know that you believe you’re at the edge of a dark time. They’ll appreciate the heads-up, and may either be able to fit you in earlier or give you tips on coping.
Take Care Of Yourself
Caring for a loved one with depression can be complicated and overwhelming. Be sure to attend to your own personal needs, create appropriate boundaries, and seek help from a therapist or support group.
1. Robert J. DeRubeis, Greg J. Siegle & Steven D. Hollon, Cognitive therapy versus medication for depression: treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Volume 9, 788-796 | doi:10.1038/nrn2345
2. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, DC : Pages 160-168.
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:
Read Also: Best Way To Beat Depression
Recognize A Crisis And Respond
The risk of suicide exists at all times during major depressive episodes. The most consistent risk factor is a past history of suicide attempts, but most completed suicides are not preceded by unsuccessful attempts. Living alone, being male, and having prominent feelings of hopelessness also increase the risk of suicide.
If you believe your loved one is at risk of suicide, do not leave that person alone. Dial 9-1-1 and stay with your loved one.
Depression And Gender: Is It Different In Men And Women
When it comes to depression, there is a distinct gender gap. Depression is nearly twice as common in women as in men, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Hormonal and other biological factors play a role in this disparity. After all, only women can have premenstrual or postpartum depression. The same is true of antepartum depression which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates affects one in seven women.
But women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder, note Harvard Health experts. The reasons for this are cause for speculation. Some researchers believe that environmental factors, such as the different and expectations that society places on women, are an important factor. Others theorize that men and women actually have depression at similar rates, but that women are more likely to talk about their feelings and seek help.
You May Like: How To Beat Your Depression
Coping Skills For Episodes Of Depression
Coping skills are mental and physical tools that can help you meet the demands of lifes challenges. They may help you deal with the situations that affect you most.
Coping skills arent in-the-moment tools you use to boost your mood. Instead, they can become long-term resources to handle the challenges you might face.
When it comes to the challenge of depression, coping skills arent intended as a form of treatment. They can, however, help you manage your symptoms on a regular basis so you can continue functioning in the world.
Coping skills for depression include:
Journal During Good Times
Journaling is a frequent recommendation for those living with depression. It can be hard to make yourself write down anything when youre lacking motivation or struggling to maintain a normal life, but recording your feelings, particularly the course of ups and downs, can be important in reminding yourself that this too will pass.
When you have moments of happiness or, at minimum, neutrality, its critical to document them. The clarity of these thoughts can be a beacon of hope when times get tough.
Its one thing to read about people living with depression who have a sudden change of heart or who make it out of a downward spiral, but its another to read your own words and remind yourself that you were once in a better place. This can give you the strength to persevere, even when things seem at their worst.
Don’t Miss: Are Online Depression Tests Accurate
What Causes Depressive Episodes
If you are experiencing a depressive episode, it likely means that you are living with major depressive disorder. This is a common mental health issue, affecting almost eight percent of American adults. Generally, this condition manifests via major depressive episodes, where symptoms tend to flare up for weeks at a time.
Since depressive episodes are caused by an ongoing mental health condition, they are much more complicated to treat than a typical period of sadness. That said, there are ways to get out of a depressive episode, especially if you have professional help.
Depression Statistics: Disturbing Trends Helpful Treatment
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who, like Kashuk, know exactly what it means to be depressed. An estimated 17.3 million, or 7 percent, of adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States.
Whats more, a recent report from Mental Health America, a nonprofit founded in 1909, offers startling statistics pertaining to one of depression’s most disturbing symptoms: thoughts of suicide.
According to its 2021 State of Mental Health in America report, suicidal ideation among adults increased by 0.15 percent between the 2016-2017 calendar year and the 2017-2018 calendar year, the most recent years for which statistics are available.
There is a bright side. Although there is no one-size-fits-all cure for depression, there are many effective treatment options, one of which is bound to help you heal if youre struggling with the illness. This cannot be emphasized enough, given that roughly two-thirds of people living with depression do not receive the care they need, according to a report in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, published online February 22, 2019.
Recommended Reading: How To Live A Happy Life With Depression
Make A Bedtime Routine
Sleep can have a huge impact on mood and mental health. A lack of sleep can contribute to symptoms of depression, and depression can interfere with sleep. To combat these effects, try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even at weekends.
Establish a nightly routine. Start winding down from 8 pm. Sip chamomile tea, read a book, or take a warm bath. Avoid screen time and caffeine. It may also be helpful to write in a journal before bed, especially for those whose racing thoughts keep them up.
Should You Worry About Antidepressant Withdrawal
No, but its easy to see why some people might think so, because of a medical condition called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome , which can occur if you abruptly stop taking medication rather than tapering off as is generally advised. ADS is marked by a wide range of responses, including but not limited to flu-like symptoms, insomnia, worsening mood, and stomach distress, according to a March 11, 2019, report in Psychiatric Times.
Current estimates are that about 20 percent of patients whove taken an antidepressant for at least a month will experience ADS symptoms if they abruptly stop their medication instead of lowering their dose gradually. Tapering under the care of a doctor can prevent ADS by allowing the brain to adjust to changes in neurotransmitter levels.
More to the point, while you should slowly stop your antidepressant with the help of your doctor, antidepressants do not cause dependence and withdrawal like other substances. Unlike substances that are known to cause addiction, such as alcohol, , and , people don’t crave antidepressants. You dont get high from them, and they arent intentionally or compulsively overused. Serious reactions like the seizures and agitation that can follow sudden withdrawal from addictive substances are unheard of when these antidepressants are tapered gradually, note the authors of the Psychiatric Times report.
Also Check: Dealing With Depression On Your Own
How Can You Get Yourself Out Of A Funk
Although depression can become a very clinical subject, many of the ways to help yourself through this mood disorder are very simple and practical. Self-care is a key component to living a happy, healthy life and between your diet, exercise, daily routines, and social interactions there are plenty of steps you can take to influence your mood. As you move through your depression, be open to trying new approaches and understand that it might take a combination of these self-care practices before you notice a change in your mood.
Try To Practice Gratitude
When youre in the middle of a depressive episode, being grateful is probably one of the last things you want to do. But by identifying the good things in your life, the negatives can seem less overwhelming. And for anybody, there are a lot of benefits that get taken for granted every dayhaving a home, being healthy, and even just being alive.
You May Like: Major Depressive Disorder Medication List
Stimulating Your Vagus Nerve
I believe that stimulating the vagus nerve can aid in reducing depressive symptoms, indicates Amber Weiss, a mental health counselor in New York City.
She explains the vagus nerve is one of the longest nerves in the body and can be stimulated by engaging in a variety of activities, such as:
How Is Depression Treated
The first step to getting treatment is to see your GP. If your GP thinks you have depression, they will talk to you about the treatments they can offer.
What are talking therapies?
Talking therapy is a general term to describe any psychological therapy that involves talking. You may also hear the terms counselling or psychotherapy used to describe talking therapy.
Therapy should offer you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything confusing, painful or uncomfortable. It allows you to talk with someone who is trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things.
Talking therapy often takes place face to face. But you may also be able to have therapy over the phone, by video call or online. There are different types of talking therapy that you might be offered. These include:
- cognitive-behavioural therapy,
- mindfulness based therapy, and
The type of therapy you are offered will depend on the cause of your symptoms and their severity. Therapies may also have different levels based on how long or intense the treatment is.
Ask your GP about therapy if you think it might help. Some of these therapies will be available in your area. Some areas offer a self-referral option for NHS talking therapies. Please refer to your local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service to find out about this option.
You may also be able to access therapy privately or through your employer in an Employee Assistance Programme.
How can exercise help?
You May Like: Signs Of Depression In 14 Year Old Boy
What Is Treatment Resistant Depression And Is There Any Help For It
If youve tried at least two different antidepressants and your depression hasnt improved, you may be diagnosed with treatment resistant depression . TRD is a serious condition that has been highly associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Nearly 33 percent of people with TRD attempt suicide in their lifetime, more than double the rate of their treatment-responsive peers, according to a recent report in Psychiatry Advisor. It is not, however, a hopeless condition. A number of alternative treatment approaches are available, including:
Swept Away In Extremes
Some individuals who have bipolar mixed episodes experience euphoric mania and severe depression at the same time.
Throughout my life, I have also occasionally felt euphoric and depressed simultaneously, and when I have, it was even more confusing than my usual agitated, dysphoric manias.
I have sobbed while talking about how I was going to be a world-famous author. I have celebrated my own greatness-an ecstatic megalomaniac-by sorting and piling my writings all over my bed, papers flying, while still overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness and sorrow.
You May Like: What Severe Depression Feels Like
Tips For Living Well With Major Depressive Disorder
Living with major depression can feel lonely. People may be fearful or ashamed of being labeled with a serious mental illness, causing them to suffer in silence, rather than get help. In fact, most people with major depression never seek the right treatment. But those struggling with this illness are not alone. Its one of the most common and most treatable mental health disorders. With early, continuous treatment, people can gain control of their symptoms, feel better, and get back to enjoying their lives.
How To Lift Depression
The main task in any counselling for depression, which is very commonly accompanied by anxiety, is to lower emotional arousal and help patients stop their negative introspection as quickly as possible. This can be done by drawing on the human givens in realistic, practical ways.
We routinely find that, using a variety of appropriate approaches that are attuned to the human givens, we can make, in one session, much faster progress, even with severe depression, than if we slavishly follow one particular model of therapy.
The approach has been demonstrated publicly and filmed for training purposes many times .
Therapists working from the human givens will integrate behavioural, cognitive and interpersonal approaches with relaxation and visualisation techniques, to motivate people to widen their life view, raise their self esteem and solve problems. We can work alongside patients giving practical guidance for breaking problems down into manageable chunks . We can use humour to jerk them out of their black and white thinking we can reframe their negative comments in a novel, positive way we can inform, set tasks, get patients to exercise, engage again in fun activities or involve themselves in helping others , rouse their curiosity, and so on.
Don’t Miss: Va Rating For Depression And Anxiety
How To Get Out Of A Depression Episode
Everyone experiences low points in their mental health. When you struggle with depression, this condition can drain your energy, cause you to feel hopeless and make it difficult to take the steps you need to feel better.
Depression is a treatable mental health condition but if youre wondering how to not be depressed anymore, there is no simple answer. However, if you dont have immediate access to medical help, there are small steps you can take to punch holes in this curtain of darkness so you can find renewed hope.
Up Your Exercise Game
The science is pretty definitive: Exercise is damn good for dampening the effects of depression on the brain and body. And you aren’t going to want to develop a new exercise regimen when you’re in the midst of a serious depressive slump, so try to start a routine now and make it easier to slip into those running shoes next week. Easy, do-at-home exercises like yoga or a workout DVD might be a great alternative to gyms for depressives who have a touch of social anxiety.
Also Check: What Do People Do When They Are Depressed
Schedule Something You’ll Look Forward To In The Near Future
Your mood may be lifted if you have something to focus on besides the immediate problematic period you’ll be going through. It doesn’t have to be a Greek holiday or a visit to the Chanel store it could be something as simple as spending a day with friends, trying a cooking class, taking a day to walk in the country, or even devoting an afternoon to cake-baking. Knowing you have something to look forward to in your schedule can be a real mood booster, in my personal experience.
Tip : Eat A Healthy Depression
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones .
Dont skip meals. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours.
Minimize sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these feel-good foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy. Aim to cut out as much of these foods as possible.
Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. To get more, take a B-complex vitamin supplement or eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs.
Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna, and some cold-water fish oil supplements.
Don’t Miss: What Medications Treat Bipolar Depression