Support Them In Continuing Therapy
On a bad day, your friend might not feel like leaving the house. Depression can zap energy and increase the desire to self-isolate.
If they say something like, I think Im going to cancel my therapy appointment, encourage them to stick with it.
You might say, Last week you said your session was really productive and you felt a lot better afterward. What if todays session helps, too?
The same goes for medication. If your friend wants to stop taking medication because of unpleasant side effects, be supportive, but encourage them to talk with their psychiatrist about switching to a different antidepressant or stopping their medication entirely.
Abruptly stopping antidepressants without the supervision of a healthcare professional may have serious consequences. Typically, reaching out to a healthcare professional before stopping medication use can prevent health complications.
Can Depression Go Away On Its Own Without Treatment
Surprisingly, some experts say that it can. For some people, depression is cyclical or seasonal, and they can eventually recover and remit without any specific intervention, says James Murrough, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment at Mount Sinai. “But we also know that treatments like psychotherapy and medications can severely reduce the symptoms and duration of an episode of depression. Many individuals who suffer from depression never seek treatment, and thats why from a public health perspective we want to keep reducing the stigma around it.
Are There Foods That Help Fight Off Depression
Increasingly, diet is recognized as an important influence on susceptibility to depression, and a recent study shows that an overall healthy diet works against even severe depression. Essentially, any diet thats good for the heart is also good for the brain, providing a number of nutrients that play key roles in the operations of the nervous system. Numerous studies link traditional Mediterranean-type and Japanese-style diets with low risk of depression. Both eating patterns involve lots of fruits and vegetables, fish more than meat, oils rather than solid fats, and moderate to minimal dairy consumption.
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Can You Witness Acts Of Kindness
How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?
I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.
The best index to a persons character is how he treats people who cant do him any good, and how he treats people who cant fight back.
Abigail Van Buren
What To Do If Your Friend Has Suicidal Thoughts
If you are concerned your friend may harm themselves,dont dismiss your gut. Instead:
- Pay attentionto anything said about suicide, other forms of self-harm or a world thatdoesnt include them.
- Keep the lines of communication openso they know they can talk to you when they have these feelings.
- Encourage themto get professional help.
That help may include outpatient therapy and psychotropic medications prescribed by their primary care doctor or a psychiatrist. If you think your friend is in immediate danger, call 911 or take your friend to the nearest emergency department.
Remember: Your friends situation is not hopeless. Like other illnesses, depression can be treated with the right medical help and the support of friends like you.
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Depression And Suicide Risk
Depression usually does not lead to suicide ideation. But, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, studies have shown that about two percent of people who have been treated for depression in an outpatient setting will die by suicide. If the treatment is inpatient, the number doubles to four percent. Men are more likely to die by suicide after depression than women. Find hotlines and organizations for support in our emergency mental health resources directory.
If You Need To Wallow Wallow But Do So Constructively
Suppressing your feelings and emotions may seem like a strategic way to cope with the negative symptoms of depression. But this technique is ultimately unhealthy.
If youre having a down day, have it. Let yourself feel the emotions but dont stay there.
Consider writing or journaling about what youre experiencing. Then, when the feelings lift, write about that, too.
Seeing the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms can be instructive for both self-healing and hope.
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Are There Actions I Can Take To Ward Off Depresssion
Exercise is one of the most effective antidotes to depression. Engaging in simple activity such as walking immediately stimulates the growth of new nerve cell connectionsthe exit ramp from depression. In addition, engaging in any form of exercise restores a sense of control over ones life. Studies show that even 15 minutes of physical activity daily can have beneficial effects on mood, energy, and sleep, and it works even in those genetically predisposed to depression. Because depression robs people of motivation and energy, it is important to start somewheredoing anything is better than doing nothing and to start small, beginning with a few minutes of walking. Establishing a regular sleep routine helps, as sleep normalizes many body functions disrupted by depression. Depression causes people to shut down they lose interest in doing things and their world contracts, robbing them of needed sources of stimulation and pleasure. Therefore, doing things, including maintaining social contacteven when it goes against all instinctsbrings about benefits on many levels. Sunlight is another antidepressant, and adequate sunlight exposure helps sustain mood.
How To Prevent Depression
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 84% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 122,410 times.
Depression is a common mental disorder that affects over 121 million people in the world. It is listed among the top causes of disability across the globe, but the good news for those who may suffer from it is that 80% to 90% will recover. Though there is no guarantee you can completely prevent depression, there are many ways to decrease your likelihood of getting depression or experiencing a relapse.
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Is Anger A Frequent Occurrence
All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.
But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.
Avoid People Who Dont Understand
Some people just dont get depression. Sometimes, they give you advice that is good for people who are feeling sad. But they might not be necessarily useful for people who are feeling depressed.
Talking to them about your depression might make you feel worse because it makes you feel like theres no one who understands you.
Also, avoid meeting new people when you are vulnerable. You dont know who you will meet and what they will say to you.
I met one entrepreneur who commented that I was being vengeful for finding another job and not waiting for the animation studio founder. He also said that the HR manager wont hire someone like me because I dont stay in jobs for long. He thought that he was being helpful. But I actually thought that was really rude and hurtful, considering I just met him.
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Find Someone To Talk To
Its understandable that you might not want to tell everyone you know that you are feeling depressed. Its a sensitive issue and, like other health conditions, its something you may want to keep private.
But this doesnt mean you need to keep it a secret under lock and key. In fact, research has found that having social support can protect against symptoms of depression.
How much you decide to share depends on your personal comfort level, but having someone to talk to is important. A confidant who can offer support might include:
- A friend
- An online friend
- A mental health professional
If you feel like you need someone to talk to but arent sure who to share with, consider reaching out to a depression helpline. You can talk to a trained counselor who can listen, offer advice, give you helpful information, and connect you with treatment options in your area.
How Not To Feel Depressed: Live Intentionally And Mindfully
Living intentionally means to take charge of each day by being fully present in what is happening around you and within you. Depression puts us on autopilot so we find ourselves drifting numbly, keenly feeling depression.
How not to feel depressed and numb involves purposefully connecting with ourselves and the moments of our life. Life is a journey of moments, and its imperative to get out of our own head and into every moment.
The process of living intentionally in each moment is known as mindfulness. With mindfulness, we are fully present in our life. To be mindful is to become aware of our thoughts, our sensations, and what we doing in life moment by moment. When were present in each moment, we can experience it for what it is rather than through a lens darkened by depression.
Numerous studies have shown that living intentionally and practicing mindfulness significantly decrease depression . An effective answer to the question of how to feel less depressed is to live intentionally by practicing mindfulness, paying attention to what you are doing in the present moment, every day.
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Ways To Beat Depression For The Long Term
Beating depression and coping with depression arent the same. While there are many daily tips and tricks to cope with depression, beating depression implies a long-term resolution of symptoms.
Based on the volumes of research behind depression causes, daily goals may have the most beneficial impact if they:
- promote a sense of meaning, accomplishment, or mastery
- increase the frequency of positive emotions
- help you identify self-defeating or unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors
Keeping these criteria in mind, you can start to develop some daily routines to help you beat depression.
How To Practice Focused Meditation
Here are six tips to help you practice focused meditation. Based on your availability and interest, these tips may change and evolve. Thats the point: to create a structured practice that caters to your needs.
1. Find a Comfortable Seat
As with any meditation practice, comfort is truly key. The physical body responds to meditation practice by alerting you to whether it is comfortable and supported or stressed out and in pain. This is best observed in practitioners who tend to slouch and lose the tall, supported spine that is essential to meditation practice.
A simple rule in meditative sitting is to ensure that your hips are higher than your knees. Therefore, choosing to sit in a chair instead of on the floor may be a smart decision or perhaps propping yourself up on a cushion. For meditation techniques overall, it does not matter how you sit. All that matters is that you are supported and comfortable sitting for some time.
2. Choose Your Object of Focus
Every meditation training session is going to be different because no single day is the same for any one person. Therefore, experienced meditators know that choosing an object is more about listening to what you need at this time versus following any doctrine or rule.
3. Set Your Desired Time or Go With the Flow
Likewise, if you have the time, you can also listen to your body and come out of your meditation when you feel its right to do so. This is often a beautiful practice of listening and tuning in.
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Medication And Older Adults
As you get older, body changes can affect the way medicines are absorbed and used. Because of these changes, there can be a larger risk of drug interactions among older adults. Share information about all medications and supplements youre taking with your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this worksheet to help track your medications.
Treatment, particularly a combination of psychotherapy and medications, has been shown to be effective for older adults. However, not all medications or therapies will be right for everyone. Treatment choices differ for each person, and sometimes multiple treatments must be tried in order to find one that works. It is important to tell your doctor if your current treatment plan isnt working and to keep trying to find something that does.
Some people may try complementary health approaches, like yoga, to improve well-being and cope with stress. However, there is little evidence to suggest that these approaches, on their own, can successfully treat depression. While they can be used in combination with other treatments prescribed by a persons doctor, they should not replace medical treatment. Talk with your doctor about what treatment might be good to try.
Dont avoid getting help because you dont know how much treatment will cost. Treatment for depression is usually covered by private insurance and Medicare. Also, some community mental health centers may offer treatment based on a persons ability to pay.
Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
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How Is Your Treatment Going
Treatment for depression can anywhere go on for weeks to months to years. Recovering from depression is directly related to how good treatment are you getting and how well you are responding to it. Ask your loved one about their treatment. Ask what the doctor says, how is the therapy or counseling going, and how effective is the treatment. Ask them if they have any concerns and queries. The question of whether the treatment is able to help them or not.
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.
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