Other Ways To Help Include:
- Offering him support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
- Listening carefully and talking with him
- Never ignoring comments about suicide, and alerting his therapist or doctor
- Helping him increase his level of physical and social activity by inviting him out for hikes, games, and other events. If he says, no, keep trying, but don’t push him to take on too much too soon.
- Encouraging him to report any concerns about medications to his health care provider
- Ensuring that he gets to his doctor’s appointments
- Reminding him that with time and treatment, the depression will lift
Antenatal And Postnatal Depression
Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth . This time frame may also be referred to as the perinatal period.
The causes of depression at this time can be complex and are often the result of a combination of factors. In the days immediately following birth, many women experience the baby blues, which is a common condition related to hormonal changes, affecting up to 80 per cent of women who have given birth.
The baby blues, or the general stress of adjusting to pregnancy or a new baby, are common experiences, but are different from depression.
Depression is longer lasting and can affect not only the mother, but her relationship with her baby, the childs development, the mothers relationship with her partner and with other members of the family.
Up to one in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to 16 per cent in the first three months after having a baby.
Does Depression Look The Same In Everyone
Depression can affect people differently, depending on their age.
Children with depression may be anxious, cranky, pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.
Older children and teens with depression may get into trouble at school, sulk, be easily frustrated feel restless, or have low self-esteem. They also may have other disorders, such as anxiety and eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or substance use disorder. Older children and teens are more likely to experience excessive sleepiness and increased appetite . In adolescence, females begin to experience depression more often than males, likely due to the biological, life cycle, and hormonal factors unique to women.
Younger adults with depression are more likely to be irritable, complain of weight gain and hypersomnia, and have a negative view of life and the future. They often have other disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and substance use disorders.
Middle-aged adults with depression may have more depressive episodes, decreased libido, middle-of-the-night insomnia, or early morning awakening. They also may more frequently report having gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation.
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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.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Many complementary medicines and alternative therapies are promoted for coping with depression. Some have been tested in scientific clinical trials, but many have not. Here is an overview of some of the most common therapies:
Physical Exercise: Exercise has been found to reduce the effects of depression. Walking three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes has been linked to reducing or alleviating symptoms of depression. If that seems like a lot of time you donât have, then start with 15 minutes once a week. The important message is to get started with a regular exercise activity.
It is unknown whether physical activity prevents the onset of depression or just helps modify the effects. Arranging time for exercise is sometimes difficult for caregivers. It is often seen as a âvalue addedâ activityâsomething to do when everything else is done. You might consider adding it to your âto doâ list, asking a friend to give you a âwalk dateâ each week as a gift, or requesting that your doctor write a prescription for walking or joining an exercise class. All the research shows that for a healthier life, it makes good sense to make time for exercise.
Mind-Body Techniques: There is a growing body of research showing that our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can have a direct impact on our health, and our physical health can impact our mental state. Your mind and body are interrelated. Implementing mind-body techniques into your routine may help alleviate depression.
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Depression And Suicide: Getting Help In A Crisis
Some people who are depressed may think about hurting themselves or committing suicide . If you or someone you know is having thoughts about hurting themselves or committing suicide please seek immediate help. The following resources can help:
- Call to reach a 24hour crisis center or dial 911. is the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon, which provides free confidential help to people in crisis. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationexternal icon runs this lifeline.
- Get help from your primary doctor or other health care provider.
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community.
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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
In the U.S.: Find DBSA Chapters/Support Groups or call the NAMI Helpline for support and referrals at 1-800-950-6264
UK: Find Depression support groups in-person and online or call the Mind Infoline at 0300 123 3393
Australia: Find Support Groups and regional resources or call the SANE Help Centre at 1800 18 7263
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
Other countries: Visit IASP or International Suicide Hotlines to find a helpline near you
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How To Tell If You Have Depression
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.
There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.
Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.
Most Common Depression Diagnosis Scales
Some of the most popular scales used to help clinicians diagnose depression include:
- Beck Depression Inventory
- Clinically Useful Depression Outcome Scale
- Geriatric Depression Scale
- Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and adolescent PHQ-9
- Plutchik-Van Praag Self-Report Depression Scale
- Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology
- Rome Depression Inventory
- Zung Self-Rating Depression Scales
Some scales, such as the Beck Depression Inventory, are copyright protected and not available outside of a doctors office or mental health clinic . There are inventories, scales, and questionnaires that are in the public domain and, therefore, more accessible.
The PHQ, for example, is available for free online and in over 30 languages. It can be downloaded as a PDF or accessed as an interactive quiz on several reputable mental health websites.
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What Are The Different Types Of Depression
The most common types of depression are:
- Major depressiondepressive symptoms that interfere with a man’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy most aspects of life. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person’s lifetime. But it is common for a person to have several episodes. Special forms of major depression include:
- Psychotic depressionsevere depression associated with delusions or hallucinations . These psychotic symptoms are depression-themed. For example, a man may believe he is sick or poor when he is not, or he may hear voices that are not real that say that he is worthless.
- Seasonal affective disordercharacterized by depression symptoms that appear every year during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight.
- Persistent depressive disorder depressive symptoms that last a long time but are less severe than those of major depression.
- Minor depressionsimilar to major depression and persistent depressive disorder, but symptoms are less severe and may not last as long.
What Risks And Complications Can Depression Cause
Having depression can cause other problems. It can affect your mental health as well as your physical health, and it may affect other areas of your life too. For example, depression may cause:
- disturbed sleep,
- difficulties with work and your hobbies,
- difficulties keeping contact with friends and families, or
- suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harming.
Some people might also drink more alcohol to try and relieve depression. However, as we said in the previous section above, this can actually make depression worse.
If you have any of these problems, speak to your GP.
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How Is Depression Diagnosed
Depression presents with symptoms that range from mild to severe. Feelings of sadness, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, feeling worthless or guilty, loss of energy or increased fatigue, and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed are common. Children and adolescents who are depressed may come across as irritable rather than sad.
A health care professional looks for symptoms that are interfering with the persons relationships and with their work and that represent a change in the persons previous level of functioning.1 To receive a diagnosis of depression, the person must have five depression symptoms every day, and nearly all day, for at least two weeks.2
When Youre Depressed You Cant Just Will Yourself To Snap Out Of It But This Guide To Depression Help Can Put You On The Road To Recovery
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many of us are dealing with social distancing, isolation, and lockdowns that make it even harder to cope with symptoms of depression. Whatever your circumstances, though, there are ways to overcome feelings of sadness and despair, improve your mood, and regain a sense of hope. In addition to the tips in this article, you can also find help for depression in our Coronavirus Mental Health Toolkit.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
Depression can affect your emotions, mind and body. Depression symptoms include:
- Feeling very sad, hopeless or worried.
- Not enjoying things that used to give you joy.
- Being easily irritated or frustrated.
- Eating too much or too little.
- Changes in how much you sleep.
- Having a difficult time concentrating or remembering things.
- Experiencing physical problems like headache, stomachache or sexual dysfunction.
- Thinking about hurting or killing yourself.
If you or someone you know has thoughts of hurting themselves, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255. This national network of local crisis centers provides free, private emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What Are The Dangers Of Untreated Severe Depression
Self-harm is the first word that comes to mind at the mention of depression. However, it has other consequences.
1. Physical Health
First of all, untreated clinical depression takes a toll on a persons physical well-being. This study reflects that patients who suffered strokes have a high propensity for post-stroke depression. They also find it hard to make health-care choices or follow their doctors instructions.
2. Sleep Disruption
A person with depression will also experience a change in his or her sleep patterns. If you have it, you may have insomnia , which includes these signs:
- Fatigue during the day
- A constant feeling of insufficient rest
- Inability to fall asleep
- Staying awake all night
- Waking up before the alarm rings
Sleep disorders are a core symptom of depression, as this study proves. It is troubling and typically hard to treat. Patients with depression who also find sleeping a task will need steps to manage it successfully.
Patients with a severe form of depression may also become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addiction has the following signs:
- Difficulty in maintaining personal relationships
- Secretive drug or alcohol use
- Defensiveness when discussing drugs or alcohol
4. A Disability
Depression isnt a psychological condition that a person can get over. If left untreated, severe depression can render him or her unproductive. It can hinder him or her at work, and disrupt his or her social life. At its worst, it leads to suicide.
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Who Is At High Risk For Depression
Those most at risk for developing depression include women, the elderly, those with a personal or family history of depression, chronic stressors, those with other concurrent mental and physical health conditions, low socioeconomic status, and those taking medications that may cause depression, like birth control or some anxiety medications.
Suicidal Thoughts: An Emergency
For people who are severely depressed, suicide is a real threat. Each year, about 30,000 people in the U.S. take their own lives, although the true number may be higher. Some suicides go unrecognized because they’re classified as accidents, drug overdoses, or shootings. Among people whose depression remains untreated, up to 15% will kill themselves.
What are the warning signs of suicide? According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, they include:
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill yourself
- Looking for a way to kill yourself, such as searching online for methods or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
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Where Can I Find Clinical Trials For Depression
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so others may receive better help in the future.
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials information.
Changes In Appetite And Weight
Weight and appetite can fluctuate for people with depression. This experience may be different for each person. Some people will have an increased appetite and gain weight, while others wont be hungry and will lose weight.
One indication of whether dietary changes are related to depression is if theyre intentional or not. If theyre not, it may mean that theyre caused by depression.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
People who die by suicide usually show symptoms first. Often people will talk about it or make a first attempt before succeeding in ending their life. If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
- Stay with the person until help arrives.
- Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
- Listen, but dont judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
If you think someone is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
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A Lack Of Standardization
Quantitative scales help researchers measure and organize symptoms, as well as designate a cutoff point for whats considered severe depression for the purpose of a specific study. However, methodologies vary between studies and researchers, meaning there isnt a single definition of severe depression across the board.
A lack of standardization means that if a persons depression symptoms are assessed with different scales by different providers, the diagnosis may not be consistent. Some providers dont use them in clinical practice unless a patient is taking medications, whereas others use them regularly.
Increased Fatigue And Sleep Problems
Part of the reason you might stop doing things you enjoy is because you feel very tired. Depression often comes with a lack of energy and an overwhelming feeling of fatigue, which can be among the most debilitating symptoms of depression. This could lead to excessive sleeping.
Depression is also linked with insomnia, as one might lead to the other and vice versa. They can also make each other worse. The lack of quality, restful sleep can also lead to anxiety.
Depression can affect the sexes differently. Research shows that men with depression may have symptoms such as irritability, escapist or risky behavior, substance abuse, or misplaced anger.
Men are also less likely than women to recognize depression or seek treatment for it.
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