Six Steps To Feeling Better
There are a few things you can do to make your work environment more friendly and to ease anxiety and isolation.
Take A Test To See How You Feel
If youre unsure about the way you feel, take our anonymous online test to check whether your levels of stress, anxiety, or depression are within a healthy range, and see if one of our online courses could help.
What Causes Depression?
No one knows exactly what causes depression. It is clear that genetic factors are important in many cases of depression. Depression seems to run in families , and about 30% of the predisposition for depression is due to genetic influences.
Stressful life events play a part in the onset or relapse of depression. Ongoing conflicts with others can take their toll on our well-being, as can other social and environmental stressors such as financial difficulties, retirement, unemployment, childbirth, loneliness, or loss of someone or something important. In vulnerable people, these unpleasant life events may be enough to cause or worsen a depressive illness.
A persons personality characteristics are an important factor. When people are depressed, they usually have a very negative view of themselves and the world. They do not appreciate good things, and bad things seem overwhelming. Some people have a tendency to view things this way even when they are not depressed. In other words, they may have a depressive personality style.
Did you know
Write A Daily Gratitude List
When youre feeling lonely and depressed, you may find that you focus more on the negatives in life, which can leave you feeling even worse. One thing that you can do to change this is to write out a daily gratitude list, where you put down five things that youre grateful for or happy about each day.
Giving yourself the time to focus on these positives will help you to become more aware of the good things you have and overtime, can help you to pay more attention to these positives as you go about your daily life.
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Elderly Depression As A Side Effect Of Medication
Symptoms of depression can also occur as a side effect of many commonly prescribed drugs. Youre particularly at risk if youre taking multiple medications. While the mood-related side effects of prescription medication can affect anyone, older adults are more sensitive because, as we age, our bodies become less efficient at metabolizing and processing drugs.
If you feel depressed after starting a new medication, talk to your doctor. You may be able to lower your dose or switch to another medication that doesnt impact your mood.
Medications that can cause or worsen depression include:
|Language and motor skills are slow, but normal||Writing, speaking, and motor skills are impaired|
|You notice or worry about memory problems||You dont notice memory problems or seem to care|
Whether cognitive decline is caused by dementia or depression, its important to see a doctor right away. If its depression, memory, concentration, and energy will bounce back with treatment. Treatment for dementia will also improve your quality of life. And in some types of dementia, symptoms can be reversed, halted, or slowed.
Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know
Being sad is a normal reaction to difficult times in life. But usually, the sadness goes away with a little time. Depression is differentit is a mood disorder that may cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is more common among women than men, likely due to certain biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women.
This brochure contains an overview of five things that everyone should know about depression in women.
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Relive Happy Times Mentally
Just thinking about happy events from the past can make you feel happier.
Instead of letting your negativity bias run rampant, choose to think about what has made you happy in the past.
Take some time every day to review past joys either in your mind or by writing in a journal.
Try to remember and feel the feelings you experienced during those joyful times.
Major Or Clinical Depression
Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate and is characterized by severe, relentless symptoms.
- Left untreated, major depressive disorder typically lasts for about six months.
- Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.
Read Also: Is It Normal To Be Depressed As A Teenager
You Dont Like Your Appearance
In this youth and beauty-focused culture, its not surprising so many people feel unhappy about the way they look.
Its hard to feel attractive when the standards for attractiveness have been set so unrealistically high. Look around you, and youll notice that most people are simply average in appearance .
Make the most of your appearance by taking care of yourself, exercising, and dressing well. Look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself you love and accept yourself just as you are.
‘habits’ Of People With Depression
While depression can be in some ways the absence of action, there are still little habits, little routines, a person may pick up on when they re-enter a depressive episode. These depression-related habits can be small indicators youre beginning to feel depressed again.
Some of the habits I see and hear about include isolation, critical beliefs about themselves, difficulty sleeping and a change in appetite, Mighty contributor and therapist Daniela Paolone, LMFT, told The Mighty. She added:
Showering, brushing teeth and combing their hair can also become less frequent. Staying on top of chores like keeping the house clean, washing dishes and doing their laundry can also get compromised. Other signs are that they can become more irritable and get into arguments with those they are close to.
Your habits can even be positive things habits developed to help you survive. Maybe its a depression hygiene hack to keep your hair clean when its too difficult to shower. Or you have a go-to playlist of songs that help boost your mood. And because depression affects everyone differently, these little habits no matter what they are are different for everyone, too.
To find out what habits people developed when they were experiencing depression, we asked our mental health community to share one thing they do when theyre depressed.
Heres what they told us:
25. Sugar, sugar, sugar Noel R.
Recommended Reading: Major Depressive Disorder What Is It
Thoughts Of Death Or Suicide
A person with depression may think more about death and dying. They may also think about suicide and how they could end their life. These thoughts are called suicide ideation.
Sometimes, a person may tell others about these thoughts. If someone is talking about death or suicide, this may be their way of asking for help, and it is vital to seek assistance.
In severe cases of depression, a person may hurt themselves, or self-harm.
Depression is a common but serious condition that can be life threatening. Not every person who thinks about suicide will attempt it. However, if someone mentions suicide, either contact a doctor or help them seek urgent medical care.
Why Do I Feel Depressed
Sometimes there is a direct cause for feeling depressed. This could be a life event, a circumstance or simply feeling lonely and depressed. Most times, depressed feelings begin due to a stressor. Example stressors that might make someone feel depressed include:
- Stress at home, work or school
- Death of a loved one
- Social disruption
- Being diagnosed with an illness
Sometimes knowing why you feel depressed can help begin the process of relieving the depression. If, for example, you feel depressed because of the loss of a friendship, it may be helpful to spend time with other friends and talk about thatevent’s impact.
Sometimes people feel depressed for no reason. This happens more often in people with severe or chronic depression. However, even if feeling depressed for no reason, you can still take action to try and stop the depression.
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Keep A Thought Journal
During the moments when you are feeling lonely or depressed, write down your exact emotions and the reasons behind them. This can help in the following ways:
- It can act as a release. Jotting down your thoughts and feelings can feel as though you are transferring them from your brain onto the piece of paper
- Seeing your thoughts and feeling written down can help everything to seem a little more clear and manageable
- A thought journal can help you to gain clarity as to why you have these strong emotions. You may start to see patterns or common triggers that cause you to feel lonely and depressed
Within your thought journal, also write about when you feel happy and connected. Then, as you become more aware of what causes you to think and behave positively, start doing even more of the activities that make you feel good.
The Key Differences Between Depression And Laziness
Depression and laziness have a lot in common, which is why many people are mislabeled as lazy.
The reason the “L-word” often goes with depression is that it is a common symptom of depression and mental illness.
Depression and laziness both affect motivation, concentration, energy levels, and the quality of work produced.
The difference is that depression affects one’s mental health and mood, while lazy people are just unmotivated by things outside their control because they lack self-awareness or insight into what motivates them.
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Their Empathy Score Is High
Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.
People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.
Divorce And Sadness: The Five Stages Of Loss
I started crying at the café counter of Barnes & Noble last Sunday. Not just a little tear, but full on body-racking sobs. I was buying my kids croissants, had managed to get them out of the house with minimal bickering, bribed by books and French pastry. I’d been chatting with the cashier, grabbed the food and turned to go sit down when she called me back to the counter.
“Ma’am, I don’t think your card went through.”
I immediately realized why — I didn’t swipe my card. My wallet was in my purse. It was yet the fifth or sixth thing I’d done that morning that smacked of exhaustion, disorientation, losing my grip. And I started to cry. There in front of that poor girl who’s compassion was so immediate as to make the tears come all the more.
“Oh, ma’am,” she said with kindness, “Do you need a napkin?”
“No,” I whimpered, looking down, “It’s just, no. It’s just, thank you. I’m OK, hard day.”
I collected myself and went to sit with my boys. They were eating and reading, their two favorite things, but noticed my demeanor. Both reached over to hug me, give a kiss and share a bite of their beloved bounty.
“What’s wrong Mom?”
“I’m a little sad, and I’m so tired. I guess I needed to cry a little.”
“Crying helps,” my older son said.
“It does,” I agreed. “Sometimes people try not to be sad, but it does help.”
My younger son said, “That’s dumb. Why would you try not to be sad? If you’re sad, you’re sad.”
“It’s going to be OK, Mom. And it’s OK to be sad.”
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Reduce Your Usual Workload
When youre struggling with your mood and high stress levels, attempting to work at 100% of your usual output is ill-advised. However, not working at all typically isnt helpful either. Why?
Regular work helps provide structure to your day. When you have the structure of regular activities, this helps regulate your biological rhythms, such as those related to eating and sleeping. Without the structure of regular activities, including work and socializing, those biological rhythms will become more dysregulated, which will tend to make depression worse.
Fifty percent of your usual activity is a good sweet spot between not working enough and expecting too much of yourself. You may even find that your productivity doesnt decrease that much with this approach. It will force you to prioritize deep work and other truly important tasks. Limiting yourself to 50% of your usual work will help you let go of activities that were only medium-productive to begin with. Fifty percent isnt a hard and fast rule. You can choose a different number if youd prefer, but adopt the principle.
Think Together About Whether Theres Anything In Particular Thats Making Them Feel This Way
This could include a problem with a friendship or family relationship, feeling bullied or left out at school, feeling overwhelmed by school work, struggling with a change such as divorce or separation in the family, or a combination of things.
Are there changes that could be made at home or school that would make things easier?
Read Also: How To Treat A Friend With Depression
Other Reasons People Hide What They Are Feeling
Parents who are experiencing depression may worry about how their children or family could be affected. They may even fear that they will be seen as unfit parents if they admit to having feelings of depression.
The pressure to justify depression can be overwhelming, but remember the old saying that you cant judge a book by its cover. The way someone elses life appears to be may not show the whole truth.
People who are depressed may work very hard to try to hide how they really feel. On the outside, they may look and even act as though they feel OK and that everything is fine.
Whether youre experiencing depression yourself or you care about someone who is, it can be helpful to reframe how you think about the condition. Start by focusing on the causes of depression rather than focusing on reasons .
How To Get A Clinical Diagnosis
Theres no single test that can diagnose depression or anxiety. Instead, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and a depression or anxiety screening test. For this, theyll ask you a series of questions that help them get a better insight into what youve been experiencing.
If the results arent clear or if your doctor suspects the symptoms may be the result of another condition, they may order tests to rule out underlying issues. Blood tests can check your thyroid, vitamin, and hormone levels.
In some cases, general practitioners will refer you to a mental health expert, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, if they dont feel equipped to properly manage your symptoms and conditions or if they suspect youre experiencing more than one condition.
Although depression and anxiety are two separate conditions, they share many of the same treatments. A combination of these may be used to treat both conditions at the same time.
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Depression
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is considered to be one of the leading psychological treatments for depression. All of our online courses use CBT strategies to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Click below to see if CBT can help you tackle your symptoms to improve the way you feel.
Strategies for Dealing with Depression
People who are depressed generally have a negative thinking style.
They often think of themselves as worthless and of the world as being a bad or unfair place, and they find it hard to hope that their lives will improve in the future.
When something bad happens, they blame themselves, but when good things happen, they tell themselves they are just lucky.
Furthermore, people with depression are less likely to recognize and appreciate positive events when they happen rather, they tend to be more tuned into the bad things in their lives and brood over those events.
The aim of a cognitive approach is to help people identify and correct their distorted and negatively biased thoughts.
This approach identifies and challenges underlying assumptions and beliefs.
With encouragement to reframe the way they think about life, people are able to recover from failures more effectively and to recognise and take credit for the good things in their lives.
People learn that they have some control over what happens to them. As with behavioural strategies, having these skills reduces relapse and recurrence of depression.