Exercise Is Something You Can Do Right Now To Boost Your Mood
Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when youre depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more.
Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercisesuch as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancingwhere you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you movesuch as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league.
Take a dog for a walk.If you dont own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. Youll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
Physical Effects Of Depression
Depression can appear physically via symptoms felt in the body. Examples of physical effects of depression include sleep disturbance, appetite changes, poor concentration or memory, and a loss of interest in sex. Some people with depression may also feel chronic pain, experience gastrointestinal issues, or have a higher level of fatigue.
Why Am I Depressed
Do you know the true meaning of depression? As mentioned, we may not feel well some days and want to be alone, which disappears after a few days. Maybe you dont know the reason for this fatigue, and you keep asking why Im depressed? This condition can have various causes, such as fatigue, negative thoughts, and menstruation in women.
Sometimes my friends ask me, Am I depressed or lazy? This is an interesting question because many people dont know the difference between them and typically want to say that Im unhappy. But there is a big difference between these two.
Laziness is a disgusting morality that usually people are not able to do anything and would like someone else to do it for them. But depression is a mental disorder that, in any way, affects a persons life.
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Take The Depression Test
Depression strikes millions each year, often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that it is sometimes referred to as the “common cold” of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given time.
Depression has a high cure rate. Effective treatments exist to help bring people’s lives back under control. Yet tragically many people suffering from this illness go without diagnosis and treatment. This depression test is a tool that may help you recognize the symptoms of depression and decide to get help. Please note that only a licensed professional can diagnose depression.
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.
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The Risk Of Isolation
It can sometimes be hard to explain your thoughts and feelings to others. You might find it difficult to talk about your depression and instead you might cut yourself off from other people. The more overwhelming your symptoms, the more isolated and lonely you might become.
Without treatment and support, depression can have an impact on your relationships, work, finances and overall health, so it’s important to get help as early as possible. See our pages on treatment and support for more information.
“It feels like I’m stuck under a huge grey-black cloud. It’s dark and isolating, smothering me at every opportunity.”
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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Who Is At Risk For Depression
Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.
Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.
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.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try to do things you used to enjoy. Even if you dont feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:
- Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
- Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
- Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
- Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.
- Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.
Researchers At The National Institute Of Mental Health And Across The Country Are Dedicated To Womens Mental Health Research
Researchers continue to study depression to improve the way this medical condition is diagnosed and treated. For example, NIMH researchers are currently working to understand how and why changes in reproductive hormones trigger mood disorders, including postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopausal depression.
NIMH scientists are conducting a large number of research studies with patients and healthy volunteers to better understand why some women are at higher risk than others, and how they can translate these findings into new treatments or new uses of existing treatments.
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The Next Step: Getting Help
If you notice any of these serious depression symptoms in yourself or someone you love, reach out and get help. In most people, even major depression is a very treatable disorder, with a wide range of medications and therapies that have been proven to work, according to the APA.
I Am Depressed & Determined To Get Better
You are not crazy, just sick. And therefore, you must go see a doctor or a psychologist, who will assess your feelings and moods and provide you with guidance and, in some cases, medication to treat depression and/or anxiety. Getting support plays a key role in overcoming mental illnesses.
The very nature of depression makes it difficult to seek help, so relying on someone else who is knowledgeable on it can be really helpful when it comes to defeating this disease. Depressed people tend to withdraw and self isolate themselves, but reaching out is not a sign of weakness, but the opposite.
Together with professional help, staying connected with your loved ones is what you need to recover. Friends and family will be there for you, even if they have never experienced your symptoms. Just look for support from people who make you feel safe and secure. The ones who truly care about you will research on depression and find a way to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. A Help me, I am depressed will do.
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What Can I Do To Help Myself If I Feel Depressed
Depression is a serious but treatable illness. See your doctor and get help for recovery. It’s always a good idea to get a physical exam in order to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms. You should tell your doctor that you think it might be depression, so that he or she can ask you the right questions and come to the most accurate diagnosis. Therapy is also very important. Many studies have shown that the most effective way to fight depression includes a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and self-care.
Self-education is an important part of self-care. One of the features of depression is that it distorts thinking. Everyone who has depression should learn as much as they can about the disorder. This achieves three things:
- It will allow you to understand the disorder better.
- It will underline the fact that these are very real medical disorders and will help to fight prejudice and stigma.
- It will give you knowledge and tools that you can use to help yourself.
Here are some other ways that you can help to take care of yourself, prevent relapse and maintain wellness:
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.
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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.
Is It Ok To Be Unhappy
Everyone is unhappy from time to time and often with good reason. Life is fraught with conflict, disappointments, and challenges. Being unhappy about these situations is natural and is often a motivator to make positive and necessary change.
You dont need to feel guilty about being unhappy or pretend to be happy when youre not. Social media, in particular, can make you feel like youre the only person who doesnt have an amazing, joy-filled life. And this makes you feel even worse.
However, remaining unhappy for weeks or months is not healthy. It can lead to inertia, loneliness, and depression. Use your unhappiness as a clue to whats going on in your inner world that is stealing your joy.
Then take action to address the root cause of your discontent. Practice some of the strategies outlined above to begin to turn your mood around and get unstuck.
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Causes And Risk Factors
Depression is not a mood you can just get over. It is a disease in which the brain ceases to register pleasurable activities, says Angelino. Indeed, MRI studies with depressed people have found changes in the parts of the brain that play a significant role in depression.
Women are about twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. Youre also more likely to develop depression if you are between ages 45 and 64, nonwhite, or divorced, and if you never graduated high school, cant work or are unemployed, and dont have health insurance. Other risks for depression include factors such as these:
- Experiencing stressful events in your life, such as losing your job, having problems in your marriage, major health problems, and/or financial challenges.
- Having a bad childhood, such as one involving abuse, poor relationships with your parents, and/or your parents own marital problems.
- Certain personality traits, such as getting extremely upset when youre stressed.
- A family history of depression, which can increase your own risk three or four times.
Depression is far more common than you might think, with nearly one out of 10 adults depressed at any time, about half of them severely.
What Foods Help Ease Depression
While no specific diet has been proven to relieve depression, a healthy diet can help you feel your best physically and mentally. Certain foods may be linked to brain health and support for memory, alertness, and mood. Examples include foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids , antioxidants , and nutrients like choline . Always talk with your doctor before making any major diet changes.
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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
Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
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What Does Depression Look Like
Well raise your question with a few Qs of our own: Are you female? Are you a teen? Depression can also affect different ages and genders in unique ways:
Women are more likely to ruminate . This can look like negative self-talk, sudden crying spells, feelings of guilt, or blaming oneself. Women are also more likely to have depression at the same time as an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, eating disorder, or obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Men with depression are more likely to show signs of irritability, anger, apathy, escapist behavior , or reckless behavior .
Younger people can struggle with depression and MDD . Children and teens may sometimes exhibit oversensitivity, social withdrawal, poor school performance, frequent physical complaints , or feelings of incompetence and despair .
Older adults and the elderly are often misdiagnosed or undertreated for depression because their symptoms can be mistaken for other disorders , or they may assume their feelings are just an inevitable part of aging. For many, sadness isnt the biggest indicator of depression instead, physical complaints are often the predominant symptom. Sleep trouble, low motivation, neglect of personal care or hygiene, and fixation on death are other signs of depression in older adults.
How Is Depression Treated
Depression treatment typically involves medication, psychotherapy, or both. If these treatments do not reduce symptoms, brain stimulation therapy may be another treatment option. In milder cases of depression, treatment might begin with psychotherapy alone, and medication added if the individual continues to experience symptoms. For moderate or severe depression, many mental health professionals recommend a combination of medication and therapy at the start of treatment.
Choosing the right treatment plan should be based on a persons individual needs and medical situation under a providers care. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you. You can learn more about the different types of treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies on the NIMH’s depression webpage. For information on finding a mental health professional and questions to ask when considering therapy, visit NIMHs psychotherapies webpage.
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