Trap #: Seeking Sugar Highs
When you’re feeling down, you may find yourself craving sweets or junk food high in carbs and sugar.
Sugar does have mild mood-elevating properties, says Ilardi, but it’s only temporary. Within two hours, blood glucose levels crash, which has a mood-depressing effect.
The Fix: Avoid sugar highs and the inevitable post-sugar crash. It’s always wise to eat healthfully, but now more than ever, your mood can’t afford to take the hit.
Where Can I Go For Help
If you are unsure of where to go for help, ask your family doctor or health care provider. You can also find resources online including the NIMH website at www.nimh.nih.gov/FindHelp, or check with your insurance carrier to find someone who participates in your plan. Hospital doctors can help in an emergency.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed
The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.
Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .
When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.
Some symptoms of depression are:
- low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
- having less energy to do certain things,
- losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
- reduced concentration,
You may also find that with low mood you:
- feel less pleasure from things,
- feel more agitated,
- find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
- have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.
There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.
On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/
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What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor to see if they can suggest changes,
- get an advocate to help you speak your doctor,
- ask for a second opinion if you feel it would help,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
An advocate is independent from the NHS. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. They arent available in all areas.
You can ask an advocate to help you make a complaint. Advocates that do this are called NHS complaints advocates. They are free to use and don t work for the NHS. They re available in all areas.
You can search online to search for a local advocacy service. If you cant find a service you can call our advice service 0808 801 0525 . You can email us too at . We will look for you.
Talk to your doctor about your treatment to see if you can resolve the problem with them first. If you dont agree with their decisions about diagnosis or treatment, you could ask for a second opinion. You are not legally entitled to a second opinion, but your doctor might agree to it if it would help with treatment options.
- Advocacy by clicking here.
Seeing A Doctor About Depression
Big changes in your life, like bereavement, losing a job, or even having a baby, can cause symptoms of depression. You’re also more likely to experience depression if you have a family history of depression. However, it’s also possible to become depressed without there being an obvious reason.
You can learn more about depression causes here.
Recommended Reading: Who Do You Go To For Depression
Find What Works For You
If these ideas arent working for you, start looking for something that is right for your situation and what you are feeling. Some strategies that might help inspire you on those days where you don’t feel like doing anything include:
- Listing steps needed to achieve a goal
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Persistent low mood
Reach out to your doctor or therapist for help, which might involve therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these approaches.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
What If I’m Depressed
According to the ADAA , depression affects approximately 1.5 percent of the United States population aged 18 and older. That works out to be around 3.3 million American adults. Although this can seem daunting, millions of people have proactively sought out treatment and experienced successful results. An extensive study by the Berkeley Well-Being Institute, for example, found that 70% of BetterHelp clients successfully reduced depressive symptoms. You may read the full study here. If you’re dealing with lacking motivation, it’s important to learn the signs of depression to begin to figure out if you’re experiencing depression or a different issue.
Depression Signs And Symptoms
Depression can lead to a range of cognitive, behavioral, and physical symptoms. It’s important to note that individuals may experience varying depressive symptoms. Depression doesn’t look the same as two people. Also, all of the symptoms may not present to warrant a diagnosis of clinical depression. Here are some common signs & symptoms:
- Low or depressed mood or noticeable mood swings
- Loss of interest to do things that you once loved
- Significant change or fluctuation in weight
- Noticed decreased ability of focus or concentrate, especially for longer periods
- Increased feelings of fatigue, more days than not
- A decreased level of energy
- Slowness in activities
- Recurring thoughts of death or others dying
- Depressive symptoms causing significant stress
- Depressive symptoms have last longer than two weeks
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Spending Extra Time In Bed In The Morning
I lie in bed in the morning and think about the things I should be grateful for I have so much, fortunately. I have a strong relationship with my husband and he helps me through this. Dona D.
I just lie in bed all day and stay in my pajamas. I often even dont take showers for days because its just easier not to. Jalisha J.
Even when I wake up early, I have to spend time still in bed before I can get up. I need the time to curb the anxieties and rally as best as I can for the day. Phaedra M.
If you can relate, check out this list of 24 things you can do when depression keeps you in bed.
You Lash Out At Loved Ones
If you’re social distancing with family members, you’re probably spending more time together than ever before. You’re bound to get annoyed with each other and need some space. But if you’re having mood swings and lashing out at those you love, your mental state may be in jeopardy.
According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, “People with depressive illness often have symptoms of overt or suppressed anger.” It’s understandable if your situation is frustrating right now. But if you’re experiencing uncontrollable outbursts of anger aimed at your loved ones, it may be a sign you’re dealing with depression.
Also Check: Severe Depression In Young Adults
If Your Loved One Has Symptoms
- Encourage your loved one to seek professional help. If your loved one is considering harming themselves or having other dark thoughts, immediate treatment is critical. Go to the nearest emergency room or contact a local mental health provider. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 .
- Create a safe environment. If the person expresses suicidal thoughts, remove any potentially lethal items from the home, such as guns, Dr. Dunlop says.
- Be kind. Blaming or chastising depressed people for feeling low or unmotivated is not helpful and typically serves to reinforce negative feelings they already have, Dunlop says. Instead, open the discussion in a nonjudgmental way and encourage the person to seek help.
- Be willing to support treatment. Offer to help your loved one prepare a list of questions for a provider about depression or drive them to appointments.
Difficulty Experiencing Joy Or Connection
When were depressed, it can take all of the enjoyment out of the things we love and make it more difficult for us to connect to those closest to us. We may begin to lose interest in hobbies, friendships, schoolwork, social activities, sex or life in general. When this happens, we may find ourselves feeling isolated from friends, family members or others who care about us.
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Why Is It Hard To Admit That You Have Walking Depression
You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Why is that?
Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when youre still getting by. You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you. You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed.
Because your pride and your identity take a hit. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.
Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.
Because you are admitting your own responsibility for your unhappiness and that can trigger self-judgment.
Because you might uncover grief or anger at those around you for not seeing and taking better care of you.
Difficulty Getting Out Of Bed
Its normal to enjoy sleeping in or spending time in bed. However, if it has become difficult to find the motivation to get out of bed or get ready in the morning, this could be a sign of depression. Depression can make us feel fatigued and physically drained to the point where even small tasks, like getting up in the morning, can feel exhausting or difficult to do.
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What Are The Treatments For Depression
Many helpful treatments for depression are available. Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you determine what treatment is best for you.
- Therapy. Many people benefit from psychotherapyalso called therapy or counseling.7,8 Most therapy lasts for a short time and focuses on thoughts feelings and issues that are happening in your life now. In some cases understanding your past can help but finding ways to address what is happening in your life now can help you cope and prepare you for challenges in the future.With therapy, youll work with your therapist to learn skills to help you cope with life, change behaviors that are causing problems and find solutions. Do not feel shy or embarrassed about talking openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. This is an important part of getting better.Some common goals of therapy include:
- Getting healthier
- Making sense of past painful events
- Identifying things that worsen your depression
- Having better relationships with family and friends
- Understanding why something bothers you and creating a plan to deal with it
Not Cleaning Your Home For Months At A Time
Much like the daunting task of taking a shower vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning can seem right out of the question. Apathy is a common feeling with depression. Some depressed people may not even feel worthy of a clean living environment.
Apathy can numb our senses and erase rotten smells, because we think we belong with the trash. Or we think we can do it later, because we figure the depressive episode might pass. Depression takes up so much of our energy emotional and physical that we have to choose how we use it and sometimes that leaves cleaning at the bottom of the priority list.
Recommended Reading: How To Explain To Someone What Depression Feels Like
Your Thoughts And Feelings Affect Everything You Do
Not feeling right can cause you to think and act differently and this can affect all aspects of your life, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
When somethings not right you could experience it in different ways. You might get sick or just feel generally run-down. You may feel like youre not your usual self – you dont want to be around anyone when usually you love company. You may cry a lot for no apparent reason or easily lose your temper, or even wonder what your life is all about.
Getting an overall picture of yourself helps to make sense of whats happening in your life, and what can help you feel better. One way to do that is to think about whats happening in different aspects of your life your body , your spirit , your social circle and your mind .
- Physical : Thinking about your tinana means focusing on how you look after and care for your body.
- Mental : Thinking about hinengaro means focusing on emotions and how you communicate, think and feel.
- Social : Thinking about whnau means focusing on the relationships you have with people who support you. Their support might be physical, cultural or emotional.
- Spiritual : Thinking about wairua means focusing on things that give your life meaning. That might mean your religion. It could also mean thinking about your links with the environment , your heritage, and your connections to ancestors .
Know and understand those unseen things that can cause worry, anxiety and fear – Mori proverb.
How To Help Someone Who May Be Experiencing Depression
If you are currently experiencing one or more of these symptoms, its okay to seek support. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 303-492-2277 to access 24/7 crisis support from Counseling and Psychiatric Services .
If you notice a roommate, friend or classmate experiencing any of these symptoms, here are a few things you can do to help:
Recommended Reading: Is Zoning Out A Symptom Of Depression
Things To Do: Get Back On Track
Here are some little ways to keep your motivation up:
Start your day doing something positive, and you can see results. Here are some things you can start your day with.
- Read a few quotes about what you want to accomplish. Quotes can sound a bit cheesy, but for many, they work.
- Don’t give troubling thoughts any mind. If you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, don’t waste time mulling over them.
- Instead, wake up and think about things you’re grateful for. Maybe you’re grateful for the roof over your head. You’re grateful you got out of bed. You’re grateful for another day to live. Listing the things you’re grateful for sounds a bit cheesy, but it works.
- Don’t waste your morning dilly-dallying. Don’t waste it on social media, and don’t give your time to argue with anyone. Don’t give in to that. That’s not something successful people do.
- However, you can begin your morning reading inspiring blogs. Reading blogs about success, reading blogs about entrepreneurship, and reading blogs about life, in general, can help you. Successful people learn from other successful people.
- Remember that the definition of “successful people” differs. As you wake up, think of your success. If you have problems due to depression or other mental health issues, think of how far you’ve come.
Not Being Able To Work
I havent been able to work even part-time since I had ECT in 2005. People tell me Im lucky not to have to work, which just pisses me off because they dont know what I go through. Laura R.
If you can relate, youre not alone. Read: 16 Secrets of People Who Arent Working Because of Their Mental Illness
Also Check: Anti Depression Meds That Cause Weight Loss
Daily Habits People With Depression May Avoid
People who live with depression or bipolar disorder may share similar behavioral patterns and avoid doing certain everyday tasks, including the things that are good for them. There are some days when you simply might not have the energy to shower and other days when the dishes keep piling up. And some weeks may go by when you barely have it in you to leave the house.
These normal, everyday habits can seem impossible at times for those experiencing depression. Below are some common activities that people experiencing depression or a depressive episode may have trouble managing, plus some suggestions on how to get moving forward again.
Is Laziness A Symptom Of Depression
Laziness isnt a formal symptom of any type of depression.
There are many symptoms of depression that can mirror what we have come to believe is laziness, says Ernesto N. Lira de la Rosa, PhD, a psychologist on the Media Advisory Group at Hope for Depression Research Foundation.
According to Lira de la Rosa, some of these symptoms are:
- lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
- low energy and motivation
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty starting and completing tasks
In fact, over 90% of people with depression experience fatigue, a symptom that can also be mistaken for laziness.
In child psychologist Jennifer Webers experience, its not uncommon for kids and teens to be mislabeled as lazy before receiving a diagnosis of depression. Weber is the director of behavioral health for PM Pediatrics Behavioral Health, a teletherapy and consultation program in New Hyde Park, New York.
Misconceptions about the signs of depression can especially happen if you have difficulty with:
- getting out of bed or off the couch
- performing household chores, like cooking, cleaning, washing dishes
- taking a shower and other personal hygiene habits
- completing work or academic assignments
These challenges may make you feel youre being lazy, but theres more to it than a personal choice.
According to Lira de la Rosa, some people can also overwork themselves to the degree of exhaustion and can experience depression as a result.
Recommended Reading: Signs Your Suffering From Depression