People With Social Anxiety Don’t Want To Be Alone
Chances are likely, depending on the severity of your symptoms, that you may benefit from being on medication. If youre thinking, Nope, absolutely notI dont want to rely on anything, then Ill challenge you with this: Is your quality of life getting better each day, or you struggling to make it through the day? Is your own contempt about medication, prior to investigation, really worth it? Have you done your research on anti-anxiety and depression medications, such as SSRIs, to the point where you know enough about them, or are you making a blanket statement that you refuse to take medications?
Ask yourself these difficult questions. For me, it was incredibly helpful to be working with a therapist who I trusted and with whom I developed a strong rapport with before making these decisions with her help and guidance.
We dont overcome depression we dont prevail over anxiety. We accept that we have them, and we treat them effectively. We cant think our way out of a clinical or chemical issue. We cant self will our way into happiness, groundedness, and wholeness.
There is so much freedom in surrendering to the stark truth that we cant do this on our own.
This post became way more clinical than I had intended it to be, but I found that after posting a poll on Instagram about what topics people want to read about, overcoming depression and anxiety beat out the other topics by a landslide.
This is a real issue. You are not alone.
Treatment For Anxiety And Depression In Men
Your doctor is a good source of information and can discuss with you whether what youre experiencing may be anxiety or depression. They can also refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Any of these health professionals can help you with an action plan, whether or not you are diagnosed with anxiety, depression or both.
Anxiety and depression are like any other conditions there are ways to treat and manage them.
Lifestyle changes, such as spending time with supportive friends and family, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet and cutting down on alcohol and other drugs are all worthwhile changes that can help to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
Psychological treatments, including cognitive behaviour therapy, are effective in treating anxiety and depression and are often recommended first, particularly for mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Your doctor may refer you to see a psychologist or other counsellor for this type of treatment.
For some people, antidepressant medication might also be an option. Antidepressants can be effective for both anxiety and depression. They usually take at least 2 weeks before they start to help, and it may also take some time for your doctor to find the medication and dose that is most effective for you.
How Is Depression Different From Anxiety
Depression is different from anxiety. Rather than feeling anxious and nervous, feelings of gloom and melancholy overwhelm. Feeling sad or down after experiencing a loss or disappointment is an emotion that everyone feels at one time or another. But when low mood and sadness is severe and lasts for long periods of time, it could be due to depression.
There are two main types of depression: Major Depressive Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder . While the signs and symptoms of both are similar, the intensity and duration differ. Symptoms of both Major Depressive Disorder and dysthymia include:
- Sleep disruptions
Life After Depression: How To Thrive What Helps What Gets In The Way
Depression keeps itself alive with an intense, overwhelming sense of hopelessness. This hopelessness kills the motivation to reach into the world for support, something that is already fragile because of the stigma that is so often attached to mental illness.
New research, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, offers a reason for hope. There is life after depression a strong, healthy, happy life and the research has found the factors that will help to make this possible and those that will get in the way.
In a study involving more than 2,500 people who had experienced a major depressive disorder at some time in their lives, researchers found that about two in five people were able to fully recover and experience full mental health. The researchers defined full mental health as:
- experiencing happiness or life satisfaction almost every day for the last month
- a full year without depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or substance abuse and
- positive social and psychological well-being.
The research revealed important findings about what helped, what hindered and what had no bearing at all on the likelihood of thriving after depression.
How To Reach Out For Depression Support
Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you they just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.
Make face-time a priority. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they dont replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
Try to keep up with social activities even if you dont feel like it. Often when youre depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
Find ways to support others. Its nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find waysboth big and smallto help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.
Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being neededboth powerful antidotes to depression.
10 tips for staying connected
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Living With Depression And Anxiety Is Hard
I am living with depression and anxiety. There are days when I am fine, then others when my depression will act up, or my anxiety. Then there are terrible days where I exhibit both depression and anxiety symptoms.
It is important to have a depression safety plan in place ahead of any depression symptoms. This is a plan of who you can call that will help you with your symptoms and give you any help or advice you need.
This can be a mixture of professional help, and your friends and family. When we are in the middle of a depression episode, we think we are alone in the world. Therefore, a depression safety plan designed ahead of time is a great resource.
Signup for my free depression safety plan printable
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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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Search The South London And Maudsley Website
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days.
Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.
Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They’re wrong it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression is not a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”.
The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people with depression can make a full recovery.
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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Improve Your Eating Habits
Research continues to find clear links between diet and mental health. In fact, there have been so many studies that have shown improving nutrition can prevent and treat mental illness that nutritional psychiatry is becoming mainstream.
There are many brain-essential nutrients that can affect depression. For example, a 2012 study found that zinc deficiency is associated with symptoms of depression.
Improving your diet could be key to reducing your symptoms.
But before you make any major changes to your diet or begin taking vitamins or supplements, talk with your physician.
Finding The Right Resources To Answer Your Questions And Meet Your Complex Needs
Just as anxiety and depression tend to be worse when occurring together, treatment of these disorders is most effective when both conditions are addressed at the same time.1
Hartgrove Behavioral Health System provides integrated care that treats these and other mental health issues simultaneously. As part of our comprehensive care, medical specialists and therapists work together to help bring healing and balance in our patients lives a feeling of being in charge of their inner self again.
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Be Gentle And Compassionate With Yourself
I wish I had been kinder and gentler to myself and learned self-compassion, instead of beating myself up for being depressed in the first place, says Borchard.
Others echoed her words of wisdom. Dont be too hard on yourself when you have feelings of despair or of being overwhelmed, Hutton says. Believing that youre wrong or bad can take over pretty quickly.
It helps to acknowledge that life is hard with depression or not, Harman says. Gentleness is the only way to live through that hardness.
In fact, Claude suggests self-pampering and relaxation activities, such as massage, as ways to manage depression. An eight-week mindfulness meditation course has also helped him manage his anxiety.
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Sleep and mood are intimately related. A 2014 study found that 80% of people with major depressive disorder experience sleep disturbances.
But, you might feel like you just can’t fall asleep. Or perhaps you struggle to get out of bed because you feel exhausted all the time.
Good sleep hygiene could be key to improving the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Turn off electronics at least an hour before you go to bed. Use dim light to read a book or engage in another relaxing activity.
Only use your bed for sleep and sexual activity. Doing work in bed, or even in your bedroom, can cause you to associate your bed with stress, rather than relaxation.
Educate Yourself And Become Your Own Advocate
You are your best advocate and responsible for your recovery, so arm yourself with information, Claude says. He recommends consulting Doctor Google, but with a grain of salt and always consult a medical professional before trying different strategies to manage your symptoms. Theres no cure, and theres no magic bullet to treat depression, he says.
It may also help to be prepared to encounter stigma, but dont let it defeat you, says Lukasik.
After I was diagnosed, I expected compassion and understanding, but more often than not, I was told to snap out of it or be more grateful for what I had, he says. At first he absorbed this negativity, feeling misunderstood and shunned, but he overcame it by going public. Writing about it, forming a website for lawyers with depression, and producing a short documentary gave me a voice to speak up about what depression really is, he says.
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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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.
Shows Disinterest In Relationship
This can make the relationship look like there is no future because someone experiencing depression may withdraw from his or her partner, and they do not show interest in spending much time with each other anymore. This usually means less communication between spouses, which inevitably leads to disagreement over things like household chores and parenting duties however, these conflicts typically bring about even more emotional distance within the relationship.
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What Are The Different Types Of Depression
You might have heard a number of terms used to describe depression. In this section, we explain what some of these terms mean.
What is clinical depression?
Clinical depression is a common term, but it is not a formal diagnosis. People sometimes say clinical diagnosis to just mean they have been diagnosed by a doctor.
What is a depressive episode?
Your doctor might say that you are going through a ‘depressive episode’. This is the formal name that doctors give depression when they make a diagnosis. They may say that you are going through a ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ episode.
What is recurrent depressive disorder?
If you have had repeated episodes of depression, your doctor might say that you have recurrent depressive disorder. They may say that your current episode is ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’.
What is reactive depression?
If your doctor thinks that your episode of depression was caused by particular stressful events in your life, they may say that it is reactive. For example, divorce, job or money worries. This is sometimes separated from an adjustment disorder, where you may struggle with some symptoms of depression because of adapting to a major change in your life. Such as separation from people, retirement or migrating to a new area.
What is a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms?
You can find more information about Psychosis by clicking here.
What is dysthymia?
What is cyclothymia?
What is postnatal depression?
What is manic depression?
Ways You Can Look After Yourself
If youre depressed, there are steps you can take to lift your mood and help your recovery. These steps can help if youve been depressed in the past and want to stay well.
- Talk about how youre feeling. Talking to someone you trust, or finding peer support, can help you feel better and less alone.
- Eat well. A healthy diet can lift your mood and maintain your mental health.
- Stay physically active. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it can ease the symptoms of depression. Research suggests it may be as effective as antidepressants in helping you feel better.
- Spend time in nature. Research shows that being in nature can make us feel happier, feel our lives are more worthwhile, and reduce our levels of depression
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. They may feel like theyre helping at first, but they make things worse in the long run.
- Try talking therapy to stay well. NICE guidelines recommend CBT or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy if youve been depressed in the past.
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