How To Cope With Depression
Seeing a counselor or therapist can help give you a safe outlet for your feelings when you experience depression. Being able to describe your symptoms and identify a cause of depression in your life can help you understand how to respond more positively to that cause. Being able to talk to someone about feelings of guilt or shame that you have can also help prevent depressive symptoms from becoming worse.
Going outside for at least 30 minutes a day in sunlight can help with depression that results from seasonal changes in weather. Research suggests that not getting enough vitamin D from the sun or other sources may increase your risk of depression.
Exercising routinely and eating a healthy diet can also improve your mood and make depressive symptoms less severe. If stress is causing your depression, doing activities that help you feel calm, such as meditation or yoga, can relieve some symptoms of depression.
Surrounding yourself with healthy, positive people is especially important for coping with symptoms of depression. If your friends, family members, or even coworkers are causing you stress or making your depressive symptoms worse, consider spending less time with these people or remove them from your life entirely. Family and social support is crucial to being able to cope and manage depression.
Prevalence Of Major Depressive Episode Among Adolescents
- Figure 2 shows the past year prevalence of major depressive episode among U.S. adolescents in 2019.
- An estimated 3.8 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 15.7% of the U.S. population aged 12 to 17.
- The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adolescent females compared to males .
- The prevalence of major depressive episode was highest among adolescents reporting two or more races .
|2 or more Races||20.9|
*Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race all other racial/ethnic groups are non-Hispanic | AI/AN = American Indian/Alaska Native.Note: Estimates for Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander groups are not reported in the above table due to low precision.
Economic Impact Of Depression
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
- Neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. with major depressive disorder being the most common
- Mental Health is the second leading workplace concern, following only family issues.
- Depression contributes to the estimated $100 billion annual cost of depression for U.S. employers, including $44 billion a year in lost productivity alone.
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Challenge Your Negative Thinking
Once you identify the destructive thought patterns that contribute to your depression, you can start to challenge them with questions such as:
- Whats the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?
- What would I tell a friend who had this thought?
- Is there another way of looking at the situation or an alternate explanation?
- How might I look at this situation if I didnt have depression?
As you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised at how quickly they crumble. For example, the negative thought: My boss hates me. He gave me this difficult report to complete, could be replaced with: My boss must have a lot of faith in me to give me so much responsibility. In the process of challenging negative thoughts, youll develop a more balanced perspective and help to relieve your depression.
Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do
Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:
- Try to be active and exercise.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
- Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
- Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Continue to educate yourself about depression.
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Dealing With The Winter Blues
The reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . Women are diagnosed with SAD at four times the rate of men. SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how bad you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.
Conflict Of Interest Statement
BS reports personal fees from Cambridge Cognition, personal fees and other from Lundbeck, personal fees from Servier, grants from J& J Janssen, other from Otsuka, personal fees from Peak , outside the submitted work EB works half-time for the University of Cambridge and half-time for GlaxoSmithKline. He holds stock in GlaxoSmithKline IG reports personal fees from Lundbeck and holds grants from the Wellcome Trust and the Friends of Peterhouse Charity and NIHR-HTA. All other authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Adolescent Major Depressive Disorder: Neuroimaging Evidence Of Sex Difference During An Affective Go/no
- 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 2California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
- 3Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States
- 4Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 5Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 6Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Mental Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
- 7University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 8Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
What You Can Do On Your Own
Having major depression is not something you can just beat with willpower. But you can tweak your lifestyle to find some relief.
Seek out friends and family. It may not come as a surprise that loneliness increases the risk of depression. The importance of social support is not talked about nearly enough, says Dr. Landau.
Eat healthier, nutrient-rich foods. A growing body of research suggests that what you eat can affect your mental health. For example, a study published in October 2019 in the journal PLoS One found that symptoms of depression dropped from the moderate to normal range among a group of young adults who followed a Mediterranean-style pattern of eating for three weeks, increasing their intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, unsweetened dairy, fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
Be more physically active. Research indicates that exercise can help prevent and treat depression. For instance, an analysis published in May 2018 in JAMA Psychiatry looked at more than 30 previous studies and concluded that resistance training is associated with a significant reduction in depression symptoms.
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Prevalence Of Major Depressive Episode Among Adults
- Figure 1 shows the past year prevalence of major depressive episode among U.S. adults aged 18 or older in 2019.
- An estimated 19.4 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 7.8% of all U.S. adults.
- The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adult females compared to males .
- The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 .
- The prevalence of major depressive episode was highest among those who report having multiple races .
*Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race all other racial/ethnic groups are non-Hispanic |NH/OPI = Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander | AI/AN = American Indian / Alaskan Native
Can Depression Be Prevented
You can help prevent depression by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and practicing regular self-care activities such as exercise, meditation and yoga.
If youve had depression before, you may be more likely to experience it again. If you have depression symptoms, get help. Care can help you feel better sooner.
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New Treatments For Mdd
Recent research has shown that ketamine, primarily used as a tranquilizer in veterinary medicine and abused as a recreational club drug called Special K, can rapidly lift people out of depression and keep even chronically suicidal patients feeling well for days, if not weeks.
Scientists testing ketamine at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine reported in a study published June 2018 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry that 66 percent of patients felt better within hours after receiving a single infusion of ketamine through an IV .
In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Spravato , a nasal spray derived from ketamine, for people who havent responded to other depression treatments. Esketamine can only be administered at certified treatment centers because of the potential for abuse and addiction.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms, LSD, and other psychedelics are emerging as another potential new treatment for depression
Anecdotal accounts and federally approved studies, as reported in Michael Pollans best-selling book on the subject, How to Change Your Mind, suggest that miniscule doses one-twentieth to one-tenth of recreational doses significantly lessen depression, possibly by increasing new connections in the brain.
How Do You Know Its Major Depressive Disorder
Youve probably heard the word depression tossed around to describe normal everyday dips in mood, things like This haircut made me so depressed or That movie was so sad, Im depressed. But when you are actually depressed, Youre not just blue or down in the dumps, says clinical psychologist Lorna Gale Cheifetz, PsyD. Youre really not functioning.
In fact, to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder sometimes called clinical depression or simply depression, or by its abbreviation, MDD you have to experience several distinct symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks.
One of those symptoms needs to be persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness, or a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, such as work, hobbies, seeing friends even food and sex.
According to the American Psychiatric Associations current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , you also need to experience at least four of the following symptoms :
- Significant changes in appetite weight loss or gain not related to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Increased restlessness or the opposite, moving more slowly
- Fatigue, tiredness, or loss of energy, making even simple tasks, such as dressing or washing, difficult
- Feeling worthless or inappropriately guilty, such as constantly thinking about past mistakes
- Difficulty thinking clearly, concentrating, or making decisions
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide , or a suicide attempt
Prevalence Major Depressive Disorder
Depression is the leading cause of disability for individuals aged 1544 in the United States.4 Based on 2017 surveys, it was estimated that more than 17 million adults experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year in the U.S. alone.5 According to the American Psychiatric Association, one in 6 individuals will experience depression at some point in the lives.6
Women experience this disorder more frequently than men. Women more frequently have internalizing symptoms of depression , while men tend to have externalizing symptoms, such as reckless behaviors and substance abuse.4,7
Children and teenagers also tend to experience certain symptoms of depression. In a younger child, depression can present itself with symptoms such as clinging to a parent, acting sick, refusing to go to school, and worrying about their parent dying. In older children and teenagers, depression may manifest as irritability, sulkiness, problems at school, or drug/alcohol use.8
Tip : Eat A Healthy Depression
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Some women find dietary modifications, nutritional supplements and herbal remedies can help aid in the relief of depression symptoms. These include:
Cutting back on salt, unhealthy fats, caffeine, sugar/refined carbs, and alcohol can help improve depression symptoms.
Not skipping meals. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours.
Boosting your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. To increase your intake, eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs. Vitamin B-6 along with calcium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and tryptophan have all been shown to benefit women suffering from PMDD.
Eating foods with Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and tuna, or vegetarian options such as seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts.
Making sure youre getting enough iron. Low iron levels can produce common depression symptoms like irritability, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Iron rich foods to add to your diet include red meat, beans, leafy greens and dried fruit.
Adding herbal supplements may be helpful. Primrose oil and chaste tree berry have both been found to be effective in the treatment of PMDD.
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Treatment Of Major Depressive Disorder
According to the American Psychiatric Association , of all mental disorders, depression is among the most treatable, as 80% to 90% of people who have depression eventually find relief with treatment.6
Major depressive disorder treatments may involve one or both of the following: 6,14
- Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy has been demonstrated to be effective for treating depression. CBT focuses on the present situation and how to solve current problems. CBT helps the client recognize and change maladaptive thinking and behaviors. Family and interpersonal therapy may also be used to help address conflicts and issues in the individuals closest relationships.
- Medication: Brain chemistry may be a contributing factor to a persons depression, so medications that target abnormalities in a persons brain chemistry may help to bring about symptom relief. Antidepressant medications can help a person feel better within 12 weeks, though it may take up to 3 months for them to feel all of the benefits.
For patients with severe depression that does not respond to other treatments, brain stimulation therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation may be beneficial.15
Less than half of people suffering from depression worldwide receive effective treatment.
Other complementary approaches that may help alleviate symptoms of depression include:16-19
- Regular exercise.
- Light therapy .
- Adequate sleep.
- Avoiding alcohol.
Ppi Analysis Of Male Participants
As the cerebellum was found to show a significant group difference, this region was chosen as a seed region for the PPI analysis. No significant group or age effects were found. However, there was a significant group-by-age interaction between the cerebellum seed and the superior frontal gyrus . The PPI effect showed that compared with younger participants, connectivity between the cerebellum and superior frontal gyrus increased in strength across age in male controls, but decreased in strength with age in males with MDD . Taken together, differential functional responses associated with MDD and age-related changes of brain connectivity were found in the cerebellum of male adolescents.
Figure 5. Significant group × age interaction of the psychophysiological interaction connectivity between the cerebellum seed and superior frontal gyrus is shown. With age, connectivity increases in strength in male controls but decreases in strength in males with major depressive disorder.
All of the significant results identified in the primary analysis were checked for medication effects by t-tests between the group of patients using antidepressants and the group of patients not using antidepressants . t-Statistics, p values, means, and SDs associated with these tests are shown in the Table S1 in Supplementary Material. Patients with and without antidepressant usage did not differ significantly in terms of behavior or brain activation.
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Which Types Of Psychotherapy Work Best
Psychotherapy always includes talking with a trained professional focused on helping you make positive changes in your thoughts and behaviors to ease your symptoms. But theres some evidence that certain types may be more effective for depression than others, notes the NIMH. These include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy , a systematic approach aimed at identifying and altering negative thought patterns
- Dialectical behavioral therapy , which emphasizes psychotherapy and group classes in new skills, such as mindfulness, to help make life feel worth living
- Interpersonal therapy , which focuses on increasing happiness by improving how you interact with others
- Psychodynamic therapy, which aims to reduce the negative influence of past life events and traumas through insight into how they affect your current behavior
- Accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy , which teaches patients to view depression as a defense against core emotions, including sadness, fear, anger, sexual excitement, and disgust, so that fully feeling those emotions can help restore hope and optimism
Barriers To Treatment: Not Everyone Gets The Help They Need
Major depression is very treatable, especially when the approach is tailored to an individuals body and lifestyle. Yet approximately 35 percent of adults and 60 percent of adolescents who have it dont receive any treatment.
This is worrisome given that depression raises the risk of many other illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimers disease, and has been linked to substance abuse.
Depression also increases the risk of suicide, the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the NIMH.
Reasons for not getting treatment vary. A lot of people suffer in silence because we dont yet live in a culture where its easy to talk authentically about it, says psychotherapist Hilary Jacobs Hendel, a licensed clinical social worker and author of Its Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self. People feel a lot of shame and guilt.
Another reason is that depression encourages the belief that nothing could ever be of help. As journalist Susan Cheng explained in an essay she wrote about her depression, Sometimes you fight back, but most days you just sit there in quiet resignation, trying your best to breathe. And because the illness is a part of you, engrained so deeply in your being, you start to believe that this is just how everyone must feel.
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