Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
Other Holistic Treatments For Depression
If you are looking for alternative methods of treatment for depression, essential oils are only one of the many ways to supplement conventional methods for those suffering from depression. The understanding behind holistic treatments is that each part of you affects every other . The mind-body connection is so powerful, so, if anything feels out of balance, there will be negative side effects both mentally and physically.
If you are looking to try alternative methods of healing for your addiction or co-occurring conditions, a few to consider include:
While holistic treatments can be used to help treat depression, they can also be used as a part of your everyday life after treatment for numerous health benefits.
How Does Depression Affect The Brain
Studies have shown that during episodes of depression there is not enough of the stress hormone cortisol and neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. As a result, having these low levels of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter dopamine causes specific symptoms associated with depression. This misfiring in the brains chemical makeup can be caused by a lot of different things.
In many cases, depression is genetic and passed down through generations. In other cases, the mental condition is a result of extended exposure to stress and negative environments. Whether genetic or developed later in life, there are many risk factors and similar symptoms associated with various mental disorders.
Thats why depression must be accurately diagnosed and treated by a mental health professional. If left untreated, further health consequences will most likely occur. The lack of receiving treatment unfortunately is all too common with mental conditions such as depression.
Some people are turning to essential oils as an alternative treatment for depression. The compounds in these liquids interact with your brains receptors, giving you different effects depending on what type of mood-lifting or relaxation oil it is that particular person uses.
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What Might Indicate That Both Anxiety And Depression Are Present
Traits that may signal the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:
- Irrational worries or fears that wont go away
- Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing or abdominal pain
- Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
- Changes in eating habits either too much or too little
- Trouble remembering, making decisions or concentrating
- Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
- Loss of usual interest in activities or hobbies
- Feeling often tired and cranky
- Inability to relax and live in the moment
- Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control2
Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
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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: , 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
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
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How To Access Mental Health Services
Mental health services are free on the NHS, but in some cases you’ll need a referral from your GP to access them.
There are some mental health services that allow people to refer themselves.
If your mental health difficulty is related to stress at work, you can ask your employer what occupational health services are available to you.
Check out the Time to Change website, which has a section dedicated to employers.
If you’re at school or college, mental health care may be arranged for you.
Some mental health problems can be managed without the help of a GP. There are a variety of materials available and local organisations offering help.
You can also try the mood assessment quiz, which is designed to recommend resources to help you better understand how you feel.
For local support and information services near you, you can search:
If you want to talk to someone right away, read about where to get urgent help for mental health.
Availability Of Data And Materials
The data that supports the findings of this study are available from the University of Alberta but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of the University of Alberta.
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Icipants Who Report Mental Health Has Worsened Also Report Higher Stress Levels
Stress is a normal physiological reaction to a difficult situation. Participants were asked about stress levels on most days. Overall, 6% of participants reported no stress . Two-thirds reported lower levels of stress and 28% reported high stress .
Among those who said their mental health is worse, 41% reported high stress . In contrast, 13% of those reporting no change or better mental health reported high stress.
What Happens When I Leave Hospital
There are some differences in what happens when you leave hospital depending on whether you are a voluntary patient or have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
- If you are a voluntary patient, see our pages on voluntary patients.
- If you have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, see our pages on sectioning, discharge from hospital, and aftercare under section 117 of the Mental Health Act.
“I don’t recall having a care plan in hospital. I certainly wasn’t aware of a discharge plan and this caused myself and my partner stress and anxiety.”
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Do I Need To Go To The Hospital
Its common for people to go to the hospital because of a mental illness. Sometimes people go specifically because of what the hospital has to offer. Other times, its just the first place we think of when we are in crisis. Understanding what happens when you check yourself into a hospital can help you decide whether its the best option for you right now.
How Would Behavioral Health Integrated Care Help Young Adults With Mental Health Needs
Given the characteristics of young adults and the specific barriers that they face when accessing care, there are several ways in which the integration of mental health care in primary care settings could lead to substantial improvements in mental health care access and treatment. Specifically, integrated care has the potential to successfully address the four barriers that prevent young adults from obtaining mental health services , as described below.
Changes in perception of need for mental health treatment and self-efficacy at the time of transition to young adulthood. Resources common to integrated care settings, such as the team-based approach and the presence of care managers, can be immensely valuable for improving the likelihood of engagement in mental health care for youth and building youthâs feelings of self-efficacy as the scaffolding provided by parents may begin to wane. The support of a treatment team may also aid in helping a young adult better understand his or her need for mental health treatment. Indeed, several integrated care studies in primary care with adolescents and adults have shown a significant increase in treatment adherence and treatment satisfaction among patients assigned to the integrated care intervention group.,,
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And One Last Thing Before I Get Off My Soapbox: If You Do Go To The Hospital Do Not Rush Your Recovery
This is the best advice I can give but itll be the most counterintuitive, too.
I understand the hurry to get the hell out of there because thats exactly what I did the first time I even put on quite the show to get released early long before I was actually ready to leave.
But a hospitalization is, quite literally, building the foundation for the rest of your recovery. You wouldnt rush the foundation of a skyscraper, would you?
It wasnt even a year later that I was in the back of an ambulance again, ready to undergo the process for the second time .
Give yourself the best chance for success. Show up for every group, every session, every meal, and every activity that you possibly can.Follow the recommendations youre given, including follow-up care, to the best of your abilities, too.
Be willing to try everything even the stuff that seems tedious or useless once, if not twice .
And trust me, your clinicians dont want you to stay in the hospital any longer than you need to be there. Theres no benefit in giving you that bed when someone else might need it more. Trust the process and remember that this is temporary.
General Characteristics Of Participants
Of 720 eligible patients discharged from the medical wards during the study period, 493 enrolled . At 90-days post-discharge, there was 19% loss to follow-up . Average age of participants at the time of discharge from hospital was 62.9 years , half were female , 82% were White, 49% were retired, and over half were single, widowed or separated. Nearly half had more education than a high school diploma, and more than two thirds had an annual household income of less than $80,000CAD. On average participants had 4.9 comorbidities and reasons for hospitalization varied significantly .
Table 1 Sample characteristics at baseline
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression In Men
Different men have different symptoms, but some common depression symptoms include:
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- A need for alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
Not every man who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some men experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many.
Looking For Greater Peace Of Mind There’s An App For That
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
While most mental health practitioners probably wouldn’t advise people spend more time with their smartphones, there are some apps that can turn screen time into time well-spent. These apps provide tools for people looking to improve their lives. Some are designed to help those struggling with issues like depression, anxiety, or PTSD, while others are based on positive psychology and aim to increase focus, happiness, and calm through mindfulness and meditation.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness , an estimated 48.3 million adults in the U.S. deal with some type of mental health condition each year. If you are struggling with your mental health, it is important to first seek help from a doctor, psychologist, or mental health practitioner. These apps are not meant to be a substitute for face-to-face care. But, they could be a great supplement to therapy, or a super-convenient strategy for someone looking to start new, healthier habits. One study found that 90% of people who tried a mental health app reported improvements in motivation, confidence, and attitudes about mental and emotional health.
Here, find some of the best apps in the mental health space.
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Tips For Improving Your Mental Health
If youre suffering from mental health issues, your GP or psychotherapist will give you personalised advice on things you can do to improve your health. But there are a number of lifestyle changes that can also help.
Eat a balanced dietFocus on eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and essential fatty acids . These help keep your brain healthy and balance your stress hormones.
Also, because your gut and your brain are closely linked , what you eat might affect your mental health.
Practice mindfulnessThings like yoga or mindfulness can improve your overall wellness and reduce feelings of anxiety or stress.
Connect with family and friendsHaving a strong social support group and connecting with family and friends is a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. It also helps build confidence and a sense of community both factors that help mental health.
Get enough sleepAim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night. If you find it hard to get enough sleep, a short nap can sometimes help.
Exercise regularlyAim for at least 75 vigorous minutes of activity or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Including some strength training is important too aim for two sessions a week.
Avoid too much alcoholDrinking too much can worsen your mental health long-term so try not to drink more than 14 units a week about 6 pints of beer or 7 glasses of wine.
Getting Diagnosed: What To Expect
Getting a diagnosis isnt one size fits all, but your primary care doc will probably want to talk about your symptoms, do an exam, and ask questions to get a clearer picture.
Sometimes theres a physical cause of the problem. For instance, if youre low in B vitamins, vitamin D, or iron or you have an underactive thyroid, you could have symptoms that look a lot like depression.
Your doctor might order blood or urine tests to check these numbers first. If the tests dont suggest any other causes, they may refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional who can offer a specific diagnosis with the help of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 .
Luckily, treatments for anxiety and depression run pretty similar courses, and addressing one condition often improves the other too. Your healthcare provider may recommend one or a combination of these strategies:
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