How Can I Help Myself If I Am Depressed
Other things that may help include:
- Spending time with other people and talking with a friend or relative about your feelings
- Increasing your level of physical activity. Regular exercise can help people with mild to moderate depression and may be one part of a treatment plan for those with severe depression. Talk with your health care professional about what kind of exercise is right for you.
- Breaking up large tasks into small ones, and tackling what you can as you can. Don’t try to do too many things at once
- Delaying important decisions until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well.
- Keeping stable daily routines. For example, eating and going to bed at the same time every day.
- Avoiding alcohol
As you continue treatment, gradually you will start to feel better. Remember that if you are taking an antidepressant, it may take several weeks for it to start working. Try to do things that you used to enjoy before you had depression. Go easy on yourself.
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
The Five Stages Of Depression
Denial. If a person does not want to accept that depression is possible, they could just reject the idea altogether. Despite the symptoms being present for some time, a person may not be ready, willing, or able to think that they could be seriously depressed. They may even accept that although they feel down in the dumps, the feeling is temporary and that it will soon pass. What they may not realize is how long they have been feeling this way and how much of their life is being affected by their low mood. The denial stage is usually short.
Anger. If and when denial fades, a person experiencing depression may feel angry about having to deal with it. Feeling helpless or victimized is common in this stage. It is common for a person to ask, Why me? This may happen because the person does not know where to go or who to turn to, or it may happen because they are aware of the stigma that often accompanies mental health disorders. A person in this stage may also feel afraid that they either will not have the tools to deal with their depression or know who to use them.
It is important to understand that a person may experience all five stages of depression, or they may experience one or two, or maybe even none. They could jump around and experience a few at a time or start and complete the cycle a few times. Managing depression is a lifelong matter for many people.
Also Check: How Long Do Episodes Of Depression Last
Weight Or Appetite/hunger Fluctuations
Much like the effects of sleepiness, the impact of depression on appetite contains some opposing effects. Depression can cause weight fluctuations and either an increase or decrease in appetite. This symptom varies by person so its helpful to take note of any change in hunger cues.
Tacklingit: In some cases when you eat is more important than what you eat. Set a food routine to help keep your energy while checking in with your body. Make sure to talk to your doctor about any significant weight changes.
Warning Signs Of Depression
In many cases, the symptoms of depression can be treated, with a drug once used as an anesthetic ketamine. But which symptoms?
- Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
- Constant thoughts of something terrible happening
- Preoccupation with suicide, death, or suicide attempts
- In very serious cases, psychotic symptoms like hallucinations or delusions
- Inability to care for oneself, characterized by trouble bathing, eating, or fulfilling work or family obligations
Symptoms of depression can make you feel like there is no hope but talk to your doctor about depression treatment plans. Even severe symptoms are treatable.
Read Also: Lamictal For Treatment Resistant Depression
Second Stage: Establishment Of Depression
When experiencing any of these losses, the person feels sad. This sadness is prolonged and established, the person is not able to cope with this new situation and begins to become depressed.
This loss of reinforcers is experienced as critical and thinking that it can not cope produces a great psychological impact.
This emotional pain manifests itself in two changes, on the one hand, the automatic negative thoughts and on the other hand the unpleasant emotional and physical sensations.
As a result of thinking and feeling in this way, the person has less and less desire to do things. There is a general state of inhibition, apathy and lack of motivation, leading to the next stage.
Third stage: Behavioral inhibition of pleasant activities
This emotional pain manifested through thoughts and physiological sensations cause the person to stop doing those pleasant activities.
It is when inertia appears. It is understandable that if we have a low mood and thoughts are negative, we are not very predisposed to do things.
What we fail to do first are pleasurable activities, that is, those we like to go out with friends, play sports, read, listen to music, eat with family. These are the voluntary activities that we do to enjoy.
To stop doing nice things is a loss of reinforcers that adds to the loss of initial reinforcers, thus closing the circuit of depression.
General Signs And Symptoms
Not everyone with depression will experience the same symptoms. Symptoms can vary in severity, how often they happen, and how long they last.
If you experience some of the following signs and of depression nearly every day for at least 2 weeks, you may be living with depression:
- feeling sad, anxious, or empty
- feeling hopeless, worthless, and pessimistic
- crying a lot
Males may experience symptoms related to their:
- mood, such as anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, or restlessness
- emotional well-being, such as feeling empty, sad, or hopeless
- behavior, such as loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, using drugs, or engaging in high-risk activities
- sexual interest, such as reduced sexual desire or lack of sexual performance
- cognitive abilities, such as inability to concentrate, difficulty completing tasks, or delayed responses during conversations
- sleep patterns, such as insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, or not sleeping through the night
- physical well-being, such as fatigue, pains, headache, or digestive problems
Females may experience symptoms related to their:
Children may experience
Common causes include:
You may successfully manage symptoms with one form of treatment, or you may find that a combination of treatments works best.
Stage : Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
Nail Down A Diagnosis
There can be cases where depressive symptoms occur with another diagnosis, such as PTSD. Once you meet with a mental health professional, they can help you confirm if you have a depression diagnosis and what type, more than one diagnosis, or if its something else entirely.
But having a clear diagnosis allows you and your health care provider to tailor treatment to the condition. Youll also be more likely to see an improvement in your individual symptoms.
You May Like: When Is Medication Needed For Depression
How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
Its important to remember that a person with depression cannot simply “snap out of it.” It is also important to know that he may not recognize his symptoms and may not want to get professional treatment.
If you think someone has depression, you can support him by helping him find a doctor or mental health professional and then helping him make an appointment. Even men who have trouble recognizing that they are depressed may agree to seek help for physical symptoms, such as feeling tired or run down. They may be willing to talk with their regular health professional about a new difficulty they are having at work or losing interest in doing things they usually enjoy. Talking with a primary care provider may be a good first step toward learning about and treating possible depression.
How Do I Know Which Type I Have
If you think you might have any type of depression, its important to follow up with a doctor. All depression types discussed in this article are treatable, though it might take some time to find the right treatment for you.
If youve had a previous episode of depression and think it may be happening again, see a therapist or another mental health professional right away.
If youve never had depression before, start with a primary care physician. Some symptoms of depression can be related to an underlying physical condition that should be addressed.
Try to give your doctor as much information about your symptoms as you can. If possible, mention:
- when you first noticed the symptoms
- how theyve affected your daily life
- any other mental health conditions you have
- any information about a history of mental illness in your family
- all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take, including supplements and herbs
It might feel uncomfortable, but try to tell your doctor everything. This will help them give you a more accurate diagnosis and refer you to the right type of mental health professional.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Medicine For Depression
Appetite And Weight Changes
Studies now show that decreased appetite and consequential weight loss can come via depression. For some, too, depression can lead to weight gain.
Its important to pay attention to ones energy and appetite when experiencing weight changes.
While it may seem like a blip on your radar, theres a chance that your fatigue and related weight loss or gain could be part of a broader ecosystem of depression.
In terms of weight loss: If its about five percent of your body weight and comes off within a year, that could be cause for concern, as well as a tell-tale sign that that weight loss isnt necessarily because of a new diet.
Lets just call it for what it is. But it also doesnt have to be the new normal.
First, know that a decreased libido can be a byproduct of a depressive episode or persistent depression.
Depression is known to sometimes reduce a persons desire for physical intimacy, as well as sexual activity.
But theres good news: There are several ways to ameliorate a decreased sexual appetite. However, first you have to recognize what youre experiencing and take it from there.
How To Know When Your Depression Is Getting Better
As you begin treatment for depression, it may take a bit of time for you to feel like you’re back to your normal self. If your progress is slow, it’s natural to question whether you’re really improving. Your doctor can help you set some goals to use as benchmarks and assess your progress.
Also Check: Anti Anxiety Anti Depression Medication List
Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety
For people with anxiety disorders, the anxiety is often persistent and can get worse over time. The symptoms may interfere with their daily life.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of anxiety include:
- Excessive fear and worry
If you experience these symptoms for six months or longer, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Feeling Tired And A Loss Of Energy
Some people with depression may find it difficult to get up in the morning because they feel exhausted and run down.
They may feel too fatigued to do everyday tasks, such as going to work or cooking meals. They may spend a lot of time at home resting or sleeping.
The fatigue of depression can make a person feel as though they are always tired, despite getting enough sleep at night. However, others with depression do experience poor sleep.
Read Also: Ways To Feel Happy When Depressed
Whats The Difference Between Normal Grief After A Loss And Mdd
When you experience a loss of someone close to you, its normal to grieve and feel down and empty for a period of several weeks or more, but it should get better, says Dr. Murrough. If youre starting to feel worse instead of better as time goes on, thats a red flag. Perhaps, more critically, a typical grief reaction isnt: My life is not worth living anymore. Consider seeking treatment if you or someone experiences this.
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
- Feeling anxious, restless, or on the edge
- Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
- Problems with sexual desire and performance
- Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- 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.
Also Check: How To Handle Stress And Depression
Differences Between Depression And Dementia
- Depression tends to develop much more quickly than most types of dementia over weeks or a few months.
- It is common for people with dementia to have problems with their speech and awareness of where they are and what time it is. This is unusual in depression.
- A person with depression may sometimes say they cant remember something but then remember when they are prompted. However, a person with dementia is likely not to remember recent events. They may also try to cover up their memory loss.
- A person with severe depression may have problems with their reasoning or memory. However, this is likely to be because they have poor concentration. Their problems with reasoning or memory should get better with treatment or when the depression lifts. This does not happen with dementia.
Find A Doctor Or Therapist
While your primary care doctor likely wont specialize in mental health, they can be a good place to start sharing your symptoms. From there, your PCP can direct you to the best resources in your area to access mental health treatment including support groups or sliding scale therapists.
Recommended Reading: Does Depression Ever Go Away
Getting To Know The Stages Of Depression
In mental health by Tree House RecoverySeptember 27, 2019
We all experience feelings of depression at various stages in life. It can feel overwhelming, sad, and confusing. While there are various levels and severities of depression, its empowering to know the different stages and signs of this common ailment. Depression is different for everyone. However, there are four stages that are commonly present amongst many people who struggle with depression. Here, well discuss the four stages of depression and some signs and symptoms of each stage.
Stage 1: Origin
Depression can have countless origins, depending on the individual situation. Common origins include the death of a loved one, divorce or relationship changes, family issues, addiction, illness, or other physical or emotional disorders. This is a time when the brain starts to change, becoming more susceptible to depression and sadness. Signs include hopelessness, longing, general sadness, and fatigue.
Stage 2: Establishment
This is the stage where depression starts to settle in and become the norm. Sadness, apathy, and general lack of interest may start to become the norm. You might start to feel less interest in things that you used to take great pleasure in. Ultimately, this stage can feel like a dark cloud or a haze over your life.
Stage 3: Lack of Interest in Activities You Once Loved
Stage 4: Lack of Interest or Abandonment of Obligatory Activities