Ways To Beat Depression For The Long Term
Beating depression and coping with depression arent the same. While there are many daily tips and tricks to cope with depression, beating depression implies a long-term resolution of symptoms.
Based on the volumes of research behind depression causes, daily goals may have the most beneficial impact if they:
- promote a sense of meaning, accomplishment, or mastery
- increase the frequency of positive emotions
- help you identify self-defeating or unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors
Keeping these criteria in mind, you can start to develop some daily routines to help you beat depression.
Tip : Keep In Sync With Your Bodys Natural Sleep
Getting in sync with your bodys natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, youll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two.
Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your bodys internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you dont toss and turn. If youre getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime.
Avoid sleeping ineven on weekends. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms youll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
Be smart about napping. While napping is a good way to make up for lost sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, napping can make things worse. Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
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Focus On Sleep Patterns
Sleep often plays a role in how a teen feels physically and emotionally. Track your teen’s sleep patterns for a few days to get more information.
The ideal amount of sleep for teens is usually eight hours or more each nightyet only 15% of teens report getting 81/2 hours of sleep on school nights, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
In cases where more, or less, sleep is needed, learn about the factors that impact sleep and consult a health professional if needed.
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Meet Yourself Where You Are
Depression is common. It affects millions of people, including some in your life. You may not realize they face similar challenges, emotions, and obstacles.
Every day with this disorder is different. Its important to take your mental health seriously and accept that where you are right now isnt where youll always be.
The key to self-treatment for depression is to be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself and what youre going through.
Interaction Of Depression With Other Chronic Illnesses
Successful management of depression in primary care settings is particularly important considering complex interactions between mental and physical health. Major depression is associated with high numbers of medically unexplained symptoms -, such as pain and fatigue, and poor general health outcomes, . Untreated depression is independently associated with morbidity-, delayed recovery and negative prognosis among those with medical illness, elevated premature mortality associated with comorbid medical illness and increased health care costs -. Depression also increases functional impairment – and decreases work productivity . Depression significantly decreases quality of life for patients and their family members , . In a study of 2,558 elderly primary care patients, participants with depression had greater losses in quality adjusted life years than those with emphysema, cancer, chronic foot problems, or hypertension. Depression can also be a barrier to positive and productive relationships between patients and providers, . PCPs tend to rate patients with depression as more difficult to evaluate and treat compare to those without depression and depressed patients have been shown to be less satisfied with their PCPs.
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Depression
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is considered to be one of the leading psychological treatments for depression. All of our online courses use CBT strategies to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Click below to see if CBT can help you tackle your symptoms to improve the way you feel.
Strategies for Dealing with Depression
People who are depressed generally have a negative thinking style.
They often think of themselves as worthless and of the world as being a bad or unfair place, and they find it hard to hope that their lives will improve in the future.
When something bad happens, they blame themselves, but when good things happen, they tell themselves they are just lucky.
Furthermore, people with depression are less likely to recognize and appreciate positive events when they happen rather, they tend to be more tuned into the bad things in their lives and brood over those events.
The aim of a cognitive approach is to help people identify and correct their distorted and negatively biased thoughts.
This approach identifies and challenges underlying assumptions and beliefs.
With encouragement to reframe the way they think about life, people are able to recover from failures more effectively and to recognise and take credit for the good things in their lives.
People learn that they have some control over what happens to them. As with behavioural strategies, having these skills reduces relapse and recurrence of depression.
Try To Eat A Healthy Diet
Some people don’t feel like eating when they’re depressed and are at risk of becoming underweight. Others find comfort in food and can put on excess weight.
Antidepressants can also affect your appetite.
If you’re concerned about weight loss, weight gain or how antidepressants are affecting your appetite, talk to your GP.
See tips on how to eat more healthily.
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Don’t Stay In Negative Emotions
At first, suppressing your feelings might seem like an excellent way to cope with depression. But, unfortunately, its not a very effective way to get out of a depressive episode.
If you feel sad one day, allow yourself to feel sadbut try not to stay in that feeling for too long.
To help with processing your emotions, consider journaling or writing down what you’re feeling. Writing allows you to “brain dump” and get the thoughts out of your head. The scientifically-proven benefits of journaling are vast³.
4. Eat nutrient-dense foods
What you’re putting into your body can directly impact how you feel. So youll want to avoid eating foods that can negatively affect your mood and brain, such as alcohol, trans fats, caffeine, and foods with high levels of hormones or chemical preservatives.
Creating a “depression-fighting” diet looks something like this:
Don’t skip out on meals: Skipping meals can make you feel tired and irritable, so try and eat something a minimum of every three to four hours.
Reduce refined carbs and sugar: You might crave baked goods, sugary snacks, or comfort foods like French fries or pasta, but these “feel-good” foods can cause a crash in your energy and mood quickly. So try to avoid these types of foods as much as possible.
Increase your B vitamins: B vitamin deficiencies can trigger depression. You can take a B-complex vitamin supplement to increase your intake or eat more leafy greens, citrus fruits, chicken, beans, and eggs.
If You Need To Wallow Wallow But Do So Constructively
Suppressing your feelings and emotions may seem like a strategic way to cope with the negative symptoms of depression. But this technique is ultimately unhealthy.
If youre having a down day, have it. Let yourself feel the emotions but dont stay there.
Consider writing or journaling about what youre experiencing. Then, when the feelings lift, write about that, too.
Seeing the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms can be instructive for both self-healing and hope.
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How Does It Differ From Other Meditation Styles
All meditation styles and practices overlap and build on each other. Their basic foundation is the same: to bring the practitioner insight and introspection.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate, however, the various types of meditation can enhance particular qualities. Based on your personality and needs, one type of meditation may be more useful to you than the other. The 9 types of meditation are:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Loving kindness meditation
- Visualization meditation
Focused meditation, specifically, is the practice of focusing on one single object for the duration of the practice. How this differs from other meditation styles is that it gives the practitioner something tangible to do: focus. Its almost like giving your mind an action to performlisten to this sound, repeat these words, watch this flame, etc. This is also one of the reasons why this particular meditation style is great for beginners!
One of the biggest challenges in any meditation practice is that the mind gets carried away and we lose ourselves to random thoughts. This obstacle is actually a style of meditation in and of itself called Vipassana. However, in focused meditation, we give the mind something to do so that its not simply left to its own devices. This type of meditation is beneficial for beginners and for practitioners who prefer some structure and guidance to their meditations.
Lifestyle Changes To Treat Depression
Exercise.Regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. Not only does exercise boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do. Best of all, you dont have to train for a marathon in order to reap the benefits. Even a half-hour daily walk can make a big difference. For maximum results, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity on most days.
Social support. Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression. Keep in regular contact with friends and family, or consider joining a class or group. Volunteering is a wonderful way to get social support and help others while also helping yourself.
Nutrition. Eating well is important for both your physical and mental health. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. While you may be drawn to sugary foods for the quick boost they provide, complex carbohydrates are a better choice. Theyll get you going without the all-too-soon sugar crash.
Sleep. Sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you dont get enough sleep, your depression symptoms will be worse. Sleep deprivation exacerbates irritability, moodiness, sadness, and fatigue. Make sure youre getting enough sleep each night. Very few people do well on less than seven hours a night. Aim for somewhere between seven to nine hours each night.
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Be Aware Of Your Feelings
Feeling depressed is an uncomfortable feeling, and often we tend to push negative emotions away. We understand how difficult these feelings are to cope with, but understanding your emotions can be a big help when coping with depression.
Take the time to recognise and think about your feelings, as they might help you to understand the source of what is making you feel depressed. Depression is often linked to events in the past, and sometimes there can be no explanation at all. Either way, becoming aware of these things is part of coping with depression.
Once you have a better understanding of why you feel depressed, you can take steps towards rectifying the issue and improving your overall wellbeing.
“It is not weakness to ask for help. In fact, it is one of the bravest things that any of us can do.”
Coping With Depression Tip : Reach Out And Stay Connected
Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.
You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. And if you dont feel that you have anyone to turn to, its never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
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Collaborative Care And Stepped Care
Over the past 15 years, more than 40 randomized controlled trials have established a robust evidence base for an approach called collaborative care for depression-. More recent studies have documented the effectiveness of such collaborative approaches for anxiety disorders and for depression and comorbid medical disorders such as diabetes and heart disease . In such programs, primary care providers are part of a collaborative care team that a depression care manager and a designated psychiatric consultant to augment the management of depression in the primary care setting. The depression care manager supports medication management prescribed by PCPs through patient education, close and pro-active follow-up, and brief, evidence-based psychosocial treatments such as behavioral activation or problem solving treatment in primary care. The care manager may also facilitate referrals to additional services as needed. A designated psychiatric consultant regularly reviews all patients in the care manager’s caseload who are not improving as expected and provides focused treatment recommendations to the patient’s PCP. The psychiatric consultant is also available to the care manager and the PCP for questions about patients., – summarizes key roles and tasks of the two new team members, the depression care manager and the psychiatric consultant.
Mental Health Map Excellent Online Resource And Step
If you havent already, check out the Mood Disorders Association of Ontarios excellent online resource for working through common mental health struggles such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar depression. Mental Health: My Action Plan is is all about you and what you can do to have the best possible mental health, helping you to plan and enact your own journey to recovery and wellness. Its features include:
- 11 step-by-step lessons to help you create a personalized plan for recovery and wellness, from starting your journey and getting help to maintaining your preferred healthy lifestyle and staying well once you feel better
- the ability to share your personalized plan with the people supporting you in your journey
- a large collection of resources that include personal stories of mental health difficulties and recovery success, expert insights, and other contributions from people with lived experience of mental illness
You might find this an excellent addition to your toolkit of free, self-led interactive programs for mental wellness. Others weve featured through MoodFx have included Working Through It, Walkalong , and MindShift from AnxietyBC. If you have other online resources youve found helpful, feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them with the rest of our users.
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A Deep Breathing Exercise To Help You Sleep
Breathing from your belly rather than your chest can activate the relaxation response and lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels to help you drift off to sleep.
- Lay down in bed and close your eyes.
- Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
- Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
- Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
To follow along with a guided deep breathing exercise, .
The Importance Of Sleep: Getting A Better Nights Rest
Changes in sleep are a common symptom of mood disorders and anxiety, ranging from oversleeping, to insomnia, or both.
This week, check out these doctor-recommended strategies you can try to improve the amount and quality of your sleep. Often called sleep hygiene, these are specific behaviours that can promote a better nights rest.
- Allow enough time for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, the normal range needed for healthy adults. Everyones different: some people function well with only 7 hours, whereas others need at least 9 hours of sleep to feel refreshed. If you need to, schedule your sleeping hours in your calendar the way you would any other commitment and stick to it. Sleep is a wise investment and should be a priority.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at around the same time each day, including weekends. Over time, your body will adapt to your schedule, making it easier to both fall asleep and wake up.
- Limit your time in front of bright screens late at night, including computers, tablets, and phones, to help you wind down and sleep better. Read traditional paper books, eReaders, or use nighttime settings on other electronics.
- Maintain a sleep environment that is dark, comfortable, cool, and quiet. Try using blackout curtains or an eye shade and earplugs if your room is too bright or noisy. Turn down the heat and open a window for some fresh air while you sleep.
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