Preventing Relapse Of Depression
When you feel well, the last thing you want to think about is a relapse of depression. But you can do a lot to lower the risk of relapse if you plan ahead. Try thinking of it this way: if you injure yourself, you would likely do things to prevent the injury from happening again. If you injured your knee running, for example, you might prevent another injury by seeing a physiotherapist or doing strengthening exercises regularly. Preventing a relapse of depression isnt that different. In this sheet, you will learn a systematic way to monitor your well-being and take action when you need it.
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Symptoms of a mental illness may come back or worsen at times. People use terms like “relapse,” “dips,” and “blips” to describe this experience. While you can’t guarantee that you’ll never feel unwell again, you can take a lot of steps to help prevent or reduce the impact of a relapse or worsening symptoms. You can look for early warning signs, create a plan to help with difficult situations, and take care of yourself. These steps may help you take action before symptoms become a major problem and help lessen the effect they have on your day-to-day life. This is based on the principles of “self-management,” which means you take charge of your health. It may sound daunting, but self-management is really about building small, practical strategies into your day.
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.
Things To Help With Depression
You want things to help depression, but maybe because of depression youre thinking nothing will help . No matter how bad depression gets, there is hope. Hope exists, and it is real because there are things to help with depression. The below list contains 10 things that have been proven to help depression.
Give these 10 things to help with depression a try. Theyre all effective components of a plan to overcome depression.
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Recognizing Depression Symptoms In A Loved One
Family and friends are often the first line of defense in the fight against depression. Thats why its important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression. You may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before they do, and your influence and concern can motivate them to seek help.
Be concerned if your loved one:
Doesnt seem to care about anything anymore. Has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities. Has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.
Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life. Is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody talks about feeling helpless or hopeless.
Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. Or complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps. Has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and out of it.
Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers, as a way to self-medicate how theyre feeling.
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How To Beat Depression Forever: 6 Changes
Out of all these changes, the most important thing that you can do to eliminate depression for good is to change your thinking. Specifically, replace negative thoughts that depress you with more positive thoughts that keep you happier and depression-free.
After all, while there are a variety of factors that can contribute to depression, what ultimately causes depression is your thinking. So make it a priority to always think in ways that keep you out of depression, if you want to never struggle with depression again.
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Pursue Pleasurable Hobbies And Activities
One of the best ways to maintain positive energy and resist the pull of depression is to do things that you know will put you in a good mood. This means finding the time for activities that bring you excitement or a sense of satisfaction. These may be hobbies that you truly enjoy, social activities that keep you connected, or self-development practices that let you increase your knowledge or skill level.
You wont use these activities to escape from real challenges and difficulties, those must still be confronted and dealt with head on. But as a reminder of what life can and should be, simple pleasures can offer immense rewards.
Whatever brings you joy and fulfillment will act as a powerful antidote to depression. Your struggles with this disorder emerged from your failure to address all of your basic needs, and your need to have fun while developing your physical and intellectual capacities is as real and important as any other.
Are There Foods That Help Fight Off Depression
Increasingly, diet is recognized as an important influence on susceptibility to depression, and a recent study shows that an overall healthy diet works against even severe depression. Essentially, any diet thats good for the heart is also good for the brain, providing a number of nutrients that play key roles in the operations of the nervous system. Numerous studies link traditional Mediterranean-type and Japanese-style diets with low risk of depression. Both eating patterns involve lots of fruits and vegetables, fish more than meat, oils rather than solid fats, and moderate to minimal dairy consumption.
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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.
What You Can Do
Thereâs no sure way to prevent depression. But you can:
- Find ways to handle stress and improve your self-esteem.
- Take good care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly.
- Reach out to family and friends when times get hard.
- Get regular medical checkups, and see your provider if you donât feel right.
- Get help if you think youâre depressed. If you wait, it could get worse.
If you do have depression, you can do a few things to keep it from getting worse.
- Stick with your treatment plan. If you are on medicine, take it as prescribed, whether you feel good or not. Donât skip therapy sessions. Let your doctor know what is and isnât working for you.
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. It may seem like these make you feel better. But they can actually make it harder to treat your depression.
- Try ways to fight stress, like meditation and yoga.
- Spend time with family and friends. Think about joining a support group. Do things that keep you connected to others.
- Know yourself. Pay attention to the things that seem to make your symptoms worse. Keep notes and tell your doctor or therapist about it.
- Donât make big life decisions on a day when youâre feeling down.
- Talk to your therapist or doctor about medicine that can stop depression from coming back.
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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.
Get A Handle On Your Household Chores
Depression can make it difficult to complete household chores, such as doing the dishes or paying bills.
But a pile of paperwork, the stack of dirty dishes, and floor covered in dirty clothes will only magnify your feelings of worthlessness.
Take control of your daily chores. Start small and work on one project at a time. Getting up and moving can help you start to feel better in itself. But, seeing your progress in the home can be key to helping you feel better.
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Do Something You Enjoy
Depression can push you to give in to your fatigue. It may feel more powerful than preferred emotions.
Try to push back and do something you love something thats pleasurable or meaningful. It could be playing an instrument, painting, hiking, or biking.
The byproduct of engaging in meaningful activities can be a lift in your mood or energy, which can further motivate you to continue to engage in helpful activities that help with navigating symptoms.
Research suggests that walks in nature may improve depressive symptoms in people with clinical depression.
Time in natural spaces may improve mood and cognition, and lower the risk of mental health disorders. However, theres only limited research on the direct effect of nature on those with clinical depression.
Consider taking a walk at lunch among the trees or spending some time in your local park. Or plan a weekend hike. These activities can help you reconnect with nature and soak in some rays at the same time.
Solo Activities To Help With Depression
Coping with depression can feel like an uphill battle as it saps your energy, motivation and self-esteem. Finding ways to climb out of a depressive episode is not easy, but understanding the illness and how it affects you specifically is the first step to being able to find the coping mechanisms that work best for you.
While spending time with trusted loved ones and going to therapy regularly are healthy ways to cope, sometimes depression makes you want to hide. Luckily, many things can help distract from the debilitating feelings of this mood disorder.
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Volunteering Can Be A Great Way To Do Both
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
Bonus: People who volunteer experience physical benefits, too. This includes a
Reduce The Use Of Alcohol Drugs And Nicotine
Excessive use of alcohol, drugs, and nicotine is associated with higher risks of anxiety and depression. If its hard for you to limit alcohol use during social situations, make a few changes to make it easier.
Consider ordering an appetizer instead of a drink, or choose a location that doesnt have alcohol. Another option is to ask for juice and not tell anyone its a non-alcoholic beverage. The people in your life should accept your decision to refrain, but you dont have to say it to them right away.
Nicotine can perpetuate anxiety and depression, so its best to avoid that. To quit smoking, remind yourself of all the benefits of stopping. Try to find a friend to hold you accountable and quit with you.
If you need help stopping drug use, you can reach out to a professional. You can talk to a therapist for more options or reach out to a National Helpline.
Ways To Prevent Depression
It is no surprise that lawyers are more prone to depression than other professions. Many of us are perfectionists, we work long hours, we see and hear about horrible crime, abuse, neglect. We are fixers and do whatever it takes to help people. Sometimes all of this doing can add up to becoming overwhelmed, which can lead to depression.
Depression is a medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. A depressed person cannot simply cheer up or let things go. That would be like asking a quarterback to throw a touchdown pass even though his arm is broken. People do not just cheer up when they are depressed. It takes personal effort and help from others. Many people who notice they are depressed see a counselor to talk about it. Some take medication. Some do a combination of the two.
I recently read a book called Lost Connections by Johann Hari where the author investigates the psychological and social factors that contribute to mental illness , as well as innovative social and environmental treatments for depression . Whether you are depressed now or would like to prevent depression, Hari explains how you can incorporate certain traits into your life to lessen the chances of being depressed. Here are six behaviors you can focus on to feel well.
A support system/connection
Find what makes you feel good about yourself and do more of it.
Putting it all together
Create A Morning Pampering Routine
When you live with depression, you may notice your personal care starts to decline. You might start by skipping the shower. Brushing your hair may feel like a chore. Maybe you dont remember when you last brushed your teeth.
A small, cross-sectional study found married women who self-pampered were less likely to experience depression compared to married women who didnt self-pamper.
Its possible, however, like with diet, that people who pamper themselves more are more likely to have other beneficial mental and physical behaviors, which might explain lower rates of depression.
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Listen To Upbeat Music
I have always thought of music as food for the soul. An upbeat tune can change an atmosphere instantly and create a more positive vibe. Listening to upbeat, happy music alters brain chemistry and can improve your mood.
One study found that findings indicate that music listening impact the psychobiological stress system, which means music has the ability to lower stress and regulate mood. Both of these can help relieve some symptoms of depression.
How Can I Stop Myself Once I Start Slipping Into Negative Thinking
It is possible to choose your thoughts, and the most effective treatment for depression, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy, is based on that proven possibility. It itemizes the kinds of self-defeating and negative thoughts that appear to be almost automatic in the wake of stress or setback and offers a number of techniques for refuting and rechanneling them. There are many kinds of negative thoughts that destroy mental energy, from all-or-nothing thinking to discounting positives to catastrophizing. For example, after getting turned down for a job you tried hard for, you might get into a funk by concluding Ill never get a job. But that is an illogical conclusion from one piece of evidence and hardly the only possible outcome. Learning how to stop negative thinking does not require therapy, but therapy offers a well-tuned systematic approach, the opportunity to catch thinking errors, and support for correcting them.
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Are There Actions I Can Take To Ward Off Depresssion
Exercise is one of the most effective antidotes to depression. Engaging in simple activity such as walking immediately stimulates the growth of new nerve cell connectionsthe exit ramp from depression. In addition, engaging in any form of exercise restores a sense of control over ones life. Studies show that even 15 minutes of physical activity daily can have beneficial effects on mood, energy, and sleep, and it works even in those genetically predisposed to depression. Because depression robs people of motivation and energy, it is important to start somewheredoing anything is better than doing nothing and to start small, beginning with a few minutes of walking. Establishing a regular sleep routine helps, as sleep normalizes many body functions disrupted by depression. Depression causes people to shut down they lose interest in doing things and their world contracts, robbing them of needed sources of stimulation and pleasure. Therefore, doing things, including maintaining social contacteven when it goes against all instinctsbrings about benefits on many levels. Sunlight is another antidepressant, and adequate sunlight exposure helps sustain mood.