What To Do About It
Some people do experience symptoms of depression in waves or intermittent episodes. This means you could experience days, even weeks, of relief and then notice your symptoms suddenly come back or intensify.
In other words, worsening depression is sometimes just the nature of depression but that doesnt mean its permanent, or that treatment wont help.
Professional support is the best way to improve symptoms of depression. If your symptoms fail to ease within a few days or continue to get worse, its best to talk to your therapist or doctor as soon as possible.
If youre already taking medication or working with a therapist, they can help you get guidance on next steps.
It never hurts to schedule an appointment as soon as you start to feel worse. You can always cancel later if you begin to feel better, but that way youll have the appointment if you need it and wont have to worry about availability.
Tms Therapy For Depression
If youre suffering from major depression that has been resistant to therapy, medication, and self-help, then TMS therapy may be an option. Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is a noninvasive treatment that directs recurring magnetic energy pulses at the regions of the brain that are involved in mood. These magnetic pulses pass painlessly through the skull and stimulate brain cells which can improve communication between different parts of the brain and ease depression symptoms.
While TMS may be able to improve treatment-resistant depression, that doesnt mean its a cure for depression or that your symptoms wont return. However, it could provide sufficient improvements in your energy and drive to enable you to begin talk therapy or make the lifestyle changessuch as improving your diet, exercising, and building your support networkthat can help preserve your depression recovery in the long term.
Assess The Parts Instead Of Generalizing The Whole
Depression can tinge recollections with negative emotions. You may find yourself focusing on the one thing that went wrong instead of the many things that went right.
Try to stop this overgeneralization. Push yourself to recognize the good. If it helps, write down what was happy about the event or day. Then write down what went wrong.
Seeing the weight youre giving to one thing may help you direct your thoughts away from the whole and to the individual pieces that were positive.
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Other Causes Of Depression
There are a number of things that can lead to developing depression.
- Stressful events big changes in your life, like bereavement, the end of a relationship or the loss of a job, can be difficult to deal with. When these things happen, it’s important to keep seeing friends and family instead of trying to deal with problems alone this increases your risk of developing depression.
- Giving birth pregnancy and birth can make some people vulnerable to depression. Postnatal depression can happen as the result of physical changes, hormonal changes, and the responsibility of taking care of a new baby.
- Loneliness your risk of depression gets higher if you aren’t in contact or spending time with family and friends.
- Personality some personality traits can put you at a higher risk of developing depression. These include low-self esteem or a habit of criticising yourself too much. These personality traits can come from your genes, which you get from your parents, or they can be as a result of experiences in your early life.
- Family history it’s more likely for someone to develop depression if a family member, like a sibling or parent, has experienced it before.
Can Depression Go Away On Its Own Without Treatment
Surprisingly, some experts say that it can. For some people, depression is cyclical or seasonal, and they can eventually recover and remit without any specific intervention, says James Murrough, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment at Mount Sinai. “But we also know that treatments like psychotherapy and medications can severely reduce the symptoms and duration of an episode of depression. Many individuals who suffer from depression never seek treatment, and thats why from a public health perspective we want to keep reducing the stigma around it.
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Antenatal And Postnatal Depression
Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth . This time frame may also be referred to as the perinatal period.
The causes of depression at this time can be complex and are often the result of a combination of factors. In the days immediately following birth, many women experience the baby blues, which is a common condition related to hormonal changes, affecting up to 80 per cent of women who have given birth.
The baby blues, or the general stress of adjusting to pregnancy or a new baby, are common experiences, but are different from depression.
Depression is longer lasting and can affect not only the mother, but her relationship with her baby, the childs development, the mothers relationship with her partner and with other members of the family.
Up to one in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to 16 per cent in the first three months after having a baby.
What To Do When You Are Depressed
There are millions of people who struggle with depression each year. Imagine how much lives could be saved if depressed individuals knew what to do and how to work through their depression. This type of mental health issue is very serious, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome. One of the best ways to beat depression is to know how to handle it. In order to make that happen, you have to know what to do when you are depressed.
Setting plans may sound basic and redundant, but planning is an excellent way of giving yourself something to look forward to. One of the best ways to set plans is either using a virtual calendar on your phone or a physical calendar. Taking notes of what needs to be done when is always helpful and it can also prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to tackle next. Following through with plans has a way of keeping people focused and busy having something to do can furthermore take your mind off depression or additional triggers.
Interact with Other People
Soak up Some Sunlight and Fresh Air
Take it One Day at a Time
Embrace Positive Thoughts
Seek Professional Help
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. However, if and when you are ready to seek therapy from BetterHelp, we will be here to support and guide you.
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Mild And Moderate Depression
These are the most common types. More than simply feeling blue, the symptoms of mild depression can interfere with your daily life, robbing you of joy and motivation. Those symptoms become amplified in moderate depression and can lead to a decline in confidence and self-esteem.
Recurrent, mild depression
Dysthymia is a type of chronic low-grade depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood.
- The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time .
- Some people also experience major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, a condition known as double depression.
- If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like youve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is just the way you are.
Common Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Depressive symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:
- Loss of interest or pleasure in actives you used to enjoy
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and pessimism
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Increase in aches and pains, headaches, digestive problems
- Lack of self-care
- Withdraw from social activities
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
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Are There Other Therapies To Treat Symptoms Of Depression
There are other treatments your doctor may consider. Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a treatment option for people whose symptoms don’t get better with medicine or who have severe depression and need treatment right away.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, involves using a noninvasive device that is held above the head to induce the magnetic field. It targets a specific part of the brain that can trigger depression.
With vagus nerve stimulation, or VMS, a pacemaker-like device is surgically implanted under the collarbone to deliver regular impulses to the brain.
Tips For Living With Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Everything feels more challenging when you’re dealing with depression. Going to work, socializing with friends, or even just getting out of bed can feel like a struggle.
But there are some things you can do to cope with your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Here are eight tips for living with depression.
This video has been medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD.
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Should You Worry About Antidepressant Withdrawal
No, but its easy to see why some people might think so, because of a medical condition called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome , which can occur if you abruptly stop taking medication rather than tapering off as is generally advised. ADS is marked by a wide range of responses, including but not limited to flu-like symptoms, insomnia, worsening mood, and stomach distress, according to a March 11, 2019, report in Psychiatric Times.
Current estimates are that about 20 percent of patients whove taken an antidepressant for at least a month will experience ADS symptoms if they abruptly stop their medication instead of lowering their dose gradually. Tapering under the care of a doctor can prevent ADS by allowing the brain to adjust to changes in neurotransmitter levels.
More to the point, while you should slowly stop your antidepressant with the help of your doctor, antidepressants do not cause dependence and withdrawal like other substances. Unlike substances that are known to cause addiction, such as alcohol, , and , people don’t crave antidepressants. You dont get high from them, and they arent intentionally or compulsively overused. Serious reactions like the seizures and agitation that can follow sudden withdrawal from addictive substances are unheard of when these antidepressants are tapered gradually, note the authors of the Psychiatric Times report.
Understanding How Much Depression Impacts Lives
There are varying degrees of depression. Certain people experience depression in lapses, while others are ongoingly depressed. Nevertheless, depression literally has the capability to impact every aspect of an individual’s life. In many cases, depression doesn’t simply wear off or subside. This is why it’s so very problematic when depressed individuals are told to simply shake it off or “get over it.” Depression literally does not work this way.
It goes without saying that depression has a very real impact on people’s mental state. Depression quite literally changes brain chemistry and the manner in which individuals see the world. Someone who is going through depression may feel anxious, habitually empty, and they may also experience thoughts of suicide. It’s not uncommon for people with depression to struggle with even getting out of bed in the morning or doing things which are considered basic by most people. It’s important to remember that just because the mental impacts are not able to be seen with the naked eye , this does not make them any less real.
Reviewing the impacts of depression can be a lot to take in. This type of mental health issue is very scary and nothing to crack jokes about. However, having an awareness of the effects associated with depression allows for a deeper understanding of steps to take if and when you’re going through this struggle yourself.
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What Can You Do If You Have Hidden Depression
People with hidden depression should discuss their situation with their doctor or mental health specialist. While there isnt a specific depression test to learn if you have depression, your doctor may ask questions about your symptoms and ask about your health history. There are other things you can do to treat your symptoms.
Learn effective methods for reducing stress, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. Learn ways to boost your self-esteem. Try to engage in light social conversations with others. Try getting reacquainted with a hobby or activity you used to enjoy or consider trying something new. Engage in regular exercise. Look for ways to improve your diet. Ask a family member or friend for moral support or join a local support group. Take advantage of online therapy options to help you explore your thoughts and feelings.
Can You Help Someone You Suspect Has Hidden Depression?
If you think a family member or loved is showing signs, encourage them to talk about their feelings with someone. Offer to listen to them and give advice without judgment. Encourage them to learn about treatment options. Offer moral support when they attend appointments. Engage in productive activities like exercise and socializing.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it possible to diagnose yourself with depression?
- Lack of energy
Common Causes And Risk Factors
Depression can be caused by a number of factors. Though a single cause cannot always be found, experts recognize the following as possible causes:
- Genetics: Depression and other mood disorders can run in families, though family history alone does not mean a person will get depression.
- Life events: Major life changes and stressful events may trigger depression. These events include divorce, the death of a loved one, job loss, or financial problems.
- Hormonal changes: Depression and low mood are often
- cultural expectations
- differences in experience
One study of twin brothers and sisters published in The American Journal of Psychiatry found that personality and relationships with others were more likely to play a role in the onset of depression.
In particular, the study stated that marital problems, the relationship with parents, and lack of social support were more likely to cause depression in women than in men.
Neuroticism, or being in a negative emotional state, was also a primary cause of depression in the women studied.
A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders also found that womens symptoms of depression were different. The women studied were more likely to have panic and anxiety disorders in addition to their depression.
Other studies have indicated that women may be more likely to gain weight and have excessive sleepiness than men.
Womens hormone changes may also play a role in how and when depression affects them.
Research on this hormonal link has found:
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How To Get A Clinical Diagnosis
Theres no single test that can diagnose depression or anxiety. Instead, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and a depression or anxiety screening test. For this, theyll ask you a series of questions that help them get a better insight into what youve been experiencing.
If the results arent clear or if your doctor suspects the symptoms may be the result of another condition, they may order tests to rule out underlying issues. Blood tests can check your thyroid, vitamin, and hormone levels.
In some cases, general practitioners will refer you to a mental health expert, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, if they dont feel equipped to properly manage your symptoms and conditions or if they suspect youre experiencing more than one condition.
Although depression and anxiety are two separate conditions, they share many of the same treatments. A combination of these may be used to treat both conditions at the same time.
What Depression May Feel Like
Many people believe that depression needs to be debilitating and cause significant problems in their life in order to seek help. What they dont realize is that some of the more subtle signs of this disorder are often the first indication that something is going on. Here are some examples of how depression may feel to you.
Information presented in this article may be triggering to some people. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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How To Manage Your Symptoms
In addition to a formal treatment plan from your doctor, these strategies may help you find relief from symptoms. Its important to know, though, that these tips may not work for everyone, and they may not work each time.
The goal of managing depression and anxiety is to create a series of treatment options that can all work together to help, to some degree, whenever you need to use them.
Check With Common Symptoms
If you think you have depression, a good place to start is to learn more about the condition itself, starting with the symptoms. There are a wide range of signs and symptoms of depression, but here are some key ones to look out for are:
Psychological symptoms of depression
- Intense sadness this might be so bad that you struggle to look after yourself or function in your daily life
- Crying more often than usual and for no clear reason
- Becoming angry and frustrated over minor things
Physical symptoms of depression
- Crying more often than usual and for no clear reason
- Feeling tired all the time and feeling as though you cant get out of bed in the morning
- Unexplained aches, pains and digestive problems
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