Monday, July 15, 2024

What It’s Like To Have Depression

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Depression Understood: What It Is Like To Have Depression

And it sucks.

It sucks needing to rely on medication to keep you logical enough to know you dont have to die or disappear to be at peace.

It sucks not being able to go to therapy and have an epiphany that makes you never have depression again.

No one WANTS depression. Trust me! Id much rather live my life as usual without any illogical thoughts constantly bumming me out!

And, it sucks that oftentimes, the people you love cant really help you, so you have to get through at least a good part of it yourself.

So, as the depression gets deeper and deeper, I have to be alone. Im too ashamed of myself and, yeah, depressed to even consider spending time with the people I love.

Its not easy getting out of depression.

Well, technically its impossible, but I mean its not easy getting out of the extreme lows of depression.

Its a constant battle that takes a lot of self-care and a lot of discerning what thoughts to really believe.

Signs & Symptoms Of Depression

Depression can have many signs and symptoms. There are also varying effects of depression on the brain. Some may even overlap across the different types of depression. They can also range from mild depression and seasonal affective disorder to severe depression which can be intrusive on your life.

Some of the common symptoms of severe depression can include:

But What Does Depression Look Like

Mental disorders in general are cumbersome to deal with because they cannot be easily diagnosed like physical illnesses. Its certainly not something that you have to see to believe. Sometimes you may be having a good laugh and thoughtful conversations with a close friend who may be going through crippling depression and you wouldnt even be given the slightest of hints.

In other words: there is no face of mental illness.

No face of depression or anxiety. No face of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. No specific look or standard that one can point out in a crowd of people. These illnesses come in every color and in every shape, at different times and through all ages.

A person suffering from depression may not look like they have depression because we are encouraged to carry on as best we can every day given the circumstances. They wont necessarily have any outward signs of their condition, but this doesnt make it any less real.

Depression affects all personalities and can look very different in various people, says Jodi Aman, psychotherapist and author of You 1, Anxiety 0: Win Your Life Back from Fear and Panic.

A highly functioning person can be suffering invisibly too, she says.

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You Cant Just Snap Out Of Depression

Well-meaning friends or family members may try to tell someone with depression to snap out of it, just be positive, or you can be happier if you just try harder. But depression is not a sign of a persons weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.

If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never dismiss her feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that, with time and treatment, she can feel better.

Does Depression Look The Same In Everyone

What its like to have depression IAMMRFOSTER.COM

Depression can affect people differently, depending on their age.

Children with depression may be anxious, cranky, pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.

Older children and teens with depression may get into trouble at school, sulk, be easily frustrated feel restless, or have low self-esteem. They also may have other disorders, such as anxiety and eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or substance use disorder. Older children and teens are more likely to experience excessive sleepiness and increased appetite . In adolescence, females begin to experience depression more often than males, likely due to the biological, life cycle, and hormonal factors unique to women.

Younger adults with depression are more likely to be irritable, complain of weight gain and hypersomnia, and have a negative view of life and the future. They often have other disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and substance use disorders.

Middle-aged adults with depression may have more depressive episodes, decreased libido, middle-of-the-night insomnia, or early morning awakening. They also may more frequently report having gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation.

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Sleep Is A Real Challenge

When you have anxiety and depression at the same time, sleep problems are really common. For some it’s insomnia for others, it’s sleeping too much.

My anxiety can make it really hard for me to sleep at night because I start thinking about how one day I will die and that triggers a panic attack. Then, in the morning, because of my depression, getting myself to wake up is a major struggle.

How Can I Take Care Of Myself

Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Go easy on yourself during this time. Try to do things you used to enjoy. Even if you dont feel like doing them, they can improve your mood. Other things that may help:

  • Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
  • Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
  • Eat regular, healthy meals.
  • Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
  • Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
  • Postpone important life decisions until you feel better.
  • Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.

Recommended Reading: Can Depression Be Treated Without Drugs

When To Seek Professional Help

If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent enough, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including:

Therapy. Consulting a therapist can provide you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles and motivate you to take the action necessary. Therapy can also offer you the skills and insight to prevent the problem from coming back.

Atypical Depression: Whats in a Name? Article on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of atypical depression.

Depression and Other Illnesses An overview of the mental and physical illnesses that often co-exist with depression, and how this impacts treatment.

Depression support & suicide prevention help

Depression support

In the U.S.: Find DBSA Chapters/Support Groups or call the NAMI Helpline for support and referrals at 1-800-950-6264

UK: Find Depression support groups in-person and online or call the Mind Infoline at 0300 123 3393

Australia: Find Support Groups and regional resources or call the SANE Help Centre at 1800 18 7263

India: Call the Vandrevala Foundation Helpline at 1860 2662 345 or 1800 2333 330

Suicide prevention help

In the U.S.: Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

UK and Ireland: Call Samaritans UK at 116 123

Australia: Call Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14

Other countries: Visit IASP or International Suicide Hotlines to find a helpline near you

Depression Can Be Treated

What it is like to have Anxiety and Depression

Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated. Depression is commonly treated with medication, psychotherapy , or a combination of the two.

Antidepressants are medications commonly used to treat depression. People respond differently to antidepressants, and you may need to try different medicines to find the one that works best. Researchers also are studying and developing other medications for depression, such as brexanolone for postpartum depression, and esketamine. You can learn about recent developments on these and other medications at NIMH’s Science News webpage under the topic Treatments.

There are many different types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. The particular approach a therapist uses depends on the condition being treated and the training and experience of the therapist. Therapists also may combine and adapt elements of different approaches.

Depression affects each individual differently. There is no one-size-fits-all for treatment. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best. You can learn more about the different types of depression treatment, including psychotherapy, medication, and brain stimulation therapies, on the NIMHs webpage about depression. Visit the Food and Drug Administration website for the latest information on warnings, patient medication guides, and newly approved medications.

What to Consider When Looking for a Therapist

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More Evidence That Depression Shortens Lives Webmd

More Evidence That Depression Shortens Lives.

Yet if you really feel unfortunate, helpless, or empty for longer than 2 weeks post-childbirth, you might have postpartum depression. These essential fats are essential to neurological development and brain wellness. Adding omega-3 supplements to your diet plan might help reduce depression symptoms. However, there is some contradictory what is it like to have manic depression evidence as well as more study is needed. Your healthcare specialist will place heart monitoring pads on your chest and also four electrodes on certain areas of your head. They will certainly after that provide brief electrical pulses for a couple of seconds.

Causes And Risk Factors

While some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward, depression is far more complicated. Certain medications, such as barbiturates, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, and specific blood pressure medicine can trigger symptoms in some peopleas can hypothyroidism . But most commonly, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that can vary wildly from one person to another.

Despite what you may have seen in TV ads, read in newspaper articles, or maybe even heard from a doctor, depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, having too much or too little of any brain chemical that can be simply cured with medication. Biological factors can certainly play a role in depression, including inflammation, hormonal changes, immune system suppression, abnormal activity in certain parts of the brain, nutritional deficiencies, and shrinking brain cells. But psychological and social factorssuch as past trauma, substance abuse, loneliness, low self-esteem, and lifestyle choicescan also play an enormous part.

Also Check: How Many People Have Major Depressive Disorder

Signs And Symptoms: How To Identify Depression

If sadness alone isnt a good gauge of depression, what is? According to the American Psychiatric Associations current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which is the diagnostic guide used by most mental health professionals, if youve experienced at least five of the following symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be , also known as clinical depression.

Do you:

  • Constantly feel tearful, empty, or worthless?
  • Have little interest or pleasure in your work, hobbies, friends, family, and other things you once enjoyed?
  • Notice dramatic changes up or down in your appetite or your weight not related to dieting?
  • Often feel listless or fatigued for no obvious reason?
  • Have trouble concentrating or making decisions?
  • Find yourself wringing your hands, pacing, or showing other signs of anxious restlessness or the opposite, moving or speaking more slowly than usual?
  • Struggle with or sleep too much?
  • Have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death?

To be diagnosed with MDD, one of your symptoms must be a persistent low mood or a loss of interest or pleasure, the DSM-5 states. Your symptoms must also not be due to substance abuse or a medical condition, such as thyroid problems, a brain tumor, or a nutritional deficiency.

Of course, its normal to have any or all of these symptoms temporarily from time to time. The difference with depression is that the symptoms persist and make it difficult to function normally.

Depression: Recognizing Unusual Symptoms

Having Anxiety And Depression Really Sucks It S Like You

One reason depression can be hard to identify is that its signs can vary widely from person to person and sometimes be masked by atypical symptoms. For example, some people who are depressed may show it by acting disgruntled, resentful, or irritable. In fact, aggression including outright acts of violence can be indicative of hidden depression, according to a February 28, 2017, report in Psychiatric Times. Depression masquerading as anger may seem surprising at first, but not when you consider that several underlying factors, including alcohol or substance abuse and childhood trauma, have been linked to both.

Similarly, although its not clear why, a person who experiences anxiety is at high risk for developing depression, and vice versa. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that as many as 60 percent of people with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression the same goes for people with depression having . Experts say there is often a genetic predisposition for these co-occurring disorders.

Depression may also manifest psychosomatically, meaning that instead of presenting first and foremost as a mood disorder, the dominant symptom may be things like vague aches, dizziness, headaches, , or , according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Complicating matters is that its often hard to know whether depression is causing the physical symptoms, or if the physical symptoms are causing depression.

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Depression And Suicide Risk

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Deep despair and hopelessness can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch for the warning signs:

  • Talking about killing or harming ones self.
  • Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
  • An unusual preoccupation with death or dying.
  • Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish .
  • Getting affairs in order .
  • Saying things like Everyone would be better off without me, or I want out.
  • A sudden switch from being extremely down to acting calm and happy.

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.

If you are feeling suicidal

When youre feeling suicidal, your problems dont seem temporarythey seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better, especially if you get help. There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out!

ReadSuicide Help, call 1-800-273-TALK in the U.S., or visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country.

It Hurts When People Don’t Take Your Feelings Seriously

As a person with anxiety and depression, it can be hard to handle everyday confrontations without your mental illnesses being used against you.

If you express annoyance at a roommate for not buying new milk, or ask a coworker if they can hurry up and file that report, you might be met with eye rolls and comments like, “What, are you off your medication or something?”

My anxiety and my depression don’t make all of my feelings and complaints invalid. Stop gaslighting me.

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What Are The Different Antidepressants And How Do They Work

The most commonly prescribed cause changes in brain chemistry that affect how neurons communicate. Exactly how this improves mood remains somewhat of a mystery, but the fact that they do often work is well-established.

  • SSRIs This category of drug includes Prozac , Celexa , and Zoloft and targets , a neurotransmitter that helps control mood, appetite, and sleep.
  • SNRIs SNRIs include drugs like Cymbalta , Pristiq , and Effexor XR , which block the reabsorption of both serotonin and another neurotransmitter, .
  • NDRIs This class of medications includes bupropion.
  • TCAs include such drugs as Tofranil and Pamelor . These drugs were among the earliest antidepressants to come on the market. These days, doctors generally only turn to them when treatment with SSRIs, SNRIs, and NDRIs has failed.
  • MAOIs MAOIs, including Nardil and , were the first antidepressants developed. Theyre rarely used today, in part because people who take them require careful monitoring to prevent negative interactions with certain foods and other medications.

All antidepressants can have side effects, but some may be more problematic than others. You may need to try several different medications, or a combination, guided by your doctor, before you find what works best for you.

Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder

What its Really Like Having Bipolar Disorder (manic Depression)

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. This can be a serious problem as taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder can actually make the condition worse.

If youve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder.

Need to talk to someone?

Get affordable online counseling from BetterHelp or visit HelpGuides directory for free helplines and crisis resources. HelpGuide is reader supported. We may receive a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp through the provided link. Learn more.

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Things People With Depression Want You To Know

Depression is more than just feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Young Scot, Dionne McFarlane, has shared her experiences of living with depression.

For people living depression it can be difficult for the people that are close to them to understand. Depression is the most common mental health issue in the UK. Through my experience of living with depression, this is what I think is important for people toknow and try to understand.

If you’ve been affected by depression, find out where you can get help from AyeMind.

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