Sunday, April 14, 2024

What To Do When You Start Feeling Depressed Again

Factors That Can Trigger A Depression Relapse

You’ll Never Feel Sad Again If You Eat These Serotonin Boosting Foods

Depression is an ongoing battle for many people. Knowing what can trigger a depressive episode can help you minimize or avoid a relapse.

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Major depression is a complex and challenging condition: Even when your symptoms are under control, you can potentially slide back into despair. However, knowing what might trigger a downward spiral can help you stop one from happening.

Depression relapse or recurrence is common, although these two terms arent the same thing. First, its helpful to know how recovery is defined: Its when youve been free of depression symptoms for at least four months. In clinical terms, a relapse is when depression returns after youve reached remission but before youve reached recovery. A recurrence is a new episode of depression after a recovery.

Whether its a relapse or a recurrence, about half of people whove had one episode of major depression go on to have another, says Deborah Serani, PsyD, a psychologist in Smithtown, New York, and author of the book Living with Depression.

If youve had two bouts of depression, youre 80 percent more likely to have another, Dr. Serani says. If youve had three depressive episodes, you have a 90 percent chance that symptoms will return again, she says.

7 Possible Depression Relapse Triggers

Potential depression triggers include:

Ways to Minimize Depression Triggers

Getting Out Of A Funk: How To Help Yourself Through Depression

Everyone has off days where they feel tired, irritable, and sad. Its normal to feel sadness as a response to challenging life events, loss, or changes, but sometimes these feelings can stick around for a while if left unaddressed and make it difficult for you to get through each day.

Heres how you can tell when youre in a funk or maybe even experiencing a mild depression as well as what you can do to help yourself feel better.

The Risk Of Suicide Is Real

What to do in a crisis situation

If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave them alone.

In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

In other countries, call your countrys emergency services number or visit IASP to find a suicide prevention helpline.

It may be hard to believe that the person you know and love would ever consider something as drastic as suicide, but a depressed person may not see any other way out. Depression clouds judgment and distorts thinking, causing a normally rational person to believe that death is the only way to end the pain theyre feeling.

Since suicide is a very real danger when someone is depressed, its important to know the warning signs:

  • Talking about suicide, dying, or harming oneself a preoccupation with death
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness or self-hate
  • Acting in dangerous or self-destructive ways
  • Getting affairs in order and saying goodbye
  • Seeking out pills, weapons, or other lethal objects
  • A sudden sense of calm after depression

If you think a friend or family member might be considering suicide, dont wait, talk to them about your concerns. Many people feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic but it is one of the best things you can do for someone who is thinking about suicide. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a persons life, so speak up if youre concerned and seek professional help immediately!

Recommended Reading: Is God Punishing Me With Depression

Engage In Diaphragmatic Breathing

  • Engaging in diaphragmatic breathing and registering bodily cues could help you better understand your emotional response to stress, according to Magavi. Many people who experience anxiety find it helpful to partake in guided body scan meditations while breathing slowly and deeply to identify how each emotion triggers disparate sensations in their body, Magavi said.
  • You can use this information to think about how to respond verbally or behaviorally. She recommends using diaphragmatic breathing and pranayama, which is alternative breathing or the practice of breath control.

    Why Do I Feel Depressed

    What to Do When You Feel Depressed

    Sometimes there is a direct cause for feeling depressed. This could be a life event, a circumstance or simply feeling lonely and depressed. Most times, depressed feelings begin due to a stressor. Example stressors that might make someone feel depressed include:

    • Stress at home, work or school
    • Moving
    • Death of a loved one
    • Social disruption
    • Being diagnosed with an illness

    Sometimes knowing why you feel depressed can help begin the process of relieving the depression. If, for example, you feel depressed because of the loss of a friendship, it may be helpful to spend time with other friends and talk about thatevent’s impact.

    Sometimes people feel depressed for no reason. This happens more often in people with severe or chronic depression. However, even if feeling depressed for no reason, you can still take action to try and stop the depression.

    Recommended Reading: Percentage Of People With Depression

    Are You At Risk For Depression

    Some things make you more likely than others to have depression. These are called risk factors. Having a risk factor doesnt mean for sure that youll have depression. But it may increase your chances. Talk to your health care provider about what you can do to help reduce your risk.

    Your health care provider screens you for depression at your prenatal care checkups. Screening means that your provider asks you questions about your risks, feelings and mood. If the screening shows that you may be depressed or that youre at risk for depression, your provider can help you get treatment.

    Risk factors for depression during pregnancy include:

    Some Common Causes Of Depression

    Some factors that contribute to depression include:

    • Brain chemistry: The “chemistry” of depression is not well understood, but researchers do know that an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can happen in anyone, even in the absence of an obvious “trigger.
    • Non-modifiable risk factors: Some influences, such as brain structure, genetic predisposition, and environmental exposures, are not something a person can control.
    • Modifiable risk factors: Risk factors that fall under the category of lifestyle choices are considered modifiable, but the extent to which an individual can do so will depend on their own ability and how much support they have.

    Depression can make it much more challenging to address factors that might be contributing to depression, such as substance use or diet. As much as it is a mental illness, depression can also be physical. Symptoms like chronic pain and fatigue can make it difficult for people to take on lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, even if they want to and believe they could help.

    To make these changes people need to have the right tools and a good deal of support. To get treatment, a person with depression needs to feel safe talking about how they are feeling.

    A person who believes they are depressed for no reason may not feel they deserve to ask for or get help. Thats why its important to focus less on the reason for depression and instead think about the causes.

    Recommended Reading: I Have Anxiety Depression And Adhd

    You Can Play A Role In Research By Joining A Clinical Trial

    Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

    In addition to volunteer research opportunities for the patient groups listed above, research opportunities for healthy volunteers are also available. Healthy volunteers play a critical role in our studies.

    For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials being conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.

    What Is A Relapse

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    The definition of relapse in relation to depression is a recurrence of symptoms after remission has been achieved .

    While it is possible that those who relapse will experience the same symptoms they did during their first depressive episode, it is also possible that the symptoms that they experience will be entirely different the next time.

    Recommended Reading: Signs You Need Depression Medication

    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.

    Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder

    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.

    Recommended Reading: What’s Persistent Depressive Disorder

    Making A Support Plan

    If your child is experiencing depression and needs ongoing support, it can be helpful to create a support plan together with the professionals around your child so that you know exactly what help is available and how your child can access it. This could include things like:

    • agreements with their GP, or their key worker if they are being treated by CAMHS, about when they will next check-in
    • whether any referrals can be made to other services, and a list of the services available locally that might be able to support them
    • what your childs school can offer including a staff member who they can speak to when theyre struggling.
    • people your child trusts and can talk to when they need to, including family and friends.

    You can find out more about speaking to GPs, finding a counsellor or therapist, accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services , getting help from your childs school and finding local services on our guide to getting help.

    Do Something You Enjoy

    Are You Feeling Depressed?

    Depression can push you to give into your fatigue. It may feel more powerful than happy emotions.

    Try to push back and do something you love something thats relaxing, but energizing. It could be playing an instrument, painting, hiking, or biking.

    These activities can provide subtle lifts in your mood and energy, which may help you overcome your symptoms.

    Research suggests people who spend time in nature have improved mental health.

    Exposure to sunlight may offer some of the same benefits. It can increase your serotonin levels, which can provide a temporary mood boost .

    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.

    Also Check: What Is Ect Treatment For Depression

    What You Can Do To Feel Better

    When youre depressed, it can feel like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.

    Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or dont want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you. They just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.

    Get moving. When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.

    Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.

    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.

    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.

    Read Also: How Do I Come Out Of Depression

    Encouraging The Person To Get Help

    While you cant control someone elses recovery from depression, you can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult. Depression saps energy and motivation, so even the act of making an appointment or finding a doctor can seem daunting to your loved one. Depression also involves negative ways of thinking. The depressed person may believe that the situation is hopeless and treatment pointless.

    Because of these obstacles, getting your loved one to admit to the problemand helping them see that it can be solvedis an essential step in depression recovery.

    If your friend or family member resists getting help:

    Suggest a general check-up with a physician. Your loved one may be less anxious about seeing a family doctor than a mental health professional. A regular doctors visit is actually a great option, since the doctor can rule out medical causes of depression. If the doctor diagnoses depression, they can refer your loved one to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sometimes, this professional opinion makes all the difference.

    Offer to help the depressed person find a doctor or therapist and go with them on the first visit.Finding the right treatment provider can be difficult, and is often a trial-and-error process. For a depressed person already low on energy, it is a huge help to have assistance making calls and looking into the options.

    Supporting Your Loved Ones Treatment

    This could be why you’re depressed or anxious | Johann Hari

    One of the most important things you can do to help a friend or relative with depression is to give your unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process. This involves being compassionate and patient, which is not always easy when dealing with the negativity, hostility, and moodiness that go hand in hand with depression.

    Provide whatever assistance the person needs . Help your loved one make and keep appointments, research treatment options, and stay on schedule with any treatment prescribed.

    Have realistic expectations. It can be frustrating to watch a depressed friend or family member struggle, especially if progress is slow or stalled. Having patience is important. Even with optimal treatment, recovery from depression doesnt happen overnight.

    Lead by example. Encourage the person to lead a healthier, mood-boosting lifestyle by doing it yourself: maintain a positive outlook, eat better, avoid alcohol and drugs, exercise, and lean on others for support.

    Encourage activity. Invite your loved one to join you in uplifting activities, like going to a funny movie or having dinner at a favorite restaurant. Exercise is especially helpful, so try to get your depressed loved one moving. Going on walks together is one of the easiest options. Be gently and lovingly persistentdont get discouraged or stop asking.

    Need to talk to someone?

    Read Also: Depression And Anxiety Assessment Test

    Let Go Of Living Your Life For Other People

    The first thing that you can do is make sure that youre living your life for yourself. I dont mean this in a selfish way I mean make sure that youre not conforming your entire existence to the wants of someone who is not you. Are you working a job you hate because your parents demanded it? Recognize that! Then, make a plan to change it. Figure out what it is that you value, and ensure that you are living your life centered around your values first and foremost.

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