How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
Its important to remember that a person with depression cannot simply “snap out of it.” It is also important to know that he may not recognize his symptoms and may not want to get professional treatment.
If you think someone has depression, you can support him by helping him find a doctor or mental health professional and then helping him make an appointment. Even men who have trouble recognizing that they are depressed may agree to seek help for physical symptoms, such as feeling tired or run down. They may be willing to talk with their regular health professional about a new difficulty they are having at work or losing interest in doing things they usually enjoy. Talking with a primary care provider may be a good first step toward learning about and treating possible depression.
Be Aware Of The Risk Of Relapse
While some people become depressed only once in their lives, others face depression multiple times. According to the American Psychiatric Association, at least 50% of people who have an episode of major depression will go on to have a second. And about 80% of people who have two episodes will have a third.
These may seem like scary statistics. Right now, you may not feel like you can go through depression again.
But depression doesn’t have to overshadow the rest of your life. You just have to be aware. Now that you’re recovering from depression, you have valuable information. You know the signs of depression. You know the times in your life when you might be more vulnerable. Next time, you can get help sooner and get better faster.
What Foods Help Ease Depression
While no specific diet has been proven to relieve depression, a healthy diet can help you feel your best physically and mentally. Certain foods may be linked to brain health and support for memory, alertness, and mood. Examples include foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids , antioxidants , and nutrients like choline . Always talk with your doctor before making any major diet changes.
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More About Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs and severe lows . Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often are gradual. When in the depressed cycle, an individual can have any of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic cycle, an individual is overly “up” or irritable. Someone in a manic state may appear excessively talkative and energetic, with little need for rest or sleep. This can affect thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, an individual in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes, or engage in reckless spending sprees or increased sexual activity. Individuals who are in a manic state may feel in possession of special powers or abilities that others can’t understand. Bipolar Disorder is treatable.
Does Depression Go Away On Its Own
Depression affects everyone differently. For some people, it comes and goes. For others, it can feel almost constant. You might experience one episode of depression, or it might be a lifelong struggle.
Its hard to predict what your experience with depression will be. But the more severely depressed you are, the less likely it will go away on its ownand the more likely it will come back.
Fortunately, theres no need to sit around and wait for depression to go away on its own. Like other mental illnesses, depression is treatable. You can seek professional help from a doctor or therapist, or you can work on your mental health on your own.
Start by learning more about depression and how its treated. Then pick a treatment you feel comfortable withit can be something simple, like writing in a journal. Stick with it for a few weeks, and see if you feel better. If not, try something else.
Working actively to improve your mental health feels better than waiting around for things to change on their own. And many of the treatments for depression are just good, healthy habits to have anyway. It may take you a while to find a combination of treatments that works best for you, but thats okayfinding ways to improve your mental health is a rewarding experience, with benefits that go far beyond just keeping your depression under control.
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Create The Right Environment For Recovery
When we go through depression, its easy to let even basic things like housework fall by the wayside. The result is that our environment becomes messy, dirty, chaotic and that only makes our state of mind even worse.
So we continue to ignore the housework and thus the vicious cycle continues.
You can break that cycle, and doing so will help create the ideal environment for recovering from depression.
You dont even have to do it all in one go.
Focus on one thing at a time, even if its only one corner of one room. Do what you feel you have the energy for and before you know it, youll have a clean, tidy, clutter-free space thats far more conducive to overcoming your depression.
Whats more, the sense of accomplishment you get from tidying up can do wonders for your self-esteem and provide a powerful boost to your mood.
Who Is At High Risk For Depression
Those most at risk for developing depression include women, the elderly, those with a personal or family history of depression, chronic stressors, those with other concurrent mental and physical health conditions, low socioeconomic status, and those taking medications that may cause depression, like birth control or some anxiety medications.
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Depression And Suicide Risk
Depression usually does not lead to suicide ideation. But, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, studies have shown that about two percent of people who have been treated for depression in an outpatient setting will die by suicide. If the treatment is inpatient, the number doubles to four percent. Men are more likely to die by suicide after depression than women. Find hotlines and organizations for support in our emergency mental health resources directory.
What Its Really Like Going Through A Deep Dark Depression
I thought everyone Googled suicide methods from time to time. They dont. Heres how Ive recovered from a dark depression.
How we see the world shapes who we choose to be and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective.
In early October 2017, I found myself sitting in my therapists office for an emergency session.
She explained that I was going through a major depressive episode.
Id experienced similar feelings of depression in high school, but they were never this intense.
Earlier in 2017, my anxiety had started to interfere with my daily life. So, for the first time, Id sought out a therapist.
Growing up in the Midwest, therapy was never discussed. It wasnt until I was in my new home of Los Angeles and met people who saw a therapist that I decided to try it myself.
I was so lucky to have an established therapist when I sunk into this deep depression.
I couldnt imagine having to find help when I could barely get out of bed in the morning.
I probably wouldnt have even tried, and I sometimes wonder what wouldve happened to me if I hadnt sought professional help before my episode.
Ive always had mild depression and anxiety, but my mental health had rapidly declined that fall.
It would take me close to 30 minutes to coax myself out of bed. The only reason I would even get up was because I had to walk my dog and go to my full-time job.
My spark just seemed to fizzle.
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Can You Get Rid Of Depression Forever
If you find yourself struggling with depression off and on over the years, like I did all through my 20s, rest assured that depression is not a mysterious, invisible condition that is always inside you, just waiting to rear its head.
Instead, depression is a condition that is regularly coming and going, depending on how youre thinking and living.
Just like you can blow;up a balloon with air, and then squeeze;all the air out of it, you can improve your thinking and lifestyle and feel better and happier, and then revert back to thinking and living in ways that make you feel depressed again.
So to get rid of depression for good and never deal with it again,;its just a matter of not doing that anymore. Indeed, its just a matter of learning how to regularly think and live in ways that make you feel happier and depression-free, so that you never feel depressed again.
And that is exactly what you are learning how to do in this course step by step, by making the 6 Depression-Free Changes a regular part of your lifestyle, and by making changes in thought like the one youve just learned.
Chronic Or Recurrent Depression: Why Does Depression Go Away And Then Return
Some people who experience a single depressive episode will fully recover, never to experience another.
For about 40-60% of us, however, depression is a chronic illness that will come back. By the time most people get treatment, they have experienced multiple depressive episodes already.
Good news: with treatment, recurrences can be less severe, occur less frequently and not last as long.
So why does depression seem to rear its ugly head over and over again for most of us?
Saying you have depression is like saying you have a terrible headache, in that you have disabling symptoms, but it says nothing about the cause of those symptoms.
For instance, in the case of a headache, you may have a migraine, a tension headache, a stroke, a brain tumor, a concussion, or something else. The underlying cause informs the prognosis and treatment of your headache, whether it will come back and the best course of treatment.
With depression, we are just beginning to understand the underlying causes and contributors which could be medical, neurological, psychological or social many of which are ongoing and lead to a propensity for depressive episodes.
Depression has a genetic basis, but whether thats because of biological differences in brain chemistry or temperament or something else, we dont know yet.
Psychotherapy remains the most effective treatment for depression, and should be part of every patients plan for recovery.
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How Long Does Depression Usually Last
The overall lesson is that how long depression lasts depends on what you do. For this reason, do not give too much weight to any literature that tells you it will take a long time to stop being depressed, as if this is some sort of gospel truth.
For example, lots of literature will tell you that it can take 6 or 8 months to get out of an episode of major depression. But these numbers are completely irrelevant, because how long depression lasts depends completely on what you do.
To appreciate this, you could say that it took Fred 10 years to stop being depressed, because it took him 10 years to believe that he could eliminate depression, while it took Johnny only 1 day to stop being depressed, because it took him only 1 day to come to the same conclusion after taking Always Greaters Depression-Free Course.
Similarly, you might say that it took Becky 1 month to stop being depressed, because she only focused on improving her thinking, while it took Joanna 5 days to stop being depressed, because she improved her thinking and;got plenty of sunlight, exercise, omega 3, and restful sleep every day, as well as enjoyed socially interacting with other people.
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Holtzheimer, Paul; Helen, Mayberg. Stuck in a rut: rethinking depression and its treatment. Trends in Neurosciences, 2011. Accessed September 23, 2019.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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End The Stigma To Treat Depression
The first step to treating depression is to burst the stigma surrounding depression. Patients with this mood disorder deserve the same high-quality care as patients with physical illnesses. If you would go to the doctor for a broken leg, you should also seek care when your mind is not at its best.
Secondly, people must know when to seek treatment and what kinds of professionals to find.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
Depression can affect your emotions, mind and body. Depression symptoms include:
- Feeling very sad, hopeless or worried.
- Not enjoying things that used to give you joy.
- Being easily irritated or frustrated.
- Eating too much or too little.
- Changes in how much you sleep.
- Having a difficult time concentrating or remembering things.
- Experiencing physical problems like headache, stomachache or sexual dysfunction.
- Thinking about hurting or killing yourself.
If you or someone you know has thoughts of hurting themselves, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255. This national network of local crisis centers provides free, private emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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How Long Depression Lasts Depends On Many Factors
Depression affects everyone differently.
Even though there are a few established symptoms of the condition, not everyone experiences them in the same way.
For some people, depression symptoms are persistent over the years. For others, symptoms will come and go at times.
Some research suggests that the symptoms of clinical depression can last an average of 10 months if no other mental health conditions are present.
But this is not always the case. Because there are different types of depression, symptom duration varies greatly.
For example, a depressive episode caused by mourning might last a few days or weeks and often resolves on its own.
In most cases, however, depression requires the support of a health professional.
There are many types of depression, and the type youre experiencing may impact how long or intense your symptoms are.
Where Can I Go For Help
If you are unsure of where to go for help, ask your family doctor or health care provider. You can also find resources online including the NIMH website at www.nimh.nih.gov/FindHelp, or check with your insurance carrier to find someone who participates in your plan. Hospital doctors can help in an emergency.
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About Michigan Counseling Centers
Michigan Counseling Centers is the premier clinical therapy provider in the State of Michigan, with locations in Bloomfield Hills and Taylor.All of our therapists are highly-educated and highly-experienced, and use a variety of approaches tailored to the needs of you our your loved ones.
Common Symptoms Of Clinical Depression
There are different forms of clinical depression with different combinations of the following symptoms:
- Sleep disturbances-insomnia, oversleeping, waking much earlier than usual
- Changes in appetite or eating: much more or much less;
- Headaches, stomachaches, digestive problems or other physical symptoms that are not explained by other physical conditions or do not respond to treatment
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, such as going out with friends, hobbies, sports, sex, etc.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions;
- Neglecting responsibilities or personal appearance
- Persistent sad or “empty” mood, lasting two or more weeks;
- Crying “for no reason”;
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, guilty or worthless;
- Feeling irritable, agitated or anxious;
- Thoughts of death or suicide
How Is Depression Diagnosed
These days, a routine doctors visit with your general health practitioner may be all it takes to receive a diagnosis. Standard screening tools like the Patient Health Questionnaire a survey of yes, nine items, that physicians use to assess the severity of depressionare becoming widely used in primary care settings to screen for the condition.
In fact, most patients with depression are going to be diagnosed and treated by primary care doctors, not specialists or psychiatrists, says James Murrough, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment at Mount Sinai.
Depression is mainly diagnosed by history and clinical presentations, or a specific pattern of symptoms, says Dr. Murrough, which is to say theres no blood test for MDD. But if you have symptoms like changes in sleep or appetite, your doctor may look into other conditions unrelated to mental health .
The first thing your doctor might do is order blood testsnot to make the diagnosis of depression, but to rule out things that could be masquerading as depression, explains Dr. Murrough. For example, an underactive thyroid can present as low mood and feeling sluggish, and iron deficiency anemia is another reason why some people might have low energy.
Depression Is Always Temporary
To get rid of depression for good, make sure that you never see depression as a permanent part of who you are, even on days that youre happy. Instead, its just a temporary way that you can be, and its a condition that changes as you improve your thinking and lifestyle.
To understand this better, think of a balloon that is deflated.;Being deflated is not a permanent part of the balloon. Its simply a way that the balloon can be, and the balloons condition changes from deflated to inflated the moment you blow air into it.
Similarly depression not a permanent part of your life and who you are.
Instead, its simply a way that you can be, just like anyone else in the world can become this way, and your condition changes from depression to depression-free the moment you feel better and happier and not depressed.
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