Minimize Your Daily Choices
Have you ever walked into a theme park and been overwhelmed at what you want to do first? Researchers think that having too many choices can actually cause significant stress that can lead to depression.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz, author of the book The Paradox of Choice, describes research that shows that when faced with too many choices, those who aim to make the best possible choice maximizers face higher rates of depression.
For many of us, our lives are filled with choices. Which outfit do we wear, and should we buy yogurt or eggs or bagels or English muffins or sausage for breakfast? The pressure of making the right or wrong choice is thought to contribute to depression.
If making choices stresses you out, simplify things. You can:
- Learn to be decisive more quickly.
- Reduce the decisions youll have to make during the work week: Plan out your outfits, and have your meals prepped and ready to go.
Depression: Recognizing Unusual Symptoms
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.
When To Seek Professional Help
Any level of depression should be taken seriously and the faster you address the symptoms, the less likely you are to develop a more severe type of depression. Seeking professional help is a sign of bravery and self-respect because it shows that you are dedicated to caring for your mind and body. A therapist can offer more clinical advice and guide you through treatment with approaches that are more tailored to your specific situation and needs. However, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, tell someone you trust and seek assistance immediately.
Everyone experiences low points in their life and their mental health, but depression is a treatable mental illness and you can recover. Whether you or a loved one is feeling depressed, every persons experience with mental illness is different but help is available. Visit our Key Services page to learn more about the treatment methods we offer and to explore our list of additional health and wellness classes to support your overall mental health.
If you are in a crisis, please call us at 303-425-0300 or by calling the crisis line at 844-493-8255. The 24/7 crisis walk-in center and withdrawal management program is open at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.
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Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening.
- Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
- Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
- If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.
Risk Factors For Depression
Depression can affect anyoneeven a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
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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.
Mixed Anxiety & Depression Explained
Depression and anxiety have similar causes and some people can experience symptoms of both conditions at the same time. If youve been experiencing both low mood and persistent worry, tension, and unease, click below to learn more about the relationship between anxiety and depression.
How To Deal With Depression
There are a range of ways to deal with depression, and often they are best used in conjunction with each other. The primary medical options are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , antidepressant medication, and in some severe cases, Electroconvulsive Therapy .
Education and coping strategies are also important when learning to manage your depression.
ECT is an effective form of treatment for depression, especially if:
- There are medical contraindications to medication.
- There is a need for rapid improvement because of suicidal intent or refusal to eat.
- The person has experienced treatment failure following CBT, several medications, or combined medication and CBT treatment trials.
- The person has had a previous positive response to ECT.
- Somatic symptoms are prominent.
- Psychotic symptoms are present.
What is CBT?
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Dont Use Facebook As An Indicator
You will be relieved to know that graphology is no longer considered a reliable test of a persons character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidates character or future performance in the workplace.
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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How Can You Get Yourself Out Of A Funk
Although depression can become a very clinical subject, many of the ways to help yourself through this mood disorder are very simple and practical. Self-care is a key component to living a happy, healthy life and between your diet, exercise, daily routines, and social interactions there are plenty of steps you can take to influence your mood. As you move through your depression, be open to trying new approaches and understand that it might take a combination of these self-care practices before you notice a change in your mood.
Test Drive Your Options
Decisions are less scary when you can get a glimpse at what the repercussions, good or bad, might be. So, before making any determination, try taking your options for a test drive. “Allow your self time to test out a decision,” says Belinda Ginter, an emotional kinesiologist and mindset expert. “Decisions become less scary when you give yourself permission that if it does not feel right or work out for you, then you will quickly re-analyze and make a different decision.”
Of course, this only works for small-scale life decisions. But if you’re just trying to, say, pick a new yoga class, test driving a few options can be a major boon.
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Consider Going Outside Even If For A Few Minutes
Research from 2013 suggests that natural sunlight can help improve your mood because it helps increase the brains release of a hormone called serotonin, sometimes called the happy chemical. Serotonin appears to boost mood and help people feel calmer and more focused.
Sunlight also helps the body make vitamin D, an essential nutrient that your body needs to function properly. Low levels of vitamin D have also been associated with a higher risk of depression, and
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
How do you know if you or your loved one may have depression? Does depression look different as you age? Depression in older adults may be difficult to recognize because older people may have different symptoms than younger people. For some older adults with depression, sadness is not their main symptom. They could instead be feeling more of a numbness or a lack of interest in activities. They may not be as willing to talk about their feelings.
The following is a list of common symptoms. Still, because people experience depression differently, there may be symptoms that are not on this list.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness, or having trouble sitting still
- Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities, including sex
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, waking up too early in the morning, or oversleeping
- Eating more or less than usual, usually with unplanned weight gain or loss
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
If you have several of these signs and symptoms and they last for more than two weeks, talk with your doctor. These could be signs of depression or another health condition. Dont ignore the warning signs. If left untreated, serious depression may lead to death by suicide.
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Personal Factors That Can Lead To Depression
Personal factors that can lead to a risk of depression include:
- family history depression can run in families and some people will be at an increased genetic risk. However, this doesnt mean that a person will automatically experience depression if a parent or close relative has had the condition.
- personality some people may be more at risk because of their personality, particularly if they tend to worry a lot, have low self-esteem, are perfectionists, are sensitive to personal criticism, or are self-critical and negative
- serious medical conditions these can trigger depression in two ways. Serious conditions can bring about depression directly or can contribute to depression through the associated stress and worry, especially if it involves long-term management of a condition or chronic pain
- drug and alcohol use can both lead to and result from depression. Many people with depression also have drug and alcohol problems.
Depression Treatment: Lifestyle Changes Talk Therapy Antidepressants
If you suspect that depression is interfering with your life, talking about what youre experiencing and discussing treatment options with a medical professional is essential. As actress Taraji P. Henson, who describes her depression as suffocating darkness, recently explained in an interview with Self magazine, When youre quiet, things arent fixed. It gets worse.
The good news is that theres abundant evidence that people with depression who seek treatment will find significant relief from lifestyle changes, talk therapy , medication, or a combination of all efforts, according to the Association of America.
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How To Feel Better About Yourself If You Are Depressed
When you are depressed, your self-esteem wanes and you may start to dislike yourself. People with depression often think of themselves as worthless, incapable of any achievement, and morally despicable. Why do people who are depressed have this negative self-appraisal? And what could be happening in their brains?
The study: In 2017, researcher and psychiatrist Christopher Davey and his colleagues compared the brain blood flow of 86 unmedicated depressed patients with that of 95 healthy control participants using a type of magnetic resonance imaging called functional MRI. Depressed patients were in the early stages of their illness, but, as is often the case, two-thirds of them had an anxiety disorder as well.
The tasks: The researchers asked participants to lie in an MRI machine, and then gave them several tasks to complete while they imaged their brain blood flow. The first task involved self-appraisal. During this task, participants had to indicate whether a certain descriptor fit them or not by pressing a left or right button that corresponded with yes or no.
Then, they were asked whether words had four or more vowels . As you can imagine, this does not require internal attention like the self-reflection task did. The answers are in the words themselves.
Watch Out For The Show Offs
Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity! Another person to avoid.
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How Not To Feel Depressed: Know That You Have Choices
Depression is a deep, dark hole. Because its hard to get out of this hole, we begin to feel stuck, confined against our will with no choices. That, though, is a lie that depression wants us to believe. The truth is that regardless of how depression makes us feel, we do have choices.
When you realize that you have a say in your life, you can begin to make choices and act on them. Practicing mindfulness helps open you up to the individual moments in your life and thus pulls you out of your own head, positioning you to choose actions that will help you move toward your values.
Just a few of the choices you have include:
- Activities to do or not to do
- Who to spend time with
- How much time to spend with a given person
- What to focus on and pay attention to
- How to seek help for depression and what treatments to try
- How to think about things
- How to react to people or events
Knowing you have choices is very empowering. Realizing you can make choices, and then intentionally making choices, is a way out of feeling depressed.
Where Can I Find Clinical Trials For Depression
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. 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 others may receive better help in the future.
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials information.
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What Causes Depression
Although some peoples depression can be influenced by major life events, the truth is that depression can happen to anyone without cause or warning. In fact, depression is one of the most common mood disorders 8.7% of women and 5.3% of men experience depression every year. Research has suggested that factors such as genetics, biology, environment, and psychology can all play a role in depression.
Its important to note that depression exists on a scale from mild to severe, but even in mild cases it should be taken seriously. Depression is not simply a bad mood or something that someone can snap out of, but luckily it is very treatable.
Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
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