Dealing With The Winter Blues
For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.
Looking After Someone Who Has Depression
If you’re close to someone with depression, their condition can affect you too. Your relationship, and family life in general, can be strained, and you might not know what to do or how to help.
Talking about the situation can help. Finding a support group, or talking to other people in a similar situation, can make it easier to cope. If the condition is causing difficulties in your relationship with your partner, you could contact a relationship counsellor who can talk things through with both of you.
When suffering from depression, men are less likely to ask for help than women. They’re also more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms.
Minimizing Or Comparing Their Experience
If your friend talks about their depression, you might want to say things like, I understand, or Weve all been there. But if youve never dealt with depression yourself, this can minimize their feelings.
Depression goes beyond simply feeling sad or low. Sadness usually passes fairly quickly, while depression can linger and affect mood, relationships, work, school, and all other aspects of life for months or even years.
Comparing what theyre going through to someone elses troubles or saying things like, But things could be so much worse, generally doesnt help.
Your friends pain is whats real to them right now and validating that pain is what may help them most.
Say something like, I cant imagine how hard that is to deal with. I know I cant make you feel better, but just remember you arent alone.
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Build A Support Network
One of the most important things you can do to help yourself with depressionother than medication and therapyis to develop strong social support.
For some, this may mean forging stronger ties with friends or family. Knowing you can count on supportive loved ones to help can go a long way toward improving your depression.
For others, a depression support group can be key. It may involve a community group that meets in your area or you might find an online support group who meets your needs.
Get Professional Help For Depression
At Advanced Psychiatry Associates, we know how difficult it can be to navigate life with a mental illness like depression. Thats why were the only private, full-service facility in the Sacramento area to offer outpatient services, including managing medications and therapy. We offer services like ketamine treatments and transcranial magnetic stimulation, all to provide compassionate and comprehensive care.
Get in touch to schedule an appointment with us at any of our four locations in Folsom, Sacramento, Roseville and Elk Grove.
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Assess The Parts Instead Of Generalizing The Whole
Depression can tinge recollections with difficult emotions. You may find yourself focusing on things that are unhelpful or perceived as difficult.
Try to stop this overgeneralization. Push yourself to recognize the good. If it helps, write down what was meaningful about the event or day. You can track what you achieved that day, and which activities were enjoyable.
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 helpful.
What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
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Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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Depression And Drugs And Alcohol
“Drowning your sorrows” is actually a bad idea when it comes to depression. Alcohol is categorised as a “strong depressant” which can make depression worse, and drinking or taking drugs to cope can lead to a downward spiral by having a negative affect on other parts of your life.
There’s evidence that cannabis can cause depression, particularly in teenagers, even if it helps you relax.
How To Cope With Loneliness
If you or a loved one are struggling with a mental health condition, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
The sheer number of adults in the United States who feel lonely is quite largein a January 2020 survey of 10,000 adults by Cigna, 61% of those surveyed said they felt lonely. However, people dont always talk about feelings of loneliness and dont always know what to do with these feelings.
Other than being emotionally painful, loneliness can impact people in many ways:
If youre experiencing loneliness, there are some things you can do about it. Below are nine strategies for dealing with loneliness.
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If Youre Up For Exercise Consider A Walk Around The Block
On days when you feel as if you cant get out of bed, exercise may seem like the last thing youd want to do. However, exercise and physical activity can help to lower symptoms of depression and boost energy levels.
future depressive episodes.
Even when you have the feeling that youre unable to or have very little energy, see if youd be willing to do the opposite of what your mood is telling you to do, such as curling up in bed. Instead, set a small goal for yourself, such as taking a walk around the block.
Stay Connected To The Outside World
Socially, you might also be tempted to shut yourself away, saying no when friends or family ask if you want to meet up with them. This is reaction is completely normal, but being present at social events, and spending time with other people, will help to reduce your symptoms of depression and help keep them at bay in the future.
Social media and video calls are a convenient way to do this, but if youre able to then a face-to-face meeting will have the most positive effect. You could try taking small steps with the goal of a meeting in a public location being the end goal. Whatever you try, make sure you only commit to what feels comfortable for you.
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Strengthen Your Support Network
If you feel that you arent satisfied with the social interactions in your life, think about what you can do to build more meaningful connections. What activities do you enjoy or is there something new you want to try? Look into joining local groups or clubs to meet like-minded people who you can spend time with.
You may also want to look into getting professional therapeutic support. Many people who feel lonely and depressed find it useful to talk through what theyre experiencing with a therapist or counsellor, who they can then work with to find solutions for a better quality of life going forward.
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.
Affordable Online Therapy
Nearly 3 Million people have turned to BetterHelp for professional online therapy. Take the quiz and get matched with a therapist that fits your needs.
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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.
What Are The Signs Of Work Depression
The signs of depression at work are similar to general depressive symptoms. That said, some may look more specific to a workplace setting.
This depression will affect your level of functioning in your job as well as at home, Parmar said.
Some of the more common signs of work depression include:
- increased anxiety levels, especially when managing stressful situations or thinking about work when youre away from your job
- overall feelings of boredom and complacency about your job
- low energy and lack of motivation to do things, which can sometimes manifest as boredom in tasks
- persistent or prolonged feelings of sadness or low mood.
- loss of interest in tasks at work, especially duties that you previously found interesting and fulfilling
- feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, or overwhelming guilt
- inability to concentrate or pay attention to work tasks and trouble retaining or remembering things, especially new information
- making excessive errors in daily work tasks
- an increase or decrease in weight or appetite
- physical complaints like headaches, fatigue, and upset stomach
- increased absences or coming late and leaving early
- impaired decision-making capacity
- irritability, increased anger, and poor frustration tolerance
- crying spells or tearfulness at work, with or without any apparent triggers
- trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- self-medication with alcohol or substances
According to Parmar, here are some common signs of work depression to be aware of:
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Its Easier Than You Think
Many folks confuse sadness with depression. Sadness is a natural state, a necessary part of living. Friendships end. Death steals loved ones. Life provides us with plenty of reasons to feel sad. Feeling sad is appropriate at such times and indispensable. The need to mourn, to feel sadness, is an essential part of what it means to be human. When we honor sadness, it provides us with essential space for self-reflection, and greater empathy and compassion. It also may compel us to recognize difficult truths or inspire us to make better choices.
Depression, however, offers no solace. It brutally assaults us and promotes hopelessness. This is because depression is not a pure feeling but an effort to ward off a complex mix of unwanted ones. Anger, frustration, irritation, and grief are feelings we tend to find intolerable we dont want to feel them. When were depressed, were engaging in a psychic battle to blot out these unwanted feelings. Common psychic defenses against painful feelings include denial , projection , rationalization or binge eating .
Unfortunately, as long as the true causes of our depression remain unaddressed, it will return again and again.
Hunt Down the Cause of Your Depression
Heres a list of the most common situations that often trigger depression:
Revamp Your Sleep Routine
Sleep issues are fairly common when you have depression.
When youre feeling deeply fatigued and low, sleep might feel like the only thing youre capable of. It may even feel like self-care, but this isnt always the case.
You might sleep 10 to 12 hours , struggle to get out of bed, and spend the day drifting in and out of focus.
Or maybe you have a hard time falling asleep altogether.
Not only can sleep deprivation make depression symptoms worse, lying awake in bed gives your brain plenty of time to fixate on unwanted and negative thoughts.
To get more restful sleep , consider these tips:
- Stick to the same bedtime and waking time every day.
- Get some sunlight during the day, but keep your bedroom cool and dark for sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon or evening.
- Try to avoid using your phone and computer for at least 1 hour before bed.
Research supports physical activity as a beneficial self-care treatment option for depression so if you can exercise, consider making time for regular physical activity.
But we get it, when you have depression, being active is usually easier said than done.
How can you think of working out when you feel too drained to even get out of bed? The best approach is to take it slow.
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Signs Of Depression At Work
Here are some signs that you may be working while depressed:
- Missing work:It could be you start calling in sick or make excuses for needing a personal day.
- Trouble concentrating:Just cant keep your mind focused on work? If it feels like youre in a fog all the time or in a hopeless state of mind, this can be an indication that youre trying to work while depressed.
- Missed deadlines and goals:Inability to get work done or complete tasks, avoidance of phone calls and meetings, failing to achieve personal or career goalsthese can be signs of depression at work.
- Feelings of depression only when youre at work:It could be that your workplace is the cause of depression. If youre largely overcome with depression while at work, but not as much elsewhere, it could be that feelings of depression are driven by your job. Serious workplace issues like harassment, discrimination, abuse, and bullying can eventually lead to feelings of depression, if left unaddressed.
- Fatigue and lack of energy:Tired all the time? Feel like you have no energy to do your job? Persistent fatigue can be a sign of depression.