Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD is a mental health condition in which a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity or impulsivity interferes with your day-to-day life. Research shows that about 8% of adults experience ADHD at some point between the ages of 18-44.
Symptoms first appear in childhood, but without access to treatment or care, ADHD can go undiagnosed for years. ADHD symptoms can also change over time as a person ages, so sometimes it is misdiagnosed later in adulthood as anxiety or depression.
Because ADHD has many different symptoms, it must be diagnosed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional.
Symptoms of adult ADHD can include:
- An inability to stay on task
- An inability to concentrate
- Adverse communication style, like frequently interrupting or finishing othersâ sentences
A healthcare provider can screen for ADHD. A screening may include questions about how long a person has felt these symptoms, and if they remember feeling symptoms for most of their life.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability, frustration or restlessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not ease even with treatment
- Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
Reach Out To Loved Ones
Strong relationships can go a long way toward improving your outlook and emotional well-being when you live with mental health conditions.
Friends and family can:
- provide encouragement and emotional support
- join you in hobbies or activities that offer a positive distraction
- offer rides, grocery runs, and other more tangible forms of support when you have trouble getting things done
Simply knowing you have someone you trust in your life can often help you feel less alone, whether you actually want to talk about your symptoms or not.
Treating co-occurring depression and anxiety can sometimes be more complicated than treating one condition alone. Even when you get treatment for one condition, some symptoms might persist or seem to play off the others.
- You cant stop worrying about all the things going wrong in your life, or thinking about the ways things could get worse. These fears eventually drain your energy and motivation to keep trying, leaving you feeling low and hopeless.
- Social anxiety keeps you from connecting with people in the ways youd like. You want to make new friends but generally end up avoiding interactions instead. This leaves you feeling lonely, sad, and guilty, especially when thinking of those missed opportunities, but helpless to do anything differently.
A mental health care professional may recommend combining treatment approaches, since what helps ease depression symptoms may not always relieve anxiety symptoms, and vice versa.
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When To Seek Professional Help For Anxiety And Depression
We all have ups and downs. Lifes challenges can knock us down and usually we can get back up with time. We also typically can put lifes knocks into context and know that a particular problem will likely pass. The blues may be periods when we feel sad, alone, isolated, and grief-stricken because of particular life events or circumstances. These emotions may be normal reactions to lifes challenges, but they pass in time. You can generally function normally and carry on with your typical day-to-day activities when you simply have the blue. However, sometimes we dont get back up and our mood or mental states starts to interfere with our daily functioning. Thats when the blues can become clinical depression.
Clinical depression is a serious health concern and should not be ignored. Women are believed to suffer from depression at twice the rate as men. Depression is alarmingly common, and almost 20 million Americans experience depression each year. Given how common this illness has become, no one should feel embarrassed or concerned about approaching their health care professional regarding depression. Having the illness is not a sign of weakness or personal defect. The problem develops as lifes pressures slowly overwhelm the mind and bodys capacity to cope with these pressures.
The typical symptoms of clinical depression are:
Overcoming Depression: How Psychologists Help With Depressive Disorders
Depression is extreme sadness or despair that lasts more than days and affects people in different ways. Fortunately, depression is highly treatable.
Overcoming depression: How psychologists help with depressive disorders.
Everyone experiences sadness at times. But depression is something more. Depression is extreme sadness or despair that lasts more than days. It interferes with the activities of daily life and can even cause physical pain. Fortunately, depression is highly treatable.
Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. In 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults in the U.S. about 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode, according to the National Institute of Mental Health .
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Volunteering Can Be A Great Way To Do Both
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
Bonus: People who volunteer experience physical benefits, too. This includes a
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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Talking To Your Health Care Provider
Sometimes it is hard to know if youre struggling with depression or anxiety, or if youre feeling the symptoms of pregnancy. The symptoms can be similar and confusing.
Talk to your health care provider about how you are feeling. You might have to talk about your feelings several times. Make sure to talk about:
- how strong your emotions are
- how often you have these emotions
- how your emotions are affecting:
- your ability to take care of yourself
- your home or work
- your interactions with your partner, family and friends
Tell your health care provider everything about:
Especially if your thoughts and actions scare you, share them with your health care provider.
If your health care provider is not around, go to the closest emergency medical centre to talk to someone.
Look After Your Body And Your Brain
Looking after your body with physical activity, good food and sleep will also help you look after your brain.
Try taking one of these steps:
- go to the beach or bush, listen to the sounds of nature and smell the fresh air
- get out and do something physical, like going for a run, walk or to yoga
- get your hands dirty in the garden
- sleep in your bed
- keep a bottle of water in your car or handbag
- cut back on alcohol and recreational drugs
- eat healthier meals.
How does this help? Since childhood, weve all been told to think about what we put in our bodies and what we do to them. Its with good reason. Keeping physically active, eating right, sleeping well do make a difference to our mental health.
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Vitamins And Supplements For Depression
The jury is still out on how well herbal remedies, vitamins, or supplements work in treating depression. While many supplements are widely available over the counter, in many cases their efficacy has not been scientifically proven. If your depression symptoms are in part due to nutritional deficiency, you may benefit from vitamin supplements, but this should be on the advice of your healthcare professional.
If you decide to try natural and herbal supplements, remember that they can have side effects and drug or food interactions. For example, St. Johns Worta promising herb used for treatment of mild to moderate depressioncan interfere with prescription drugs such as blood thinners, birth control pills, and prescription antidepressants. Make sure your doctor or therapist knows what you are taking.
How To Help Someone With Anxiety
All of us worry and get scared from time to time. But those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others. It can be hard to relate to these concerns, and as a result, many people dont know how to best help someone with anxiety. People are often dismissive of people experiencing anxiety, says Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine. With other medical illnesses, you may be able to see physical symptoms. But with anxiety, you dont necessarily see what the person is dealing with. So its important to be sensitive to what the person with anxiety is going through, even if it doesnt make sense to you. Its distressing to watch a loved one experience panic attacks and face anxiety every day, but there are things you can do to help. It starts with recognizing the signs of excessive worry and understanding the best ways to support your loved one.
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Individual Or Group Therapy
When you hear the word therapy you might automatically think of one-on-one sessions with a therapist. However, group therapy can be very useful in depression treatment as well. Both group and individual therapy sessions usually last about an hour. What are the benefits of each? In individual therapy, you are building a strong relationship with one person, and may feel more comfortable sharing some sensitive information with one person than with a group. You also get individualized attention.
In group therapy, listening to peers going through the same struggles can validate your experiences and help build self-esteem. Often group members are at different points in their depression, so you might get tips from both someone in the trenches and someone who has worked through a challenging problem. As well as offering inspiration and ideas, attending group therapy can also help increase your social activities and network.
When the going gets tough in therapy
Which Types Of Talk Therapy Work Best For Depression
- Behavioral activation therapy The aim of this type of therapy is to reverse the downward spiral of depression by encouraging you to seek out experiences and activities that give you joy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT focuses on changing specific negative thought patterns so that you are able to better respond to challenging and stressful situations.
- Interpersonal therapy This very structured, time-limited form of therapy focuses on identifying and improving problematic personal relationships and circumstances directly related to your current depressive mood.
- Problem-solving therapy This therapy is a form of CBT that teaches take-charge skills that help you solve real-life problems and stressors, big and small, that contribute to depression.
- Self-management/self-control therapy This type of behavioral therapy trains you to lessen your negative reactions to events and reduce your self-punishing behaviors and thoughts.
Dont Judge Or Criticize
From the outside, youll be able to see lots of ways in which your loved one could improve their life. However, when theyre depressed or anxious, it can be almost impossible for them to think rationally about these topics. So, whether youre trying to figure out how to help your spouse with depression or how to help your friend with depression, avoid negative judgments and critical comments at all costs.
In particular, you should avoid platitudes masquerading as advice, such as You just need to remember that the glass isnt half empty, its half full!.
Before you say anything, make sure it doesnt accidentally imply that the person is making a choice to be anxious or depressed.
Mental health issues are just like any other, physical health problem they are involuntary. Suggesting otherwise can make your loved one feel guilty, misunderstood or isolated. All of these feelings make depression and anxiety symptoms worse, not better.
Other Causes Of Depression
There are a number of things that can lead to developing depression.
- Stressful events big changes in your life, like bereavement, the end of a relationship or the loss of a job, can be difficult to deal with. When these things happen, it’s important to keep seeing friends and family instead of trying to deal with problems alone this increases your risk of developing depression.
- Giving birth pregnancy and birth can make some people vulnerable to depression. Postnatal depression can happen as the result of physical changes, hormonal changes, and the responsibility of taking care of a new baby.
- Loneliness your risk of depression gets higher if you aren’t in contact or spending time with family and friends.
- Personality some personality traits can put you at a higher risk of developing depression. These include low-self esteem or a habit of criticising yourself too much. These personality traits can come from your genes, which you get from your parents, or they can be as a result of experiences in your early life.
- Family history it’s more likely for someone to develop depression if a family member, like a sibling or parent, has experienced it before.
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You Notice Changes In Eating And Sleeping Patterns
Depression often affects appetite and sleep habits.
Sleep changes often happen on a similar spectrum. You could have a hard time staying awake and feel exhausted enough to sleep all day but you could also struggle to fall asleep or wake up often throughout the night.
Trouble sleeping at night can mean you need to nap during the day to catch up, so you might end up drifting off at unusual times. This can affect your energy and concentration and further disrupt your sleep.
Can Depression Be Prevented
You can help prevent depression by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and practicing regular self-care activities such as exercise, meditation and yoga.
If youve had depression before, you may be more likely to experience it again. If you have depression symptoms, get help. Care can help you feel better sooner.
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Find A Sense Of Meaning
If youve been feeling like you dont belong anywhere or that life has lost its meaning, these ideas might help you find your place in the world again.
Choose something that feels right for you:
- Spend time in nature go for a bush or beach walk, or swim in a river
- Go to places that you know nurture your soul, such as a church or a temple
- Give yourself permission to reflect and grow
- Learn what it is that keeps you peaceful and content
- Go ‘home’ – spend time in the place youre from
- Talk to a spiritual adviser, such as a priest or a thunga.
Your wairua is one of the most important yet most overlooked parts of your wellbeing. Your spiritual wellbeing is about who you are and where you belong. For some, having faith in a higher power is a big part of wairua.
A strong wairua means knowing your own identity and being content with who you are.
You can increase or strengthen your wairua by spending time reflecting on life and doing things that you enjoy.
How To Find The Right Treatment
Sticking to your treatment plan is one of the most important things you can do. Its easy to get discouraged in the first few weeks of treatment, and you may feel like you dont want to continue. All types of treatment can take a few months before you notice a difference.
It can also feel like youre doing much better, causing you to stop treatment altogether. Never stop treatment without consulting your doctor first.
You should feel comfortable talking to your therapist. If you dont, try switching to a new one. You may have to meet with several therapists before you find the one thats right for you.
You should also talk to your therapist about your feelings toward your therapy sessions and your overall treatment plan. This allows them to work with you and make changes if your treatment plan isnt working.
Finding the right treatment is often a trial-and-error process. If one doesnt work, its good to move on. If 2 or more months have gone by and youve stuck to a treatment but dont feel any relief from the depression, its likely not working for you. You should experience relief from depression within 3 months of starting a medication.
Talk to your doctor immediately if your:
- depression doesnt improve after several month of treatment
- symptoms have improved, but you still dont feel like yourself
- symptoms get worse
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