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.
Do The Opposite Of What The Depression Voice Suggests
The negative, irrational voice in your head may talk you out of self-help. However, if you can learn to recognize it, you can learn to replace it. Use logic as a weapon. Address each thought individually as it occurs.
If you believe an event wont be fun or worth your time, say to yourself, You might be right, but itll be better than just sitting here another night. You may soon see the negative isnt always realistic.
A lengthy to-do list may be so weighty that youd rather do nothing. Instead of compiling a long list of tasks, consider setting one or two smaller goals.
- Dont clean the house take the trash out.
- Dont do all the laundry thats piled up just sort the piles by color.
- Dont clear out your entire email inbox just address any time-sensitive messages.
When youve done a small thing, set your eyes on another small thing, and then another. This way, you have a list of tangible achievements and not an untouched to-do list.
All goals are worthy of recognition, and all successes are worthy of celebration. When you achieve a goal, do your best to recognize it.
You may not feel like celebrating with a cake and confetti, but recognizing your own successes can be a very powerful weapon against depressions negative weight.
The memory of a job well-done may be especially powerful against negative talk and overgeneralization.
Focus on times when you feel the most disorganized or scattered.
Recognizing Depression Symptoms In A Loved One
Family and friends are often the first line of defense in the fight against depression. Thats why its important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression. You may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before they do, and your influence and concern can motivate them to seek help.
Be concerned if your loved one:
Doesnt seem to care about anything anymore. Has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities. Has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.
Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life. Is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody talks about feeling helpless or hopeless.
Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. Or complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps. Has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and out of it.
Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers, as a way to self-medicate how theyre feeling.
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Make The Food And Mood Connection
“Diet and nutrition are very important,” says Nelson, and cites omega-3 fatty acids as an example. Some studies have shown that a higher daily intake of omega-3s, which you can get in fish like salmon or through fish oil supplements, can improve mood. There are many connections between elements of diet and good nutrition and depression, adds Nelson. Eating a healthy diet can make you feel healthy, fit, and attractive, which improves self-esteem, while feeling unhealthy can worsen depression and play into negative self-perception, he says.
Keep Up With Your Hygiene
Its not uncommon for depressed people to forgo bathing or even brushing thier teeth. The truth is that this can make you feel worse. If you have severe depression, you can aim to take a shower and not do anything else for the day. Sometimes a shower can take an incredible amount of energy for depressed patients, but its important for your physical health and well being.
Meanwhile, keep up with brushing your teeth as normal. Set an alarm on your phone if you have a hard time remembering to do so. Keeping your teeth brushed is also important for your oral health.
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Meet Yourself Where You Are
Depression is common. It affects millions of people, including some in your life. You may not realize they face similar challenges, emotions, and obstacles.
Every day with this disorder is different. Its important to take your mental health seriously and accept that where you are right now isnt where youll always be.
The key to self-treatment for depression is to be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself and what youre going through.
What Do I Do If Im Worried That A Relative Or Friend Has Depression Or Anxiety
If you think a friend or relative is experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, try to talk to them about it.
You may feel uncomfortable bringing up a sensitive topic, especially if the person you’re concerned about doesn’t often talk about their emotions. Explain why you are concerned but avoid diagnosing their problem or forcing solutions.
They may be unwilling to talk about it, but let them know that you’re willing to listen when they’re ready.
There are various ways you can help them, such as:
- Offer your support, listen and reassure them that how theyre feeling can be improved.
- Stay in touch, call or visit regularly. The risk of depression increases when people feel alone and unsupported.
- Encourage them to make an appointment with their GP or another health professional. Offer to go with them to appointments.
- Encourage them to keep active and healthy. Plan occasional outings to get them out of the house.
Supporting a relative or friend with depression can be both rewarding and stressful. There is information and support for carers where you can get help for the difficulties you experience. Contact Carers Direct, Carers UK and the Carers Trust for more information.
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Ok Im Feeling Depressed So Now What
Now that you know the symptoms of depression, some positive coping skills can be useful. All of the following techniques are supported by scientific research and medication prescribers like psychiatrists and these skills are frequently recommended as important parts of treatment even for patients who continue to take antidepressant medications.
WARNING: Do not suddenly go off your prescribed antidepressant medications without first talking to your medical provider. Discuss any questions or concerns about the side effects of your medications with your provider.
Stressed Or Depressed Know The Difference
If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, you are not alone it’s practically a fact of life on college campuses. A poll conducted by mtvU and the Associated Press in the spring of 2009 reported that 85% of students say they experience stress on a daily basis.
Stress is good if it motivates you but it’s bad if it wears you down. Many factors can contribute to the stress you experience, and this stress can cause changes in your body that affect your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.
Depression is more serious and long-lasting than stress, and requires a different kind of help. In a 2010 survey by the American College Health Association, 28% of college students reported feeling so depressed at some point they had trouble functioning, and 8% sought treatment for depression.
The good news is that depression is a highly treatable condition. However, it’s not something you can snap out of by yourself, so it’s important to get help. How do you tell the difference between stress and depression? Both can affect you in similar ways, but there are key differences. Symptoms of depression can be much more intense. They last at least two weeks. Depression causes powerful mood changes, such as painful sadness and despair. You may feel exhausted and unable to act.
Here are common signs of stress and depression. Which fits you best?
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Tms Therapy For Depression
If youre suffering from major depression that has been resistant to therapy, medication, and self-help, then TMS therapy may be an option. Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is a noninvasive treatment that directs recurring magnetic energy pulses at the regions of the brain that are involved in mood. These magnetic pulses pass painlessly through the skull and stimulate brain cells which can improve communication between different parts of the brain and ease depression symptoms.
While TMS may be able to improve treatment-resistant depression, that doesnt mean its a cure for depression or that your symptoms wont return. However, it could provide sufficient improvements in your energy and drive to enable you to begin talk therapy or make the lifestyle changessuch as improving your diet, exercising, and building your support networkthat can help preserve your depression recovery in the long term.
Focus On Healthy Eating
Depressed patients may not feel motivated to think about eating healthy, but this is one of the best acts of self care that you can do for yourself.
When you eat a lot of processed foods, it can make you feel sluggish. In recent years, omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and flaxseed, is believed to help depression. Very low carb diets can also contribute to fatigue and lack of motivation to exercise after 2 weeks.
The best approach is eating a balanced diet and being mindful of the freshness of your food.
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What Are The Different Types Of Depression
The most common types of depression are:
- Major depressiondepressive symptoms that interfere with a man’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy most aspects of life. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person’s lifetime. But it is common for a person to have several episodes. Special forms of major depression include:
- Psychotic depressionsevere depression associated with delusions or hallucinations . These psychotic symptoms are depression-themed. For example, a man may believe he is sick or poor when he is not, or he may hear voices that are not real that say that he is worthless.
- Seasonal affective disordercharacterized by depression symptoms that appear every year during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight.
- Persistent depressive disorder depressive symptoms that last a long time but are less severe than those of major depression.
- Minor depressionsimilar to major depression and persistent depressive disorder, but symptoms are less severe and may not last as long.
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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Psychotherapy For Depression Treatment
If there is no underlying medical cause for your symptoms of depression, talk therapy can be an extremely effective treatment. What you learn in therapy gives you skills and insight to feel better and help prevent depression from coming back.
There are many types of therapy available. Three of the more common methods used in depression treatment include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. Often, a blended approach is used.
Some types of therapy teach you practical techniques on how to reframe negative thinking and employ behavioral skills in combating depression. Therapy can also help you work through the root of your depression, helping you understand why you feel a certain way, what your triggers are for depression, and what you can do to stay healthy.
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.
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Obligate To Go Out And Socialize
Depressed people tend, in the long run, to avoid contact with others. Their state at the beginning generates empathy and concern in friendships or loved ones, but in the long run, the negative and isolationist attitude that produces depression can produce some rejection in others.
That is why if you are in a situation of depression, it would be useful for you to participate in the social life around you. This does not mean that you force social situations or establish a relationship of dependency with others, which also tends to cause rejection, but try to leave, participate in the conversation of your friends and are open to participating in different plans and activities.
Help Yourself Out Of Depression
Experts give advice about steps people can take to help ease their depression.
Recovery from depression can be a long process. A variety of treatments for depression exists, but they may take time before an effect is noticed. Weeks, if not months, may pass between the time when you see a health care provider about depression and when your mood starts to lift.
While some improvement may be seen after starting antidepressants, they can take at least three weeks to start having an effect on your mood. What’s more, the first medication or combination of medications you try may not work for you in that case you’ll have to start over.
In the meantime, there are things you can do, as well as things you can avoid, to help yourself feel better, or at least keep from sinking deeper into depression.
You are somewhat responsible — but not entirely responsible — for your state of mind, says psychologist James Aikens, PhD, an assistant professor of family medicine and psychiatry at the University of Michigan.
“You’re not responsible for being depressed. Your responsibility is to make some reasonable efforts towards feeling better,” he tells WebMD.
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How To Talk To Someone About Depression
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to someone about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries the person will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
If you dont know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You dont have to try to fix your friend or family member you just have to be a good listener. Often, the simple act of talking face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Encourage the depressed person to talk about their feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment.
Dont expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
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.
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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.