How To Tell If You Have Clinical Depression
Clinical depression affects people in different ways.
The symptoms of clinical depression can be complex and vary from person-to-person.
Generally, if you have clinical depression:
- you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy
- you experience these symptoms for at least 2 weeks
- the symptoms are serious enough to interfere with work, social life or family
There are many other symptoms of clinical depression and you’re unlikely to have them all.
Get A Handle On Your Household Chores
Depression can make it difficult to complete household chores, such as doing the dishes or paying bills.
But a pile of paperwork, the stack of dirty dishes, and floor covered in dirty clothes will only magnify your feelings of worthlessness.
Take control of your daily chores. Start small and work on one project at a time. Getting up and moving can help you start to feel better in itself. But, seeing your progress in the home can be key to helping you feel better.
Try These Five Tips For Decreasing Depression
There isnt a quick fix as in Boom, youre cured and will never again be beset by the blues. But, there are techniques that can help lift the emotional paralysis and ruminating that often accompany depression. Both of which make it much more difficult to focus on the behavioral changes that are necessary to prevent a relapse. Luckily, there are ways to punch holes in the curtain of unrelenting darkness.
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Other Ways To Help Include:
- Offering him support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
- Listening carefully and talking with him
- Never ignoring comments about suicide, and alerting his therapist or doctor
- Helping him increase his level of physical and social activity by inviting him out for hikes, games, and other events. If he says, no, keep trying, but don’t push him to take on too much too soon.
- Encouraging him to report any concerns about medications to his health care provider
- Ensuring that he gets to his doctor’s appointments
- Reminding him that with time and treatment, the depression will lift
Specialists Who Treat Depression
While your family doctor is probably your best bet for first identifying your depression, he or she may or may not be up to the task of providing treatment. Here is a rundown of the specialists who can provide you with the care you need:
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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.
How To Overcome Depression: 8 Tools To Escape The Grip Of Depression
The path that led me to want to help others was rocky and dark, to say the least. I spent many years in the grips of depression and I know only too well what its like to live in hopelessness and despair. During my darkest days, I felt very alone, but I know now that I wasnt.
Millions of people battle the dark depths of depression every single day. And if you are one of those people, I sincerely hope that this essay will benefit you in some way.
Id like to share eight tools that can help ease depression. I will be sharing with you all the things that helped me climb out of depression and then became the foundation of the work that I do with others. Of course, like most simple tips, many of these concepts will sound much easier said than done. But since we get better at what we practice, the more you practice, the more they will become your new normal.
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Get Ahead Of Relapse: Identify Early Warning Signs
These are different for everyone.
Mine are extreme tiredness, avoidance, cancelling plans, isolating, and letting self-care slip not eating properly, not being able to shower because I can’t move, not being able to leave the house.
It’s helpful to tell people I trust what my signs are it increases the chances of getting help sooner if others observe a change in my behaviour before I do.
I can even plan ahead and be specific about how I’d like to be told about this, for example a text message, a chat over coffee, a message iced on a cake .
What To Do When Depressed: Psychotherapy
Another important component of treatment for depression is to talk with a trained professional about the issues that may be causing or worsening your symptoms. It might sound simple, but talking can lift a lot of the emotional weight that you feel. Psychotherapy is available in one-on-one sessions, as part of a group, or in conjunction with your spouse or family.
For tips on dealing with depression, see these University Health News posts:
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Make A List Of Everything That Goes Wrong
Writing what happens to us or happens is a good way to do introspection. Making a list of things that cause us to feel bad can be very useful. However, simply listing all that goes wrong is a process that can help to locate cognitively where the problem or dissatisfaction is, but it does not help, but a subsequent work is done. Once done, write down what thoughts provoke you, and then try to imagine possible interpretations different from yours.
This helps to gradually modify dysfunctional beliefs and negative thoughts if we can integrate more positive interpretations and reject those with more negativity.
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.
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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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Take Care Of Yourself
You won’t be able to support someone else if you are feeling overwhelmed and depleted yourself. Periodically take some time to step back from the situation and recharge your batteries.
While you can’t “catch” depression the way you would a cold or the flu, the shared genetic and environmental influences may make it more likely that people who live together or are members of the same family will become depressed.
The Risk Of Suicide Is Real
What to do in a crisis situation
If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave them alone.
In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
In other countries, call your countrys emergency services number or visit IASP to find a suicide prevention helpline.
It may be hard to believe that the person you know and love would ever consider something as drastic as suicide, but a depressed person may not see any other way out. Depression clouds judgment and distorts thinking, causing a normally rational person to believe that death is the only way to end the pain theyre feeling.
Since suicide is a very real danger when someone is depressed, its important to know the warning signs:
- Talking about suicide, dying, or harming oneself a preoccupation with death
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or self-hate
- Acting in dangerous or self-destructive ways
- Getting affairs in order and saying goodbye
- Seeking out pills, weapons, or other lethal objects
- A sudden sense of calm after depression
If you think a friend or family member might be considering suicide, dont wait, talk to them about your concerns. Many people feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic but it is one of the best things you can do for someone who is thinking about suicide. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a persons life, so speak up if youre concerned and seek professional help immediately!
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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.
Medication Can Take A While To Figure Out
In hospital, side effects from trying many different medication combinations was sometimes more uncomfortable than the depression itself.
But getting the mix right has made a big difference to my sleep and my ability to start the day.
It took me a while to manage my medication. Here’s what I do now:
- I always carry my medication with me so it doesn’t matter if I forget to take it before leaving home
- I note in my diary when I need to go to the chemist, and when the prescription will run out
- At every GP or psychiatrist appointment, I check to see if I need a new prescription. This way I can avoid making frantic appointments just for medication
- At every GP appointment, I also ask about my Mental Health Care Plan to see if any new paperwork is required.
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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.
It’s Ok To Have Emotions
For a long time, I suppressed uncomfortable emotions like sadness, thinking that would mean the depression would go away.
But it turns out when we suppress one emotion, we also suppress our ability to feel all other emotions, like joy.
It meant that for a long time I’d avoid things that moved me deeply like music in case they made me too emotional.
Now I know emotions exist to tell us important things about ourselves and the situation we’re in, for example, what we need, what we value, what we love.
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Be Aware Of Your Feelings
Feeling depressed is an uncomfortable feeling, and often we tend to push negative emotions away. We understand how difficult these feelings are to cope with, but understanding your emotions can be a big help when coping with depression.
Take the time to recognise and think about your feelings, as they might help you to understand the source of what is making you feel depressed. Depression is often linked to events in the past, and sometimes there can be no explanation at all. Either way, becoming aware of these things is part of coping with depression.
Once you have a better understanding of why you feel depressed, you can take steps towards rectifying the issue and improving your overall wellbeing.
“It is not weakness to ask for help. In fact, it is one of the bravest things that any of us can do.”
If You Need To Wallow Wallow But Do So Constructively
Suppressing your feelings and emotions may seem like a strategic way to cope with the negative symptoms of depression. But this technique is ultimately unhealthy.
If youre having a down day, have it. Let yourself feel the emotions but dont stay there.
Consider writing or journaling about what youre experiencing. Then, when the feelings lift, write about that, too.
Seeing the ebb and flow of depressive symptoms can be instructive for both self-healing and hope.
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What To Do When Depressed: Do Medications Help
Medications that are most often used to treat depression are thought to improve mood by adjusting levels of the brain chemicals that contribute to feelings of depression.
While many different types of drugs are used to treat depression, the most common ones used for this condition are antidepressants. Because the different types of antidepressant drugs have similar effectiveness, which medication your doctor prescribes will largely depend on the side effects and how well you tolerate the drug.
Types of antidepressants include the following:
Encouraging The Person To Get Help
While you cant control someone elses recovery from depression, you can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult. Depression saps energy and motivation, so even the act of making an appointment or finding a doctor can seem daunting to your loved one. Depression also involves negative ways of thinking. The depressed person may believe that the situation is hopeless and treatment pointless.
Because of these obstacles, getting your loved one to admit to the problemand helping them see that it can be solvedis an essential step in depression recovery.
If your friend or family member resists getting help:
Suggest a general check-up with a physician. Your loved one may be less anxious about seeing a family doctor than a mental health professional. A regular doctors visit is actually a great option, since the doctor can rule out medical causes of depression. If the doctor diagnoses depression, they can refer your loved one to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sometimes, this professional opinion makes all the difference.
Offer to help the depressed person find a doctor or therapist and go with them on the first visit.Finding the right treatment provider can be difficult, and is often a trial-and-error process. For a depressed person already low on energy, it is a huge help to have assistance making calls and looking into the options.
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