Seeking Help For Depression
Get help if you’re still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks.
Treatments for depression include psychological therapies and antidepressants.
You can talk it through with your GP first if you prefer. Your GP can also tell you about antidepressants.
If you start to feel that your life isn’t worth living or about harming yourself, get help straight away.
- contact Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support
Start A Walking Program
Walking just 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce your risk for major chronic diseases, including anxiety and depression. Read these tips to get started.
Use the following ideas to start your own walking program.
- Wear the pedometer for a few days and see how many steps you average.
- Set a daily goal and work up to it. A good goal is to increase your average daily steps gradually so that you get used to the increased distance. Recommendations vary on how fast to increase steps. Anywhere from 500-2,000 steps a week is reasonable.
- Record your daily steps in a log or notebook.
There are many ways to increase your daily steps:
- Choose a more distant parking place
- Take the stairs
- Walk over to a friend’s dorm room or a colleague’s office instead of using the phone or e-mail
- Walk the dog
- Walk with a friend each day
Find ways to walk even during the winter months or other inclement weather.
- Walking in the malls
- Local school track or fitness center
- 3-5min “walk breaks” during study time/work/etc
If you experience pain or discomfort, check with your primary care provider.
Remember, it takes about six months to “lock-in” a new behavior. Think of your walking program as a permanent change in your behavior. If you maintain your walking program for a minimum of six months, you are much more likely to maintain this change long-term.
What Is Anxiety Disorder
Occasional anxiety is a natural part of life, built into our DNA along with our fight or flight response. We may feel worried or even fearful about a perceived danger, responding with an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, for example. Typically, these feelings are temporary and resolve once the danger has past.
With an anxiety disorder, the fear and worry persist at such intense levels they interfere with the ability to function successfully in everyday life.
There are five recognized categories of anxiety disorder, including: General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder , Social Anxiety Disorder , and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder . Studies have found the anxiety disorders that most commonly co-occur with SUD are SAD, PTSD, and panic disorder.
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Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress
Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.
- 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
- Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
- Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
- Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
- Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
- Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.
Make Specific And Appropriate Referrals To Psychotherapy
Just as there are specific medications, there are specific forms of psychotherapy. Patients with anxiety disorders in particular, benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy , in which they undergo exposure to their fears and gain mastery over them. There are several forms of effective psychotherapy for depression, including CBT and interpersonal therapy. Non-specific supportive therapy can help people in times of crisis or stress but is typically not efficacious for serious mental health disorders. Family therapy or behavioural marital therapy can be effective when dysfunction in families or couples is a primary driver of the patient’s depressive symptoms. Providers should be aware of local therapists who practice evidence-based forms of treatment.
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Learn To Eat Healthier
You maywonder what differencea good diet can make. Many who are suffering from depression turn to junk food because there is little preparation involved, and they crave salt and sugar.
I recommend asking yourself, how does junk food make you feel? Howdoes eating pizza and soda and being sedentary make you feel? You may not realize how bad you feel until you start to eat healthily and feel an improvement in energy and clarity. Eating junk food negatively affects your body and can worsen a poor sense of self- image.
The important thing about the diet is to be sensible. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know a healthy, well-balanced diet includes whole, unprocessed foods like fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, chicken, nuts, and seeds. Stay away from fatty, fried, and highly salty foods. There is the adage that says you are what you eat. I don’t know about that, but you will feel like what you eat. If you are so used to processed foods that you can’t quit all at once, try adding healthy ingredients to your meals little by little.
Cooking healthy meals can seem daunting, so keep it simple and ask a spouse, friend, or family member to do it with you. It’s always more enjoyable to share a meal with someone you love.
This Quiz Can Help You Determine Whether Or Not You May Be Struggling With Depression
- Are you having feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness?
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Addressing Your Mental Health By Identifying The Signs Of Anxiety And Depression
What is stress, and what happens when we arent able to cope well with stress? Stress can present itself after being fired from a job, going through a divorce or losing a loved one. Even getting married, transitioning to a new job or having a baby can cause stress.
Many people look to define stress as either good or bad, when in reality its neither. Stress is an event we view as out of our control and typically occurs outside our daily routines. How we react shapes our ability to cope with these and other similar events in the future. When individuals struggle to cope with stressful situations, depression and anxiety become more noticeable.
According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million adults every year.
The most common anxiety disorders include excessive fear or anxiety of:
- Specific phobias
- Natural environment heights, storms, water
- Blood-injection injury needles, invasive medical procedures
- Locations airplanes, elevators, enclosed places
Its common for those struggling with anxiety disorders to also struggle with depression or vice versa. Close to 10 percent of the worlds population suffers from anxiety and depression. However, while anxiety and depressive disorders are highly treatable, only a small percent of affected individuals receive treatment.
Smart Goals Examples For Depression And Anxiety
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Are you naturally happy and optimistic?
If you’re thinking to yourself, I hate those people! then maybe you don’t fall into this category, but I would be willing to bet that you wish you could be at least a bit more like this population.
But the truth is, most people aren’t just naturally happy and positive all the time. It takes intentional effort and continuous reassessment to maintain this mindset.
So how do they keep themselves from slipping?
Through SMART goals.
That’s right, you can design what you want your life to look like from the inside by developing SMART goals. And, despite where you are on your journey to improved mental health, working toward SMART goals can help you live your life the way you want to live it while still managing your symptoms of depression.
In this article, we are going to look at what SMART goals are and why you should create them in order to generate some more positivity in your life. Then we will look at 7 examples of SMART goals that you can use as an outline when creating your own SMART goal statements.
Lets start by defining SMART goals and seeing why they’re so effective.
What You Will Learn
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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.
Things That I Stopped Doing To Manage My Depression And Anxiety
Suffering from depression and anxiety means me having to experience a lot of dark days. Days where depression drains every bit of life left in me and when anxiety overruns every thought. So, I locked the doors, curled up in bed and I just stayed there hoping that tomorrows going to be better. But sometimes it doesnt. Its still the same cycle.
Thats the thing about living with depression and anxiety no matter how much you hope for a great day, they always find a way of snatching it. And every time this happens, I cant remember how many times other people would tell me, do this, try this, add this to your routine.
But one thing Ive learned from living with it is that managing depression and anxiety is not always about the things that you add to your life or to your routine, it is more on the things that you take away.
Ive learned that to be able to cope and manage it effectively, I needed to stop and avoid doing these things. And I wanted to share those things with you.
Thats why today, I have decided to share with you 5 things that I stopped doing to manage my depression and anxiety. Check them out!
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Managing Depression And Anxiety With Alpha
Take care of your mental health and learn about how to manage depression and anxiety
Living with Alpha-1 can be overwhelming at times. Whether you have the condition or youre a caregiver, you may feel depressed or anxious. If left untreated, depression and anxiety can affect your daily life. Watch for the signs below. Talk to your doctor if you:
- Feel down most days for two weeks or more
- Lose interest and joy in doing things
- Have a hard time thinking or focusing
- Feel useless or guilty
- Have trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
- Lose your appetite
- Eat more than usual
- Think about death repeatedly
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as treating your physical symptoms. Below are some ideas to help you manage your depression or anxiety. Work with your doctor or therapist to see which ideas may work best for you:
- Spend time with people who lift your spirits
- Avoid alcohol and take drugs exactly as your doctor prescribed
- Go to bed about the same time every night
- Go outside or enjoy nature every day if you can
- Exercise a few times a week as you can
- Listen to a book on tape
- Rest when you are tired
If you have any questions or want to learn more about taking care of your mental health, talk to your doctor. Your Alpha-1 Advocate Team is also here for you. Call us at when you need us.
Practice These Coping Skills Every Day
I recommend doing many if not all of the following coping skills and techniques once a day when experiencing depression. Its important to know you probably wont be motivated to do any of them at first because depression frequently saps motivation. In other words, know that its normal to feel unmotivated until youre halfway done.
The patients I work with who frequently practice these coping skills get better.The seven techniques can be memorized with the acronym MY PEERS.
1. Meaning: Find small ways to be of service to others.
Find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Remember service doesnt have to be big to count. Consider this, Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued it must ensue as the unintended side effect of ones personal dedication to a course greater than oneself. Viktor E. Frankl, Mans Search for Meaning
2. Your goals: Find workable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.
Most people feel guilty when talking about goals because they set unreasonable or unworkable goals. A goal is workable if its:
If something goes wrong with your goal, adopt a what can I learn from this? attitude . Also, be careful when comparing your progress with others. We usually compare our biggest weakness with another persons biggest strength. This is unfair .
3. Pleasant Events: Schedule pleasant activities or events.
4. Engagement: Stay in the present.
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Use The Supports You Have
Reach out for encouragement from others while youre working toward your goals. Some people work best with an accountability partner to keep them on track. This way, you have someone to check in with on a regular basis to ensure youre making progress. This also gives you someone to celebrate your successes with.
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
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Getting Help For Teenage Anxiety
If anxiety has started to interfere with your childs everyday activities, your child might have an anxiety problem or disorder. These problems can be treated, and the earlier theyre treated the less theyll affect your childs development.
Your child will need professional support.
Options for professional support include:
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Finding The Right Resources To Answer Your Questions And Meet Your Complex Needs
Just as anxiety and depression tend to be worse when occurring together, treatment of these disorders is most effective when both conditions are addressed at the same time.1
Hartgrove Behavioral Health System provides integrated care that treats these and other mental health issues simultaneously. As part of our comprehensive care, medical specialists and therapists work together to help bring healing and balance in our patients lives a feeling of being in charge of their inner self again.
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