Build A Realistic Schedule
In addition to reducing your motivation, depression can impact your cognitive control. So, you may not always know what things to focus on or forget to do daily tasks.
By creating a schedule for the day, you can write a checklist of things to do along with the times you should be doing each task.
Over time, your list will more accurately reflect your routine as you revise it. You may even feel a sense of accomplishment when looking back at a completed day.
How Do You Know If Your Friend Is Going Through A Tough Time
Sometimes its hard to know the difference between the regular ups and downs of life, and mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. Someone experiencing mental health concerns might feel ashamed, and worried about how their friends might react if they talk about it.
Not everyone experiences depression or anxiety in the same way, and symptoms can vary however, there are changes in the way a person going through a tough time acts that you can look out for. If your friend is experiencing depression, they might:
- seem down or tearful a lot of the time, or cranky more often
- stay up really late or sleep in a lot, or have problems with sleep
- miss a lot of school, work or their regular activities
- miss hangouts or often cancel at the last minute
- eat more or less than usual
- drink alcohol or take drugs more than usual
- talk about feeling empty, tired or worthless
- seem more pessimistic and hopeless, and like they have less energy in general.
If your friend is experiencing anxiety, they might:
- be obsessed with details, such as being a perfectionist or wanting to plan things out thoroughly
- have difficulty making decisions
- avoid new people, situations or unfamiliar places
- have trouble keeping to schedules or plans
- seem disinterested, forgetful, distracted or scattered
- have digestive issues
- have a need to reassurance about how you feel, whether plans make sense, triple checking times
- have difficulty sleeping
Learn more about what anxiety is and how to recognise the symptoms.
First Are You Really Depressed
The signs and symptoms of depression on legion.
Depression can create feelings of apathy, discontent, hopeless, sadness and guilt.
Depressive episodes can affect your sleep cycles, leading to restlessness, insomnia or excessive sleepiness.
Behaviorally, in a depressive state, individuals experience more frustration and agitation.
Depression can influence your appetite , your cognitive functioning , and your level of energy .
Okay, so lets say youre saying, Check, check, and check.
Whats next? Lets explore some of the potential reasons why we get depressed.
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Finding The Words To Help
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Verywell / Ellen Lindner
Knowing what to say to someone who is depressed isn’t always easy. Try not to be dissuaded by worry over saying the “wrong” thing. Too many people with clinical depression feel alonea state that only worsens their condition. If you don’t know what to say, just say thatand tell your friend that you are there for them.
This article discusses what you can do when you want to say more, but have a hard time expressing what you feel. It also covers statements that someone who is depressed might find helpful to hear.
The Connection Between Depression And Motivation
You wake up in the morning already exhausted, thinking of the many tasks you have to accomplish that day. Its so overwhelming, in fact, that you cant seem to do anything at all but crawl back into bed. What you need is motivation, and thats in short supply when youre struggling with depression.
The relationship between depression and motivation is a vicious circle. When youre depressed, its often difficult to fulfill your normal obligations. Then, falling behind on your obligations can make you feel even worse. It can be particularly frustrating to feel unmotivated when treating your depression with medication and talk therapy. Thats when TMS can be helpful in alleviating depression symptoms so that you can regain your motivation and momentum again.
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Help Them To Find Support
Your friend might not be aware of what professional support options are available, or they may be unsure of how to get support. Even if they know about support options, it can be daunting to see a health professional.
You can offer support by encouraging your friend to speak to a health professional or an adult they trust. You could offer to join them for the conversation if they want, or even ask if theyd like you to book the appointment if its with a professional. A GP can organise a mental health care plan for them if needed. This means that your friend will get a referral to a psychologist or other professional. Theyll also get Medicare-subsidised sessions getting help doesnt have to mean they have to fork out hundreds of dollars.
Not everyone is ready to see somebody face-to-face. You could recommend hotlines or online chat-based helplines. The ReachOut NextStep tool can also provide tailored support options so they can make their own plan. Here are some support services they could use, and some more information about getting professional support for depression and anxiety.
If theyre not able to seek help on their own, ask for their permission to talk to an adult they trust on their behalf. If they refuse, and youre still really concerned, consider talking to an adult you trust, such as a teacher, parent or school counsellor.
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The advantage of self-reward is that you are always there to give the rewards to yourself. You are always there to be the cheerleader that you need to keep you motivated in moving forward. Praising yourself, giving yourself credit for trying, and keeping track of your progresseven if it seems like small stepsis a way that can keep your motivation moving in the right direction.
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Find Your Comfort Zone
Everyone has a comfort zone, whether its food, music, art, a favorite book, movie, TV show, a specific geographic location or group of people. Whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable, get into that zone. Youre not there to hide from your problems or dwell on them. Youre there to recharge just like your muscles and mind need time to recharge, so does your mood. Take a staycation in your comfort zone to regain your composure.
Write Down Your Achievements
Depression makes you feel like you haventachieved anything in life. It can make you feel like you arent worthy. We tendto put less value in our achievements and abilities. Write down a list of yourachievements, talents, abilities and strengths. People concentrate on theirflaws. We should concentrate on the resources that we have. Its easy to getsucked into a destructive cycle of noticing our flaws and mistakes. Experiment withpositivity. It doesnt hurt to try out what everyone is always telling you: Bepositive.
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Help Them Find Support
Your friend may not be aware theyre dealing with depression, or they may be unsure how to reach out for support.
Even if they know therapy could help, it can be daunting to search for a therapist and make an appointment.
If your friend seems interested in counseling, offer to help them review potential therapists. You can help your friend list things to ask potential therapists and things they want to mention in their first session.
Encouraging them and supporting them to make that first appointment can be so helpful if theyre having a hard time with it.
Tell Them You Understand
Before you tell someone “I understand,” you should be certain that you actually do. Have you ever experienced clinically significant depression? If you have, it may be helpful for your friend to hear that you have experienced what they are feeling and that it can get better.
Keep in mind, however, that there are several different types of depression, and even if you did experience clinical depression, it may have been very different than what your friend is going through.
If what you have been through was a case of the blues, on the other hand, your friend may feel like you are trivializing their experience by comparing it to yours.
In this case, it would be best to simply admit that you don’t understand exactly what they are going through, but that you care about them and want to try. Often, the best words to say are, “I don’t understand, but I really want to.”
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Learn About Depression On Your Own
Imagine having to educate each person in your life about a mental or physical health condition youre experiencing explaining it over and over again. Sounds exhausting, right?
You can talk with your friend about their specific symptoms or how theyre feeling, but avoid asking them to tell you about depression in general terms.
Read up on the symptoms, causes, diagnostic criteria, and treatments on your own.
While people experience depression differently, being familiar with the general symptoms and terminology can help you have more in-depth conversations with your friend.
These articles are a good starting point:
Start With The First Step
When you want to do something but you feeldepressed, the trick is to not think too much about it. Dont over-think aboutwhat youre going to do, how long it will take and all that extra information.Just do it. Literally everything starts with the first step. The first stepusually takes the most effort. When you want to start the day, the first stepis sitting up on your bed. When you have to write, the first step would be toopen up your laptop. Concentrate on doing the least you can. Chances are,youll end up doing way more than you planned to.
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Strategies For Boosting Motivation When Youre Depressed
Anyone with depression can tell you how hard productivity is when youre fighting this debilitating mental illness. Having no motivation to do anything is one of depressions many honorable qualities. In order to do anything, you have to fight really and I mean really hard to be productive. Some days might come harder than others, and thats totally okay. Take every day as it comes and try your hardest to focus on the here and now. Fortunately, there are mental techniques and strategies you can employ to gradually regain the motivation needed to live a full life.
Continue Supporting Them And Respond To Emergencies
On a bad day, your friend might not want to leave their room. If they say something like Im going to cancel my appointment today, encourage them to follow through with the appointment.
Whether or not your friend has decided to get professional help, its important that they know they can get support from you, or other friends and family.
If you think your friend may be in danger or at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, seek help from a trusted adult or emergency mental health service immediately. Call 000 to reach emergency services and also tell someone you trust.
In more serious cases, its important to let an older/more responsible adult know whats going on. You dont have to be perfect all the time and making mistakes are inevitable and a good thing as we can learn from them. Anzelmo
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Set Small Goals And Reward Yourself
When depression drains your motivation, you have to work to create new incentive to replace what existed naturally before your mental health deteriorated. This starts with setting small goals. For example, your goal could be cleaning out your closet. If you succeed in that, reward yourself by cooking your favorite meal or watching an episode of the latest TV show. This process of small accomplishments and rewards will help restore your motivation.
As you begin to feel better, steadily increase the difficulty of the goals. Try going on a long run, for example, and rewarding yourself with a small dessert. This makes way for accomplishment which leads to a very good feeling. If you start to feel overwhelmed, stop and re-evaluate your expectations. Eventually the goal can be something as challenging as learning a new skill or trying something youve never done. Try different options and see what works.
Common Reasons For Depression And Frustration
Scan this list with an open mind and see which ones resonate with you. Often there are multiple factors that trigger our emotional states.
- Repressed rage: When we are de-pressed, we are pushing down other emotions and feelings. The most common emotion that we push out of our awareness is anger and rage.
- Unacknowledged envy: For many of us, envy silently eats away at our motivation each day. When were not conscious of our envy, it can quickly lead to depression.
- Unmet basic needs: Abraham Maslow found that we all have basic human needs for safety, belonging, and self-esteem. When we dont meet these needs sufficiently, we become neurotic. Depression and anxiety are common forms of neurosis.
- Life circumstances: If youre going through a divorce or the loss of a loved one, depression and sadness is a common experience.
- Something doesnt go your way: You want something to happena promotion, a date, etc.but it doesnt happen. These circumstances often trigger frustration and can lead to depression.
- Repressed desires: When we dont get what we want, we get frustrated. When we dont even acknowledge what we want, we get depressed. Sometimes these desires are reasonable other times, they are tyrannical.
- Living out of alignment: Perhaps youve made choices that defy who you are. Or, youre behaving in ways that go against your personal core values. Making poor decisions and living out of accord with our values, is a sure path to depression and discontent.
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How To Find Motivation When Youre Depressed
Increasing your motivation is like building muscleyou need to exercise it regularly to make it stronger. Here are some simple things to try:
Even though these strategies may sound easy, they can be daunting for someone in the midst of a depressive episode. Feelings of failure, hopelessness, or fatigue can seem insurmountable. Thats why its vital to find depression treatment that works for you, making symptoms more manageable so that you can work on regaining your motivation.
Medication and talk therapy such as CBT are first line treatments. TMS can be effective when you find those methods arent giving you the results you want. TMS is a non-invasive outpatient treatment for depression that can help alleviate symptoms, including lack of motivation. This ishow TMS works: An electromagnetic coil is placed on the scalp, near the left temple. Gentle magnetic pulses are sent through the coil to the targeted areas of the brain. The pulses become electrical currents that activate the brains nerve cells to restore brain function and ease symptoms.
You Can Move Forward In The Face Of Your Depression
Some people believe that having depression makes them weak or broken. The truth is that every day they get out of bed, go to work, or move forward while living with depression is proof of their ability to keep going.
Depression can feel like a weight on your chest. For some people, it can be a disability.
However, every day that someone keeps going while theyre living with depression is proof they can keep going.
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Learn About What Your Friend Is Going Through
Not totally sure what depression or anxiety are, or how to help a friend with depression or anxiety? A really great first step in helping your friend is to find out more about depression, anxiety or anything else your friend is going through this will help you to better understand what’s happening and how they feel.
My friends try to learn more about what Im experiencing, especially asking for and going to sources of information I recommend. hellofriend
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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