Coping With Suicidal Thoughts
If your negative feelings caused by depression become so overwhelming that you cant see any solution besides harming yourself or others, you need to get help right away. Asking for help when youre in the midst of such strong emotions can be really difficult, but its vital you reach out to someone you trusta friend, family member, or teacher, for example. If you dont feel that you have anyone to talk to, or think that talking to a stranger might be easier, . Youll be able to speak in confidence to someone who understands what youre going through and can help you deal with your feelings.
Whatever your situation, it takes real courage to face death and step back from the brink. You can use that courage to help you keep going and overcome depression.
There is ALWAYS another solution, even if you cant see it right now. Many people who have survived a suicide attempt say that they did it because they mistakenly felt there was no other solution to a problem they were experiencing. At the time, they couldnt see another way out, but in truth, they didnt really want to die. Remember that no matter how badly you feel, these emotions will pass.
Having thoughts of hurting yourself or others does not make you a bad person. Depression can make you think and feel things that are out of character. No one should judge you or condemn you for these feelings if you are brave enough to talk about them.
If youre thinking about suicide
Or Spend Time With Loved Ones
Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family, but face-to-face time can help wash away those tendencies.
If youre unable to spend time together in person, phone calls or video chats can also be helpful.
Try to remind yourself these people care about you. Resist the temptation to feel like youre a burden. You need the interaction and they likely do, too.
When you do the same thing day after day, you use the same parts of your brain. You can challenge your neurons and alter your brain chemistry by doing something entirely different.
Research also shows doing new things can improve your overall well-being and strengthen your social relationships.
To reap these benefits, consider trying a new sport, taking a creative class, or learning a new cooking technique.
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.
When you do something you love, or even when you find a new activity you enjoy, you may be able to boost your mental health more by taking time to be thankful for it.
Research shows gratitude can have lasting positive effects on your overall mental health.
Ways To Help Yourself Through Depression
If you are going through depression, it’s best to get help from a therapist. To get the most from your therapy, you can do things to help yourself, too.
Here are five things you can do to feel better. They may seem simple, but they can help a lot.
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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.
How To Make Lifestyle Changes
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Set Your Messages Aside
A common symptom of depression is difficulty concentrating. If a constant flow of e-mails and phone calls is interrupting your train of thought, you may be diverted from the more important tasks you need to accomplish. If this is a challenge for you, resist the urge to constantly check your e-mail, and allow your phone calls to be handled by voicemail. Set aside several times throughout the day to respond to these messages.
Improve Your Eating Habits
Research continues to find clear links between diet and mental health. In fact, there have been so many studies that have shown improving nutrition can prevent and treat mental illness that nutritional psychiatry is becoming mainstream.
There are many brain-essential nutrients that can affect depression. For example, a 2012 study found that zinc deficiency is associated with symptoms of depression.
Improving your diet could be key to reducing your symptoms.
But before you make any major changes to your diet or begin taking vitamins or supplements, talk with your physician.
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What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions
Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.
Take A Different View
With depression often comes a psychological myopia: the sufferer robotically repeats to him or herself soul-sucking negative thoughts: Nothing I try ever works out How could I have been so stupid? I am not worthy of being loved. A patient deep in the throes of that kind of thinking can, if unchecked, spend an entire session staring at one spotoften the floor. At those moments I prod, You are so stuck on only seeing things one way that you miss any other possible view. Literally. If you force yourself to look up, there are a variety of objects in the room to observe and pondera bookcase lamps: paintings a window with sunlight streaming in Its not that my office is so fascinating, but there is so much you miss when you refuse to look. The patient then sheepishly lifts his or her eyes to take in the entirety of the room as I hammer home the point: There are a plethora of ways to view anything. Instead of continually convincing yourself everything is hopeless consider all the other options. There is always a Plan B.
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Mixed Anxiety & Depression Explained
Depression and anxiety have similar causes and some people can experience symptoms of both conditions at the same time. If youve been experiencing both low mood and persistent worry, tension, and unease, click below to learn more about the relationship between anxiety and depression.
How To Deal With Depression
There are a range of ways to deal with depression, and often they are best used in conjunction with each other. The primary medical options are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , antidepressant medication, and in some severe cases, Electroconvulsive Therapy .
Education and coping strategies are also important when learning to manage your depression.
ECT is an effective form of treatment for depression, especially if:
- There are medical contraindications to medication.
- There is a need for rapid improvement because of suicidal intent or refusal to eat.
- The person has experienced treatment failure following CBT, several medications, or combined medication and CBT treatment trials.
- The person has had a previous positive response to ECT.
- Somatic symptoms are prominent.
- Psychotic symptoms are present.
What is CBT?
Myth #: Depression Is The Same Thing As Just Being Sad
Sadness and depression are not the same. If you think you might be clinically depressed, there are several ways to distinguish this from just being sad:
- Duration of feelings: If youre feeling down about something specific, the odds are youll feel better in a few days to a few weeks. Depression, on the other hand, can go on and on for years when left untreated.
- Comorbidity with other conditions: People who are clinically depressed arent just sad. Theyre also detached from life, unmotivated, tired, hopeless, empty, anxious, suicidal, and uninterested in things that once brought them joy. These feelings can lead to the development of a secondary condition such as generalized anxiety disorder.
- Resolution: Sadness can resolve itself over time with help from loved ones, but most of the time, depression doesnt just go away without professional intervention. A patient needs therapy, medication, support, or a combination of these to start getting better.
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Signs Of Walking Depression
I once read that succumbing to depression doesnt mean you are weak, but that you have been trying to be strong for too long, which is maybe a form of denial. So much of life happens somewhere in between being okay and complete breakdownthats where many of us live, and doing so requires strength. ~ novelist Matthew Quick
Walking depression can be hard to recognize because it doesnt fit the more common picture of severe depression. But it can be just as dangerous to our well-being when left unacknowledged.
This list isnt meant to be exhaustive or to diagnose anyone. But these are some of the signs Ive observed in myself and those Ive coached:
Nothing is fun. You root around for something to look forward to and come up empty.
You cant find flow. Working on your creative projects feels like a grind, but you keep plodding away. There is research that shows that neuroticism is associated with lower rates of flow.
Your energy is low. Maybe youre not getting enough rest because youre too anxious to sleep, or youre trying to cram too many tasks into a day, or youre punishing yourself by staying up. Whatever the reason, you are effin tired.
You feel worse in the morning and better at night. I remember explaining this to a friend, who found it mystifying. In the morning I felt the crushing weight of all the things I had to do that day. In the evening I was temporarily free from expectations and could enjoy a moments respite.
What Is Teen Depression
The teenage years can be really tough and its perfectly normal to feel sad or irritable every now and then. But if these feelings dont go away or become so intense that you feel overwhelmingly hopeless and helpless, you may be suffering from depression.
Teen depression is much more than feeling temporarily sad or down in the dumps. Its a serious and debilitating mood disorder that can change the way you think, feel, and function in your daily life, causing problems at home, school, and in your social life. When youre depressed, you may feel hopeless and isolated and it can seem like no one understands. But depression is far more common in teens than you may think. The increased academic pressures, social challenges, and hormonal changes of the teenage years mean that about one in five of us suffer with depression in our teens. Youre not alone and your depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw.
Even though it can feel like the black cloud of depression will never lift, there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself deal with symptoms, regain your balance and feel more positive, energetic, and hopeful again.
If youre a parent or guardian worried about your child
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Antenatal And Postnatal Depression
Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth . This time frame may also be referred to as the perinatal period.
The causes of depression at this time can be complex and are often the result of a combination of factors. In the days immediately following birth, many women experience the baby blues, which is a common condition related to hormonal changes, affecting up to 80 per cent of women who have given birth.
The baby blues, or the general stress of adjusting to pregnancy or a new baby, are common experiences, but are different from depression.
Depression is longer lasting and can affect not only the mother, but her relationship with her baby, the childs development, the mothers relationship with her partner and with other members of the family.
Up to one in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to 16 per cent in the first three months after having a baby.
Why Am I Depressed
Despite what you may have been told, depression is not simply caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be cured with medication. Rather, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. Since the teenage years can be a time of great turmoil and uncertainty, youre likely facing a host of pressures that could contribute to your depression symptoms. These can range from hormonal changes to problems at home or school or questions about who you are and where you fit in.
As a teen, youre more likely to suffer from depression if you have a family history of depression or have experienced early childhood trauma, such as the loss of a parent or physical or emotional abuse.
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Know That Today Isnt Indicative Of Tomorrow
Todays mood, emotions, or thoughts dont belong to tomorrow.
If you were unsuccessful at getting out of bed or accomplishing your goals today, remember that you havent lost tomorrows opportunity to try again.
Give yourself the grace to accept that while some days will be difficult, some days will also be great. Try to look forward to tomorrows fresh start.
Myth #: Those Whose Parents Have Depression Will Always Inherit It From Them
As we mentioned before, depression is something that can be inherited. But even though you may be genetically predisposed to depression, this only increases your likelihood of developing the condition. Its not a guarantee. And either way, it isnt productive to dwell on your family history, as you cant control it. Instead, focus on things you can do to help yourself with depression, such as getting more sunlight, seeing a mental health professional, and building up a support group to lean on.
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When To Seek Professional Help
Any level of depression should be taken seriously and the faster you address the symptoms, the less likely you are to develop a more severe type of depression. Seeking professional help is a sign of bravery and self-respect because it shows that you are dedicated to caring for your mind and body. A therapist can offer more clinical advice and guide you through treatment with approaches that are more tailored to your specific situation and needs. However, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, tell someone you trust and seek assistance immediately.
Everyone experiences low points in their life and their mental health, but depression is a treatable mental illness and you can recover. Whether you or a loved one is feeling depressed, every persons experience with mental illness is different but help is available. Visit our Key Services page to learn more about the treatment methods we offer and to explore our list of additional health and wellness classes to support your overall mental health.
If you are in a crisis, please call us at 303-425-0300 or by calling the crisis line at 844-493-8255. The 24/7 crisis walk-in center and withdrawal management program is open at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.
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