What Do I Do If Self
If youve tried the depression self-help strategies above but your symptoms are still overwhelming, go and see your GP or a mental health professional for additional depression help.
Your GP will have suggestions for alternative things you can try to help manage your depression from day to day, and will be able to assess what to do next. Treatments such as psychological therapy and medication, and having a good relationship with a GP, psychologist and/or psychiatrist, can be effective in treating depression and improving mood.
Sleeping Patterns And Depression
Depression can disrupt sleep patterns. Its essential to try to restore a regular sleep pattern to make a full recovery. Some tips for restoring a regular sleep pattern include:
- Try to go to sleep and get up at about the same time each day.
- If youre worrying about things during the night, set aside some time for problem solving during the day.
- Avoid drinking caffeine after 4 pm and try not to drink more than two cups of caffeine-type drinks each day.
- Avoid using alcohol to help you sleep. As the alcohol is broken down in your body, it causes you to sleep less deeply and to wake more frequently.
- Allow yourself time to wind down before going to bed. If you are working or studying, stop at least 30 minutes before bedtime and do something relaxing.
- Give your mind a break from online activity such as social media for an hour before bedtime, and consider putting your phone in a separate room from your bedroom at night time.
How Do I Know If Its Right For Me
If youre considering acupuncture, its always good to do some research, study the potential benefits and risks, and weigh your options. Likewise, its not a bad idea to get a second opinion from a doctor or healthcare provider you trust.
Consider these questions before you sign up for an acupuncture session:
- Am I open to the concept? If youre too skeptical, you might look for reasons the treatment didnt work.
- Can I commit to regular treatments? Acupuncture is an ongoing therapy. You may need to see your practitioner regularly.
- Can I afford acupuncture? If your insurance does not cover this treatment, you will have to pay out of pocket for it. That can be costly, especially if you have multiple treatments weekly or monthly.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Depression is linked to low levels of serotonin . SSRIs work by preventing your blood from absorbing some of the serotonin from your brain. This leaves a higher level of serotonin in the brain, and increased serotonin can help relieve depression.
Revamp Your Sleep Routine
Sleep issues are fairly common when you have depression.
When youre feeling deeply fatigued and low, sleep might feel like the only thing youre capable of. It may even feel like self-care, but this isnt always the case.
You might sleep 10 to 12 hours , struggle to get out of bed, and spend the day drifting in and out of focus.
Or maybe you have a hard time falling asleep altogether.
Not only can sleep deprivation make depression symptoms worse, lying awake in bed gives your brain plenty of time to fixate on unwanted and negative thoughts.
To get more restful sleep , consider these tips:
- Stick to the same bedtime and waking time every day.
- Get some sunlight during the day, but keep your bedroom cool and dark for sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon or evening.
- Try to avoid using your phone and computer for at least 1 hour before bed.
Research supports physical activity as a beneficial self-care treatment option for depression so if you can exercise, consider making time for regular physical activity.
But we get it, when you have depression, being active is usually easier said than done.
How can you think of working out when you feel too drained to even get out of bed? The best approach is to take it slow.
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Express Yourself In Writing
Writing in a journal is great therapy and can help you manage depression. You can relieve stress by being open about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns in your writing and stress management is an important part of living well with depression. Be totally honest in your private journal. Writing down your feelings and challenges with depression can release pent-up emotions. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after putting pen to paper for just a few minutes each day.
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.
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How To Fight Depression Without Medication
Verywell / Bailey Mariner
For many people living with depression, prescription medications can be life-saving drugs. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac and Zoloft , are the most widely prescribed medication for depression, and while they are often effective, they can have side effects and be expensive depending on your health insurance coverage.
There are many ways to counter some of the symptoms of depression that don’t involve prescription medications. If you have depression, you might like to try managing it naturally without medication or supplement your antidepressant with other options. If so, check out these natural alternatives and then talk to your doctor about which might make sense as part of your treatment regimen.
This article discusses some natural treatments that may help fight depression including lifestyle changes and supplements. It also covers other strategies you might try such as practicing mindfulness or enhancing your home environment.
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.
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How Is Depression Syndrome Treated
Depression can be serious, but its also treatable. Treatment for depression includes:
- Self-help: Regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and spending time with people you care about can improve depression symptoms.
- Counseling: Counseling or psychotherapy is talking with a mental health professional. Your counselor helps you address your problems and develop coping skills. Sometimes brief therapy is all you need. Other people continue therapy longer.
- Alternative medicine: People with mild depression or ongoing symptoms can improve their well-being with complementary therapy. Therapy may include massage, acupuncture, hypnosis and biofeedback.
- Medication: Prescription medicine called antidepressants can help change brain chemistry that causes depression. Antidepressants can take a few weeks to have an effect. Some antidepressants have side effects, which often improve with time. If they dont, talk to your provider. A different medications may work better for you.
- Brain stimulation therapy: Brain stimulation therapy can help people who have severe depression or depression with psychosis. Types of brain stimulation therapy include electroconvulsive therapy , transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation .
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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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.”
What To Expect From A Depression Treatment Plan
Depression can make all the little things you do to take care of yourselflike sleeping enough, eating well, and finding motivation to exercisefeel so much harder. Thats why finding a therapist, psychiatrist, or doctor who can help you find the best treatment isnt easy. You simply may not feel up to it when youre depressed.
But asking for support is a critical step in feeling better. If youre just not sure where to start, visit your primary care doctor if you have one, Dr. Gilbert says. They can help refer you to a therapist who can further support you if youve had trouble finding one yourself.
During your first few appointments, your therapist will want to get to know you, how youve been feeling, and what your goals are with counseling. Heidi L. Combs, M.D., a clinical psychiatrist and director of inpatient psychiatry at UW Health Harborview Hospital, says she develops a depression treatment plan with input from her patients based on their medical history and whether they have other health conditions or mental health disorders , individual needs based on symptoms, and personal preferences.
For example, some people prefer to try talk therapy before they try medication, while others are open to including both in their treatment plan. Or, if youve had depression in the past and benefited from a particular medicine or type of therapy, it might be worth trying the same course of action if its already been successful for you.
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Supporting Your Loved Ones Treatment
One of the most important things you can do to help a friend or relative with depression is to give your unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process. This involves being compassionate and patient, which is not always easy when dealing with the negativity, hostility, and moodiness that go hand in hand with depression.
Provide whatever assistance the person needs . Help your loved one make and keep appointments, research treatment options, and stay on schedule with any treatment prescribed.
Have realistic expectations. It can be frustrating to watch a depressed friend or family member struggle, especially if progress is slow or stalled. Having patience is important. Even with optimal treatment, recovery from depression doesnt happen overnight.
Lead by example. Encourage the person to lead a healthier, mood-boosting lifestyle by doing it yourself: maintain a positive outlook, eat better, avoid alcohol and drugs, exercise, and lean on others for support.
Encourage activity. Invite your loved one to join you in uplifting activities, like going to a funny movie or having dinner at a favorite restaurant. Exercise is especially helpful, so try to get your depressed loved one moving. Going on walks together is one of the easiest options. Be gently and lovingly persistentdont get discouraged or stop asking.
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Listen To Upbeat Music
There’s no doubt that music can have an impact on how you feel, so choosing the right music when you’re feeling down might be an effective way of lifting your mood.
Research has found people who are depressed may have a tendency to choose music that intensifies rumination, sadness, and emotion-focused coping. So while you might be tempted to turn to somber tearjerkers when you’re feeling down, consider listening to more upbeat songs to boost your mood and inspire positive feelings.
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.
Do You Feel Depressed
One small, recent study of just 13 patients with depression who were treated with an Internet-based cognitive behavioral program found that while remote treatment is attractive to some people with depression, it doesnt work for others. More patients felt too alone with a self-help process and expressed a need for a more individualized plan and face-to-face, real-time contact with a professional therapist. For those patients, the researchers felt that Internet-based self-help programs are best used as an adjunct to conventional treatments.6 At the same time, earlier studies found that self-help Internet programs only, with no person-to-person contact, significantly improved symptoms of depression in at least half of moderately to severely depressed patients.7
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How Endogenous Differs From Exogenous Depression
Endogenous and exogenous depression are two different types of the same disorder. Endogenous depression is characterized by a deep feeling of sadness and despair that lasts for weeks or even months.
Researchers are mainly used to define endogenous depression in order to study it. But the term is also used in some cases of clinical depression.
Endogenous depression is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Exogenous depression, on the other hand, is brought on by external circumstances. Such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job.
Moreover, exogenous depression is often less severe and easier to treat than endogenous depression. The main difference between the two types of depression is their cause. Even so, mental health professionals are now using different ways to diagnose. And treat both types of depression.
However, it is important to keep in mind that depression is a complex mental disorder. And its symptoms can vary from person to person. So, if you think you are suffering from depression, it is best to seek professional help. Only a qualified mental health professional can give you an accurate diagnosis. And prescribe the most effective treatment for your particular case.
The Reality Is That We Cannot Overcome It We Can Accept It Treat It And Heal
Authors note: This is not an article about how to practice self-care and take a bubble bath until your anxiety goes away. This is not going to be a quick and easy how-to guide for feeling better. But this post will be real, and thats what we all need.
One of my favorite lectures to present at work is about emotional wellness. While vague and all-encompassing, the topics that continuously come up are relationships, self-worth, and dealing with depression and/or anxiety.
Toward the end of my lecture a few weeks ago, one of the audience members asked, But how do you overcome depression?
I was taken off guard by his question, which seemed almost impossible to answer in the moment. But then I realized how significant the wording that he used was. The semantics of the word choice overcome, especially when used in a sentence about something as severe as depression or anxiety, was incredibly significant here.
The etymology of the word overcome goes back to Old English times. It is synonymous with prevail over and defeat.
But we dont defeat depression. We dont defeat anxiety. We dont prevail over addiction or any other co-occurring disorder. We dont power our way through it to not have to deal with it anymore. Before we do anything, we need to accept that we have it.
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