Depression And Eating Disorders: When Sadness Never Fades
Depression always goes hand-in-hand with an eating disorder. Together the two rob a person of their happiness and self-worth, and easily wreak havoc on innocent lives. Unfortunately, we are living in a “pill society” and, more often than not, therapists tend to treat depression alone with drugs instead of with a more psychological basis and along with the eating disorder. It’s amazing to look at the statistics and discover the multitudes of people who suffer from depression while this, just as with eating disorders, still appears to be an enigma to understanding. Hopefully the information contained here will help clear some of the fogginess of sadness away…
Depression is not biased – it affects anyone at any race and age and economical standing. It can strike at any moment; it doesn’t need a tragic incident to trigger onset. Over 19 million over age 18 are considered to be clinically depressed, or 1 out of 5 people in general society. Depression is so common that it is second only to heart disease in causing lost work days. More frighteningly so, untreated, depression is the number ONE cause of suicide .
There are indeed three different kinds of depression – normal, mild, and then severe. I have found personally that those with eating disorders tend to range between having mild and severe depression.
What Are The Major Signs Of Depression
Because depression is complex and affects so many systems of the body, it has many manifestations, and which ones are most prominent can vary from person to person. According to the latest edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, widely used as a roadmap to diagnosis, depression can be considered an illness when at least five symptoms occur together for at least two weeks. Symptoms include:
Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
Irritability, angry outbursts, or low frustration tolerance
Loss of interest in or ability to enjoy usual activities, from sex to sports
Sleep disturbance, whether inability to sleep or sleeping too much
Fatigue and lack of energy; everything feels effortful
Appetite disturbance, including loss of interest in eating and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness
Slowed thinking, moving, or talking
Feelings of worthlessness and guilt, a focus on past failure, self-blame
Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, and making decisions
Recurring thoughts of death
Physical pain such as headaches or back pain that has no clear cause.
What Does It Mean To Be Clinically Depressed
The term depression is used in common conversation to cover a wide range of mood disruption, from momentary sadness to prolonged hopelessness. Clinical depression is a medical term that is reserved for the more serious forms of the disorder, also called major depression. People who are clinically depressed experience a number of symptoms In addition to unremitting sadness or disinterestsuch as sleep problems and appetites disturbanceand their thinking is so relentlessly negative that their ability to carry out everyday functions is seriously impaired, and they cannot envision a brighter future.
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Research On Depression Is A Mixed Bag
The research shows that counseling can be very helpful for depression however the results are mixed. Not everyone improves.;
Don’t be discouraged though. I’m quite optimistic about the future treatment for depression.
In my view, the reason for these mixed results is that most of this research was based on left brain treatment models when a newer perspective is that depression is more of nervous system problem best treated by right brain brain strategies.
Not only that, in many of these studies there was no accounting for how severe the depression might be. The more severe, the more it’s necessary to receive “attuned” care.
Here’s what I mean . . .;
With increased severity, you;need;treatment that “matches” where you are in the moment.
For example, when your depression is less severe and your doctor encourages you to get for a walk in nature – you’ll give that a try.
And hey, you feel better!
However, if your depression is more severe and your doctor makes the same suggestion, you’ll find it very hard to get out. You end up blaming yourself for not doing it believing you’re lazy and just don’t want to get better!
And in fact, now that you’re badgering yourself, you;feel even worse!
When in actual fact, you’re way too depleted to undertake such a task. Just getting out of the house is a chore. Your body actually wants to curl up in bed with the covers all around.
In other words, if you have a “right-brain” problem, use a “right-brain” approach.
Tip : Find Meaning And Purpose In Life
To overcome depressionand stop it coming backits important to continue to feel engaged and enjoy a strong purpose in life. As we age, life changes and you can lose things that previously occupied your time and gave life its meaning. Retirement, the loss of close friends or loved ones, relocating away from your social network, and changes in your physical health, finances, or status can impact your mood, confidence, and sense of self-worth. But there are still plenty of ways you can find new meaning in life and continue to feel engaged in the world. Sometimes its just a matter of reframing how you think of yourself or the aging process.
Focus on what you can still do, not what you used to be able to do. Maybe you feel frustrated that youre not able to do everything you once could, or at least not to the same levels? Or perhaps negative ideas about growing older have dented your self-confidence? Instead of focusing on what you once did, try focusing on the things you can do. Youll see just how much you still have to offer.
Learn a new skill. Pick something that youve always wanted to learn, or that sparks your imagination and creativitya musical instrument, a foreign language, or a new game or sport, for example. Learning new activities not only adds meaning and joy to life, but can also help to maintain your brain health and prevent mental decline.
Write your memoirs, learn to paint, or take up a new craft.
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Where Can I Go For Help
If you are unsure of where to go for help, ask your family doctor or health care provider. You can also find resources online including the NIMH website at www.nimh.nih.gov/FindHelp, or check with your insurance carrier to find someone who participates in your plan. Hospital doctors can help in an emergency.
Helpful Mental Health Services To Ring Up
Set up by the Ministry of Social Justice, when the pandemic was in its first phase, Kiran is a government initiative. It is also one of the few mental health helplines that are available 24/7.;
Languages: English, Hindi
Aasra is another mental health helpline that operates around the clock, seven days a week. The volunteers at Aasra will provide the necessary assistance whether you are feeling depressed, lost, suicidal or just simply confused.
Mpower 1-on-1 was launched during the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, a collaborative effort between the Neerja Birla-helmed foundation, the Maharashtra Government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation . Another one of the government-powered mental health helplines, Mpower is available 24 hours through the week for individuals above 18.
Samaritans Mumbai is primarily a suicide prevention helpline. However, keeping the current situation in mind, they have extended their support to anyone witnessing covid-related anxiety, stress and confusion.
For everyone in Goa, Cooj is a safe space for you to reach out and get any help. While their primary goal is to better the life of senior individuals, like most others they offer covid-related relief too.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Not Eating Enough Calories
When a person does not eat enough calories, it can result in health problems. Some medical conditions, eating disorders and extreme diets can result in a person not getting enough calories. Medical treatment may be needed in some situations if person is experiencing malnutrition-related health issues.
If a person restricts their calories, it for an extended period of time, malnutrition can happen. People who participate in strict calorie restriction can have a slower metabolism because the body is in starvation mode in order to conserve energy. Individuals who are suffering from malnutrition can have an irregular heartbeat which can raise the risk of heart attack.
Another symptom of caloric restriction is digestive problems due to a slowing down of the system. When an individual isnt consuming enough calories, the stomach empties slower and the lining of the intestines can shrink. The pancreas will manufacture digestive enzymes slowly and it can cause diarrhea and dehydration.
Those who are engaging in caloric restriction can develop nutritional deficiencies. Several deficiencies can result in the body not making enough red blood cells, resulting in anemia. The most common symptoms associated with anemia include fatigue, irregular heartbeat, pale complexion, and dizziness, shortness of breath, and cold hands and feet. Most people with anemia dont recognize the signs and symptoms of the condition until it becomes severe.
Medical Conditions That Can Cause Elderly Depression
Its important to be aware that medical problems can cause depression in older adults and the elderly, either directly or as a psychological reaction to the illness. Any chronic medical condition, particularly if it is painful, disabling, or life-threatening, can lead to depression or make your depression symptoms worse.
- Multiple sclerosis
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How Common Is Childhood Depression And Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental health disorders in children. About 7% of children ages 3 to 17 have anxiety; about 3% deal with depression.
Both depression and anxiety tend to be higher in older children and teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17. An estimated 3.2 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 13.3% of the U.S. population aged 12 to 17. An estimated 31.9% of adolescents have had an anxiety disorder.
Types Of Diagnostic Tools
Researchers have been using such scales since the 1960s. One of the first, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, is still sometimes used today. However, there are many more scales available that are better suited for doctors to use with patients. There are even scales patients can use on their own to track or self-report depression symptoms.;
While scales can offer key insights, they tend to be quite different from one another. The way they are administered, the questions they ask, and the way the answers are interpreted may not be the same from one scale to the next.;
The inconsistencies of the tools, their use, and interpretation can make it challenging to determine the severity of someones depression, as different scales may provide different results.;That said, when used along with other diagnostic measures and the judgment of an experienced clinician, the scales can be useful tools.;
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Does Depression Affect Children
Depression can affect people of any age, including children. Although children naturally have mood swings as they grow and develop, depression is different. The disorder can affect how children interact with friends and family. It may prevent them from enjoying school, sports, hobbies or other normal childhood activities.
In children, depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. Anxiety is a medical condition that causes feelings of fear, panic or worry about everyday situations. Sometimes, depression or anxiety in children gets chalked up to growing pains. But if you have any concerns about behavioral or mental health, talk to a healthcare provider.
You Don’t Find Joy In Your Hobbies
Many are using this time of social distancing to engage in hobbies they love, such as reading, knitting, playing an instrument or exercising. If you’ve given up on the activities you used to find enjoyable because they don’t seem fun anymore, you may need to analyze your mental health status.;
According to Psychology Today, the loss of interest in hobbies and activities you used to enjoy is referred to as anhedonia, and it’s directly linked to depression and other mood disorders: “People suffering from clinical depression lose interest in hobbies, friends, work, and even food and sex.” If you can’t seem to squeeze an ounce of joy out of finishing a crossword puzzle or eating the perfect chocolate chip cookie, you may be suffering from depression.
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Which Comes First Poor Diet Or Depression
One could argue that, well, being depressed makes us more likely to eat unhealthy foods. This is true, so we should ask what came first, the diet or the depression? Researchers have addressed this question, thankfully. Another large analysis looked only at prospective studies, meaning, they looked at baseline diet and then calculated the risk of study volunteers going on to develop depression. Researchers found that a healthy diet was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing depressive symptoms.
So, how should I counsel my patients on diet? There are several healthy options that can be used as a guide. One that comes up again and again is the Mediterranean diet. Another wonderful resource for folks is the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health website with an introductory guide to healthy diet.
Surprising Symptoms Of Depression
The essential features of depression include depressed mood and loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks.1 Depressed mood and diminished pleasure are the primary symptoms people are cautioned to look for when depression is suspected.
While those symptoms certainly are red flags, the truth is that depression doesnt always look like debilitating sadness. Some symptoms of depression can be far more subtle. Those same symptoms can also mimic other medical conditions or be dismissed as normal everyday problems.
Identifying and understanding symptoms of depression are important first steps toward getting the proper supports in place to work through. Check out these less obvious symptoms of depression.
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Big Changes In Weight
Rapid weight loss or weight gain is associated with depression.5 Depression can either zap your appetite to the point where you rarely feel hungry;or cause you to overeat.
While its perfectly normal to crave comfort foods when under stress, if you experience noticeable changes in your appetite that trigger weight loss or gain, you should seek an evaluation.
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
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Not Wanting To Leave The House
Some people with depression can be housebound for weeks or longer. There are plenty of reasons for this, depending on who you ask. For some, its self-hatred. For others, crushing fatigue. Depression has this power to zap not only your will, but also your physical ability to leave the house.
The energy required to go grocery shopping is out of reach. The fear that every person you run into will hate you is real. This thought loop of uncertainty creates an environment where its almost impossible to get out the front door.
How Does Psychotherapy Work
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can treat anxiety or depression in children. CBT helps children learn to think more positively and control negative behaviors. It can also help children manage anxiety by getting to the root of their fears and worries. Therapy gives children tools to cope with anxiety and depression in healthier ways.
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Why Its Important To Consume Enough Calories
Eating enough calories to be within the recommended daily amount will allow you to be healthy. If you are having trouble eating enough calories on a daily basis, you may wish to do the following:
Drink meal replacement shakes
The information provided on EatingDisorders.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of EatingDisorders.com nor the author of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.
Mental Health Conditions Explained
What: Addiction is when a person compulsively persists in certain behaviours regardless of the consequences.;A person can be addicted to substances or activities . Over time, the frequency and intensity of the activity increases, and when the person stops, he or she experiences unpleasant feelings or emotions.;Symptoms: Impaired control, social problems such as being unable to concentrate in school or work because of the addiction, making excuses or lying in order to continue with activity, engaging in risky behaviour in order to continue with activity .;Treatment and help: Individual or group talk therapy, sometimes in combination with medication to control drug cravings, can help. Individuals dealing with substance abuse may also require detoxification and rehabilitation services.;;
Schizophrenia and other psychoses;
Want to know more? Here are the articles we referenced to compile this resource:;
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