Depression Is Different From Sadness Or Grief/bereavement
The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being depressed.
But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:
- In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest are decreased for most of two weeks.
- In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
- In grief, thoughts of death may surface when thinking of or fantasizing about joining the deceased loved one. In major depression, thoughts are focused on ending ones life due to feeling worthless or undeserving of living or being unable to cope with the pain of depression.
Grief and depression can co-exist For some people, the death of a loved one, losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression. When grief and depression co-occur, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression.
Coping With Depression Tip : Reach Out And Stay Connected
Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.
You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. And if you dont feel that you have anyone to turn to, its never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.
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Alcohol And Illegal Drugs
When youre feeling depressed, it can be easy to turn to alcohol or other methods of self-medication. You may feel short-term relief, but these substances usually only make things worse. Alcohol and drugs throw off your sleep cycles, and cause mood swings and anxiety. If youre taking any prescription medications, alcohol and drugs can make you experience negative side effects, and they can even stop your medications from working.
Talk to your doctor if youre having trouble abstaining from drugs or alcohol. They can recommend you to programs that can help you get sober.
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How Will Know That Therapy Is Working
Feeling better is a good yardstick, but it is by no means the only measure of therapeutic effectiveness. Mental health professionals regularly assess the progress of therapy and rely on two important tools to monitor patient gains. One is their own experienced judgment of the patients ability to engage in the therapeutic process. The other is a standardized symptom rating scale that assesses patient standing on each of the constellation of symptoms of depression, from personal outlook to physical slowness. Has the veil on thinking or sluggishness of thought or speech persisted, lifted slightly, lifted significantly, or completely disappeared? Does the patient weep frequently, occasionally, or not at all? The most widely used symptom checklist is the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, often called the Ham-D.
Other Natural Vitamins For Depression
Along with the vitamins and supplements listed above, other natural vitamins for depression may include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the function and health of the brain. Natural sources of Omega-3s include certain fatty fish such as salmon, as well as seeds and nuts.
- Magnesium. According to the Nutrition Reviews journal, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. experience some level of magnesium deficiency. This deficiency can cause sleep problems like insomnia, constipation and muscle tension. It can also cause symptoms of depression and other mood disorders because magnesium is important for the production of feel-good hormones in the brain.
- Vitamin C. Supplementing with vitamin C can help improve both mood and cognitive function. Studies have also indicated vitamin C may help reduce symptoms of anxiety as well as depression.
While depression is a serious medical condition, it is fortunately treatable. Vitamins for depression shouldnt be used as a replacement for medical treatment, but they can be used in conjunction with professional treatment to improve its effectiveness. Nutrition often plays a critical role not only in physical but also mental health.
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Beans: Satisfyingly High In Mood
Beans, beans, good for the heart. The more you eat, the more you … smile. They make the G-BOMB list because they can act as anti-diabetes and weight-loss foods. They are good for my mood because my body digests them slowly, which stabilizes blood sugar levels. Any food that assists me in evening out my blood sugar levels is my friend. They are the one starch that I allow myself, so on top of a salad, they help mitigate my craving for bread and other processed grains.
How To Reach Out For Depression Support
Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you they just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.
Make face-time a priority. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they dont replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
Try to keep up with social activities even if you dont feel like it. Often when youre depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
Find ways to support others. Its nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find waysboth big and smallto help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.
Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being neededboth powerful antidotes to depression.
10 tips for staying connected
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Foods That May Exacerbate Depression
If you’re coping with depression, it can be just as important to know what not to eat. Unfortunately, many of these foods are the ones people often turn to when they’re having a rough day. Of course, most things in moderation won’t harm you, but being aware of the negative impacts certain foods can have on your mental health can help you make better food choices.
Best Vitamins For Depression
B vitamins play an important role in helping the brain produce adequate levels of the chemicals required to manage mood and other functions, according to the Mayo Clinic. If someone has low levels of B-vitamins and in particular B-12, they may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression. B-vitamin deficiencies are often seen in people who have depression.
Even without a specific disorder, it can become increasingly difficult for a persons body to absorb enough vitamin B-12 as they age. Depression can often include symptoms of fatigue, and B-vitamins can help combat that. B-12, in particular, is known for being important to reduce fatigue.
Some of the foods that contain high levels of B-12 include fish, lean meats, eggs, poultry and milk. Certain breakfast cereals may be fortified with B-12 as well. B-12 supplementation can help if someone is a vegan or vegetarian or may not be getting enough of the vitamin for any reason.
Other B vitamins for depression, or vitamins that play a role in brain health include:
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Causes And Symptoms Of Depression
Homeopathy for depression is not easy to access. First off, the person must show four to five of the symptoms associated with depression. These telltale signs include
- Physical inactivity or hyperactivity
- Thoughts or attempts of suicide
- Persistent sadness
The individual is likely depressed when he or she displays at least four symptoms. The individual will show at least five signs for a clinical depression diagnosis with symptoms lasting for about a month.
Overall, there are various reasons a person may be clinically depressed. Brain structure changes may lead to mood disorders. For instance, low serotonin levels are associated with anxiety, irritability, impulsiveness, aggressiveness, and depression. The symptoms also seem to get worse as serotonin levels drop further.
It is also vital to address other possible underlying causes and associated conditions, including nutrient deficiencies, excessive alcohol consumption, hypoglycemia, diabetes, lowed thyroid function, low adrenal dysfunction, food allergies, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lung disease, heart disease, chronic pain or inflammation, liver disease, multiple sclerosis, seasonal affective disorder, and cancer.
What Are The Major Types Of Brain Stimulation
In transcranial magnetic stimulation , one or two externally placed electromagnetic coils deliver magnetic pulses to generate currents in deep brain tissue implicated in depressions stall-out. The pulses generated are of the same type and, most often, of the same strength as those generated by magnetic resonance imaging machines. No anesthesia is required, and stimulation is applied during a series of sessions in a doctors office. Approximately 60 percent of people who do not benefit from antidepressant medication improve significantly or achieve full remission with TMS treatment.
Transcranial direct current stimulation applies a weak electrical current to brain sites through the scalp from a headset-like device. The goal is to target brain circuits involved in attention, perception, learning, and memory that affect mood.
In deep brain stimulation, reserved for highly treatment-resistant depression, an externally programmable device is implanted in the chest to deliver electrical signals to targeted sites in the brain. It is like a pacemaker for the brain.
Intermittent theta-burst stimulation is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation approved for use in treatment-resistant depression.
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Like A Placebo: St John’s Wort
St. John’s wort increases your brain’s serotonin levels. It’s widely prescribed in Europe and is readily available as a dietary supplement in the U.S. The yellow flower is the medicinal part of the plant, which grows wild in Europe. Although it’s considered an exotic flower in the U.S., it can sometimes be found blooming from June through September in moist climates like the Pacific Northwest, the Northeastern U.S. and even northern Arizona.
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Ancient Greeks used the yellow flowers to make a tea, but the herb is most commonly used in pill form in the U.S. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, studies since 2000 have shown the pills are equally as effective as placebos in double-blind studies.
It’s essential to âtell your doctorâ if you’re using St. John’s wort. It interacts with many medications, including antidepressants, birth control pills, heart medications, cancer medications and more. In the worst instances, a life-threatening increase in serotonin can bring on symptoms such as an increase in body temperature, heart palpitations, diarrhea, high blood pressure and agitation. It can also worsen psychotic symptoms in schizophrenic or bipolar patients.
Looking After Someone Who Has Depression
If you’re close to someone with depression, their condition can affect you too. Your relationship, and family life in general, can be strained, and you might not know what to do or how to help.
Talking about the situation can help. Finding a support group, or talking to other people in a similar situation, can make it easier to cope. If the condition is causing difficulties in your relationship with your partner, you could contact a relationship counsellor who can talk things through with both of you.
When suffering from depression, men are less likely to ask for help than women. They’re also more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms.
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How Does Sex Benefit Your Mental Health
Sex is not a treatment for depression. Practicing unsafe sex and having multiple sexual partners exposes you to the risks of sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. Hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior is often a plea for help and indicates underlying emotional pain or loneliness. It is important to seek the help of a mental health professional to treat your depression and address any compulsive sexual behavior to prevent these mental health issues from overtaking your life.
Get The Right Balance Of Fats
Our brains are made of around 50 per cent fat, and our cells need fats to maintain their structures. So, you need a good supply of fats to keep your brain healthy.
Try to keep a moderate intake of unsaturated fat and omega-3 in your diet, to ensure your brain is well nourished. Olive oil or rapeseed oil are great for cooking. Add nuts and seeds, and use olive or nut oil dressings on salads.
Try to decrease trans-fats as these seem to be harmful to brain structure and function . Trans fats are found in processed and packaged foods, such as processed meats, ready meals, pre-packed cakes and biscuits. Instead, try to cook from scratch and use fresh foods whenever you can.
You can read more on how to achieve a healthy balance of fats in your diet in our Fats Food Fact Sheet.
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Why Use Homeopathic Remedies For Depression
A friend might tell you that depression is all in your head, or you may be too scared to open up to a psychiatrist. You may also fear the thought of taking antidepressantsthe conventional treatment for depression . Luckily, there are natural, homeopathic remedies for depression, which we will go over shortly. First, lets take a look at the numerous adverse effects of antidepressants.
Does Insurance Cover Alternative Therapies For Depression
Many alternative therapies are not covered by insurance. You might have to pay out-of-pocket. However, there are free resources where you can learn about yoga and meditation, and you can exercise on your own . Do some research about resources in your community and ask your healthcare provider for referrals.
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How Is Therapy Coordinated With Medication Use
Combination psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for major depression is very common, both for acute and chronic forms of the disorder. Treatment with both modalities may begin simultaneously or be sequenced. Sometimes reduction in agitation or cloudiness of thinking or the abatement of psychic pain by medication is necessary before patients can be responsive to psychotherapy. Other times, medication can boost the effects of psychotherapy.
Typically, a psychiatrist or other medical doctor prescribes medication, monitors the response, and makes adjustments to the dosage or changes the type of medication as needed, while the psychotherapy is carried out separately by a psychologist or other mental health professional. Because the interaction between therapist and patient provides a prime window into a patients thoughts and feelings, the psychotherapist is also ideally positioned to observe the response to antidepressant drugs and deliver invaluable feedback to the prescribing physician. Patients do best when the two professionals are in regular contact coordinating their respective treatments rather than delivering them independently..
What Alternative Therapies Are Recommended For Depression
No alternative therapy is guaranteed to cure depression, but the same can be said about several Western medicines and psychotherapies. To be safe, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before you try one or more of these recommended therapies:
- Herbal remedies: Herbal remedies are made from plants. Of the wide variety of available herbal therapies, St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba are the products most often used for treating depression.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of healing that prevents and cures specific diseases and conditions.
- Reflexology: For this treatment, the reflexologist applies pressure to different pressure points on your feet, hands, ears and face.
- Exercise: In general, exercise is a safe and easy way to improve your well-being.
- Meditation: Meditation is a form of relaxation and introspection.
- Massage: Massage uses touch to promote relaxation while decreasing tension and stress.
- Guided imagery: Guided imagery is a form of focused relaxation that helps create harmony between the mind and body.
- Yoga: Yoga is a type of exercise and spiritual practice.
- Deep breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths in, then slowly exhaling, while your mind focuses on the breath.
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