Tip : Wind Down And Clear Your Head
Do you often find yourself unable to get to sleep or regularly waking up night after night? Residual stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well. Taking steps to manage your overall stress levels and learning how to curb the worry habit can make it easier to unwind at night. You can also try developing a relaxing bedtime ritual to help you prepare your mind for sleep, such as practicing a relaxation technique, taking a warm bath, or dimming the lights and listening to soft music or an audiobook.
Problems clearing your head at night can also stem from your daytime habits. The more overstimulated your brain becomes during the day, the harder it can be to slow down and unwind at night. Maybe, like many of us, youre constantly interrupting tasks during the day to check your phone, email, or social media. Then when it comes to getting to sleep at night, your brain is so accustomed to seeking fresh stimulation, it becomes difficult to unwind.
Help yourself by setting aside specific times during the day for checking your phone and social media and, as much as possible, try to focus on one task at a time. You’ll be better able to calm your mind at bedtime.
How Can I Support My Mental Health
Having depression or anxiety isnt a sign of weakness and theres no need to feel embarrassed. Keep active in your community, consider joining a support group and do things that boost your mental wellbeing.
Meeting other people who understand what youre going through can be helpful, especially if youre feeling isolated or lonely. You can find a local support group by asking your GP, or by contacting Mind, Anxiety UK, SANE or Rethink Mental Illness.
Keep a regular social routine
There are a range of services in the local community where you can meet new people and learn new skills. This will give you something to look forward to, and prevent you feeling isolated or alone. Your local Age UK can help you find an activity or group that will suit your interests.
Tell Someone You Trust
Opening up to a loved one about your depression may not directly relieve your symptoms, but it can help you feel less alone.
Friends and family can offer emotional support, compassion, and reassurance. They might also help by offering support with essential tasks, like preparing food or getting to the doctor.
Talking about depression can be difficult, especially when you feel guilty about your symptoms or worry about burdening your loved ones. It can help to start by talking to a supportive friend or family member who already knows you have depression, so you dont have to expend the energy to explain.
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Check For Underlying Conditions
Dozens of health conditionsincluding heart disease, diabetes, lupus, viral infections, and chronic paincan trigger the same symptoms as depression, Walfish notes. So can scores of prescription medications, including some birth-control pills and drugs that treat acne, herpes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cancer. Your family doctor can rule out underlying causes and decide whether or not its really depression.
Tip : Keep In Sync With Your Body’s Natural Sleep
Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two.
Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime.
Avoid sleeping ineven on weekends. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms you’ll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
Be smart about napping. While napping is a good way to make up for lost sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, napping can make things worse. Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
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Get Professional Help For Depression
At Advanced Psychiatry Associates, we know how difficult it can be to navigate life with a mental illness like depression. Thats why were the only private, full-service facility in the Sacramento area to offer outpatient services, including managing medications and therapy. We offer services like ketamine treatments and transcranial magnetic stimulation, all to provide compassionate and comprehensive care.
Get in touch to schedule an appointment with us at any of our four locations in Folsom, Sacramento, Roseville and Elk Grove.
Information For Family Carers And Friends
You can get support if you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with depression.
Being a carer might mean you can claim certain benefits that might help you and the person you care for. For more information, please see the Mental Health and Money Advice services website:www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/what-benefits-are-available-for-mental-health-carers/
You could also get in touch with carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area online or ask your GP.
You can ask your local authority for a carers assessment if you need more practical support to help care for someone.
As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which may make it difficult for you to get all the information you need in some circumstances.
You can find out more information about:
How can I support the person that I care for?
You might find it easier to support someone with depression if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills. You can use this to support them to get help and stay well.
Below are some initial suggestions for providing practical day to day support to someone with depression.
You can find out more information about:
You can find more information about:
When To Get Professional Help For Depression
If youve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing additional help doesnt mean youre weak. Sometimes the negative thinking in depression can make you feel like youre a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you can feel better!
Dont forget about these self-help tips, though. Even if youre receiving professional help, these tips can be part of your treatment plan, speeding your recovery and preventing depression from returning.
Helping Kids With Depression Get Treatment
Some teens will want to go to therapy when you ask them and some wont. For those who are resistant, know that they arent going to suddenly open up to the idea of therapy quickly, but you can help guide them towards treatment by opening the door and then waiting patiently for them to walk through it.
Try saying, I know youre having a hard time, and I have some ideas of things that could help. If youd like to talk with me about them, let me know. Im here for you. Its also a good idea to ask them if they has any suggestions on how you might be able to help. You might be surprised with what they have to say.
Be aware that your teen might tell you to back off. Thats fine its their way albeit a slightly irritable one of telling you that they need space. Its normal for teenagers to want independence, and its important for you to respect that. You can respond by saying, Ill give you more space, but know that Im here for you if you ever want to talk or hear my suggestions.
If they do come to you wanting help, be prepared. Do your research. Find two or three therapists they can interview and tell them that they can choose the one that they feel most comfortable with, and think will help the most. Finding a therapist who is a good fit is extremely important, and making the choice theirs will help them feel ownership over their own treatment, which is extremely important to teens and sets the stage for effective therapy.
What Do I Do If Im Worried That A Relative Or Friend Has Depression Or Anxiety
If you think a friend or relative is experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, try to talk to them about it.
You may feel uncomfortable bringing up a sensitive topic, especially if the person you’re concerned about doesn’t often talk about their emotions. Explain why you are concerned but avoid diagnosing their problem or forcing solutions.
They may be unwilling to talk about it, but let them know that you’re willing to listen when they’re ready.
There are various ways you can help them, such as:
- Offer your support, listen and reassure them that how theyre feeling can be improved.
- Stay in touch, call or visit regularly. The risk of depression increases when people feel alone and unsupported.
- Encourage them to make an appointment with their GP or another health professional. Offer to go with them to appointments.
- Encourage them to keep active and healthy. Plan occasional outings to get them out of the house.
Supporting a relative or friend with depression can be both rewarding and stressful. There is information and support for carers where you can get help for the difficulties you experience. Contact Carers Direct, Carers UK and the Carers Trust for more information.
How Can You Get Yourself Out Of A Funk
Although depression can become a very clinical subject, many of the ways to help yourself through this mood disorder are very simple and practical. Self-care is a key component to living a happy, healthy life and between your diet, exercise, daily routines, and social interactions there are plenty of steps you can take to influence your mood. As you move through your depression, be open to trying new approaches and understand that it might take a combination of these self-care practices before you notice a change in your mood.
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How Does Depression Affect Productivity
Depression and workplace productivity can significantly counteract each other. This is a common challenge for many people suffering from depression. Employers suffer, too: The estimated cost, due to loss of productivity related to depression and its effects, is in the billions of dollars.3
Why is it hard to keep up workplace performance when youre depressed? The symptoms of depression can be debilitating. Depression can affect productivity in these ways:4
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of initiative or motivation
- Low energy, fatigue
- Poor communication with others
Depression at work is a challenge for many. Self-care and daily changes in your routine may help, but its important you talk to your doctor, a therapist, or behavioral provider for long-term management of depression. Without treatment, depression can worsen.
How To Make New Friends: Where To Start
We tend to make friends with people we cross paths with regularly: people we go to school with, work with, or live close to. The more we see someone, the more likely a friendship is to develop. So, look at the places you frequent as you start your search for potential friends.
Another big factor in friendship is common interests. We tend to be drawn to people who are similar, with a shared hobby, cultural background, career path, or kids the same age. Think about activities you enjoy or the causes you care about. Where can you meet people who share the same interests?
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Lifestyle Changes To Treat Depression
Exercise.Regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. Not only does exercise boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do. Best of all, you dont have to train for a marathon in order to reap the benefits. Even a half-hour daily walk can make a big difference. For maximum results, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity on most days.
Social support. Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression. Keep in regular contact with friends and family, or consider joining a class or group. Volunteering is a wonderful way to get social support and help others while also helping yourself.
Nutrition. Eating well is important for both your physical and mental health. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. While you may be drawn to sugary foods for the quick boost they provide, complex carbohydrates are a better choice. Theyll get you going without the all-too-soon sugar crash.
Sleep. Sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you dont get enough sleep, your depression symptoms will be worse. Sleep deprivation exacerbates irritability, moodiness, sadness, and fatigue. Make sure youre getting enough sleep each night. Very few people do well on less than seven hours a night. Aim for somewhere between seven to nine hours each night.
How Are Depression And Anxiety Diagnosed
There are no specific tests but your GP may perform some blood tests for other health conditions that share similar symptoms with depression or anxiety.
Your GP will need to get a good picture of the way youre feeling mentally and physically. They will ask you lots of questions about your symptoms and the changes youve noticed.
It can be difficult to think about specific answers on-the-spot but the following suggestions might help you plan ahead for your appointment.
- Make a list of all your symptoms, whether they are worse at certain times of the day or on particular occasions, how long youve had them and their effect on your day-to-day life and relationship with others.
- Explain any circumstances that could be contributing to these symptoms and the way you feel.
- Take a list of all medications you currently take, including any supplements or non-prescription medication.
- Be as open and honest as you can remember anything you say is confidential.
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Feeling Depressed What To Do When You Feel Depressed
Knowing what to do when you’re depressed can mean the difference between slipping into a serious depression or turning things around early. When you’re feeling depressed it can be difficult to take positive steps, but even the most depressed person can find even tiny steps useful.
Professional help should always be sought for any serious depression or any depression that lasts more than two weeks. However, even while getting professional help, there are things you can do to stop feeling depressed.
Note: Any feelings that you may harm yourself or others should be dealt with by a mental health professional immediately.
If You Think Your Partner May Be Depressed Your First Step Is To Pay Attention To The Clues To Get The Right Diagnosis And Treatment Here’s What To Look For And How To Take Action
When one spouse is depressed, a marriage is depressed, says Fran Walfish, relationship psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, CA, author, and co-host of Sex Box TV. This illness erodes emotional and sexual intimacy and suffuses a relationship with pessimism and resentment, anger and isolation, she explains. Even the sunniest, most capable partner can be pulled into depressions strong undertow. For example, you may be overwhelmed by extra household chores that your partner is too lethargic to finish, resentful because your spouse wont just snap out of it, or feel that youre somehow to blame for the illness itself. You may feel alone yet unwilling to tell anyone theres depression in your household, or you may simply wonder when the sparkle and joy, and the humor and fun seeped out of your relationship. A challenging marriage can worsen depression, but it doesnt in and of itself cause it.
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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
Monitor Your Own Moods And Thinking
Enduring barrages of negative comments, holding the household and family together, and losing the sweetest, most supportive aspects of your marriage isnt easy. Over months and years, the non-depressed spouse may give in to confusion, self-blame, demoralization, and resentment, notes Anne Sheffield, author of Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond. You may conclude that you must leave to save yourself. If this sounds familiar, get help for yourselfand insist that your mate do the same. Depression separates couples with surgical skill and is a major home-breaker, Sheffield wrote in her book.
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