Do The Opposite Of What The Depression Voice Suggests
The negative, irrational voice in your head may talk you out of self-help. However, if you can learn to recognize it, you can learn to replace it. Use logic as a weapon. Address each thought individually as it occurs.
If you believe an event wont be fun or worth your time, say to yourself, You might be right, but itll be better than just sitting here another night. You may soon see the negative isnt always realistic.
A lengthy to-do list may be so weighty that youd rather do nothing. Instead of compiling a long list of tasks, consider setting one or two smaller goals.
- Dont clean the house take the trash out.
- Dont do all the laundry thats piled up just sort the piles by color.
- Dont clear out your entire email inbox just address any time-sensitive messages.
When youve done a small thing, set your eyes on another small thing, and then another. This way, you have a list of tangible achievements and not an untouched to-do list.
All goals are worthy of recognition, and all successes are worthy of celebration. When you achieve a goal, do your best to recognize it.
You may not feel like celebrating with a cake and confetti, but recognizing your own successes can be a very powerful weapon against depressions negative weight.
The memory of a job well-done may be especially powerful against negative talk and overgeneralization.
Focus on times when you feel the most disorganized or scattered.
Anxiety Treatment Without Medication
Over the last two or three decades, we have witnessed an increase in the demand for anxiety treatment without medication.
That means more people are looking for alternatives to supplement or even replace traditional treatments like psychiatric medication and psychological therapy.
Although natural treatments for anxiety have been around for centuries, experts have only recently discovered the underlying biochemical mechanisms that explain why certain physical practices and natural supplements prove so useful in alleviating the unpleasant symptoms associated with this condition.
But not all supplements or natural treatments for anxiety that you buy from pharmacies or online marketplaces are effective or safe.
That is why its essential to do some research and consult with a medical professional before you try any alternative practices or over-the-counter supplements for anxiety.
Tend To Your Social Life
When you’re depressed, there’s no reason to go it aloneand all sorts of reasons to reach out to friends and family. Make plans with loved ones and keep those dates. Join a club or sign up for a group activity such as a local dodgeball league, for example, or a French class.
Other things you might try:
- Join a support group. Talking to other people who are facing the same experiences and challenges can be informative and helpful.
- Schedule activities. Having routines can be helpful when you are going through depression. Create a daily schedule that includes spending time with others. You are more likely to stick to it if its a scheduled event.
- Volunteer.Joining a cause that you care about is a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle.
The problem is that depression often causes people to withdraw, which only further exacerbates feelings of isolation and loneliness. Even when you don’t feel like going out or being social, try reaching out in whatever way is most comfortable for you. Enlist a few of your closes loved ones who understand what you are experiencing.
Doing the things you used to do might not bring you quite the same enjoyment, but getting out of the house and spending time with people who care about you can help you feel better.
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What Is Tapering And Why Cant I Stop Taking My Medication Cold Turkey
Never stop taking your antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications suddenly, no matter the dose, nor how short the time on them, nor the lack of noticeable effect. This can be very dangerous. It is an immense shock to the system to try to stop taking medication suddenly and may actually extend the time it takes to withdraw completely from medication.
Tapering is when you gradually take less medication in carefully scheduled doses, and allow the body to gradually get used to going without. The tapering plan depends on the types of medication you are taking. For SSRI withdrawal the tapering plan may happen relatively quickly while monitoring your symptoms whereas for benzodiazepine withdrawal, you need to taper slowly using a longer-acting benzodiazepine such as Valium as a substitute. See below for Dr. Glenmullens book on SSRI withdrawal and the Ashton Manual for withdrawal from benzodiazepines. If possible find a supportive health provider before you begin tapering to help you develop a plan and to monitor and support you through the process and into recovery. Note that you are unique and each persons body reacts differently to medication withdrawal. It is important to be able to adapt a tapering plan to your needs to minimize and prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Can I Get Over Depression Without Taking Medication
Ive been depressed for a while. It has affected my schoolwork and social life a lot. How can I get over being depressed without taking antidepressants? Sara*
Not everyone whos depressed needs to take antidepressant medications. There are many other things that can help. Finding out whats best for you starts with an evaluation by your doctor or qualified therapist.
Talk therapy helps people give words to sad feelings, talk about their situation, and feel understood. Therapy also helps people learn how to turn thoughts in a more positive direction and come up with ways to work out problems.
Dont underestimate the power of seemingly simple actions to help put your mood back in balance. Get outside. Take a walk. Play a sport you enjoy. Choose nutritious foods and resist junk foods. Get a full nights sleep. People who are depressed may not feel much like being active. But make yourself do it anyway .
For people who experience seasonal wintertime depression, getting enough daylight is important. This can be done by getting outdoors every day or by using a special type of light box.
Above all, be kind to yourself. Depression affects a persons thoughts, making everything seem dismal, negative, and hopeless. Dont let this translate into down-on-yourself thinking. Try to remember your strengths, gifts, and blessings.
Date reviewed: July 2015
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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Heres Why We Need Natural Treatments For Anxiety
Fundamentally, anxiety plays a vital role in our survival and wellbeing, as it triggers the fight-or-flight response that helps us navigate potentially threatening situations.
In moderate doses, anxiety allows us to evaluate risks, identify problems that may occur in the future, and take preventive actions. When you are driving through a residential area, anxiety is what prompts you to take your foot off the accelerator.
Over the years, experts have discovered that a certain level of anxiety increases your ability to perform, while too much of it results in procrastination, avoidance, and poor performance.
Anxiety disorders are characterised by an almost permanent state of rumination, a spiral of worry-filled thoughts that goes on and on without ever reaching a solution. In other words, you get so caught up in details and catastrophic scenarios that you lose sight of the big picture.
According to the World Health Organisation, anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, affecting nearly 264 million individuals from all around the world.
If left untreated, anxiety disorders can have a profoundly negative impact on the quality of your life and can transition to depression, not to mention the contribution that this condition can have to the economic burden of mental illness.
Tapping To Ease Anxiety
You can lower your anxiety right here, right now using the Emotional Freedom Technique, aka tapping. With EFT, you tap seven acupressure points in a specific sequence, while thinking about a negative experience. The goal is to change the way your body responds to a bad memory.
When you think about the upsetting memory, like a car crash, or being bullied, you start to feel anxious. Whats happening is the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine get disrupted in the brain, while cortisol and adrenaline your stress hormones start to rise.
When you pair a stressful memory with a soothing action like tapping, you tell your body the memory is no longer a threat in the present.
Tapping works for most stress-related issues and various mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
Learn more about tapping and try out a tapping exercise to lower anxiety here.
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Art Music Or Dance Therapy
Expression through art, music or dance have been effective ways to treat depression, including the severity and how long depression lasts. There are many ways to practice art, music or dance therapy, and you dont have to be artistically talented to do it. You may create your own work, discuss art, lyrics or dance routines with others, or even simply view, listen to, or observe anothers work.
Art, music or dance therapy provide similar benefits, though each one works a bit differently. If you are already interested in a type of art, exploring it further may help you treat depression without medication. If not, consider the benefits of each and try one or more that appeals to you.
What If My Anxiety Gets Better But My Depression Doesnt
Sometimes an SSRI will work to reduce anxiety, but it wont be effective for a patient who has low energy or low mood, says Dr. Shelton. If increasing the dosage of that medication doesnt work, another medication to tackle the low energy will likely be introduced. SSRIs actually seem to work best for clusters of anxiety symptoms, but there are other antidepressants that have the opposite profile, Dr. Shelton explains.
Wellbutrin is a common antidepressant that tackles low mood and low energy, but it can increase feelings of anxiousness. Its one of the reasons why its often combined with an SSRI, says Dr. Shelton, if depression isnt alleviated completely.
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As always, make sure you talk with a mental health professional about which medication or treatment plan is right for you. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are thinking of harming yourself, or would like to talk to someone, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK . This hotline is available free, 24/7 for anyone experiencing emotional distress or suicidal thoughts.
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Identify Any Underlying Conditions
I would venture to say that most people with treatment-resistant depression are also suffering from undiagnosed conditions. My list was long: Crohns disease, small intestine bacteria overgrowth , hypothyroidism, low stomach acid , adrenal fatigue, Raynauds phenomenon and connective tissue problems, pituitary tumor, aortic valve regurgitation, and certain nutrient deficiencies .
Its really best to work with an integrative or functional doctor. Many are listed on the website for the Institute of Functional Medicine, but you need to proceed with caution, because some of them are very expensive and will run unnecessary tests if youre not careful. At the very least, I would ask your primary care physician or psychiatrist to run these four blood tests: a complete blood count comprehensive metabolic profile a thyroid full panel, including TSH, free T4, free T3, and thyroid antibodies and the 25-OH vitamin D test, as well as B-12 levels. It may also be worth finding out if you have a Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene mutation , because we need the MTHFR enzyme to convert folate to its active form, methylfolate and folate deficiencies make it difficult for antidepressants to work. In fact, many studies link low folate levels to depression.
Treatment Considerations For Comorbid Anxiety And Depression
Resolving anxiety quickly should be the first goal of treatment in patients with anxiety and depression. Once this objective is accomplished, patients are much more likely to remain compliant with their antidepressant regimen and to continue their therapy for the full duration necessary to achieve complete remission of their depression.
One choice for pharmacotherapy in patients with comorbid anxiety and depression is the combination of a BZD or buspirone with an antidepressant. Alternatively, some patients may respond to antidepressant therapy alone, provided a drug that is effective in treating both disorders is used. Because the traditional anxiolytics will have little if any effect on depression, an adequate course of therapy with an antidepressant is imperative. On the other hand, in patients treated with an antidepressant plus an anxiolytic, the clinician may consider tapering the anxiolytic slowly, then discontinuing it when the symptoms of acute anxiety have resolved. Because of their well-documented withdrawal effects, the BZDs should be tapered gradually over the course of at least several weeks, depending on the dosage and duration of BZD therapy.
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Consider Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are growing in popularity as a way to promote wellness. Bergamot, vetiver, lavender, chamomile, and frankincense are some of the most popular oils used to treat anxiety and depression.
Oils can be used in a diffuser or an inhaler, as well as applied topically. To stay safe, remember that oils should always be diluted with a carrier such as fractionated coconut oil before being applied to the skin. Ingesting oils should never be done without consulting an experienced certified aromatherapist.
Limit Your Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can keep you awake and give you wings for a little while, but its still not as great as it seems. Caffeine can cause sleep problems like insomnia or restlessness, so limit caffeine intake to 1-2 times per day if possible. Also, avoid caffeine near bedtime as it can lead to less-than-restful sleep. They also cause dehydration, which can worsen physical symptoms of depression.
Medication isnt always the answer to depression. Overconsumption and reliance on medication can lead to even more problems in the future. The best thing you can do for yourself is to take action and learn about depression, its causes, and how you can treat it without antidepressant medication. Exercising more or eating a balanced diet may help you cope with the physical aspects of sadness. You may also attempt to socialize with friends, family members, or a counselor who can encourage you.
When dealing with depression, sleep is the last thing you should ignore. Its critical to obtain at least seven hours of sleep every night to reduce your symptoms. Staying up late and thinking about the future may only make it harder for you to manage depression daily. It is also important to reduce your caffeine consumption and limit your alcohol intake. By following these 7 treatment options for depression without medication, you can be on your way to a more fulfilling life!
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