Or Spend Time With Loved Ones
Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family, but face-to-face time can help wash away those tendencies.
If youre unable to spend time together in person, phone calls or video chats can also be helpful.
Try to remind yourself these people care about you. Resist the temptation to feel like youre a burden. You need the interaction and they likely do, too.
When you do the same thing day after day, you use the same parts of your brain. You can challenge your neurons and alter your brain chemistry by doing something entirely different.
Research also shows doing new things can improve your overall well-being and strengthen your social relationships.
To reap these benefits, consider trying a new sport, taking a creative class, or learning a new cooking technique.
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
When you do something you love, or even when you find a new activity you enjoy, you may be able to boost your mental health more by taking time to be thankful for it.
Research shows gratitude can have lasting positive effects on your overall mental health.
Lead With Behavior To Move Through Difficult Moods And Emotions
If I think the most important thing in life is a feeling of interior peace, I will be all the more disturbed when I notice that I do not have it. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
When were feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or depression, our automatic response is usually to try to make ourselves feel better. It seems reasonablewhy suffer if we can avoid it? So we listen to music to cheer ourselves up, take some deep breaths to try to soothe our nerves, or try to figure out why we feel like this.
Unfortunately, these efforts often backfire, as I recently discussed with fellow CBT psychologist and Psychology Today blogger Joel Minden. Weve all had experiences where we think we can do something to make ourselves feel better, said Minden, and it doesnt work in that moment.
The result can be worse than simply not finding relief. It can be really frustrating and defeating when people work so hard to try to change their emotions, Minden said, if theyre just not able to do that very effectively. We can end up believing that we dont have coping strategies, or that we cant deal with difficult emotions, or that were stuck and theres no way out of it.
A Better Way
Ive often heard people suggest that action-focused approaches are unrealistic, and that psychologists dont understand what its like to deal with anxiety or depression. But Minden and I both find that the practices we offer to others are just as helpfuland necessaryfor ourselves.
Learn To Recognize Negative Thinking
Sometimes these thoughts can be obvious, such as times when you berate or criticize yourself. Other times, they can be more subtle. You might find yourself engaging in things like catastrophizing or all-or-nothing thinking.
Catastrophizing involves always anticipating negative outcomes. All-or-nothing thinking means that you think of things as either successes or failures with no in-between. Once you get better at recognizing these cognitive patterns, you can start working on some healthier replacements.
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Try Supplements Or Change Your Diet
Changing your diet or taking supplements is definitely a long-term strategy. Research shows certain supplements or nutrients can help anxiety reduction.
- kava kava
- dark chocolate
However, it can take up to three months before your body is actually running on the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If youre taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor.
Reach Out To Someone Youre Comfortable Talking To And Talk About Whatever You Feel Like Whether Thats How Youre Feeling Or Something You Saw On Twitter
Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can provide a natural boost and let you find a reliable source of support and encouragement.
Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:
- problems with sleep
- sudden loss of interest
- feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
If youre not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. Its important to be open and honest so they can fully understand whats happening and get a clear picture of what youve been feeling.
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How To Get A Clinical Diagnosis
Theres no single test that can diagnose depression or anxiety. Instead, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and a depression or anxiety screening test. For this, theyll ask you a series of questions that help them get a better insight into what youve been experiencing.
If the results arent clear or if your doctor suspects the symptoms may be the result of another condition, they may order tests to rule out underlying issues. Blood tests can check your thyroid, vitamin, and hormone levels.
In some cases, general practitioners will refer you to a mental health expert, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, if they dont feel equipped to properly manage your symptoms and conditions or if they suspect youre experiencing more than one condition.
Although depression and anxiety are two separate conditions, they share many of the same treatments. A combination of these may be used to treat both conditions at the same time.
What Makes You Afraid
Lots of things make us feel afraid. Being afraid of some things like fires can keep you safe. Fearing failure can make you try to do well so that you wont fail, but it can also stop you doing well if the feeling is too strong.
What youre afraid of and how you act when youre afraid of something can vary per person. Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear.
How can we manage and reduce stress? Our free downloadable pocket guide offers you 101 tips: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-stress.
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Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
Can You Overcome Depression And Anxiety
Many people who experience anxiety and depression are eager to get to the other side. They want to defeat the problem and resume their life as normal. While there are many effective anxiety and depression treatments, there is no permanent cure. Its essential to consider how to manage these conditions in a healthy way and minimize their impact on your well-being.
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Ways To Overcome Anxiety And Depression Without Medication
This morning, the World Health Organisation has reported concerns over the amount of children and young adults taking antidepressants to treat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
In Wales alone, there has been a 30% increase in the number of children prescribed the medication over the past ten years and, in the UK as a whole, there was a 54% rise between 2005 and 2012.
The use of antidepressants in young people has also been linked to a rise in suicidal thoughts and behaviours. This is because everyone reacts differently to the chemicals in antidepressants and it can take the body and brain a while to adjust after beginning to take them.
The director of mental health at the World Health Organization, Dr Shekhar Saxena, told the BBC: Anti-depressant use amongst young people is and has been a matter of concern for two reasons. One, are more people being prescribed anti-depressants without sufficient reason? And second, can anti-depressants do any major harm?
With this news in mind, we wanted to highlight some alternative methods to help overcome mental health issues which dont involve medication. Obviously, it is important to mention that if you are at all concerned about your mental health you should consult a GP about the best option for you. But, for now, here are a few to consider
How To Deal With Depression: Take Care Of Your Physical Health
Following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better handle stress, and engaging in fun activities into your day are all examples of this. Lets look at a few things we can do to maintain good physical health:
Aim for eight hours of sleep every day
Exercise for at least 30 Minutes every day
Learn and use relaxation techniques like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and the likes of these.
Eat a well-balanced diet which is a right combination of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and all other nutritional requirements of the body
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Reach Out For Support
One of the best ways of overcoming anxiety and coping with depression is to make yourself feel safe and cared for. Find a good listener, someone who will listen to you attentively and empathetically without judging you or being distracted. Connecting with support via phone calls or social media is a great way to make yourself heard, but nothing can replace face-to-face quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a significant role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
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.
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Properly Charge Your Body Battery
Sometimes when people struggle with depression, it can be very challenging to practice good self-care. In fact, some people take better care of their smartphones and devices than they do their own bodies.
How often do you forget to charge your phone compared to how often you forget to properly nourish yourself or get adequate sleep?
Taking care of your body might sound like a common sense tip, but its too important for me to skip over.
When depression is high, logical thinking and energy levels tend to be low making it far too easy to neglect our bodies. And yet, taking good care of your body can really help to decrease depression. So how well are you taking care of your body battery? Lets take a look.
When people are depressed, it can often lead to a loss of appetite and/or overeating. How are you doing at lovingly nourishing your body? Are you making daily efforts to eat a balance of all the various food groups and stay properly hydrated? These are really important ways to manage blood sugar, energy levels, and depression.
One thing that helped me move my body when I was in my darkest days was to tell myself I could go for five minutes and if I wanted to stop, I could. Sometimes I stopped after five minutes, but most of the time it actually felt surprisingly good and I wanted to keep going.
Get help if youre still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks.
Treatments for depression include psychological therapies and antidepressants.
Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight
Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.
- Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening.
- Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
- Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
- If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.
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Dealing With The Winter Blues
For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.
Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
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