Minimize Your Daily Choices
Have you ever walked into a theme park and been overwhelmed at what you want to do first? Researchers think that having too many choices can actually cause significant stress that can lead to depression.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz, author of the book The Paradox of Choice, describes research that shows that when faced with too many choices, those who aim to make the best possible choice maximizers face higher rates of depression.
For many of us, our lives are filled with choices. Which outfit do we wear, and should we buy yogurt or eggs or bagels or English muffins or sausage for breakfast? The pressure of making the right or wrong choice is thought to contribute to depression.
If making choices stresses you out, simplify things. You can:
- Learn to be decisive more quickly.
- Reduce the decisions youll have to make during the work week: Plan out your outfits, and have your meals prepped and ready to go.
Know That Today Isnt Indicative Of Tomorrow
Internal emotions and thoughts can change from day to day. Tracking experiences through journaling or keeping a mood diary can help to remember this.
If you were unsuccessful at getting out of bed or accomplishing your goals today, remember that you havent lost tomorrows opportunity to try again.
Give yourself the grace to accept that while some days will be difficult, some days will also be less difficult. Try to look forward to tomorrows fresh start.
Combinations That Cause Misery
The incidence of developing depression in addition to an anxiety disorder is high almost half of all people with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety. Depression and anxiety are mental illnesses that are frequently co-occurring with substance abuse such as alcohol and drug addiction. The relationship between the disorders is bi-directional, meaning people who abuse substances are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and vice versa.
The three tend to work together creating a cycle of suffering. Substance abuse can not only put you in a depressed state but the process of obtaining and taking a substance often causes anxiety and shame which leads to further depression. A depressed state can cause people to try and escape with the only way that they know how, through substance abuseand the cycle continues.
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Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression
According to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States, anxiety and depression can share several common symptoms, including, but not limited to:
- Being easily fatigued
- Sleep disturbance
Other signs that a person may suffer from both anxiety disorder and depression include:
- Constant, irrational fear and worry
- Physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, headaches, hot flashes, sweating, abdominal pain, and/or difficulty breathing
- Changes in eating, either too much or too little
- Persistent feelings of sadness or worthlessness
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Inability to relax
- Panic attacks
Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult
Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.
Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
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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.
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
Complementary and alternative treatments have developed outside the mainstream of modern western medicine or psychology and some people find them helpful. Most of them, such as homeopathy and many herbal remedies do not have a scientific evidence base. There is some evidence that acupuncture reduces anxiety and that St Johns wort is effective for depression. If you plan to try a complementary or alternative treatment, you might want to talk to your pharmacist, doctor or nurse first.
“Acupuncture really helped me recover from depression and anxiety. I felt better after the first treatment but after several treatments over three weeks I had gone from being severely depressed back to my baseline happiness.Anonymous
Tohunga and other Mori healers provide rongo Mori healing that offers:
- Mirimiri .
- Rkau rongo .
- Whitiwhiti krero .
“I had to first connect with the wairua, through karakia, waiata, and also regular visits to the awa. The main thing I had to do was krero, talk and unload.Jamie
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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.
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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Physiological Anxiety And Cognitive Interference
What do these studies tell us? What can we learn from these seemingly conflicting findings? To start, they show us that physiological anxiety produces different results in different people. This is partially due to personal history. Previous experiences of sexual dysfunction increase its likelihood in response to anxiety. In addition, a person’s thought process can have a major impact on the likelihood of experiencing sexual dysfunction.
Cognitive interference is the process by which thoughts and expectations can negatively affect the body’s ability to regulate itself. Cognitive interference plays a major role in sexual dysfunction6. This is best exhibited by research that has shown an effect of sexual expectations on sexual functioning7: When people expect to achieve normative sexual response, they are more likely to do so than when they expect sexual dysfunction. Certain people are more likely to expect sexual dysfunction, or at least have concerns about their sexual functioning, than are others. Two major psychological sources influence how much people anticipate sexual dysfunction: anxiety and depression.
How Meditation Works For Depression
The most helpful type of meditation in Goyals study wasmindfulness meditationa self-awareness practice that involves focusing on the present moment andgently refocusing, without judgment, whenever attention wanders. Thetheory: Meditation may ease depression by stopping, for a while, theever-churning worries and fears that can fuel it.If Im depressed about a life change like divorce or losing a job and keepthinking about it, I may become more depressed. And the churning thoughtscan cause a cascade of symptoms that lead to feeling debilitated, Goyalsays. One way mindfulness may help is by causing you to pause and reactless to whatever is bothering you. This process can reduce the symptoms,making them less bothersome, and over time can become second nature withmore meditation practice.
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Helping Whnau And Friends
Mauria ko ku painga. Waiho ko ku wheru.Highlight my strengths. Ignore my weaknesses.
Sometimes its easy to tell when someone isnt their usual self, but its a lot harder to know how to help, or even how to raise the issue with them. Dont be afraid to start the conversation. Say you have noticed some changes lately and to ask them if theyre OK.
There are many ways you can make a difference. The most important thing is to ask what they need and dont make assumptions. Listen with open ears. Be patient and hold hope for them:
- Learn about depression and anxiety especially if you havent experienced it yourself.
- Do things together and keep the person involved.
- Give practical support, like cooking a meal or looking after the children.
- Go through the self-help options in this booklet with them.
- Offer to go with them to see their health professional.
Depression In People With Dementia
Depression is common in people with Alzheimers and related dementias. Dementia can cause some of the same symptoms as depression, and depression can be an early warning sign of possible dementia. Suicide attempts may also increase in people recently diagnosed with dementia. It is important to have support systems in place to help cope with a dementia diagnosis and possible depression symptoms that follow. More research is needed to determine effective depression treatment options for people with dementia.
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Can Stress Cause Mental Illness
When stress becomes overwhelming and prolonged, the risks for mental health problems and medical problems increase. Long-term stress increases the risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, substance use problems, sleep problems, pain and bodily complaints such as muscle tension.
Suggestions For Your Visit
There are things you can do to get the best out of your visit to a health professional:
- If you are making an appointment with a doctor or nurse, ask if you can have extra time to talk because the usual 15 minutes may not be enough.
- Ask a friend or whnau member to come with you as a support person and to give their perspective if you want them to.
- Write down the anxiety and/or depression signs you have been experiencing.
- Write down the things youve tried that have helped and not helped.
- If your current treatment is not working, ask for alternatives.
Remember, if youre not satisfied with your health professional, you can change to another one. Its really important to like and trust the professionals you talk to.
“My cousin, he gave me that kick, gave me that shove that I needed to talk to a professional person. I went and talked to a counsellor, and that was my turning point.Paul
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Tip : Eat A Healthy Depression
What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones .
Dont skip meals. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours.
Minimize sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these feel-good foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy. Aim to cut out as much of these foods as possible.
Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. To get more, take a B-complex vitamin supplement or eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs.
Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna, and some cold-water fish oil supplements.
When To Seek Professional Help
Any level of depression should be taken seriously and the faster you address the symptoms, the less likely you are to develop a more severe type of depression. Seeking professional help is a sign of bravery and self-respect because it shows that you are dedicated to caring for your mind and body. A therapist can offer more clinical advice and guide you through treatment with approaches that are more tailored to your specific situation and needs. However, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, tell someone you trust and seek assistance immediately.
Everyone experiences low points in their life and their mental health, but depression is a treatable mental illness and you can recover. Whether you or a loved one is feeling depressed, every persons experience with mental illness is different but help is available. Visit our Key Services page to learn more about the treatment methods we offer and to explore our list of additional health and wellness classes to support your overall mental health.
If you are in a crisis, please call us at 303-425-0300 or by calling the crisis line at 844-493-8255. The 24/7 crisis walk-in center and withdrawal management program is open at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.
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Meet Yourself Where You Are
Depression is common. It affects millions of people, including some in your life. You may not realize they face similar challenges, emotions, and obstacles.
The key to navigating depression is to be open, accepting, and loving toward yourself and what youre going through.
Every day with this disorder is different. Its important to take your mental health seriously and accept that where you are right now isnt where youll always be.
Talk To Someone Friendly
Another very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Don’t be shy about your anxiety – tell them you feel anxious and explain what you’re feeling.
Talking to nice, empathetic people keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and the supportive nature of friends and family gives you an added boost of confidence. If you’re suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something were wrong, you’d have someone that can watch over you.
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How To Beat Depression: 8 Things To Do Every Day
Trying to beat depression? Small daily efforts can be more effective than sweeping changes.
Depression isnt something youre able to turn off like a switch. It doesnt go away just because someone tells you to toughen up or because you had a moment of laughter during the day.
When you live with depression, you know it often isnt about the big moments in life. Sometimes, its all those quiet minutes of the day no one else sees.
When these moments feel like an eternity, there are ways you can loosen the hold depression has on daily life.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Again, its very common to feel low or sad, stressed or anxious, or any combination of the above, on occasion.
All the same, youre the best person to recognize whats typical for you. If you start to experience new, uncomfortable feelings, changes in your energy and motivation, or any other unusual symptoms, it never hurts to connect with a mental health professional for more guidance.
You might wonder whether an online self-test for anxiety or depression could offer more insight about the changes youve noticed. Some people do find these a helpful place to start but a more personalized route might involve asking yourself a few questions:
- Do I spend a lot more time worrying than I have in the past?
- Do I feel sad, empty, or hopeless often?
- Have I lost interest in the things I used to enjoy?
- Have I started to avoid spending time with friends and loved ones?
- Do I worry about things I cant control to the point where I have a hard time thinking about anything else?
- Do I become irritable or annoyed more quickly than I have in the past?
- Do I often feel restless, on edge, or unable to relax?
- Do I cycle through dark, unwanted, or fearful thoughts I cant seem to stop?
- Is it difficult to fall asleep, get enough sleep, or wake up on time most days?
- Have I noticed unexplained pain, tension, or other physical symptoms?
- Do these changes affect my daily life or relationships?
If you answered yes to most of the questions above, it may be time to reach out to a therapist.
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