How Can I Help Myself If I Am Depressed
Other things that may help include:
- Spending time with other people and talking with a friend or relative about your feelings
- Increasing your level of physical activity. Regular exercise can help people with mild to moderate depression and may be one part of a treatment plan for those with severe depression. Talk with your health care professional about what kind of exercise is right for you.
- Breaking up large tasks into small ones, and tackling what you can as you can. Don’t try to do too many things at once
- Delaying important decisions until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well.
- Keeping stable daily routines. For example, eating and going to bed at the same time every day.
- Avoiding alcohol
As you continue treatment, gradually you will start to feel better. Remember that if you are taking an antidepressant, it may take several weeks for it to start working. Try to do things that you used to enjoy before you had depression. Go easy on yourself.
Watch Out For Hidden Caffeine
Many people rely on morning coffee to stay awake, but caffeine consumption after noon may contribute to sleep problems. To maintain good sleep habits, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine is found in many foods, beverages, and even certain medications. Some hidden sources of caffeine include chocolate, tea, some pain relievers, weight loss pills, soda, and energy drinks. You may need to experiment a bit. People have different abilities to metabolize caffeine. If you are very sensitive, you may even have to avoid decaf coffee which contains a small amount of the stimulant.
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Why Sleep Is So Important
Just like food, water, and air, restorative sleep is vital for your health. In terms of your mental health, sleep allows your brain to create new pathways and memories which help you learn, solve problems, pay attention, and make decisions. After a good nights sleep, youre more alert, able to think clearly and concentrate, and better control your emotions and behavior.
Sleep is also a necessity for your physical health as it helps your body grow, make repairs, maintain a healthy balance of hormones, and keep your immunity up. In light of this, its no surprise that sleep deprivation has been linked to a slew of chronic health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes, and obesity.;
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Fatigue Or Lack Of Energy
We all feel less energetic from time to time, so fatigue on its own isn’t necessarily a symptom of depression or a sign of a depressive episode, says Gabriela Cora, MD, managing partner of the Florida Neuroscience Center and a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. “However, if fatigue lingers and is accompanied by low mood and decreased motivation or interest, this lack of energy may be tied to early signs of depression,” she says.
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
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What To Do If Your Friend Has Suicidal Thoughts
If you are concerned your friend may harm themselves,dont dismiss your gut. Instead:
- Pay attentionto anything said about suicide, other forms of self-harm or a world thatdoesnt include them.
- Keep the lines of communication openso they know they can talk to you when they have these feelings. ;
- Encourage themto get professional help.
That help may include outpatient therapy and psychotropic medications prescribed by their primary care doctor or a psychiatrist. If you think your friend is in immediate danger, call 911 or take your friend to the nearest emergency department.
Remember: Your friends situation is not hopeless. Like other illnesses, depression can be treated with the right medical help and the support of friends like you.
Get Help For Both Depression And Sleep
If you have insomnia and depression, dont assume that medical treatment for one will automatically cure the other. Treatments for depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other medications, may improve your mood and outlook, but they may not be enough to improve your sleep.
Theres some evidence that lingering sleep problems in people undergoing depression treatment increase the risk of a slide back into depression. The good news: Theres also some early evidence that CBT-I , along with depression treatment, improves sleep in people with depression and may increase the chances of a remission of depression.
Poor Quality Sleep Reduces Resilience
In a recent Johns Hopkins study, healthy women and men whose sleep wasinterrupted throughout the night had a 31 percent reduction in positivemoods the next day. Sleep interruptions interfere with deep, restorativeslow-wave sleep, explains lead researcher;Patrick Finan, Ph.D.;Ongoing insomnia could increase a persons risk of depression, he says, byweakening their emotional resiliencethe buffer of positive emotions thathelps people deal with stress and challenges of life.
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Talk To Your Physician
Difficulty sleeping may stem from an underlying medical condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea. Restless leg syndrome and bruxism can also interfere with sleep. These medical issues may cause sleep problems that worsen or cause depression.
Its important to talk to your physician about any sleep problems or depressive symptoms youre experiencing. Your physician can assess whether you have underlying health issues contributing to your conditions.
What Do You Think Is Really Causing Your Insomnia
Why You Shouldnt Say This: Many insomniacs suffer from a problem called sleep anxiety â a general anxiousness about the subject of sleep, from fear of not getting enough, to obsessive worry about the causes of your insomnia. Because of this, youre not illuminating someones problems if you ask them why they cant sleep â more likely, youre adding to their pile of nighttime worry. This is particularly not something to ask an insomniac while theyre smack in the middle of an insomnia episode; when an insomniac is anxious and running on almost no sleep, any question can add fuel to the fire.
What To Say Instead: Let me try to help you calm down
The best thing you can do for a partner who cant get to sleep is to provide some comfort. Remind them of any techniques that have helped them fall back asleep before. If you can, try to draw their attention away from any heavy thoughts that might be plaguing their brains.
Acclaimed comedian and noted insomniac Amy Poehler revealed in her book Yes, Please that her partner tells her soothing stories when she cant sleep; my saint of a boyfriend will sometimes tell me long, silly stories to occupy my brain when Im up at night with sleep anxiety, too. So try to offer some gentle, non-invasive help. Even if it doesnt work, your friend will appreciate it.
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Coping With Sleep Disturbances During Depression
Dealing with sleep disturbances when youre feeling depressed can seem like a vicious circle. The more depressed you feel, the harder it is to sleep. And the more exhausted you feel, the harder it is to fight depression.
It can feel like theres no way to break the cycle. And its frustrating to feel tired yet be unable to fall or stay asleep. Here’s what you should know about the relationship between sleep disturbances and depression.
Increased Risk Of Depression In Insomnia
The National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catchment Area study 20 years ago interviewed 7954 adults on two occasions a year apart, and this study first highlighted the strong association between sleep disturbance and subsequent depression. They found that 14% of those who had insomnia at the first interview had developed new major depression a year later. This data has been augmented by several more recent reports of increased risk. Brcslau ct al, in a survey of 1200 young adults in Michigan, found that the odds ratio of new depression in was 4 times increased in those subjects who had insomnia 3 years earlier, and in a questionnaire survey of adults over 18 in the UK there was a 3-fold increased risk of new depression if subjects had reported one sleep problem occurring on most nights a year earlier. Doctors in a prospective study who had complained of insomnia during medical school in the 1950s and 1960s were twice as likely to have developed depression at follow-up in 1990s.
It is apparent that sleep problems often appear before other depression symptoms, and that subjective sleep quality worsens before onset of an episode in recurrent depression.
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Shine A Little Light On It: Light Therapy
Everyones different. But the thing that really turned me around from someone curled into a ball of depression and hopelessness to sitting up in bed was light therapy.
Bright light therapy is often recommended for people with major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern or sleep disorders.
More research is still needed, but evidence suggests it may have the potential to help people with depression and have antidepressant-like qualities. My psychologist, and a few other experts Ive met, also recommend these lights for people with other types of nonseasonal depression.
Sitting in front of the light for a few moments is necessary to get your dose, meaning theres no need to jump out of bed immediately. As my eyes fight to even open, I usually lean over, turn on the little box of sunshine in my room and its sort of impossible to close them again.
I can check my phone or grab a cup of warm tea and come back to face the light for 20 minutes while still in bed. By the time thats over, Ive found Im ready to get up and start moving. My boyfriend also sits with me and says he feels more awake when he does.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the typical recommendation for seasonal depression is to use a 10,000-lux light box 16 to 24 inches from your face. Use it daily for about 20 to 30 minutes, preferably early in the morning after first waking up. Find a light box online.
Changes In Appetite And Weight
We all tend to overeat or feel loss of appetite from time to time. However, if it’s coupled with other symptoms, such as feeling depressed or losing interest and pleasure in usual or favorite activities for two weeks or more, it could be a sign of a depressive episode, according to Simon Rego, PsyD, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. A weight gain of at least 5 percent of a person’s total body weight in a short period of time that causes significant distress may be considered part of depression, Dr. Rego says.
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Getting Out Of A Funk: How To Help Yourself Through Depression
Everyone has off days where they feel tired, irritable, and sad. Its normal to feel sadness as a response to challenging life events, loss, or changes, but sometimes these feelings can stick around for a while if left unaddressed and make it difficult for you to get through each day.;
Heres how you can tell when youre in a funk or maybe even experiencing a mild depression as well as what you can do to help yourself feel better.;;
Difficulty Experiencing Joy Or Connection
When were depressed, it can take all of the enjoyment out of the things we love and make it more difficult for us to connect to those closest to us. We may begin to lose interest in hobbies, friendships, schoolwork, social activities, sex or life in general. When this happens, we may find ourselves isolating from friends, family members or others who care about us.
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Avoid Judgment And Blame
If someone you love is depressed and no longer able to do the activities they used to, including working or helping around the house, you may feel like they are lazy. When you get frustrated, try to remember that someone who is depressed isn’t lazythey’re ill. Everyday activities like cleaning the house, paying bills, or feeding the dog may seem overwhelming, if not impossible, to someone who is depressed.
If your loved one’s responsibilities around the house are piling up, you may not be able to take them on yourself.
In addition to resisting the urge to blame your loved one, try not to blame yourself either. Know that it’s OK if you need to ask for help.
Why You Oversleep Or Cant Get Enough Sleep When Depressed
Depression can make it harder for you to fall asleep or more challenging to wake up in the morning. Its also not uncommon to feel sleepy during the day.
Sleep trouble can be caused by a dip in serotonin levels. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical messenger in the brain , and when it takes a plunge, you may feel extra sleepy. If youre having trouble falling asleep, stress may also be playing a role. Anxiety alerts the body to danger, and when your body is ready to fight or flee, insomnia or other sleep-wake disorders can follow.
While these sleeping woes can cause concern, you can overcome them by trying out these sleep tips that may help you get some shut-eye.
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What Causes Depression In Men
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of risk factors including:
- Genetic factorsmen with a family history of depression may be more likely to develop it than those whose family members do not have the illness.
- Environmental Stressfinancial problems, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, major life changes, work problems, or any stressful situation may trigger depression in some men.
- Illnessdepression can occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or Parkinsons disease. Depression can make these conditions worse and vice versa. Sometimes, medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that trigger or worsen depression.
Getting On The Right Track
On this page youll find some quick tips that can help you fix some of the most common problems related to sleep when depressed: 1) not being able to fall asleep, 2) waking up frequently during the night, and 3) not being able to get out of bed.
We also provide some tips about good sleep habits. A lot of guys often overlook the importance of good sleep; they plan their days, but not their nights. For the most part, sleeping well simply means putting into place some good habits. There are lots of tips that can help, so it may take a little time to find what works best for you. But making these small changes and maintaining them over the long term can have a huge effect on your quality of life.
For more complete information and guidance about sleeping well, scroll to the Additional Resources section at the bottom of this page.
Your bed might be comfortable but you want your mind to connect your bed with sleep, not with lying around eating, watching TV, or working. When you drop down after a long day you want you body to know its time to sleep.
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Where Can I Go For Help
If you are unsure of where to go for help, ask your family doctor or health care provider. You can also find resources online including the NIMH website at www.nimh.nih.gov/FindHelp, or check with your insurance carrier to find someone who participates in your plan. Hospital doctors can help in an emergency.
While Medication And Therapy Are Mainstays Of Treatment There Are Several Things That You As A Caregiver Can Do To Aid Recovery
depressionWays to assist recovery1. Expect the depressed person to weep without reasonnegative thoughts2. Encourage the person to express what they are going throughempatheticnon-judgemental listener3. Do your research and go to a tried and tested psychiatrist.medicines4. ask your doctor if the medicine needs to be changed5. You need to gently explain that to the depressed person.6. prevent future episodes.7.level of wellness8.fatiguelack of sleep9. Depression can also be the cause of suicidal thoughts.10. Educate yourself on the illness. , USA)
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