Tips to get out of depression
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SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Also visit the online treatment locator.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
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How to get out of depression: effective advice from psychologistsHow to get out of depression: effective advice from psychologists | Restorative medicine center "Altiva"
Depression is the most common mental disorder worldwide. It can occur in people of different status and age, in any life period. This disorder reduces the quality of a person’s life: it interferes with enjoying what is happening, working, maintaining social relationships, and even serving oneself.
5 ways to get out of depression on your own
There are different forms of this disorder. However, treatment will be most effective if started early. When depression is mild, you can get out of it on your own. To do this, you must follow the recommendations of psychologists, and not selectively, but in combination:
- Sports. During physical activity (about 30 minutes), the production of the "hormone of happiness", endorphin, increases 5 times. Yoga, aerobics, or dancing can help you get out of depression. nine0011
- Travel. Interesting trips, unfamiliar places, meeting new people - all this contributes to emotional upsurge. In a state of depression, solitude and loneliness should be avoided. Various hobbies and hobbies help well. And even ordinary walks in the fresh air.
- Meditation. Stimulates the production of endorphin and norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter associated with mood. Techniques such as art therapy, massages, acupuncture, and the like may also be used.
- Personal care. One of the main signs of depression is indifference, even to one's own appearance. Therefore, even if there is neither desire nor strength, it is still worth taking care of yourself and, if possible, visiting spas.
- Healthy eating. If there is no appetite, it is better not to skip meals. In depressive conditions, immunity is often impaired, so it is better to focus on fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and microelements.
During a period of depression, you should not make important decisions, because. the surrounding world is perceived biased. nine0004
Do's and don'ts for depression
Most people with depression don't realize they need help. There is no universal cure, but psychologists give recommendations on what exactly should not be done in this condition:
- Alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can restore the joy of life for a very short period. In addition, many people suffering from depression often experience alcoholism or drug addiction.
- Bad habits. People in a depressed state have low self-esteem, they are not interested in anything. They have no desire to even move, they can lie for days and do nothing. It is necessary to fight against this, it is impossible to follow the lead of such pernicious desires. nine0011
- Ignore medication. Such severe forms of depression as chronic, bipolar, endogenous, cannot be cured without medical help.
Overcoming depression: when specialists are indispensable
Depression is a serious disorder that often requires medical attention. Therefore, contacting specialists is the most preferable and effective option. When there is neither the strength nor the desire to do anything, it is very difficult to get rid of a depressive state on your own. And when it comes to severe forms of depression, it is almost impossible. In such cases, treatment consists of several stages:
- Taking antidepressants. The selection of the drug is carried out by the attending physician. The selection takes into account interactions with other drugs, previous treatment results and other indicators.
- Psychotherapy. Interpersonal, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and other therapies may be used. The use of these methods allows patients to look at the world in a positive way, learn to overcome depressive attacks, and also recognize signs of their approach. nine0011
The effects of antidepressants appear after a while: usually, the drugs begin to work a few weeks after the start of administration, and their effect lasts for six months to a year. And psychotherapy is especially important when working with patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Therapy helps to cope with feelings of fear and hopelessness.
Remember, timely treatment will help prevent more severe forms of depression and greatly improve the patient's quality of life. nine0048
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How to get out of depression on your own ✔️ Psychologist's advice for women and men
People experience psychological disorders to a greater or lesser extent. Depression is the most serious of these.
Have you ever wondered if your bad mood is the beginning of this illness? After all, you can suffer from its manifestations for many years, but at the same time constantly assure yourself that these are temporary problems.
This article contains advice on how to recognize the disorder and how to get out of depression if the disease is diagnosed.
- Depression: what is it?
- How do you know if you have depression?
- General symptoms of depression
- Forms and causes of depression
- Is there a difference between male and female depression?
- How is depression expressed in women?
- How is depression expressed in men?
- Is it possible to overcome depression without the help of a doctor?
- Coping with depression on your own: advice from a psychologist
- How to help a loved one overcome depression?
- Literature to help
Depression: what is it?
Depression can be described in dozens of ways, using professional and clinical terms, statistics, artistic comparisons, and the patient's own perspective.
William Styron (the novels Go Dark, Sophie's Choice) said well about depression, who had a chance to feel the dark side of the disease: “In severe depression, suffering is completely unimaginable for someone who has never experienced it. They sometimes kill because they are unbearable.” nine0004
Depression does not choose between rich and poor, unknown and famous. The paintings of Vrubel and Filonov, Van Gogh and Picasso are painted with disturbing shades. Sharp experiences are heard in the music of Beethoven, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Bach.
Depression is a disease that takes away the joy of life and makes people childishly defenseless. At least that's how patients describe it. “I don’t feel anything, I get up in the morning and don’t know what to do with myself. And if I start things, I can't finish them. I cry for any reason. I have absolutely no strength,” says the young woman. nine0004
Depression is a timeless and age-independent illness. This is a spiritual storm that covers, taking strength and the desire to act. The size of this storm is frightening. In the world, according to various estimates, to 350 million inhabitants of the planet suffer from depression . The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2020, depression came in second after cardiovascular diseases.
How do you know if you are depressed?
The line between "normal" despondency and depression as a disease is not clear, but there are symptoms that distinguish one from the other. Depression is a loss of interest in what is happening. A person functions in a slow rhythm, looks at the world gloomily and pessimistically, sees the future only in dark colors.
General symptoms of depression
Among the symptoms that characterize depression, the following are most often mentioned:
- Feeling alone, indifferent, sad or sorry about something
- Feeling tired and losing energy
- Unwillingness to communicate with other people, even with relatives and friends
- Lack of interest in daily activities and responsibilities
- Constant feeling of dissatisfaction, tearfulness
- Excessive agitation, irritability, uncontrolled attacks of aggression
- Appetite and sleep disorders, decreased libido, weight loss or gain
- Inexplicable feeling of guilt, sense of worthlessness of existence, helplessness, hopelessness, anxious and suicidal thoughts. nine0011
Diagnosis is the first response to signs of depression. The disease is diagnosed if at least four symptoms appear simultaneously and persist for at least two weeks.
Forms and causes of depression
The range of shades of depression is as wide as the number of patients who are diagnosed. We talk about depression when someone has mood swings related to the season (seasonal depression) or traumatic situations (psychogenic form). The cause may be a severe event, for example, the loss of a loved one (endogenous form), or biochemical changes that occur in the body in case of illness (somatogenic form). nine0004
Is there a difference between male and female depression?
There is no conclusive evidence that female and male depression are different forms. Symptoms in women and men may be the same. However, statistics show that gender largely determines the predisposition to depression.
There are social, psychological and biological differences between the sexes.
1. Social differences
Experts say that up to 65% of cases of male depression remain undetected. This is evidenced by the fact that men are less likely to seek therapeutic help. Largely because they are ashamed of the symptoms and prefer to get out of depression on their own. Therefore, more often than women fall into alcohol and drug addiction. nine0004
2. Psychological differences
Men's and women's brains differ in their approach to problem solving. Women explore the cause of a difficult situation, analyze the past and consider its aspects. Men take concrete action to solve the problem. In a hopeless situation, they are much more likely to attempt suicide. According to forensic experts, up to 80% of suicidal cases occur with men.
3. Biological differences
Biological factors, such as physical appearance or hormonal manifestations, can also affect the development of depression differently in men and women. nine0004
How is depression expressed in women?
Women are twice as likely to experience depression as men. This is due to gender characteristics, hormonal factors, psychological perception of reality and behavioral style.
Factors affecting female depression:
1. Marital status
This is one of the most common risk factors. Single women are less likely to experience depression than married women, while the opposite is true for men. This is explained by the influence of social roles. It is worth noting that such a phenomenon is almost never found in certain cultural circles, for example, in the Mediterranean countries, where the care of a woman at home is traditionally valued. nine0004
2. Family relationships
The risk of developing depression in women is associated not only with the fact of marriage, but also with the quality of family relationships, which is often affected by difficulties in interacting with a partner. Lack of intimacy, trust, protracted family conflict cause stress, which deprives a woman of a source of support and reduces self-esteem.
3. Professional situation
Unemployment increases the risk of depression. Work has been proven to make women resilient to negative life events. It organizes, develops activity, purposefulness and a sense of control. nine0004
4. Thought processes
Gender differences in thinking styles also contribute to the development of depressive disorders. Women tend to have lower self-esteem than men, focusing more on themselves and their emotions than on actions in response to negative events. It is more difficult for them to distract themselves from disturbing thoughts and, thereby, improve their well-being.
5. Postpartum period
Another risk factor is the postpartum period. This is affected by the pain associated with childbirth, rapid hormonal changes, changes in the body. The confrontation with a new social role, the need to mobilize forces to take care of the child also act as stress factors. nine0004
6.Period of menopause
This period is characterized by isolated depressive syndromes. Women who previously suffered from depression, had severe premenstrual tension, and experienced severe postpartum symptoms are more prone to these manifestations.
How is depression expressed in men?
Men are generally more likely to achieve power and success than women. They do not like to admit to weakness, so they are less likely to talk about experiences. nine0004
Factors affecting men's depression:
Research shows that the most common cause of depression in men is marital or relationship problems. Arguments and quarrels cause men physical discomfort, so they try to avoid them. And if it doesn’t work out, they go into themselves and cannot get out of depression.
Depression makes a man lose interest in his own body and, consequently, in sex. Antidepressants against this background only exacerbate the situation. Sometimes there is an increase in libido as a way to improve mood. nine0004
3. Pregnancy and children
It has been found that every tenth man experiences psychological problems when he becomes a father. The need to give more time to mother and child leads to fatigue and the inability to concentrate on work. Depression is aggravated if the partner is in a similar state, if the relationship does not go well, or if the family has financial difficulties.
Losing a job, no matter the cause, can be very stressful. According to studies, one in seven unemployed men becomes depressed within six months of losing their job. nine0004
Reaching retirement age and retirement can be difficult for a man, especially when his partner is still working. It is difficult for him to independently adapt to new living conditions.
Depression is common in shy men who do not have permanent relationships and who find it difficult to assert their rights and settle in life.
Is it possible to overcome depression without the help of a doctor?
There is no medicine that is perfect for every patient. But this does not mean that there is no way out of depression.
To overcome depression, it must be acknowledged. The disease reminds us that the dark side of reality is no less a part of our existence than its bright colorful sides. Depression can be an opportunity for mental and spiritual development. However, if left untreated, the condition can develop into a serious mental illness.
Unfortunately, only 50% of patients receive treatment. A person suffering from depression falls into a kind of vicious circle: the disease requires energy and will, which are absent. Therefore, people cannot always recover on their own, simply by "pulling themselves together." nine0004
Several treatments are used for depression. However, it is up to the doctor to decide what will be better in this or that case. In less severe cases, you can limit yourself to changing your lifestyle. In difficult situations, pharmacology and psychotherapy come to the rescue. In severe depression, hospitalization is necessary. Treating depression is a long process. But when contacting a doctor, 80-90% of patients recover.
Coping with depression on your own: advice from a psychologist
If you really want to get out of depression, you can do it yourself. Moreover, if the patient himself does not perform any actions aimed at recovery, then neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist will help him.
How to act in different situations?
If depression is opposed to happiness, give yourself more happy moments.
1. Happiness in relationships
How to deal with depression if it is the result of a toxic relationship? It is worth trying to resolve misunderstandings and extinguish conflicts. If this is not possible, try to limit contact with toxic people as much as possible. If you live with such a person under the same roof, do everything in your power to free yourself from destructive relationships. If they are work-related, change jobs, even if you gave her many years. Work is no substitute for health. nine0004
2. Happiness in communication
On our planet, many creatures lead a solitary lifestyle. But we are a herd species, which means we need humans to keep us mentally healthy and happy. Sometimes one person is enough to get out of depression. His warm participation, acceptance and kindness work wonders. Don't lock yourself in. Find such a person in your environment and establish a trusting relationship with him.
3. Happy on a plate
Food affects how we feel. If the diet is based on unhealthy foods, the chances of getting out of depression are almost zero. Changing eating habits is hard, but it can be done in small steps. Replace cola with water and natural juices, pizza with cereal, sweets with fruits and nuts. Gradually, you will turn food into a healing diet. Beware of the temptation to drink alcohol. It will give temporary relief, but in fact, it will only aggravate the condition.
4. Running after happiness
Just as there is no happiness without a healthy diet, so there is no happiness without physical activity. You don't have to spend half a day at the gym. A short walk three times a week is enough to revitalize the body. An oxygenated brain produces endorphins, the hormones of happiness. This is why runners feel euphoric after a run. All you need is vigorous exercise, preferably outdoors. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3-5 times a week.
5. Happiness in four paws
Pets help to get out of depression. It's hard to deny the calming power of a cat's purr. And communication with dogs helps to maintain a mental attitude, reduces stress levels and increases self-esteem.
Thanks to the animal in the house, we focus on it, and not on negative thoughts. Pets give warmth, unconditional love and joy, never judge and forgive everything. Therefore, their role in the treatment of depression remains undeniable.
6. Happiness is all around us
When we're in trouble, we sometimes don't realize how cluttered the space around us is and how messy our lives are. Declare war on depression by starting a big cleanup. Try to get rid of things that have not been used for more than a year. Do the same for documents. Organizing an archive of papers, letters, photographs will give you a sense of stability and control over your own life, and will definitely improve your mood.
7. Happiness in nature
When everyday life is full of worries and problems, nature gives strength to deal with them. Fresh air, forest and sunbathing, trips to beautiful places have an amazing effect.
Green therapy helps to relax and reduces stress levels. Mental state improves work in the garden. In London, there is Sydenham Park, where sessions of medicinal gardening are held. “This is an oasis of peace. When you come here, the outside world ceases to exist for you,” says a woman who first came to the park as a patient and now works there as a volunteer. This is a great example for doing something useful in nature. nine0004
Learn more about coping with depression in our video:
How can you help a loved one overcome depression?
If there are people in your family who are depressed, show concern. The main thing is to consult a doctor who will help establish a diagnosis and plan treatment. This must be done, if only because the patient himself often does not recognize the symptoms seen by others, and is not able to perform such an activity on his own.
Treatment for depression is the time it takes to get rid of difficult emotions. Decreased motivation to perform daily duties or socialize are the most common symptoms of the disease. Support for a loved one is expressed in being there, not judging, showing empathy, helping in everyday affairs. nine0004
Sometimes it's difficult. Nevertheless, try, because human health, and sometimes life, is at stake. Important message: "I'm here if you need help."
What exactly is not worth doing?
As you can see, depression is not the same as being in a bad mood. Depression is when a person does not want to live. When he wakes up and does not understand why. When he does not care how he looks, when there is no strength and desire to perform the simplest actions. nine0004
Someone will say: "He just got lazy." Because this state is often associated with laziness. The most devastating thing for people experiencing depression is misunderstanding. Therefore, it is so important not to use expressions that make a person feel even worse.
Which statements should be avoided?
1. "You are exaggerating"
This means: "The problem is far-fetched." By saying that nothing special is happening, we make the other person feel guilty. We let him know that reality just needs to be revised, and he does not want to make any effort for this. nine0004
2. "Don't act like a child"
Behaving like a child means not being able to cope with difficulties on your own. Meanwhile, adults experience much more difficulties than children who are not yet aware of them, and feel the problems much more strongly. They perceive irritating factors in a different way, they have a different awareness and different emotions.
3. "Come on, you'll figure it out"
You can deal with the mess in the room, not the mess in the soul. Depression is not cutlery that can be laid out in a kitchen drawer. Realizing the disease, a person has to deal with a huge layer of problems, including problems from childhood. Even with the help of a psychotherapist, this process can take more than a year. nine0004
4. "Go to a party"
Depression activity recommended. But you're dealing with a person who has to fight with himself just to get out of bed. Do not try to pull it out somewhere. Most likely, it will not go beyond tying shoelaces. Meeting people is the last thing a person wants if they feel bad. So respect his decision if he refuses to leave the house.
5. “Normal people have no problems”
Meanwhile, it is normal to experience not always pleasant feelings. The situation in which a person finds himself and from which he wants to get out is normal. All you can do is help him with this. And if you don’t want to or can’t, don’t complicate the task for him.
6. "You don't have enough work"
It is naive to believe that depression can be overcome with a busy work schedule and willpower. Of course, work helps not to think about the bad, at least temporarily. But at the same time, it is not enough just to get out of bed and find something to do to make the problem disappear. At best, it will be delayed for an hour or two. nine0004
7. “Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself!”
And why not? Any person has a right to this. Problems, bad mood and well-being often cause the need to cry and complain. In this case, our duty is to stay with the person and listen patiently.
8. “Who is it easy now?”
You argue that a person has no right to feel bad, because troubles and misfortunes happen to everyone. Thus, you deprive him of the right to his own experiences. You make him feel guilty because there are wars, hungry children and coronavirus in the world. But the point is not that it is difficult for everyone now, but that it is bad specifically for him. nine0004
9. “I can imagine how you feel now.”
No, you can't. A person who has not experienced depression himself and has not been close to someone who suffered from it usually does not understand what he is dealing with. Being angry at a boss or feeling tired is not the same as feeling depressed.
10. "Don't do this, I can't look at you"
One of the most selfish messages. “I don't care how you feel, I don't care. And I feel bad looking at you ”- this is what you broadcast to a person. At best, it means: "I feel sorry for you." Think about whether these are the words that you would like to hear in a similar situation? nine0004
Literature to help
To help you better understand the nature of depressive disorders and their various shades, we have selected a few books that you will like:
1. Andrey Kurpatov Say “NO” to depression!”
A bestseller by a Russian practicing psychotherapist and TV presenter, in which he describes his professional experience in treating an illness and advises getting rid of it without medication.
2. John Kabat-Zinn The Conscious Path Through Depression
Psychiatrist Jon Kabat-Zinn talks about practices developed in the meditation tradition of Buddhism. Using meditation in therapy, he confirmed their effectiveness in the treatment of depression.
3. Anthony Kempinski "Melancholia"
This is a book about depression, sadness and neurotic conditions that occur in the lives of people of all ages. Despite the fact that the Polish psychotherapist wrote it in the 70s of the last century, it is still relevant today.
4. Michael Cunningham "The Clock"
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is overshadowed by a film adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman. Meanwhile, the book version of The Hours delves even deeper into the recesses of the mind controlled by depression, presenting its various forms. After all, everyone suffers from depression in different ways.
5. Robert Leahy Beat Depression Before It Beats You
A guide written by a practitioner, professor of clinical psychology and psychiatry. The author covers common problems caused by depression and explains how to deal with them. This is required reading for those who experience the symptoms of the disease and see no way out of it. nine0004
6. Matt Haig “Fall in love with life. How to learn to live again when you are almost destroyed by depression»
The true story of the author - a man who survived the crisis, overcame depression, survived and learned to live again.
7. Loretta Breuning “Hormons of happiness. How to Train Your Brain to Produce Serotonin, Dopamine, Endorphin, and Oxytocin”
Almost everything that makes us feel high has to do with one of the happiness hormones. The author, a clinical psychologist and researcher, offers several ways to increase them. The book will teach you to experience happy thoughts and feelings, even when the world around you does not give you a reason to smile. nine0004
Depression is a severe chronic disease with a tendency to relapse. It will not go away on its own, therefore, it requires treatment. The sooner help arrives, the greater the chance of recovery. It is important for a person who is faced with a problem to remember that life is expensive, and in life he is not alone.