Posts tagged depression
Posts tagged depression
Depression can often be difficult to fight as it usually drains you of your energy. And though you can’t overcome it by willpower alone, you still have some control, no matter how you feel. The suggestions below can help you with this.
1. Keep doing the activities you previously enjoyed (even if you don’t enjoy them as much when you’re depressed).
2. Try and build some exercise into your day as it releases endorphins – the body’s “feel good” hormones.
3. Know what your triggers and your risk factors are. For example, loneliness, stress, disappointment and pain are common triggers and risk factors for depression.
4. Stay in touch with your friends. Often those who are depressed start to isolate themselves – but that leads to loneliness - which makes depression worse.
5. Try and maintain some kind of routine, especially when it comes to getting up and going to bed. Taking naps in the daytime can cause insomnia and leave you feeling drained, so you have no energy.
6. Try to get a handle on how much you tend to worry. Take note of your thought patterns; don’t dwell on negatives. Instead, challenge faulty thinking so it’s much less pessimistic … and try to be thankful … and look for positives.
7. Make sure you do things that make you feel more relaxed. Often people who’re depressed feel uptight and agitated. So it’s important that you find things that help you to relax.
8. Resist the temptation to self-medicate (especially through alcohol or substance abuse.) That will lead to greater problems - and make you feel much worse.
9. Seek out support. Talk to a good friend, or someone that you trust. You’ll usually find there’s someone who genuinely cares.
10. Talk to your doctor. It may be medication is the answer for you so don’t be afraid to try and get professional help.
1. Catch your internal negative critic: People are often hard on themselves. Every time some negative event occurs, and you begin to put yourself down, immediately recognise and stop that thought.
2. Replace your harsh inner critic with a kinder, and more balanced, inner voice: After identifying and discarding your harsh inner critic, make it a habit to regularly thinking good, and affirming, thoughts about yourself. That is, be your own best cheerleader. Say, for example, you do badly on a test and start to describe yourself as a loser, stop and refuse to accept that thought. Instead, deliberately replace it with a more balanced and positive thought.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others: Remind yourself that every person is unique. It doesn’t really matter how you compare to other people. The only thing that matters is whether or not you are good at being you.
4. Seek to love and respect yourself more. Also, remember that if you don’t respect yourself, then it’s going to be hard for other people to respect you. That means choosing to accept yourself for who and what you are - regardless of how you look and feel, or what you have done, or not done.
5. No one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission: If somebody was going to empty a garbage can on top of your head, would you just stand there and let it happen? You have a choice over how to act. In the same way, we can’t stop others from being nasty and mean - but we can choose to reject their comments, and refuse to take them personally. Also, be careful and wise when it comes to accepting advice. Ask yourself if the advice seems reasonable and is actually helping you. If the answer is “yes” then accept the advice. If the answer is “no”, then discard the advice.
6. Hang out with genuine, positive people: That is, with people who encourage you to feel good about yourself.
7. Keep a journal. Write something positive about yourself in your journal every day. Then, when you find yourself suffering from low self-esteem, open up your journal and encourage yourself.
According to Dr T.A. Richards, we can stop thoughts that lead to anxiety by consciously replacing them by more rational thoughts like the following:
When Anxiety is Near:
1. I’m going to be all right. My feelings are not always rational. I’m just going to relax, calm down, and everything will be all right.
2. Anxiety is not dangerous — it’s just uncomfortable. I am fine; I’ll just continue with what I’m doing or find something more active to do.
3. Right now I have some feelings I don’t like. They are really just phantoms, however, because they are disappearing. I will be fine.
4. Right now I have feelings I don’t like. They will be over with soon and I’ll be fine. For now, I am going to focus on doing something else around me.
5. That picture (image) in my head is not a healthy or rational picture. Instead, I’m going to focus on something healthy like _________________________.
6. I’ve stopped my negative thoughts before and I’m going to do it again now. I am becoming better and better at deflecting these automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) and that makes me happy.
7. So I feel a little anxiety now, SO WHAT? It’s not like it’s the first time. I am going to take some nice deep breaths and keep on going. This will help me continue to get better.”
When Preparing for a Stressful Situation
1. I’ve done this before so I know I can do it again.
2. When this is over, I’ll be glad that I did it.
3. The feeling I have about this trip doesn’t make much sense. This anxiety is like a mirage in the desert. I’ll just continue to “walk” forward until I pass right through it.
4. This may seem hard now, but it will become easier and easier over time.
5. I think I have more control over these thoughts and feelings than I once imagined. I am very gently going to turn away from my old feelings and move in a new, betterdirection.
When feeling overwhelmed
1. I can be anxious and still focus on the task at hand. As I focus on the task, my anxiety will go down.
2. Anxiety is a old habit pattern that my body responds to. I am going to calmly and nicely change this old habit. I feel a little bit of peace, despite my anxiety, and this peace is going to grow and grow. As my peace and security grow, then anxiety and panic will have to shrink.
3. At first, my anxiety was powerful and scary, but as time goes by it doesn’t have the hold on me that I once thought it had. I am moving forward gently and nicely all the time.
4. I don’t need to fight my feelings. I realize that these feelings won’t be allowed to stay around very much longer. I just accept my new feelings of peace, contentment, security, and confidence.
5. All these things that are happening to me seem overwhelming. But I’ve caught myself this time and I refuse to focus on these things. Instead, I’m going to talk slowly to myself, focus away from my problem, and continue with what I have to do. In this way, my anxiety will have to shrink away and disappear.
Ignore those who say that they never feel down. We’re surrounded by messages on positive thinking because so many battle with discouragement. So what can you do when you’re living in a cloud, and everything seems pointless and negative?
1. Ask someone you respect if they ever feel discouraged. You’ll be surprised by how common, and how normal, it is.
2. Acknowledge how you feel – as it’s better to be real than to stuff your emotions and pretend that things are fine.
3. Encourage someone else … and see the difference it makes. It will not just help them, you will feel better, too.
4. Get some exercise. Exercise releases the “feel good” hormones (endorphins) so you’ll feel less depressed, and you’ll have more energy.
5. Set some short term goals, and then work to reach those goals. There’s nothing like success for improving how we feel.
6. Focus on the things that you naturally do well – to remind yourself, again, of your talents and your strengths.
7. Talk to a friend. There nothing worse than feeling isolated and alone. But spending time with others can raise your self-esteem. Also, it puts things in perspective and your problems start to shrink.
8. Reward yourself, or do something you enjoy. You deserve to be nurtured, affirmed and treated well. When you’re battling your feelings you need that extra boost.
9. Journal how you feel. It’s highly therapeutic to express what’s on your mind.
10. Take a break and rest. Feeling worn out and discouraged can sap your energy. You need to stop, be refreshed, and have your energy restored.
- Depression is a serious condition. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.
- The symptoms of depression aren’t personal. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people he or she loves most. In addition, depressed people often say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally.
- Hiding the problem won’t make it go away. Don’t be an enabler. It doesn’t help anyone involved if you are making excuses, covering up the problem, or lying for a friend or family member who is depressed. In fact, this may keep the depressed person from seeking treatment.
- You can’t “fix” someone else’s depression. Don’t try to rescue your loved one from depression. It’s not up to you to fix the problem, nor can you. You’re not to blame for your loved one’s depression or responsible for his or her happiness (or lack thereof). Ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the depressed person.
· He or she doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore.
· He or she is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody.
· He or she has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities.
· He or she talks about feeling “helpless” or “hopeless.”
· He or she expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life.
· He or she frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain.
· He or she complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
· He or she has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.
· He or she is either sleeping less than usual or oversleeping.
· He or she is eating either more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
· He or she has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and “out of it.”
· He or she is drinking more or abusing drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers.
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to a loved one about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries he or she will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
If you don’t know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. Encourage the depressed person to talk about his or her feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment. And don’t expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
Ways to start the conversation:
· I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
· Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.
· I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.
Questions you can ask:
· When did you begin feeling like this?
· Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
· How can I best support you right now?
· Do you ever feel so bad that you don’t want to be anymore?
· Have you thought about getting help?
Remember, being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that he or she will understand and respond to while in a depressed mind frame.
What you can say that helps:
· You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
· You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
· I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
· When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold of for just one more day, hour, minute — whatever you can manage.
· You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
· Tell me what I can do now to help you.
· It’s all in your head.
· We all go through times like this.
· Look on the bright side.
· You have so much to live for why do you want to die?
· I can’t do anything about your situation.
· Just snap out of it.
· What’s wrong with you?
· Shouldn’t you be better by now.
Source: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/living_depressed_person.htm (abridged)
1. Focus on your positive qualities. It’s true that we can all improve in some ways – but start by finding your good qualities – and recognise that these are a major part of who you are.
2. Be aware of, and fight against, your negative self-talk. Negative self talk can quickly snowball and become an angry tirade against yourself – so you become your own worst critic and your own worst enemy. Instead, choose to respect yourself, to love, affirm and believe in yourself.
3. Don’t dwell on things you know you cannot change. We all have imperfections, weaknesses and flaws. They’re really not that crucial, and they’re not that big a deal. Try to keep them in perspective – and change what you CAN change.
4. Make your own decisions – don’t always look to others, and think that they know better … But choose to trust yourself.
6. Always try to do your best – as that’s all that is required. You’re a normal human being who’ll sometimes get it wrong. When you do, just forgive youself, then get up and move on.