Tips And Treats
Depression Handling Tips
In the 1950's and 60's, depression was divided into two types, endogenous and neurotic. Endogenous means that the depression comes from within the body, perhaps of genetic origin, or comes out of no where.
Neurotic or reactive depression has a clear environmental precipitating factor, such as the death of a spouse, or other significant loss, such as the loss of a job. In the 1970'sand 80's, the focus of attention shifted from the cause of depression to its effects on the afflicted people.
Last Updated - 26th September 2005
That is to say, whatever the cause in a particular case, what are the symptoms and impaired functions that experts can agree make up a depressive disorder? most experts agree that:
- A depressive disorder is a syndrome (group of symptoms) that reflects a sad mood exceeding normal sadness or grief. More specifically, the sadness of depression is characterized by a greater intensity and duration and by more severe symptoms and functional disabilities than is normal.
- Depression symptoms are characterized not only by negative thoughts, moods, and behaviors, but also by specific changes in bodily functions (e.g.,eating, sleeping, and sexual activity). The functional changes are often called neurovegetative signs.
- Certain people with depressive disorder, especially bipolar depression (manic depression), seem to have an inherited vulnerability to this condition.
- Depressive disorders are a huge public health problem.
- In 1990, depression cost the United States 43 billion dollars in both direct costs, which are the treatment costs, and indirect costs, such as lost productivity and absenteeism.
- In a major medical study, depression caused significant problems in the functioning of those affected more often than did arthritis, hypertension, chronic lung disease, and diabetes, and in two categories of problems, as oftenas coronary artery disease.
- Depression can increase the risks for developing coronary artery disease,HIV, asthma, and some other medical illnesses. Furthermore, it can increase the morbidity (illness) and mortality (death) from these conditions.
- Depression is usually first identified in a primary care setting, not in a mental health practitioner's office. Moreover, it often assumes various disguises, which causes depression to be frequently under-diagnosed.
- In spite of clear research evidence and clinical guidelines regarding therapy, depression is often under-treated. Hopefully, this situation can change for the better.
- For full recovery from a mood disorder, regardless of whether there is a precipitating factor or it seems to come out of the blue, treatments with medications and / or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) andpsychotherapy are necessary.
Tips to Handle Depression
- Try to accept your depression as an illness. You cannot will the depression away.
- Try to do things that you enjoy visit friends, get a massage, take a class to get your mind off what may be contributing to the depression and to focus on things that help you feel better.
- Delay any big decisions or changes that involve work, love, or money until you feel better.
- It's common to be forgetful when you're depressed, stressed out, or anxious. Take notes and make lists. Your memory will improve when you feel better.
- Waking through the night is very common. It's better to get out of bed until you feel sleepy again. Repeated awakening in the early morning without being able to return to sleep easily is a sign that medical evaluation is needed.
- Take naps when you can to keep up with needed sleep.
- Mornings are often the worst time. The day usually gets better towards evening.
- Avoid being home alone for long periods the depressive thoughts can get worse when no one is around.
- Get outside at least once a day for a walk. Light to moderate exercise of any kind can be very helpful to your recovery.
- Don't try to "medicate" yourself with alcohol or drugs. These drugs may actually make you more depressed than you were to begin with.
- MEET PEOPLE AND TALK. - Find a friend who you can relate to. Try to make other friends, if even to just talk on the phone. Try to make friends using Instant Messaging, play games online or just send friendly emails to those you know. Go out with friends. Watch movies / plays or just go to a park to hang out.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP - Try sleeping for two hours during the day, if you are home and go to your bed early at nights. Take a few minutes at work and sleep, if you can. It really helps.
- EAT HEALTHILY - Don't stuff yourself with fast food. Eat at restaurants where they prepare home-cooked meals. Try not to starve yourself no matter what. If you have a big appetite, try preparing foods that you actually 'feel' for.
- There will be times you're in a crowd and you still feel alone. There will be times you're in the company of loved ones, but you still feel unloved. These are all side effects of depression. You can combat these by merely talking to yourself and reassuring yourself that this is just a phase that will pass and that you are in fact loved and you're not alone. Keep reasuing yourself when you feel down, that you are blessed and you have reasons to be grateful. List these reasons, type them out and put them up in your office or bedroom to constantly remind yourself. If you sit down and sulk, you will allow depression to rule. You have to realize that this is a choice and you can choose not to stay in that state of depression. Fight back and eventually you will win.
What to do if someone you love is depressed?
- It can be difficult to be around a person who is depressed. You may feel helpless and sometimes angry, particularly if the person is irritable and doesn't respond when you reach out. Keep reminding yourself that the person is ill and doesn't mean to be hurtful or unresponsive.
- You can't relieve clinical depression with love alone any more than you can cure heart disease or diabetes with just love. People who are depressed need professional help, and some require medication.
- On the other hand, social support improves treatment results in many serious illnesses, including depression. Reach out to your depressed friend / partner / family member so that he or she knows that you care. Call. Send affectionate notes. Invite the person to dinner, movies, ball games, parties, and other events. But keep your expectations low. Even if she / he doesnt respond, you can be sure that she/he appreciates your attempts.
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