Monday, July 12, 2010

Hope and Help for Depression

Hope for Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in our society.  It not only affects adults, but children and teenagers as well.  As a person in the mental health field, I have seen how devastating depression can be. As a person who has struggled with depression firsthand, I see hope and possible solutions for this particular diagnosis. I hope you find my article on depression, helpful.

Am I depressed?

Here is a list of symptoms that can help you assess whether or not you are suffering from depression.

Change in eating habits-Are you finding that your eating more than usual or that you have no appetite? (weight gain or weight loss).

Change in sleeping habits-Are you finding that you are sleeping too much or having difficulty getting enough sleep?

Change in social habits-Are you finding that you are no longer interested in getting together with friends or family and just want to hide out and isolate? Or are you finding that you are going out more than usual and exhibiting high risk behavior? (ex: heavy drinking, promiscuity).

Feeling alone and self-deprecating

Feelings of sadness or apathy

Losing your temper easily/irritablility


Feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed

Feelings of hopelessness

Feelings of dread

Trouble concentrating or tracking

Trouble functioning day to day (ex: gettting out of bed and doing basic tasks, like showering)

Thoughts of hurting yourself or suicide

Depression or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a common and serious medical condition which makes one feel overwhelmed. The condition can wreak havoc on a person's life and interfere with normal functioning. Depression can occur once or several times over a person's life time. It is estimated that depression affects about 14 million Americans or 1 in 6 adults over a life span.

Here are some suggestions to help reduce symptoms of depression:

Talk to your doctor, health- care professional or therapist if you believe you are depressed. They can assess you for depression and help you decide the best way to treat it.

Excercise, move your body-Studies have shown that just moving or excercising can help reduce the effects of depression.

Talk to loved ones that you trust-talking about your feelings of depression can make you feel better. Many times you will find you are not alone in your depression. Knowing you are not the only one that has felt this way, can have a uplifting effect.

Self-Care-Though you may not be feeling up to pampering yourself, it is important to do just that. Loving yourself enough to take a bubble bath or any activity that makes you feel good. It is also important that you try to have a well-balanced diet and at least eight hours sleep. It can be challenging when one is depressed, but it is possible. As I stated earlier, limit your alcohol use or better yet, take it out of the equation all together.

Remember, Depression is a very treatable condition. If you are finding that your lows are lasting longer than usual, please see a doctor or therapist.

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