How to relieve depression?

How to get out of depression yourself – the best tips

Drug use causes irreparable harm to health and is life threatening!

Not every person, after discovering the symptoms of depression, will immediately decide to go to a specialist. With a mild form of the disease, you can cope with it on their own, but first you still need the approval of a specialist. In this article, we have collected common psychologists’ advice on how to get out of depression by yourself and cope with its consequences, in case your attending physician has approved home treatment.

How to get out of depression yourself – tips for women

According to statistics, women suffer from depression 2 times more often than men. This is due to greater emotionality and variable hormonal background during the menstrual cycle. Due to the fact that women pay more attention to their mental health, in the early stages of a depressive disorder they are able to cope with it on their own.

Six rules for getting out of depression for women:

1. Positive emotions – they should be bright, strong. Ordinary hobbies or walks are better for now to postpone and try to organize an extreme event: flying in an aerotube, skydiving, carting, paintball and others. Such events give very bright impressions and help you start to appreciate life.

2. Physical activity – morning exercise or jogging does not take much time, but promotes the production of neurotransmitters – “joy” hormones. Evening exercise improves sleep and relieves stress accumulated during the day. It is best to involve your friends in sporting activities, ask them to keep you company. This will increase motivation, make you feel important and give you the opportunity to socialize once again.

3. Leisure activities – if previous hobbies do not bring pleasure, it is worth trying to find new ones. It is worth going to master classes, exhibitions, trial classes.

4. Proper nutrition – to digest fatty foods, the body spends a lot of energy, which is not good for depression. It is better to eat light dishes, but varied. It is important not to overeat.

5. Daily schedule and sleep – rest is very necessary for any illness, including depression. Getting up and going to bed at the same time, sleeping at least 8 hours a day will help to cope with weakness, give the body a signal that everything is normal, predictable and safe.

6. Relaxation – it is recommended to give at least 2 minutes daily to breathing practices and another 7 minutes to Jacobson relaxation. This will help to calm the stress centers in the brain and relieve excessive anxiety.

These rules seem simple, but in fact, even a healthy person to follow them is not so easy. Therefore, a depressed woman needs the support of loved ones, a sense of their own importance and the maximum participation in her life. Then cope with the disease may succeed on their own. If, however, the symptoms are not getting weaker after 2 weeks after starting to follow the rules, it’s worth asking for help from a specialist.

How to get out of depression on your own – tips for men

Men suffer from depression twice as often as women, according to official statistics. But scientists believe that most cases are simply undiagnosed, and that the problem itself is just as common. Since men find it difficult to seek help, especially from doctors, they can try to get out of depression on their own.

There are 5 effective ways to help yourself cope with depression:

1. Emotions – Men get so used to controlling their emotions that they gradually lose the ability to not only be sad, but also to be happy. Get out of depression will help emotional discharge: shooting range, going on a hunting trip, off-road driving, extreme sports. These are great ways to release tension and release emotions that have been carefully and long suppressed.

2. Sports. For men, sports achievements are just as important as personal ones. Active sports increase not only the level of “joy” hormones, but also testosterone. This is especially important in case of depression, because many people have low libido because of it, and they don’t understand what this symptom is connected with.

Hobby is a very important part of a man’s life that is often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everyday work. If you bring it back, often the symptoms of depression very quickly recede, because the man begins to enjoy life again.

4. Nutrition – fatty meats and boiled dishes will have to be temporarily postponed, so as not to burden the body, which is already coping poorly. But this does not mean a complete rejection of everything that is loved in food. Shish kebab can be cooked from chicken breast or thigh fillet, for steak choose not marbled beef, but a lean cut, shawarma cook at home with soy-sour cream sauce instead of mayonnaise sauce.

5. Regime – sleep and daily routines are more important than ever. We recommend that you go to bed no later than 11 p.m. and sleep at least eight hours. It is also necessary to observe the hygiene of sleep: an hour before going to bed, giving up gadgets, in bed no work or heart-to-heart talks, only sleep or intimacy.

Men are less willing to do meditation and other relaxation techniques, but for them they will also be relevant. Jacobson relaxation in the morning after waking up and before going to bed will greatly reduce anxiety and tension, and breathing practices in the middle of the day will help you relax at work and not overwork.

Books to Combat Depression

Reading not only helps you learn new things and immerse yourself in fantasy worlds, but it can also be effective in combating depression. This method is not suitable as the only one, but it is good as an auxiliary means to cope with the condition.

The 8 best books for getting out of depression:

1. by Laura Smith, Charles Elliott Depression for Dummies is a self-help guide from cognitive behavioral therapy clinicians. The book is short and easy to read. Contains information about depression itself, methods of dealing with it recognized by evidence-based medicine, and how and what to do to help your loved ones with this condition.

2. Matt Haig, “Falling in Love with Life. How to Learn to Live Again When You’re Nearly Destroyed by Depression,” a personal story of battling depression and defeating the disease is uplifting and inspiring to seek help to get rid of the condition for good. The book will also teach how to deal properly with those suffering from a depressive disorder.

3. Robert Leahy’s Beat Depression Before It Beats You is written by a psychotherapist to teach self-help techniques for people with depression in cognitive psychotherapy.

4. Louise Hay’s “Big Book of Changes for the Better” – contains classic self-help techniques for changing your mindset into a positive one. The book teaches communication with the outside world and people, building harmonious relationships and loving yourself.

5. David Burns “Mood Therapy. A Clinically Proven Way to Beat Depression Without Pills” is another publication from a specialist in cognitive behavioral therapy. Reveals the essence of depression, techniques for its diagnosis and treatment, as well as ways to prevent relapses of the disease, including the correction of suicidal behavior. The book has many examples and clinical cases for illustrative description. Because of its large volume, it is not very suitable for people during an acute depressive episode, but it will certainly be useful to those who have already experienced it and are afraid of a recurrence.

6. Massimo Vacchetta, Antonella Tomaselli “25 Grams of Happiness. The Story of the Little Hedgehog Who Changed a Man’s Life” is a book about how saving a little hedgehog became the salvation from depression for a big man. It shows that sometimes helping others is helping yourself.

7. Andrew Solomon’s “Noon Sky. Anatomy of Depression” – the book describes the inner world of a person who has experienced a depressive episode and the positive experiences of coping with the condition. Its author is a professor of clinical psychology. After reading it, one has the belief that it is possible to get rid of it and that everything will be fine after treatment.

8. Julia Kristeva “Black Sun. Depression and melancholia “- a book by a practicing psychoanalyst. Suitable for those who know at least a little bit of philosophy and psychoanalysis. Contains a description and analysis of depressive behavior, as well as the work of famous people, in one way or another related to this disorder. The book will teach you how to better understand your experiences emotions, which is important for people prone to depressive episodes.

All of the books are written in a different style. To understand which one will be closer and more understandable, you can read a few test pages in online publications.

The worst consequence is irreversible mental degradation

It is necessary to recognize the addiction as early as possible and begin treating it.

Movies to fight depression

Watching movies can be not only for entertainment, but also with health benefits. Some pictures help to overcome depressive disorder and regain the joy of life.

The 10 best movies to fight depression:

1. “The Tenenbaum Family / The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) – A movie about how the whole family fell into a prolonged slumber and got out of it. At the same time the movie is neither boring nor sad, it makes you smile a lot and is charged with optimism.

2. “Cake”/Cake (2014) is a drama about the life of a woman after a car accident who suffers from depression. The treatment was not easy for her, but the ending of the picture is very life-affirming. The film inspires that after the darkest night comes the dawn.

3. “Side Effects” / Side Effects (2013) is a movie about a girl who is severely depressed, with suicidal tendencies. The movie stars Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara.

4. “The Hours” (2002) – Three different women with the same disease live in three different eras. It is as if they are not living their own lives. After watching the movie, you want to think about the need to live as you want, not as society or anyone else demands.

5. “The Beaver” / The Beaver (2010) is a tragicomedy about an unusual case of a depressive episode and the cure for it. The main character, a toy company owner suffering from neurosis, is played by Mel Gibson. He was helped to heal by a beaver puppet. This story teaches that salvation may be closer than it seems.

6. “Three Colors: Blue” (1993) – The heroine sinks into a severe depression over the loss of her husband and tries to avoid her emotions instead of living them. But the late husband’s mistress who suddenly shows up turns her consciousness upside down and brings the woman back to reality. The film is about the importance of dwelling on emotions and not putting your life on hold, even over the loss of a loved one.

7. “Lost in Translation” / Lost in Translation (2003) – A film about how two characters were able to cure each other of depression simply by giving emotion and a feeling of being needed. It makes us think that we shouldn’t reject the care of loved ones, it can save a life. And if there is no such person yet, it’s never too late to find one.

8. “Melancholia” / Melancholia(2011) is a movie about not telling everyone you’re okay when you’re not. It also shows the depth of a depressed person’s emotional experience and their indifference to what is going on. It can help the loved ones of people with this illness understand them better.

9. “Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (2006) is a documentary about Stephen Fry’s personal story of his illness. At the same time he finds out what people with bipolar disorder think about life with this mental peculiarity and discusses whether they would like to live it differently or not. The picture helps to penetrate the consciousness of the people with the disease and understand them better.

10. “Prozac Nation” / Prozac Nation (2001) – a picture about why young and talented people are most susceptible to depression, how the past affects the present and why perfectionism harms rather than helps. In the finale, the heroine recovers and writes a book of the same name as the film about her illness.

Films alone won’t cope with depression, but they will help you better understand what’s going on with a person during this period and give you the belief that the illness is finite. This is what is often lacking in people in this condition.

How to deal with the effects of depression yourself

Illness passes, but the consequences after it can still be disturbing for some time. The same applies to depressive disorder. We learned from a psychotherapist about effective methods of getting rid of unwanted symptoms after experiencing an episode of depression.

Stress, apathy, discouragement, anxiety, obsessive thoughts

Up to a year after an episode of depression, a person may persist in a lowered mood and obsessive thoughts about the meaninglessness of life. This condition must be dealt with so that a relapse does not occur.

4 simple ways to support yourself:

  1. Meditation – just 2-3 minutes a day will increase awareness and reduce anxiety.
  2. Communication – the more interaction with people, the lower the risk of recurrence of depression and less time for intrusive thoughts.
  3. Achievement diary – write down all small victories and praise yourself for each one to avoid devaluing your own successes.
  4. Plan of the day – write down all the necessary things and check the boxes that were done to see your work and appreciate it.

If the days are eventful and to-do, depression will have much less of a chance of coming back.

Depression … what to do?

5% of the adult population of our planet suffers from depression. This means that one in 20 of your acquaintances right now feels depressed, loss of interest in anything, body aches, decreased concentration, guilt, etc.

TL;DR / you will read here:
  • Depression is not crankiness or laziness or bad moods. Graphs to illustrate the differences.
  • One in 20 adults has depression.
  • There are 10+ causes that can cause depression; and they can either in combination, alone, or for no reason at all.
  • There are some good tests for depression.
  • With depression, there are changes in emotions, behavior, thinking and motivation.
  • The good news is that depression is treatable.

Facts about depression

  • Depression is not “laziness,” “weakness of character,” or “crankiness.” It’s a disease that needs to be treated. Ten signs that it’s time to start treating it.
  • Depression is caused by a variety of factors and causes. also plays a role in the development and maintenance of depression.
  • Depression can be life and health threatening because it can lead to suicide.
  • There are treatments for depression, ideally a comprehensive treatment. There is an opinion that a combination of medication and psychotherapy works best.
  • Depression can happen to anyone, of any age, of any social circle.

Depression Tests

Very short, but high quality: The PHQ-9 Scale

Treatment for Depression.

Treatment for depression is not quick. Options are available, one option is a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressants. The more severe the depression, the more likely it is that antidepressant medication will be needed.

Antidepressants can be prescribed by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. If you are seeking counseling from a psychologist or psychological therapist for depression, it is correct to be referred to a psychiatrist for additional counseling. Antidepressants may take a long time to pick up.

You should not be afraid of going to a psychiatrist. Nowadays they don’t put a “registration” stamp in your passport, they don’t report your diagnoses at work, and if you go to a private psychiatrist or a psychotherapist, no one may ever know about it at all.

♀️ Fighting depression alone is difficult, asking for help is not shameful. Seek help.

The main areas for depression psychotherapy in the cognitive-behavioral approach are:

  • Working on maladaptive irrational attitudes;
  • working with negative thinking styles;
  • behavioral activation;
  • identifying new sources of joy in life and helping with returning to old but forgotten sources.

The difference between depression and bad moods

Moods change throughout the day, better and worse, because different feelings arise. These feelings do not have any significant impact on the quality of life as a whole. Well, if you are happy or sad for a little while, then fine.

If you draw a graph of how your mood changes over the day, it is likely to be something like this:

However, with depression there is a persistent low mood , for days, weeks, months.

And the mood chart looks something like this:

A bad mood constantly affects all interaction with the world around you and does not allow you to function normally.

Features of Depressions

Depression comes in several forms:

  • Monopolar, from the words “mono” = “one” and “polar” = “pole”-that is, one pole, one side;
  • Bipolar, respectively “bi-” = “two,” i.e. two poles, two sides.

Mono-polar depression – the depressed state, decline of moral strength, extremely low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, etc. lasts for some time.

Bipolar depression – periods of depression alternate with periods of unrestrained activity, euphoria, lasting at least a week.

Figures on depression:

  • 5 to 10% of the adult population suffers from a severe form of monopolar depression each year;
  • nearly 20% of people will experience an episode of depression at some point in their lives;
  • 26% of women and only 12% of men experience an episode of depression at least once.

The nature of the course of depression can vary from person to person, with some experiencing more severe symptoms and others less severe. In any case, depression decreases one’s ability to work and life satisfaction.

Emotional changes in depression:

  • Feeling miserable; nothing can make you laugh or bring you joy.
  • Longing and depression, feelings of desolation, humiliation, etc.
  • is associated with the color black: a black longing, a black period in life, a black dog or a black abyss.

A black suprematist square. Kazimir Malevich, 1915.

Changes in motivation in depression

As a rule, when depressed, you don’t want to do anything: neither old, well-known occupations nor new interesting things attract you.

You have to force yourself to go to work, socialize with people, eat food and perform normal daily activities.

Depression and behavior

When depressed, activity and performance decreases. People spend more time alone and stay in bed for longer periods of time. Slowness of movement or even speech, a quiet voice may be noted.

Changes in thinking with depression

Depression is accompanied by a fall in self-esteem, up to the extremes: there appears a sincere conviction of their incompetence, unwantedness and inferiority.

Depressed people tend to notice and acutely blame themselves for all negative events, even if those events have nothing to do with them at all, and rarely notice any of their achievements or successes. And if they do, they underestimate their importance. There is a kind of filter of depreciation: “everything I have achieved is a total nonsense”.

An important component of depression is a pessimistic view of oneself, the world and the people around: “Nothing good has happened, is not happening, and is unlikely to happen.” “I’m incapable of changing anything, so there’s no reason to try.”

Often in depression there is a real decline in thinking functions: memory, concentration, and forgetfulness are impaired.

Physical symptoms of depression

Sometimes it happens that at first depression is diagnosed as a physical illness: people complain of headaches, problems with digestion, sleep, dizziness, general malaise, loss of appetite. Waking up in the morning, you still feel tired, there are some pains in the body that have not been there before. If doctors have not found any problems with your internal organs, there is a chance that it is depression.

Causes of depression

There are many factors that can affect the onset of depression. Some people need several factors to coincide in order for depression to occur, and some people only need one factor.

Sometimes depression happens for no apparent reason.

  • Biological causes: insufficient neurotransmitter activity in the brain; high levels of the hormone cortisol, which is secreted by the adrenal glands, for example during stress; high levels of the hormone melatonin, which is secreted when there is little or no sunlight.
  • Habitual negative “thinking styles” : so-called “negative thinking” and low self-esteem can contribute to the development of depression.
  • Learned helplessness (M. Seligman) – the internalized idea that you are unable to control negative events in life because there is something wrong, global and persistent about you. For example, “What happened is my fault, I mess up everything I touch, and it will always be that way.” This style of thinking can lead to the development of a sense of hopelessness, in which case the risk of depression is quite high.
  • The cognitive depressive triad (A. Beck): errors in perceptions of (1) the situation, (2) oneself and one’s experiences, and (3) one’s future.
  • Gender differences: women experience depression almost twice as often as men. Depression is associated with hormonal changes in the body at the onset of menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

For some women, depression can be provoked by severe stress from performing incompatible social roles. Postpartum depression occurs within 4 weeks after childbirth in 10-30% of women who have given birth.

It is necessary to distinguish postpartum depression from postpartum melancholy, which occurs in most women (up to 80% according to studies by Najman and Horovitz) as a result of dramatically changed life situation, sleep disturbance, additional stress and emotional fatigue. Women may experience bouts of crying, anxiety, insomnia, and wistful moods. As a rule, postpartum melancholy will go away on its own within a few days or weeks, when the woman and her body adapt to the new conditions. Postpartum depression, however, does not go away so quickly, and its symptoms (deep sadness, despair, tearfulness, fear, feelings of incompetence, etc.) can last for several months.

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