Category Archive Depression

ByAnxious Minds

What is Depression

Depression is not feeling down for an hour out of your day. It’s not something to be glorified. It’s not beautiful.

Depression is being on the brink of tears because you dropped your glass of water. It’s not having the urge to clean up the mess, rather you fall on the floor and cry.

It’s feeling safety in not brushing your hair for weeks at a time.

Depression is one extreme to another, you’re either so high with happiness or so down that you doubt the world will have Colour again.

Depression and panic attacks can hit you at work, in your car, at a birthday party, shopping Centre, or even at a club.

Some days are good, great in fact, and you almost feel like you’re better. Then something small, a look from someone or a memory, can turn you into a mess.

People will ask why are you crying? What’s wrong? And the only answer you can give is ‘I don’t know but it’s nothing new’.

There will be days where you roll out of bed and you’ll have black under your eyes from yesterday’s mascara. It’s there because you didn’t have the energy to take your makeup off the night before.

Everyone will tell you that it will get better… and you dream of when it will be. Some days I swear I can feel the sun radiating happiness through my body, and then other days I feel nothing and everything all at once. Depression is not easy nor is it a quick fix.

Loving someone with depression is even harder. I swear I’ll get better, if not for myself but for my partner. But, when things seem too hard all I can think is they’d be better off without me. I’d rather break my own heart than keep hurting them.

When you live with depression and complement your partner, you break a little each time. You break because you can’t look at yourself without thinking of everything you want to change.

Depression doesn’t just hit the ‘kids with bad upbringings’. You can have a very privileged background with parents who love you unconditionally, parents who give you anything and everything you could want. But some bad things can happen, planting a seed for you to carry for life.

Your friends and family encourage you to talk to them when you’re having an episode. But how can you do that when it’s 3 am in the morning?

Depression is not fun, it’s not a game, and it’s not a quirk to add to your personality because you think it’s cool. Depression is serious and ugly and affects so many people. Depression doesn’t just disappear, you don’t suddenly wake up and decide not to feel hopeless.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be weak. You’re not bulletproof, you’re human. You’re capable of getting hurt. Feel the emptiness. Figure it out. Savour each tear. Grieve. Cry your heart out and ruin your mascara. Stop pretending. Unmask yourself. Breakdown if you are tired. Break.

Get lost in the solitude you’ve been battling inside. You are hurt. ADMIT IT. Stop pretending that you’re okay for the first time. And let the curve in your face be sadness rather than smiles. Let it all out. Swear if you want. It’s fine. Be miserable. With time, you will be healed.

And after, go on with your life. Leave the pain to those tears you have shed. Let the memories remain but not the mourning. Smile. Smile the real smile, without pretension and heartaches. Be okay. Be fixable. Be happy. Live. Begin again.

ByAnxious Minds

Postpartum Depression

What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum Depression (also known as Postnatal Depression) is a type of depression that can affect women after they have given birth; this type of depression is common and affects more than one in ten women within a year of giving birth. Mothers with Postpartum Depression may experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety and exhaustion that may make it difficult to live day-to-day life.
Pregnancy for many people is a wonderful and exciting experience, however for many parents it is a time of worry and exhaustion.

Women who experience Postpartum Depression may find difficulties coming to terms with how they are feeling and can find it very difficult to discuss their feelings with others for many reasons. For example, because people associate having a child with happiness and fulfillment, those suffering with Postpartum Depression may feel a pressure to be happy and may feel ashamed of their depression.
Many symptoms of Postpartum Depression can have a negative effect on the mother, baby and the family and therefore, it is important that those who experience Postpartum Depression seek help as soon as possible. If untreated, the depression can continue to grow and worsen with time.

What are the symptoms?
There are many symptoms that women with Postpartum depression may experience; common symptoms include:

• Persistent and intense feelings of sadness
• Feeling empty, hopeless and overwhelmed
• Crying more than often for no apparent reason
• Increased anxiety
• Feeling moody, irritable or restless
• Oversleeping or exhaustion
• Fatigue
• Having difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering details
• Suffering from physical aches and pains, including headaches, stomach problems and muscle pain
• Over eating (comfort eating) or under eating (loss of appetite)
• Having trouble bonding or forming emotion attachment to the baby
• Doubting ability to be a parent
• Thinking about self-harm
• Thinking about harming the baby
• Lack of enjoyment and loss of interests
• Withdrawing contact from other people
• Feeling guilt and self-blame

Signs for others to look for
Because of the symptoms of Postpartum Depression, mothers may feel reluctance in sharing how they feel, this can include sharing with the father or other family members or friends. Here are some signs for partners, family and friends to look out for in new parents:
• frequently crying for no obvious reason
• having difficulty bonding with their baby, looking after them only as a duty and not wanting to
play with them
• withdrawing from contact with other people
• speaking negatively all the time and claiming that they’re hopeless
• neglecting themselves, such as not washing or changing their clothes
• losing all sense of time, such as being unaware whether 10 minutes or two hours have passed
• losing their sense of humour
• constantly worrying that something is wrong with their baby, regardless of reassurance

Causes of Postpartum Depression
It is unclear as to what exactly causes the depression, however it is believed to result from a combination of physical and emotional factors. It is important to remember that Postpartum Depression does not occur because of something the mother did or did not do.
Physical factors refer to the levels of hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, in the women’s body. After childbirth, these hormones quickly drop which leads to chemical changes in the brain that may trigger mood swings. Another contributing factor is that new parents will suffer from sleep deprivation which can lead to exhaustion, discomfort, irritability and confusion, which may intensify their sadness from not having the energy to cope.

Postpartum Depression can also be influenced by pre-existing mental health issues. For example, if a mother already has issues with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, then having a baby and having the hormonal changes can intensify negative feelings and make it harder to overcome them.
There are social and emotional factors than can also have an effect on Postpartum Depression such as not having a good support network or a relationship with the father; lack of support puts more pressure on the mother, increasing stress, anxiety and fatigue. Additionally, if the mother has experienced recent stressful life events, such as bereavement or illness, then it can add to any pressures they are experiencing regarding their child.
Even if the new mother does not have existing mental health issues or social and emotional issues in their life, having a baby is a life changing experience. Looking after a small child is a stressful job and will cause exhaustion regardless, it also changes how people live their lives and see the world around them. It may be that the new mother is focussing on everything she must give up or change, it may be that they are concerned with their financial situation or it may be simply that they do not feel ready or prepared for looking after a baby.

Any of these reasons may have contributed to the depression, however there are other reasons that may have led to it that may be specific to the individual.

Myths about Postpartum Depression
Postpartum Depression is often misunderstood,and people often make incorrect assumptions about it, which may make the sufferer feel worse.

One myth is that Postpartum Depression is not as severe as other types of depression, this is incorrect as it is just as severe as any other type of depression. Like other forms, if untreated, can have long lasting and damaging effects on the mother, child and the family that will progressively get worse and more difficult to deal with.

Another is that Postpartum Depression is entirely caused by hormonal changes, however, as discussed in the ‘causes’ section, this is untrue, and it is usually influenced by many factors.

Further, Postpartum Depression is sometimes confused for the ‘baby blues’, which is a temporary mood change after giving birth. However, Postpartum Depression is or can be an ongoing mental health issue that may persist into a long-term problem if left untreated.

Although this article has only discussed Postpartum Depression in women, it is not only women that are affected by it. Research has actually found that up to 1 in 25 new fathers become depressed after having a baby, and although this may not necessarily be caused from hormonal changes, social and emotional changes may prompt depression in new fathers as well.

How to help

It is important for those suffering with depression to talk to others about it, this can be done by accessing counselling services, which provides people with professional advice, education about the depression and can guide people through techniques on how to cope with the depression.
Peer support groups are another type of talking therapy that can be a valuable experience. Peer support groups allow people to share their experiences of what has and has not worked for them and make suggestions of things that other people can try. This may be particularly beneficial for those who may struggle talking about their feeling with people they are close to and can reduce feeling of isolation.
However, having a good support network of people that they are close to, such as family and friends, is also beneficial. By discussing fears and emotions with other people close to the sufferer can prompt them to offer help and support, which will reduce feelings of isolation.

It is important that new parents suffering with Postpartum Depression:
• Make time for themselves to do things they enjoy and find relaxing
• Rest while they can and try to follow good sleeping habits
• Exercise, which has proven to increase moods in people with depression
• Eat regularly and healthily
• Limit alcohol consumption and do not take drugs, as they can worsen mood
• Talk to partners, family and friends
• Do not try to be a ‘super mother’ – accept help from others when it is offered
• Seek help from counselling services and talking therapies
• If unable to cope, enquire about medications such as antidepressants

Additional pregnancies

If someone who has previously experienced Postpartum Depression becomes pregnant again, they are at an increased risk of going through that again – but it does not mean that they definitely will. When people who have had Postpartum Depression in the past find out they are pregnant again, it may be that their anxiety is increased straight away due to memories of a previous time, or it may be that they feel more confident about spotting symptoms and how to look after themselves.

It is important that people who are experiencing Postpartum Depression seek help, either from close relationships of from professionals, as soon as symptoms appear to minimise the risk of the disorder becoming chronic.

ByAnxious Minds

What is Depression?

Depression could affect any of us at any time, with one in five people in the UK reporting feeling depressed or anxious*, so, if you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to manage the symptoms of depression and make a full recovery.

Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up. Most of us will, at some point in our lives, experience low mood or feeling down, which can last a few days or even stretch into a couple of weeks. However, when we’re depressed, our low mood and other related mental and physical symptoms will carry on persistently for weeks and weeks, months or even years with no let up. If we experience episodes of depression, our whole life and relationships can be affected, and everyday tasks that were once easy can become overwhelming.

How we think can even affect the way we feel and our emotions. Our thoughts can have a knock-on impact on how we react or behave. We can develop a negative stance on life, which makes us prone to being emotionally overloaded, and this can lead to low mood, anxiety and depression.

Depression can cause a wide range of possible symptoms, both mental and physical. While there are no set symptoms of depression – each person’s experience of the condition is different – but here are some possible signs:

Feeling constantly unhappy or hopeless
Feeling lonely and disconnected from others
Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies
Being very tearful
Feeling continuously anxious
Constantly tired / exhausted
Sleeping badly / insomnia
Having no appetite
Experiencing physical aches and pains
Loss of self-esteem
Loss of sex drive
Loss of motivation
Difficulty making decisions
Suicidal thoughts
Treatment and support

There are various treatments and support that you can access to help manage depression. Lifestyle changes can also play a key role in managing or recovering from depression. Making positive lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, improving sleep, cutting down on alcohol and eating healthily can all have a significant impact on your mental health. Some people may benefit from talking therapies, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or counselling and for some, prescribed medication.

It’s about finding out what is best for you but the important thing is to remember that you’re not alone and support is available. If your depression is severe and you are having suicidal thoughts, please call Samaritans on 116 123 or the NHS on 111 immediately.

ByAnxious Minds

Is depression written in your DNA ?

If you have suffered from depression, then you probably have heard all sorts of comments coming from others, and sometimes even doctors, about its origins. For them, and sometimes for us, it is often all in our head, because of a very specific event, or just a general situation that we do not feel at ease with.

Even though these factors, along with many others, play an important role in the triggering of a depression, studies are starting to show that our genes could be playing their part as well.

Recent studies have shown that, among people whose parents experienced severe depression, the incidence of people experiencing symptoms of severe depression themselves goes up to 9%, against a 3% incidence observed among the general population.

The probability is even higher if the parent went through a depressive episode before the age of 16. Similarly, monozygotic twins (twins sharing 100% of their DNA) were 40% to both experience depression, against only 10% for dizigotic twins (twins sharing 50% of their DNA).

Genomics have found out that although several genes are involved in the creation of a breeding ground for depression, the main culprit may be found in the gene 5-HTTLPR. This gene is involved in transportation of serotonin in the brain.

However, over the years, research has taken a step forward just to take two steps back many times, as it identified several genes involved with depression in a first study, but then found itself incapable of reaching the same findings again with a different panel of people.

Evenmore disappointing, when a team of 80 international scientists examined more than 2.4 million DNA variations provided by 34,549 people, they were not able to identify a single one that could be associated with depression.

Still, scientists remain optimistic that the answer will come out in the near future, andthat the exact role of the DNA in depression will be clearly identified.

Some of them believe that to achieve so, they would need to look at much bigger samples of the population, which is obviously a challenge. This would potentially greatly help people suffering from this affection, as it would open the door to the development of new forms of medical treatment.

ByAnxious Minds

5 smartphone apps against depression

As technology is now everywhere, means to fight your depression are also available on your phone.

Here is a selection of 5 of the best apps developped to make you feel better.

Positive Activity Jackpot
Not so long ago, we were talking about the benefits of engaging in fun and positive activities in order to stop the vicious circle of depression. If what you need to start is a little help and inspiration, Positive Jackpot Activity is your cue ! This free app is based on pleasant event scheduling, and helps you finding activities near you, available at the time you are looking. No need to think and twisting your brain around, Positive jackpot Activity has it sorted for you.

Smiling Mind
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety ? Smiling Mind is an innovative app specially designed to, well, make your mind smile again. Its originality lies in the fact that it primarily targets teenagers. It has been developped by psychologists with special training in adolescent therapy and is as such extremely reliable.The app gives you a choice between several mindfulness meditation programmes arrranged by age groups, with a new session every day. You can keep track of how long you have meditated and complete a little self-check questionnaire after each session to track the progress made on your general mood and feelings. Perfect for the meditation beginners.

Mood coach
Now, this is an app I have recently started using. Mood Coach helps you motivate yourself by setting weekly goals and activities you have to complete. First, you start by selecting up to five categories (health, friendship, work, …). Each week, you will then choose a certain number of activities that you have to complete in each categories. Each activity will earn you points depending on your own assessment of how enjoyable, difficult and important they are. Be honest and let the coach help you feel better ! You can also track the evolution of your daily mood and take a more comprehensive test every other week to let you know where you stand with depression and anxiety.

Secret of Happiness
This app takes you on a 30-day challenge to make you feel happy. Every day in the morning, the app will ask you to focus on one thing that makes you happy. It can be things you are thankful for, or something you enjoy doing. At night,before you go to sleep, the app will ask you again, and you will have to answer with something that made you happy during the day. After 30days, your brain will be trained to be more aware of the things that make you happy, bringing your general happiness up significantly. It’s in the little things…

Sleep Cycle
Being anxious, depressed, or both does not often leave of a lot of space for some good quality sleep. You mayfind yourself either sleeping too much or too little, always being tired. Sleep Cycle is an app that analyzes the sleep through your movements during the night and wakes you up at the most optimal time during your sleep cycle (i.e. not when you are in the middle of a deep sleep !). The alarm is set on a 30-minute window and can be preset if you need to be up for work or school at a certain hour.

ByAnxious Minds

Severe Depression

When you experience severe depression, one of the hardest things is to actually do something with your days. However, indulging into one of your passions, or picking up a new activity can be a great way to make it back on the path of happiness and well-being.

We all know what it is like to lay in bed all day, or to be stuck to that couch, staring at the walls or the television on good days, and not being able to move. We feel like starting to do something is nearly impossible, that getting up and start moving is like climbing the Everest. What we might not know is that indulging in an activity can be useful and joyful way to stop the flow of negative thoughts and an be of great help to get back on our feet.

The most difficult step to take is of course to get started. When we have gotten used to staying in all day, one good thing to start with is to make a physical move. It doesn’t have to be a very big one at first, and if you don’t feel like spending time with other people, it is perfectly okay to do it by yourself. Reconnect with nature and the outside, by first taking a walk around your block or your neighborhood or take a small hike if you are lucky enough to have a forest or a park near your home. If going out looks like too big a thing to begin with, turn up the music and dance to the rhythm in the comfort of your living room !

This first step will be crucial to help you start clearing your head, as well as to get back to a positive and state of mind. It is also proven that physical activity, whatever it may be, contributes to reducing stress and anxiety. Your mind will then be clearer and readier to move on to the next step positively : start making lists ! This can sound very basic, but it is a very important point that can help identifying the things you are interested in. Don’t restrain yourself and just write down everything passing through your mind. Talk about your dreams and give as many details as possible. Once you see everything written down, it will look more realistic and it will be easier to give it a kickstart.

Finally, do not forget to boost your creativity. No need to be a great artist to achieve that, all is needed is for you to find an activity that will require your thoughts to be focused on that thing. It can be a coloring book, some writing, or the crafting of something with your hands. Plus, you will be proud of yourself once the task is completed !

ByAnxious Minds

Anxiety and depression, do they mix?

Anxiety and depression, do they mix?

The dreaded duo of anxiety and depression are two of the most common psychiatric Disorders in UK. Both belong in the ‘mood disorders’ category in psychiatric problems.

Most cases occur as a normal reaction for what we percept. But can be triggered by multiple factors and few examples are,
• Physical : disabilities, diseases (infectious/noninfectious), injuries etc.
• Life events: child birth, financial problems, divorce, death of a relative etc.
• Racial : Adult blacks 20 percent more prone for mental problems than whites.
• Substance abuse: opioids, hallucinogens sedatives, stimulants etc.
• Genetic predisposition: positive family history
• Certain drugs : Accutane to treat acne, certain antiviral drugs

In anxiety disorders sufferer experiences sudden onset of anxious thoughts/panic attacks with or without a precipitating trigger. Basically an overreaction to a situation in which our mind sees as troublesome. Here the sufferer expects a future threat and holds on to it and succumbs to fear, grief or panic in situations where a normal person will not.

Generalized anxiety is the most common type but there are many other subcategories prevail. Few examples are
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
• Phobias
• Panic disorders

Psychiatry considers anxiety as a high mood/high energy mental state in contrast to depression which is a low mood/low energy state.

The evil twin of anxiety. Characterized by a devastating low mood and low energy state. Sufferer feels sad and can interfere with day to day activities such as sleeping, working, eating etc. Can seriously cripple the mental state of one and in some cases leads right into suicide. Affected person may experience reduced energy, loss of appetite, pessimistic ideas, repeated headaches and loss of interest in day to day activities.

Symptoms of depression varies vastly. Not everybody will get all the characteristic symptoms and in many, the symptoms will be milder.

Do they mix?
As it may seem unusual at the first glance, anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Despite the fact that they work in opposite energy states of mind they really do mingle.

Having anxiety/depression alone will significantly predict that sufferer will be prone to the other at some point. The reason for this is not yet understood. In one study 85% of people with depression were diagnosed with anxiety disorders. From them 35% had panic disorders (subcategory of anxiety disorder). Let me give you an example. A depressed individual experiences lack of interest in work. So he stops going to work and neglect his routes of income. But after some time utility bills pile up, bank accounts dry and financial instability occur and causes the person to panic in addressing the money problem. And the anxiety strikes. So basically they are two sides of a same coin and usually anxiety precedes depression.

Combined symptoms are more serious and devastating and depression complicated with anxiety has high suicidal rate than depression alone.

Who are at risk?
Any person having anxiety/depression is at risk of developing both. Family history is also vital to predict combined disease. The type of the anxiety disorder is also significant. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and phobias specifically social phobia (agoraphobia) can lead to depression when compared to others. Age is important too. If a person develops anxiety for the first time after 40 years of age most likely to develop depression.

How to manage?
Treatment plan is vital to address the combined disorder. One common misconception is that medical treatment will be obsolete in treating combined symptoms and it is not. It has been proven that judicious use of medicine plus behavioral therapy (CBT) significantly reduce the symptoms and pave the way back to normal life. This is called an integrated approach and combines physical, mental, medical and spiritual therapies to combat.

If thoughts of suicide arise, a psychotherapist or a physician should be consulted immediately and is considered one of the psychiatric emergencies. If the sufferer doesn’t willingly inquire help, a family member or any person close to him should take immediate action.

When having moderate to severe combined symptoms it is vital to have a provider or a group of providers which can include physician, nursing officer, psychotherapist and someone to address spiritual needs of the person.
But recovery will be time consuming and patients will have to be mentally strong to battle these demons. And only way to do that is through self- determination and not giving up.

ByAnxious Minds

How Anxiety And Depression Are Connected

Depression is a disorder that does not get nearly enough attention.

Depressed people are often told to “cheer up” or to “look at the bright side” of things, and may spiral even more profound when they are unable to simply snap out of the mood that has such a hold on them. While depression can often lead to fatigue and listlessness, it has a close cousin by the name of anxiety. Anxiety causes the opposite effect, putting our bodies into the “fight or flight” mode that protected us in the wild.

Anxiety attacks can feel like heart attacks, and even at more moderate levels, anxiety can have a dangerous and very harmful effect on our lives and on our quality of living. Stress can also lead to depression when a sense of worry and fear for the future leads to the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. That is a classic symptom of depression. Depression and anxiety are often seen together, and can sometimes lead to one another.

Anxiety is a way of describing a particular form of feeling. It may represent a sense of fear, dread, or a sense that you are in immediate danger, even when you are safe and have no reason to feel this way. There are several different kinds of anxiety disorders, including phobias or irrational fears, situational anxiety, panic disorders, generalised anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders, among others.

These disorders can lead to a state of almost constant high stress and can affect your daily life much to the worse. You may be unable to function in certain situations, or you may come to fear to leave your own home. If untreated, the symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to many of the same problems as depression, including insomnia or a reluctance or fear to leave the house or to be around other people.

Anxiety symptoms can also feel like heart attacks, with palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pains, and more. You might begin trembling and shaking, your mouth might go dry, and you might become dizzy from the stress of the situation. The body becomes “hyped up” by your reaction to the job, and your senses go into a sort of overdrive that is unlike the depression of the system that happens when you suffer from clinical depression.

Depression disorder actually slows the body in some ways, making you feel sluggish rather than ready to run or fight, and hopeless rather than actively panicked or fearful. If you have been suffering from anxiety attacks, the attacks themselves may lead into depression because of the hopelessness that you feel at the hands of the attacks and because of the fears that are associated with possibly having another attack.

If your anxiety symptoms have changed to include listlessness, disinterest in things that used to engage you, or feelings of hopelessness and self-loathing, then you may now be suffering from a depression disorder and should be treated accordingly for your medical condition.

Depression is not a constant state of being, nor is anxiety. You might think that because you have a good number of “good days” that your depressive days are just bad moments that will pass, however, depression can become worse over time if it is not treated and taken care of, and can lead to suicide if left untreated long enough.

Anxiety can worsen over time as well if it is not handled properly. There are ways to help with anxiety, even without medication. Therapies are different depending on the type of anxiety that affects you and on the level of anxiety that you suffer. For a phobia, you might be exposed at increasing levels to the thing that you are afraid of. Other therapies might require talking your problems out, and others might provide techniques to help you ride out your panic attacks and get on with life without letting them affect you more than necessary.

Depression treatments are also varied, mostly depending on your personal preference. Medication can provide you with an effective way of dealing with depression; however, medicine is not for everyone. If you are not interested in medication, then you might consider other kinds of therapies with a psychologist who has experience working with depression.

Depression and anxiety are related disorders that can have a significant impact on your overall health and quality of life if left untreated. However, both are manageable conditions that do not have to affect your daily life.

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ByAnxious Minds

Depression Suicide: What to do if a loved one is Suicidal

Depression, characterised by erratic mood swings, loss of interest in hobbies and activities is a very serious emotional disorder affecting about 9.5 per cent of the nation.

Needless to say, it is could be a lot more fatal if a depressed person is heading towards suicide.

Therefore, here are some signs to know if your loved one is considering suicide as a result of depression.

Depression Suicide: Warning Signs to be Aware of

1. Mentions of Suicide or Death
2. Wanting to tie up loose ends or give away personal belongings
3. Engaging in reckless behaviours such as heavy alcohol and drug use
4. Withdrawing from family and friends
5. Erratic mood swings
6. Inappropriately saying goodbye.
7. Verbal behaviour that is ambiguous or indirect: (for example: “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.”, “I’m so depressed, I just can’t go on.”, “Does God punish suicides?”

Though the signs and warnings may vary from person to person, it is important that you are able to recognise such warnings and take some steps to help your loved one.

Helping a loved one who is showing signs of Depression Suicide

If you believe someone is contemplating suicide do seek help immediately, however, there are a several suicide prevention web sites and hotlines available to help those in need, but in case these are not within your reach, you can try the following:

1. Cultivate Physical Closeness: Simple hugs, kisses on the cheeks, loving pats and compliments go a long way in healing a broken heart or depressed mind. Remember, sometimes the little things DO count.
2. If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him or her alone.
3. Remember: suicidal behaviour is a cry for help. Thus if someone contemplating suicide turns to you, it is likely that he believes that you are more caring and more informed about coping with depression, and more willing to help. This in itself is positive, thus it will be time to empower yourself to be what a suicidal person views you to be; stronger and you are.
4. Other steps to take include reassuring them that help is available and that with appropriate treatment they can feel better. Try not to patronise them by simply telling them that “everything will be fine,” or that “they have everything to live for.
5. Try to search the house for dangerous items such as guns and knives that could be potentially harmful.

In addition to the factors above, if you are of a spiritual inclination, this will be a good time to pray according to the framework of your faith. Indeed, prayer, when used effectively, can work wonders to aid in curtailing depression suicide.

Moreover, in the hopes that your loved one begins to show signs of improvement from the warnings indicating depression suicide, it will be great to start to include such drug-free approaches for depression treatment such as exercise: namely Yoga, a proper diet for physical health which in turn heals the mind and positive thinking and affirmations.

Naturally, we all would get concerned or frightened if a loved one seems on the brink of suicide resulting from depression, however as with all life’s problems, if we can catch it early and nip it in the bud, depression suicide can be prevented. If things may have gotten more advanced, then it may be time to seek professional help or as an alternative double up on our efforts to steer the loved one back to a positive outlook on life.

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ByAnxious Minds

Depression Is A Real Illness

Because most people get depressed from time to time, there is that eternal question if depression is a real illness. The answer is: yes. The clinical one, that is. It has been said that about one out of eight United Kingdom residents will likely become clinically depressed.

Some experience it once in a lifetime, while others have multiple episodes. This is a fact: if a person gets depressed for the first time, there is a 50 per cent chance that he will fall to the same predicament again. And come the second time, there is the threat that he will go into a third depressing episode.

Depression is a real illness as it involves the mental, emotional and even physical faculties of the person. It is not just a transient sad feeling that will go away when one will it to. There are symptoms and signs as well as corresponding treatment. If not handled properly and immediately, it may escalate to worse conditions. Like any other illness, depression has also variations.

There are three types of depressive disorders: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and dysthymic disorder.

Major depression is a culmination of all the symptoms and signs that intervene with one’s capability to act normally. It can happen once, but recurring episodes are possible.

Its less severe counterpart is dysthymia which is characterized by the same symptoms of major depression, only they do not totally interfere with one’s activities. A person who has the dysthymic disorder can suffer major depression sometime during his life.

Bipolar disorder is also a type of depression that involves drastic mood changes, from being very high one minute to severely depressed the next. The manic cycle can make the person hyper and overenthusiastic but it changes as soon as the depressed cycle hits. The depressed cycle encompasses all the symptoms of depression.

Because depression is an illness, there are symptoms. Again, they are the following:

1. Persistent “empty” feeling

2. Unbelievable hopelessness

3. Feeling guilty and worthless all the time

4. Lack or loss of interests in activities that used to bring joy to the patient and this includes sex.

5. Prominent fatigue

6. Has a difficult time making decisions

7. Development of sleep problems

8. Loss of appetite and drastic weight change or loss

9. Suicidal attempts and thoughts.

10. Pronounced irritability

11. Physical aches and pains that have no physiological basis

The good news is at the end of this dark tunnel called depression, there is hope. Treatment is available in three types: psychotherapy, antidepressant medicine and the combination of the two. There are also times when electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and light therapy are employed. We will discuss this in-depth in an upcoming article.