5 Tips to Beat Seasonal Depression

Many people experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that causes depressive episodes during different seasons. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that around 4 to 10 percent people in the United States suffer from SAD. However, some studies suggest that nearly 20 percent people may be affected by this disorder. Although more people are affected by SAD during winter season, one can exhibit depressive symptoms even during summer season.

When summer is marked by rainy days, things tend to worsen. Rainy days mean less light, which makes a person sleepy and gloomy with the bodies signaling that it is time to rest. If you do not like summer and feel that depression engulfs you in this weather, here are five summer depression busters that you can adopt:

  1. Plan something to lift the mood: To beat the summer blues, one does not have to plan an exotic holiday that might create a hole in the pocket. Going to a quiet café for lunch with a friend, or going on a long drive might just help beat the low mood. Planning something interesting through the entire summer can boost the mood and cut down depressed episodes.
  2. Do not dehydrate : Summer is the time when dehydration can catch you unawares. Have adequate water, citrus fruits, or refreshing juices to keep yourself hydrated. According to the studies conducted by the University of Connecticut's Human Performance Laboratory, even mild dehydration can significantly alter a person's mood, energy levels and his ability to think clearly. Researchers recommend that individuals should drink eight glasses or 8 ounce water a day, which is approximately equivalent to about 2 liters.
  3. Be near people: Being in isolation can make one more depressed than ever. One of the best things to do when depressed is to catch hold of a few friends and spend time with them. One can chat near a pool or just watch TV together. Even picking up a phone and calling up someone can help beat summer blues.
  4. Involve yourself in something new: Summer is a great time to take part in new activities. Break the monotony and try new things. For example, getting up early in the morning and taking a jog at a park will refresh the mind. Learning a new sport can also help better the mood and distract from depressive thoughts.
  5. Eat foods that help boost moods : When depressed, a person is honest to eat more. Moreover, during the summers, diet soda, ice cream, sweets, etc., usually become integral part of our daily food. But it must be remembered that sugar can aggravate depressive symptoms. Once the sugary flavor wears out, one might just feel worse than ever. Thus, it is recommended to consume healthy foods that boost the moods, like walnuts, blueberries, yogurt, chocolates, turkey, greasy fish, etc.

Battling summer depression

Just when baking the heat was a task in itself, depression stepped in to add to the problems. However, with little efforts from our own self, we can fight depression this summer and feel new and refreshing. But if depression persists and there is no relief from the terrible mood swings, opt for a depression help .

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Identifying Common Signs of Depression

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States, as per the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It is a serious mental condition that needs immediate attention because neglecting or delaying treatment would only exacerbate the condition.

Love and care from the near and dear ones are crucial to a long-term recovery, apart from conventional treatment procedures. So, it becomes imperative to be aware of symptoms and behaviors which are indicative of depression in a person.

Although, at times, signs of depression could be hard to read, there are a few most common ones which can easily be identified and are telltale signs of the disease. Here, we look at some of the most common and obvious symptoms of depression:

Calling in sick frequently to workplace

The most common excuse of a depressed person is to call in sick frequently and avoid attaching work. It could have due to his or her relationship to interact with others and run away from situations. At times, a person could actually be unwell because of bodily aches and sleeplessness caused by depression. But whatever the reasons, the attendance in the office of a depressed person is significantly lower than his / her colleagues. They may also lack consistency in job performance and appear to be lost and incoherent.

Cutting ties with family and friends

This is an ominous sign when an otherwise friendly and lively person suddenly cuts all ties with family members and close friends. A depressed person stops socializing and enjoys being a recluse. There is complete abhorrence for activities once he or she enjoyed. This isolation may further worsen the symptoms and aggravate other hidden mental conditions in a person. So, family members should shoulder the responsibility and seek immediate help from clinicians and psychiatrists.

Frequenting doctor for vague and imaginary problems

A depressed person may be regularly plagued by imaginary fears and tend to experience unexplained body aches and pains. They may become hypochondriac and frequently visit the doctor for no apparent reasons. It explains how troubled they are from deep within. Staying away from treatment for long would not help the cause but deteriorate the condition. Antidepressants help in alleviating both the mental and physical pains in a patient.

Problem sleeping

Almost 80 percent of the depressed people have problem in sleeping. They may be crying in beds for a longer period than others, but they hardly manage a sound sleep. For most of it, they would only toss and turn on their beds, but devoid of any sleep. Inadequate and problem sleeping is the earliest sign of depression. A person losing sleep at home needs immediate attention and treatment should be taken right away.

Eating less than usual

Depression is invariably linked to poor eating and loss of appetite. A depressed person will not eat properly and tend to lose interests in food he / she enjoyed earlier. A possible fallout of this could be weight loss and the person would appear frail and thin. Not eating properly is an indication that the depressed person is losing interests in the necessities and pleasures of life, including food and sleep.

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How to Come Out From Depression

Depression is a prolonged feeling of sadness, fear, hopelessness, anxiety, anger, guilt, helplessness and emptiness. The person suffering from depression may lose interest in the activities that once used to excite him. They may have problems in making decisions, remembering details and face relationship difficulties. They may even attempt or commit suicide.

The person going through depression may be suffering from insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, digestive problems, loss of energy and enthusiasm.

There is a wide spectrum of the things or events which can cause depressions. Some serious hardships during childhood like loss of a loved one, sexual or physical abuse can lead to depression in the later stages of life. Certain changes in human body like the menopause, childbirth, certain medical diagnosis (cancer, HIV), certain medication can be the cause of a depressed mood.

Chronic use of certain drugs of abuse including alcohol, sedatives, and opioids like heroin could aggravate the problem. Financial problems, job related issues, bullying, jealousy, and separation, social isolations are among the other reasons which make people vulnerable to depression.

When you're depressed, it can feel as if you will never be able to get out of this trap.
However even the most severe depressions are treatable.

If your depression is not allowing you to lead a normal life, do not hesitate to seek help. There are many effective treatments from therapy to medication to healthy lifestyle changes that can help you get better.

Here are a few depression treatment tips that can be of great help but keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” treatment. What is beneficial for one person might not work for the other, so plan accordingly. Remember there is no hard and fast rule to treat depression.

– Try to find the root cause of your depression: It is important to know whether your depression is due to an underlying medical condition or some personal problem and then try to find the treatment accordingly.

– Do not rely on medication alone: ​​it can help you treat the symptoms of depression for short or moderate term, but usually not suitable for long term use. You can ask for professional help.

– Get social support: start sharing your problem with your friends, family or you can even join some support groups. Joining a support group is a great idea because all the members there can easily refer to your problem and can help you get better by sharing their personal experiences.

– Exercise: lifestyle changes like doing regular exercise can be as effective as medication. During exercising a number of chemicals like endorphins, serotonins are released inside the brains which help you feel good. Even a 30-60 minutes workout can do wonders. Going for a walk in nature, spending time among the plants and trees have also benefitted people suffering from depression.

– Nutrition: Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help you stay energetic the whole day and would avoid frequent mood swings. People who are constantly on a diet are usually very irritable and tend to look at things negatively, that is because we need a certain amount of good fat for our brain cells to function properly and when we are devoid of the same our whole system goes into low energy leading to a depressive frame of mind.

– Sleep: Sleep directly affects your mood. Sleep deprivation amplifies irritability, moodiness, sadness, and fatigue. Make it very sure that you take at least seven hours of sleep a day.

An estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression globally. Half of the people suffering from this disorder do not seek any medical or professional help because of the societal stigma associated with it. Our society need to be a little open minded and should accept them the way they are.

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Why It Is Important to Take Medication for Depression

You may feel like your chest is being constrained because of all the thoughts you have. There are reasons for medication to be available, especially for depression. Here are the reasons why you should take medication even though you do not think it will work.

Depression is a serious and increasing condition. Although there are many situations that have been caused because of it, people will not take it seriously. Why? Because of the rates that it has increased. It goes around in a loop to a point that no one knows where to turn anymore. This reason is why people start to isolate themselves from everyone else. Anti-depressants are there so you can avoid certain scenarios and thoughts such as this one.

First of all, what are anti-depressants? The main purpose of these little pills is so that they can balance the chemicals in your brain to keep your mood at a neutral point. They do not needarily make you happy, known from experience, but rather keep you at an “in-between” state.

Many depression sufferers have the unfortunate condition of insomnia. The medication helps the sufferer to sleep better which is also a way of improving moods. So instead of feeling tired and sad, which causes you to feel even worse, you now only feel sad. It does not sound like much but believe that it does do a great favor.

According to learned psychology, the constrictiveness felt in your chest is because of the feelings you have towards your thoughts. Many have the hate towards their bodies, their position in life such as their jobs or the younger, less known sibling, and even just because they have never been happy (it is possible). This is another important reason to take the anti-depressant. Chances are that people have such hate towards themselves is because once-upon-a-time some person decided that you have to have the label of “stupid” or “fat”. If you can move, get up and walk you are not fat. Unfortunately, it is not simple getting people to believe that because of the comment they heard before this one. First impressions are important and a negative comment sticks longer than the first positive comment.

Many times you tell yourself that there is no point in taking what the doctor prescribed. That, in fact, is another reason why taking it is so important. The indecisiveness is a symptom of depression and can cause even more problems for you. That feeling of not being able to make a decision is another cause for the constrictive feeling in your chest.

Depression is a continuous loop in your brain. Make sure that when you take the medication that you have a change in your mood. It may not happen in the first few days but something is bound to happen. Never think that nothing will help. Someone is always there to listen to you.

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Things to Do to Fight Back Depression

Depression does not happen by choice; it is a malady that can come unannounced. It is like walking in a dark corridor without any clue about light on the other end. Depression makes one feel helpless, sad, tired and miserable without any reason. But it is not a sign of weakness of the human mind; it is, in fact, a severe mental disorder caused due to a change in the neurotransmitters of the brain. It affects moods, thoughts, sleep and even energy levels.

However, depression is a battle that can be won by adopting the right strategies. One can successfully overcome the agonies of this debilitating mental condition and lead a better life. Few steps that one can follow to fight depression and stay happy are:

1. Getting treated: Depression is an illness, like any other physical illness, which requires professional help. Medical experts are capable of diagnosing the intensity of the disorder and suggesting the best treatment. They will not judge the patient, but will patiently hear his / her woes without jumping to conclusions. Psychotherapies, coupled with medications, can help a person get back on track and lead a happy life. So, if one sees any symptoms of depression, he / she should seek treatment immediately.

2. Committing to recovery process: The process of achieving something is never too easy. One should commit to getting better, no matter how tough the process is. Recovery is not a one-day affair; it takes time and patience to recover from depression.

3. Believing in oneself: Depression can make a person lose confidence, but that will only aggravate the condition. Believing in oneself, especially in one's abilities, to overcome hardships is the best way to keep going.

4. Involving in interesting activities: Instead of laming over the situation, involving oneself in interesting activities can help manage depression effectively. Exercise, for example, produces endorphins that work as an antidepressant. So, regular exercise can help the body fight negative tendencies and feel refreshed. Meditation and yoga can help ward off negative thoughts and bring in positive energies.

After depression, joy can be a part of life

It is essential to seek treatment to overcome depression and lead a healthy life. Developing stronger ties with people with whom one banners connected can help beat the chronic blues. A recent study by the University of Toronto found that more than 40 percent of the surveyed people who previously had depression reported feelings of happiness or satisfaction almost daily, which is a healthy sign.

Lead author, Esme Fuller-Thomson said that the duration of depression did not have any impact on the recovery. “Our findings provide a hopeful message for both clients and clinicians: It is within the grasp of many individuals who have previously succumbed to depression to fully flourish and achieve complete mental health,” she added.

Today, the focus on mental health has moved beyond “just survival” to “recovery.” Patrick Corrigan, a professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, said that initially it was about stealing hope away from people, but the recovery movement has reintroduced hope to the diagnoses.

Way to a depression-free future

Recovery from depression is attainable only if a person embraces the process of reclaiming a normal life. Today, medical science offers ample therapies and treatments that cater to a person's overall condition other than certain fragments of the disease.

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4 Things to Know About Postpartum Depression

The feeling of giving birth to a baby and the joy of experiencing motherhood is probably the best phase for a woman. However, amid all the happiness and celebrations lie a hidden truth that most people seem to ignore: the probability of postpartum depression (PPD). PPD is real and can affect a mother within the first month of delivery, but the risk can persist longer.

According to a research review published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry in May 2016, approximately 14.5 percent women generally experience an episode of depression during pregnancy or in the initial months of delivery. However, many seem to overlook the symptoms of PPD and do not seek treatment. PPD may even impact the child as it significantly hampers the child's behavioral and emotional development.

Dr. Erin Smith of the Western Psychiatric Institute and the Clinic of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and colleges said, “Postpartum depression remains vastly under-diagnosed and under-treated, despite widespread consensus regarding itsvalence and potentially devastating consequences.”

Some of the important things to know about PPD are listed here:

  1. Do not confuse between hormonal changes and PPD : PPD can haunt anyone, be it a first-time mother or any other woman. Due to hormonal changes, feeling low in an instant and normal soon is a part of motherhood. But in case of continuous depressive episodes, when restlessness and misery become a regular affair, voraciously taking a toll on the woman, she might be suffering from PPD and probably needs medical help.
  2. PPD does not define you as a bad mother : Becoming a mother does not come without challenges. PPD can occur in most cases and is not rare. It does not define one as a bad mother, however. If it would have, then there would have been so many bad mothers around the world. The cycle of pregnancy and motherhood comes with its own challenges. A woman has to go through the terrible labor pain and after the delivery she has to be involved in nursing and feeding for hours. She has to attend to the child and her own needs. Mothers are bound to suffer from depression with varying degrees of severity. Some suffer from mild symptoms that can be ignored, but some others experience persistent episodes of depression.
  3. It can occur anytime between the first month and a year : Typically, PPD occurs within the first month of delivery, though there are risks of its occurrence even after a couple of months. Hollywood actor Courtney Cox suffered from PPD after six months of her baby's birth. While speaking about her delayed PPD to the USA Today , she said, “I could not sleep. My heart was racing. And I got really depressed.” PPD can last for more than a year, so it is important to seek treatment as soon as your body starts showing certain instabilities.
  4. Do not indulge in alcohol : Alcohol is definitely bad. The entire concept of drawing comfort from alcohol is nothing but a short-lived euphoria that can be detrimental to the mother's health. There is no point in taming the depressing thoughts through alcohol because they are bound to recur. A better solution is to sit with a friend or a family member and talk over a cup of coffee, may be.

Dealing with PPD

PPD is treatable with the right kind of treatment. Psychotherapy, coupled with some medications, can be a reasonable option to tackle depressive episodes based on one's condition.

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5 Myths About Depression Debunked

Each year, millions of Americans are affected by depression. Despite this, people have their own mythical perceptions about depression and its occurrence. Very few people seem to understand the suffering of going through an entire period of numbness, where sadness becomes the norm and suicidal thoughts hover in the mind incessantly.

It is time to learn that depression is not “just a sad day” due to “some terrible occurrence” or “just experiencing Monday blues”. Depression is beyond any kind of stereotypical myths; it is serious and needs treatment. Here is a list of five common myths about depression:

  1. Depression is synonymous to sadness: Sadness is a symptom of depression and not the same thing. Sadness is momentary, mostly caused by some tragic events or stressful memories. Depression, on the other hand, is chronic and can be life-threatening. Depressed people have feelings beyond sadness, in the form of anxiousness, uneasiness, tension, nervousness, etc.
  2. Depression emerges from tough situations: Traumatic or tough situations can trigger depression, such as the death of a loved one, a bad relationship, loss of a job, etc. It does not require any particular situation after which it will surface. Depression can be diagnosed by prolonged episodes of hopelessness, agitation, apathy or emptiness with no specific cause.
  3. Depression is all in the head: Of course not! Depression is beyond emotional upheavals and can have physical manifestations too. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has listed some of the physical symptoms of depression, including loss of energy, fatigue, headache, indigestion, breathlessness, stomach aches, etc. People generally tend to overlook these symptoms thinking that depression can be diagnosed only with emotional signs.
  4. Antidepressants are the best treatment for depression: It is not about popping a pill today and getting better tomorrow. Prescription of antidepressants are done on a case-by-case basis and it depends on the condition of a patient. If a person is suffering from a mild to moderate depression, he may get better through psychotherapies. However, if a person is suffering from a major depression, a doctor may prescribe antidepressants, or both. Everything depends on what suits the patient best and helps to curb the depressive symptoms.
  5. One can not “snap out” of depression: As physical ailments need treatment, people with depression also can not “snap out of it” as it is a serious mental condition requiring proper diagnostic treatment. Depression can make people feel utterly helpless and telling them “to start feeling happy” will only make things worse. What they need is medical attention, and not remorseful comments.

Depression-free future is achievable

People with depression can certainly come out of their mental woes if they seek proper treatment. A comprehensive treatment procedure consisting of psychotherapy and pharmacological treatments can help a person get better. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a useful tool in treating depression. A therapist helps a patient solve current problems and deal with mental insurances during counseling sessions.

The irony is that most sufferers do not realize that they are suffering from depression and abstain from discussing their mental issues with family and friends, mainly because of the prevailing prejudices. However, it is extremely important to seek medical assistance if there are any signs of depressive symptoms. One should not wait for it engulf one's life.

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4 Things to Know If You Are Battling Depression

Depression can be the shackles of pain that prevails the rays of hope from reaching the affected person. It can dominate the mind with such suppressive thoughts that they would threaten to blow up the very existence of the sufferer. In fact, depression just bends anyone under its increasing pressure of distress and anguish. But it can be overcome with proper therapies and treatments.

Millions of people across the world are fighting depression. However, at times, they tend to overlook or are ignorant about certain facts that hold true for this mental condition. People should understand depression in depth to cope with the instabilities of the mind. Given below is a list of key truths, adapted from the Huffington Post website, which a person struggling with depression should know:

1. Not everything you think might be real: More than the situations, it is our thoughts that make us depressed. For example, if a woman is struggling with weight gain, she would tend to see only lean and thin women and would forget the fact that many women are out there fighting weight gain. The mind tends to come up with certain thoughts that would make the person believe that everyone else else than him or her is happy in the world.

Depression makes a person believe what one thinks. Everything that is backed by rationality vanishes into thin air and irrationality becomes the norm. So, it is important for a person to debunk such thoughts and try to think only about pleasant things.

2. Deflate negativity, upgrade for the better: Typically, a depressed person has thoughts like: “Things are never going to get better”; “I can never come out of this”; “My life is ruined”, and so on. But such thoughts will do no good and only aggravate the problem. With a little support and willpower, a person can transform such negativity into some positive outlook towards life like: “Things can be better”; “I can overcome my situation”; “I am worthy enough to succeed”.

3. Do the opposite of what “the voice” suggests : During a depressive episode, the inner voice will give life advices, which should not be followed. For example, if it suggests to stay at home during a weekend and sulk for all the mishaps of life, one should do just the opposite – Visit a friend's home, go out for shopping, watch a movie with a loved one, etc. Learning to have in contrast to the voice will help one kill negative thoughts and move out of the painful grip.

4. No one is fighting depression alone: When depression sets in, one tends to believe that he or she is the worst sufferer. But that is not the case. There are people who have felt depressed and have gone through worst of phases, while there are some who have never had depression in their lives. One has to realize that the world is a home to all kinds of people, some battle mental issues and some not.

Way to a depression-free life

Depression is treatable with the right kind of treatments. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, is an effective treatment for depression. However, seeking professional treatment with a specialized depression treatment plan is the best way to conquer this mental illness.

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Experiencing the Hour of Darkness

A young person I know very well told me recently that they do not live a day at a time, but mostly it's an hour at a time. The concept has gravity. There was weight to the words, for it was the case of a real and present danger, a darkness lurking, where what was spoken of implied the potential that the very next moment could take all sense of hope and rationality; a darkness descended.

I know of such hours. I recall times when one hour felt like a whole day. On other occasions, I remember, within one hour, feeling fine, then only to sink into a menacing spiral.

“What happened?” I'd think. “How could my hour / day be hijacked so instantly?”

The thing is, until this happens to you, until you're overwhelmed in a panic attack, you do not believe it's possible – for someone else, maybe, but not for you. Then you experience it for the first time, and a worst type of reality is born into existence. But such an horrendous reality is not the end of the story; it's really a beginning of something far better, if we embark on a learning journey, though I do not want to halt necessary descriptions of darkness just yet.

Experiencing the hour of darkness teachers us something about the weight of life.

It teaches us about the gravity indwelt in reality. It opens the eyes of our mind, penetrating the heart to fathoms, and makes us serious, wiser, more compassionate persons overnight. It grabs our attention, making us ever more empathic to myriad plights in the world.

***

Experiencing the hour of darkness, as a swarm of spiritual heaviness hovers with fleeting swiftness, is best done still. Nothing can be added just like nothing can be taken away. Stay still, silent in your mind, hold the key of the moment, and do nothing silly.

For all those who've lived in this hourly frame, you're not alone. The seconds are arduous, the minutes contemplous, the hour's pitch darkness.

Experiencing the hour of darkness reminds us to be grateful for the return of the hour of light.

Anxiety and depression, however atrophic they are, expand our empathy, and deepen our compassion.

© 2016 SJ Wickham.

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Ways to Deal With Teen Depression

Teenage is a phase of major changes in a child's life; it is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood, both mentally and physically. Here, the term teenage trauma is a reality as many adolescents feel the blues during this period. But the situation becomes alarming when it triggers the onset of actual depression in them which qualifies for intervention.

According to a “Mental Health Surveillance among Children” report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 13-20 percent children living in the United States experience some kind of mental disorder in a given year.

The CDC said that for some children these mental disorders might lead to serious complications at home, school, and in interpersonal relationships with peers and could possibly lead to substance use, criminal behavior, and other risk-taking behaviors.

Unrealistic academic expectations, peer pressure, parental and societal pressures and a host of other contributing factors may lead to depression in teenagers. When the situation goes out of control and develops into full-blown depression, the treatment becomes unavoidable. Parents, guardians and elders in the family have to shoulder the responsibility under such a circumstance to save their children from the muck.

Recognizing symptoms of teenage depression

Depression in teens can lead to other serious complications, such as bipolar disorder, which has symptoms that alternate between periods of euphoria and depression. Recent surveys indicate that as many as 20 percent teens suffer from clinical depression which calls for a prompt action from parents in the form of immediate treatment for their wards. Here, recognizing the symptoms of depression in teens is of utmost importance.

Signs of depression in teens

It's a matter of concern when teens exhibit the following symptoms for more than two weeks:

  • Poor academic performance in school
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Feeling of melancholy and hopelessness
  • Severe lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
  • Anger and temper
  • Severe reaction to criticism
  • Too much of perfectionism
  • Low self-esteem or guilt
  • Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Substance use
  • Run-ins with authority
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Treatment of teen depression

Immediate medical intervention is very important for depressed teenagers so that it can be contained at the earliest. For, depression can exacerbate over time and could be life-threatening. Effective treatment procedures for depression in teens include:

Psychotherapy : It helps teens by providing an opportunity to explore events and feelings that are painful or troubling. Psychotherapy also improves coping skills to them.

Medication : It alleviates some symptoms of depression and is often prescribed in conjuction with a behavioral therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy : It helps teens in changing negative thinking patterns and behavior into positive and constructive ones.

Interpersonal therapy : It is more or less like counseling in schools. Interpersonal therapy fosters and maintains healthy relationships at home and school.

There are a plethora of treatment centers spread across the country which can help teens and parents tide over such a predicament.

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A Supportive Family Environment Can Reduce Depression in Teens: Study

“May be I can not stop the downpour, but I will always, always join you for a walk in the rain,” these words by philosopher and author Albert Camus invariably support to be change agent in one's life.

A person may be going through a rough patch in life, but a little support from family and friends can help him keep going. A recent study by the University of Cambridge suggests that support from friends and family can lower the depression risk in teenagers. The research, published in the open access journal PLOS ONE in May 2016, revealed that a supportive family environment can be an important social factor in preventing teenage depression.

The study also stated that exposure to a negative environment in the family during childhood can make a teenager a prelude to bullying, in comparison to his peers.

Chance of developing depression more during adolescence

Adolescence is the time of key developments and increases the risks of mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety disorders. It can increase considering with initial signs and symptoms visible during this period. Childhood family adversities, like negative parenting, family loss, financial constraints, lack of affection from a loved one, sexual abuse, etc., can play a key role in causing depression. Moreover, such situations make a teen subject to bullying in school. The combination of both can invariably affect a child's life, making him prone to severe depression.

The researchers at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge analyzed 771 teenagers, including 322 boys and 449 girls. They examined the relationship between childhood family adversities and bullying before the age of 11, impact of friendships and family support at age 14 and appearance of depressive symptoms at age 17.

The researchers found that support from family and friends during early adolescence can help reduce depressive symptoms in teenage years. Moreover, such support can help children cope with early stress by improving their self-esteem which helps them sail through difficult situations. Such a positive environment assists children in building effective interpersonal skills that help them manage adverse situations. However, the study did not reflect on how social support can influence or affect mental health later in life.

The researchers also said that boys who have been bullied are less likely to develop strong friendship during adolescence in comparison to girls. But the study suggested that the difference exists because the boys suffered from severe bullying or were more sensitive to bullying that left an impact on their lives.

First author of the study Dr. Anne-Laura van Harmelen said, “Adolescents who had experienced negative family environments are more likely to be bullied at school, and less likely to receive family support in adolescence. We also found that children who were bullied in primary school were less likely to have supporting friendships in adolescence. ”

The researchers also found a strong relationship between having a negative family environment and being bullied in school. Thus, a teen tends to get severe depression as he suffers from two odds of life.

Building positive relationships can help reduce depression

Senior author of the study Professor Ian Goodyer said, “Our work really shows how important it is that children and teenagers have strong support from their family and friends, particularly if their childhood has been a difficult one.”

The researchers recommended that targeted interventions should be endeavored to develop strong social relationships among adolescents with stressful childhood. Moreover, school-based mental health programs can play an important role in strengthening friendships through active facilitation of social skills.

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Depression: Why Do Only Some People Feel Depressed When They Are Carrying Toxic Shame?

It has been said that depression is one of the most common mental and emotional problems in today's world, and while some people might experience it from time to time, there are others who are more familiar with it. This is then not going to be something that affects everyone is the same way.

But while depression can be seen as something that is a bad thing, it could be said that it is not this black and white. In many ways, it might be more accurate to say that depression is a normal part of life.

A Label

After all, this is a word that is used to describe a number of different symptoms, and these symptoms did not simply appear after the word started to be used. The kinds of experiences people have when they are depressed have been around for many, many years.

Now, this is not to say that labeling this experience has not had an effect on how people perceive what is taking place for them, as this is clearly not the case. As a result of the approach that is now taken, it can mean that what was seen as a normal experience in the past is often seen as something that needs to be treated.

The Other Way

Also it would be an oversight to overlook the effect modern day world has had people's mental and emotional health. The world is constantly changing and the kinds of challenges people now have to face are not the same as the ones their ancestors had to face in the past.

On one hand, technology has made certain things easier and on the other hand, it had also created more stress. The sheer pace of modern day life causes people to experience a lot of pressure.

The New Normal

What has played a part in changing what were normal experiences in the past to experiences that are now seen as abnormal is the belief that human beings should always be happy. Based on this, only one side of the emotional spectrum has a purpose and the other side needs to be eliminated.

But this is generally not seen as something that will take place through the effort that someone puts in; it is typically seen as something that will happen through consuming something. A number of different drugs can be taken in order for one to achieve this outcome.

Empty

However, this is something that is likely to cause one to be disconnected from life, and instead of feeling happy all the time, they could end up being numb. The experiences they have that would usually cause them to experience discomfort will not have the same effect on them.

It would then be more accurate to see them as someone who observes life instead of experiences it. So, not only do they miss out on all the 'bad' moments, they also miss out on the 'good' moments.

An Unexpected Outcome

So out of the need to make life better for people (and / or to make more money), the people behind the need to change how people experience life have created even more problems. It could be said that they have simply caused people to lose touch with who they are.

Having the ability to experience life from both sides of the spectrum is then not something that gives life meaning and depth, it is something that needs to be changed. To experience life is this way is not going to be much better than being overwhelmed with pain.

Depression

If one has just experienced loss, it will be normal for them to feel down, and this could be an experience that lasts with them for months or even years. It can all depend on who has passed on and the kind of connection they had with them.

What could also create a similar experience to this is when a relationship comes to an end. It may not matter how long they have been together or if they had a strong connection, as they can still feel down.

Toxic Shame

When one finds it hard to feel good about themselves, they can also be used to feeling depressed. The reason they feel this way could be due to what happened during their childhood years, and this may have been a time where they experienced some kind of abuse and / or neglect.

This would have set one up to be shamed-based, and this means that they do not experience shame from time to time; it will be a regular occurrence. It is then not going to be much of a surprise for them to feel as they do.

Another Experience

Still, this does not mean that everyone who is carrying toxic shame will feel depressed, and this is because it is possible for one to disconnect from how they feel. When this happens, one will not find it hard to feel good about themselves, as they will have created false-self that allows them to experience a false sense of superiority.

This can mean that one will be used to experiencing anger and rage, and this will allow them to elevate their mood. Through being out of touch with their true feelings, it could cause them to be critical of people who are depressed.

A Different Expression

It could then be said that what they are criticizing in others is what they have disowned within themselves. But until they are willing to face what is taking place within them, they will continue to have in the same way.

And while it can be easy for someone who is not depressed to see themselves as being in a better position than someone who is not, this can be nothing more than an illusion. The only difference can be that one person is caught up in how they feel and another is avoiding how they feel.

Awareness

There could also be moments when one goes from feeling depressed to being angry, or when one goes from being angry to being depressed. When it comes to moving beyond this challenge, it may be necessary for one to work with a therapist and / or a support group.

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How to Kill Depression Before It Kills You

Depression kills.

Sadly, these people did not live to tell of its horrors – 16,467, aged between 45 and 85 +, almost half of the total deaths by suicide, across all ages, in the US in 2014, making it the country's 10th leading cause of deaths .

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention believes the figure could have been higher if some families were not hesitant or reluctant to report a suicide in the family. Already traumatized by the loss of a loved one, they did not want to be stigmatized as a family of loonies.

What drve them to end their lives? Mostly depression.

What makes it sad is that depression can be cured. What makes these deaths tragic and unnecessary is that depression usually starts from harmless “blues” we all experience in any given day. For failure to plug a leak, a deluge was created.

They did not recognize it coming or too complacent until things have gotten way over their heads. By then, they thought blowing their heads off was the only way out of their misery ..

Can it happen to you? Will you become a part of this morbid statistic?

It depends on how you value life; on how you cherish your family who will grieve over your death, on how strong is your belief that no matter how bad things are, they will soon pass; that the storm ravaging you now will soon be pushed away by sunbeams that will fill your heart and soul with joy.

It depends on your awareness that you are not alone. That somewhere, right now, others are also suffering as you are.

They, too, are:

o Feeling sad or low;

o Suffering from loss of interest in activities that normally enjoy doing;

o Having eating problems, losing or gaining weight for no apparent reason;

o Having problems sleeping or not wanting to get up;

o Feeling tired or lethargic;

o Restless (hand-wringing or pacing); slow in movement and speech;

o Having concentration problems or making decisions

o Thinking of committing suicide.

We all feel these things every now and then. Normally they will pass in a matter of days or a couple of weeks. They normally go away after a good sleep, a hearty meal, a good conversation with family or friends, or a change in scenery.

If they do not, then do your darndest best to kill them before they kill you.

DIY Tools to Kill Depression:

It's normal to feel down once in a while. It is not because of age but because our lives have become so routinary, so boring – like a hamster spinning in its wheel.

It is because we are so self-obsessed, forgetting that there is a whole wide world out there to learn, explore, experience, and conquer.

Depressive behavior is fed by your own thoughts, which puts imaginary barriers around you, making you see nothing but four walls closing in around you every day until it becomes a prison.

For some, breaking free from that prison is difficult, even impossible.

Those who did, did so by simply discarding their own self-destructive thoughts; they simply unshackled from themselves from the chains of their own making.

I did it by picking the lock of my harmful thoughts using these simple DIY tools. You can use them, too

1. Do a Forrest Gump:

Remember the movie Forrest Gump? The movie revolved around Forrest, sitting on bench while waiting for a bus, and telling his story to anyone and everyone who came along to sit next him.

Kind of stupid, but is easy and cheap way of killing depressing thoughts.

My late Mom was a Forrest Gump, sort of. She visited me each time she felt the world crushing her in. The moment she got settled she immediately rattled off her problems, like a machine gun, while I just sat there listening to her.

When she was winding down, I offered her snacks. It immediately changed her mood, and set her off doting on my children (my daughter was her favorite).

Find someone you can be a Forrest Gump to. I am, to my daughter-in-law. It works all the time.

But you can not do it all the time. Your sounding board may not be around when you need them, or you may bore them to death or, worse, infect them. Depression is as infectious as a virus.

So you need other tools to kill it …

2. Visit or call a friend who can pull you up:

Not just any friend. But someone who can pull you up, not press you down.

Avoid a friend who will make your innermost fears and insecurities become a part of the neighborhood's breaking news the following day.

Keep away from a friend who will casually brush with an “it will just pass,” comment without helping you make it pass, or one who will cut you short by saying, “your problems are nothing compared to mine.”

Call or visit a friend who is interested to know how you made your garden the envy of your neighbors, or who wants to listen to your collection of love songs, circa Romeo and

Juliet, or who wants to leaf through your book of cloth-bound books; someone who wants to cuddle your new-born grandchild.

A friend who finds value in you and knows how to take your thoughts off yourself and shunt them somewhere else.

3. Take a hike of discovery:

Go to the beach and take a dip, or just walk along the shore, barefoot, and feel the sand tickle the soles of your feet; pick up sea shells or bits of corals and ponder on the genius who sculpted them into such spectacular shapes and forms.

Then face the horizon and, with arms outstretched, fill your lungs with the salty breeze until it's about to burst, slowly exhale through your mouth and say, “God, life is good.” I am so blessed to be alive. ”

If the beach is not your cup of tea, try the park.

Find a bench in the cool corner of your town park, under the shade of a giant tree, and fill your senses with the sights, sounds, smells around you.

For a moment be mindful.

Empty your mind of everything and delight in being on a tiny piece of earth where everything has a purpose – from the tiny ants scurrying about with bits of food between its pinchers, to the grasshoppers nibbling a blade of grass, to the butterflies and bees flitting from flower to flower, to the squirrels clambering up and down trees storing nuts, to the fallen leaves around your feet, to the tree under which shade you saved refuge, and YOU.

Together, you combine the delay balance of Nature, of Life. Remove one and you offset the balance.

For a clincher, be a child again .

Take the swing, or ride the Ferris wheel, the merry-go-round, or throw Frisbees.

Never think, even for a moment, that these are for children. No matter how old we are, a certain part of us, buried under tons of adult things, remains a child.

Bring it out and be a child again. Have fun; laugh. You may save yourself.

About a month ago, I tried the hoverboard and the merry-go-round just for the heck of it. I looked silly (and almost twisted an ankle) but I did not give a hoot what others thought. I had fun and that's all that mattered

4. Do not be afraid to seek professional help:

If, after having taken all the Paracetamols you can lay your hands on, you still have the colds, see a doctor before you get pneumonia.

Depression is either “from the mind” or “in the mind.”

The above tools work well for the “from the mind” type, but can not do much if it is “in the mind.”

If your depression lasts for long periods of time, say months or years, then that falls under the worrisome category of Mental Illness, and close relative of anxiety, bipolar disorder (this drave Robin Williams to commit suicide), schizophrenia and many others.

It is “worrisome,” not hopelessly disastrous because modern science has the tools to help out, or cope with them. Provided you nip it in the bud.

So if you have been seeing blue for a long, long time, seek professional help to clear it out.

Shortly after my wife died, I went into depression. My daughter, who is a doctor, took me to one of her doctor friends. After the usual series of questions, he prescribed me some anti-depressants which I was to take twice daily for two months.

As a good patient, I bought them since their being depressively expensive and started taking them. After a couple of days, out of curiosity, I surfed for anti-depressants and their side-effects.

To my horror, I found out that some anti-depressants can cause erectile dysfunction. “Oh, God! I can not allow more sorrow upon my sorrows,” I said to myself.

I stopped taking it and started tinkering with my thoughts to take them off my painful loss. That's how I came upon these. They can help you, too.

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Brain Scans to Help Diagnose Depression Before Visible Symptoms

Approximately one in five adults in the United States, ie, 43.8 million, or 18.5 percent of the population, experience mental illness in a year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In 2014, 16 million adults in the US had at least one major depressive episode, while 350 million people worldwide suffered from depression every year, as per the World Health Organization (WHO).

Preventing depression, a major cause of disability, helps in winning a major battle. According to a recent study, brain scans may help identify children who are vulnerable to depression even before symptoms appear. This could have been a great leap in the field of depression treatment.

A new brain imaging study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Harvard Medical School may lead to a screening method that could identify children susceptible to developing depression later in life.

The study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry in January 2016, revealed that there could be distinct brain differences in children known to be at high risk because of family history of depression. John Gabrieli, the Grover M. Hermann Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, said that this type of scan could have been used to identify children whose risk was previously unknown, allowing them to undergo treatment before the onset of depression.

Early intervention is important

Gabrieli said, “Early intervention is important because once a person suffers from an episode of depression, they become more likely to have another.” “If you can avoid that first bout, maybe it would put the person on a different trajectory.”

The researchers studied 27 high-risk children, aged between 8 and 14, and compared them with a group of 16 children who had no family history of depression. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure synchronization of activity between different brain regions.

Distinctive brain patterns observed at at-risk children

They observed several distinct patterns in the at-risk children. The strongest link was between the sgACC and the default mode network – a set of brain regions that is most active when the mind is unfocused. They also noticed the abnormally high synchronization in the brains of depressed adults.

The researchers said that the striking similarity of these patterns found in depressed adults suggests that the difference arises before depression occurs and may contribute to the development of the disorder.

Professor of psychology, Stanford University, Ian Gotlib, who was not a part of the study, said, “The findings are consistent with an explanation that this is contributing to the disorder of the disease. not due to the disorder. ”

The MIT team is conducting a further study to track the at-risk children and plans to investigate whether early treatment can prevent episodes of depression. They also intend to study how certain high-risk children manage to avoid the disorder without treatment.

Finding treatment options

Depression is treatable, provided the patient receives timely intervention. The depression treatment is quite reputed and employs cutting edge technology in treating patients.

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Depression Is Treatable

Depression is common and treatable. It can strike anyone at any age. Consulting with your physician or a licensed mental health provider is the best way to find out if you suffer from depression and the type of depression you might be having.

A person with depression can experience a few or many of the following:

Feelings of sadness and emptiness

Feelings of anxiety

Experiencing restlessness or irritability

Losing interest in all or most activities

Problems with appetite that can lead to weight gain or weight loss

Sleeping problems

Loss of interest in sex

Low energy that can include feeling tired much of the time

Difficulty with concentration or making decisions

Feeling negative toward oneself including worthlessness or excessive guilt

Feeling hopeless or helplessness

Crying spills

Increased use of alcohol or drug use in order to cope with depressed mood

Thoughts of death / Suicidal Ideations

Many people may not have the awareness that the underlying cause of the many above mentioned symptoms is depression; therefore, they will not get the treatment they need. It is difficult to treat something that one has not identified it yet. Over time, serious levels of depression that are not attained get worse and can lead to other health-related issues. It can even lead to suicide.

There are different kinds of depression; therefore, one person's treatment needs will differ from someone else. The most common treatments for clinical depression involve a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy (talk therapy). Many experts in the field believe that depression can involve imbalances in neurotransmitters, the chemicals in the brain that affect nerve-cell communication. Antidepressants are often prescribed in order to correct these chemical imbalances. Psychotherapy can help with resolving or coping with issues that may contribute to the patient's depression. Some patients who fail to respond to standard treatments for depression might need additional resources.

In my counseling work with people who suffer from depression I often notice that they have an inner critic which constantly makes them feel discouraged, inadequate and in many cases worthless. When the inner critic is the dominant voice inside a person, depression is likely to be present. Identifying the internal critic can be done by encouraging patients to pay attention to their inner dialogues. Inner dialogue involves the way a person talks to itself or himself and the quality of this dialogue can affect a person's mood. For example negative exchanges that take place inside a person's mind such as, “I can never do anything right,” or “I know I am going to lose my job” can make the person feel obligated and anxious.

Helping people to become aware of the emotional impact of their inner dialogues can help them to have greater emotional awareness. There are many ways to work with negative inner dialogues and painful emotions that accompanies them. As a psychotherapist, I find it helpful to explore different treatment options in partnership with my clients. A collaborative approach helps people in therapy to feel in control of their recovery from depression.

Working with a licensed mental health therapist to explore treatment options for depression is an important step towards healing. I hope anyone who is suffering from depression reaches out and gets the help they need.

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