Feeling down? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 in 5 adults in the US experiences a mental health condition in a given year. If you are depressed, it is important to learn how to help yourself feel better. If you continue to struggle or have been struggling, then maybe it is time to seek professional help.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mental health condition that affects people of all ages, genders, and racial/ethnic backgrounds. It cause negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that can lead to a downward spiral in mood and functioning. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Depression is characterized by sadness, irritability, poor concentration, fatigue, and loss of interest. Depression can also cause changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and energy levels. These symptoms may be similar to those of a physical illness.
It can take a toll on your health. To help improve your mood, you may benefit from talking with a mental health professional.
Depression is a common health concern, affecting approximately 7 percent of adults in the United States each year. It is more common in women than in men, and occurs more often in women during the childbearing years. Depression affects people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, although it is more common among certain groups of people, including women, African Americans, American Indians, and Asian Americans.
Although it may feel never-ending, depression is a treatable condition. However, depression can also be a chronic condition that recurs and persists over a long period of time. Some people with depression have frequent or severe episodes. Others have few or mild episodes..
If you are feeling depressed, you may feel guilty or discouraged and may have trouble thinking clearly and making decisions.
You may also feel hopeless or helpless and have thoughts about death or suicide.
If you feel you are in danger of hurting yourself, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
What Causes Depression?
Depression is often the result of a combination of factors, including a stressful life event, such as a loss or a major life change; a physical illness or medical condition; or hormones that are out of balance. It is also linked to genetics, family history, and a person’s upbringing and culture. Self talk and how we perceive things affects our mood and how we feel day to day.
Feeling depressed is not a sign of failure.
If you or someone you know is depressed, it is important to seek help. Depression can be treated. In addition to talk therapy, a person may benefit from antidepressants, which can help lift mood and improve energy levels.
How to Cope with a Depressed Mood
There are many things you can do to feel better.
These five tips will help you feel better.
1. Talk to someone
If you’re feeling down, reach out. Talking about your feelings with a trusted person can help lift your mood. It can also take your mind away from negative thoughts and feelings.
It’s not always easy to talk about your feelings, but it can be a good way to start feeling better, even if you don’t feel like talking. Talking to a friend or family member can help you open up.
It could be that you’re feeling down because you’re struggling with a personal or emotional challenge. You don’t have to keep it a secret. It’s okay to talk to someone you trust about what you’re feeling.
2. Take better care of yourself
It’s important to take care of yourself when you’re feeling down. If you’re feeling sad or depressed, it’s normal to want to avoid doing things that might make you feel worse. But doing something to help yourself, however minor, can help you overcome the depression.
Even if you’re feeling down, make sure you’re eating well, sleeping well, and exercising. This can be hard to do, but it’s a good way to start feeling better. Exercise can be a great mood lifter. Exercise can also help you sleep better.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. If you’re using drugs or alcohol to help you cope with depression, you could be putting yourself at risk for drug or alcohol addiction and other problems.
Relaxation techniques can help you feel better. You can learn relaxation techniques online in a class, on YouTube, through an app, or from a website or book.
Meditation is a way to quiet your mind. It can also help you relax your body. You can learn how to meditate through self-help training or in a class.
5. Try a new hobby
It’s important to make time for fun. Try a new hobby. You can do this by taking up a new interest or skill. It can be hard to find time to do something new, but it’s worth it.
If you’re feeling down, you don’t have to suffer alone. It’s okay to reach out for help. It could help you feel better.
Mental health is a very personal issue, and no two people are affected the same way. If you have a mental health concern, talk to a professional about your options. If you would like to learn how we may be of assistance to you, give us a call or send an email: 908-857-4422 or email@example.com
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See Dr. Marion’s blog on Pets and depression: Pet’s to the Rescue