Recognize When You Need More Help
If you are struggling to cope, or the symptoms of your stress or anxiety wont go away, it may be time to talk to a professional. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.
If you are in immediate distress or are thinking about hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Read more about getting help.
Try To Eat A Healthy Diet
Some people don’t feel like eating when they’re depressed and are at risk of becoming underweight. Others find comfort in food and can put on excess weight.
Antidepressants can also affect your appetite.
If you’re concerned about weight loss, weight gain or how antidepressants are affecting your appetite, talk to your GP.
See tips on how to eat more healthily.
Lead With Behavior To Move Through Difficult Moods And Emotions
If I think the most important thing in life is a feeling of interior peace, I will be all the more disturbed when I notice that I do not have it. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
When were feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or depression, our automatic response is usually to try to make ourselves feel better. It seems reasonablewhy suffer if we can avoid it? So we listen to music to cheer ourselves up, take some deep breaths to try to soothe our nerves, or try to figure out why we feel like this.
Unfortunately, these efforts often backfire, as I recently discussed with fellow CBT psychologist and Psychology Today contributor Joel Minden. Weve all had experiences where we think we can do something to make ourselves feel better, said Minden, and it doesnt work in that moment.
The result can be worse than simply not finding relief. It can be really frustrating and defeating when people work so hard to try to change their emotions, Minden said, if theyre just not able to do that very effectively. We can end up believing that we dont have coping strategies, or that we cant deal with difficult emotions, or that were stuck and theres no way out of it.
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Learn How To Stop Negative Thoughts
Depression doesnât just make you feel bad, it can also cause you to think more negatively. Changing those negative thoughts, however, can improve your mood.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that works to alter common patterns of negative thinking called cognitive distortions in order to eliminate depression. There are also many self-help books, apps, and online courses that can help you learn how to change your unhealthy thinking patterns.
The symptoms of depression, such as fatigue and difficulty concentrating, make procrastination tempting.
Putting things off fuels depression. It can lead to increased guilt, worry, and stress.
Itâs important to set deadlines and manage your time well. Establish short-term goals and work hard to get the most important things done first. Each task you successfully complete will help you break through the habit of procrastination.
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Make Time For Rest And Relaxation
Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can affect your energy and motivation, which often only adds to feelings of guilt and worry.
Remember, though: Depression and anxiety are health conditions. If you had the flu, youd need time to rest, right? Mental health symptoms require recovery time, too.
Instead of fixating on the things you think you should be doing, honor your needs by taking time for activities that soothe and relax you. Maybe this includes things like:
- watching a comforting movie or TV show
- re-reading a favorite book
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The Most Common Anxiety Disorders Include:
- Specific phobias Phobias could be related to animals, like spiders, cats or dogs the natural environment, such as heights, storms or being in water blood injection injury, which is a fear of needles or invasive medical procedures or locations, like airplanes, elevators or enclosed places.
- Social anxiety disorder
- This is an abrupt surge of intense fear or discomfort.
Quick Stress Relief At Home
Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.
Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.
Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.
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How To Fight Depression Without Medication
Verywell / Bailey Mariner
For many people living with depression, prescription medications can be life-saving drugs. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac and Zoloft , are the most widely prescribed medication for depression, and while they are often effective, they can have side effects and be expensive depending on your health insurance coverage.
There are many ways to counter some of the symptoms of depression that donât involve prescription medications. If you have depression, you might like to try managing it naturally without medication or supplement your antidepressant with other options. If so, check out these natural alternatives and then talk to your doctor about which might make sense as part of your treatment regimen.
This article discusses some natural treatments that may help fight depression including lifestyle changes and supplements. It also covers other strategies you might try such as practicing mindfulness or enhancing your home environment.
Stressed Or Depressed Know The Difference
If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, you are not alone it’s practically a fact of life on college campuses. A poll conducted by mtvU and the Associated Press in the spring of 2009 reported that 85% of students say they experience stress on a daily basis.
Stress is good if it motivates you but it’s bad if it wears you down. Many factors can contribute to the stress you experience, and this stress can cause changes in your body that affect your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.
Depression is more serious and long-lasting than stress, and requires a different kind of help. In a 2010 survey by the American College Health Association, 28% of college students reported feeling so depressed at some point they had trouble functioning, and 8% sought treatment for depression.
The good news is that depression is a highly treatable condition. However, it’s not something you can snap out of by yourself, so it’s important to get help. How do you tell the difference between stress and depression? Both can affect you in similar ways, but there are key differences. Symptoms of depression can be much more intense. They last at least two weeks. Depression causes powerful mood changes, such as painful sadness and despair. You may feel exhausted and unable to act.
Here are common signs of stress and depression. Which fits you best?
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Develop An Action Plan For Anxiety And Depression
Your action plan for anxiety and depression will cover a wide range of options. The plan can include exercise, stress management and how to improve your sleep. You may be referred to a psychologist who can help you address things like negative thinking and how to manage difficulties in your relationships.
Some people think its weak to admit theyre going through a tough time, but if you have anxiety or depression, you cant just snap out of it or pull yourself together. Theres more to it than that.
If you think you may have anxiety or depression, and want to take action, start by talking to someone you trust keeping it to yourself can make things worse. Discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member a colleague or your GP.
Beyond Blue has put together information about how men can create an action plan.
Tips For Living With Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Everything feels more challenging when you’re dealing with depression. Going to work, socializing with friends, or even just getting out of bed can feel like a struggle.
But there are some things you can do to cope with your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Here are eight tips for living with depression.
This video has been medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD.
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Socialize With Friends And Family
Even if you are experiencing mild depression or a funk, you might find yourself drawing away from others, avoiding social situations, or not wanting to burden people with your feelings. One of the hardest but most helpful things you can do to see yourself through depression is to find that strong support circle and spend time with the people you love.
Schedule times to visit with family and friends or plan to grab lunch with a coworker so you have a specific time and place where you can lean on others when youre feeling blue. You might also find that some of these people have experienced depression themselves and they might be able to relate with you on the subject and share ideas of what has helped them in the past or just lend an open ear.
What To Do If You Have Trouble Sleeping
Sleep is often sacrificed when youre overwhelmed with stress. You may experience insomnia because of discomfort, stress from personal concerns, or side effects from your medications. If you cant sleep, try these tips:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule: go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Make sure your bed and surroundings are comfortable. Arrange the pillows so you can maintain a comfortable position.
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.
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What Causes Depression
Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. While it may occur at any age, it often begins in adulthood. As with many anxiety disorders, depression in children and adolescents may present itself as irritability more than low mood.4
As mentioned above, depression is often spawned from an anxiety disorder left untreated.
Small Steps Big Impact
If a person feels sustained, intense, feelings of sadness or loss of interest in activities, they may have clinical depression. People also refer to this condition as major depressive disorder.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you gain more agency in your life and improve your sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
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Prevalence Of Anxiety And Depression In Men
On average, one in 8 men will have depression and one in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.
Men are less likely to experience anxiety and depression than women. They are also less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their anxiety or depression going unrecognised and untreated.
Untreated depression is a high risk factor for suicide. In Australia, there are about 3,000 suicides each year. Around 75% of people who take their lives are men, with an average of almost 7 men taking their lives every day.
Its important to remember that anxiety and depression are conditions, not weaknesses, and effective treatments are available.
and depression not only for you, but for your friends and family. Visit Beyond Blue to find out more about anxiety.
Prioritize Getting Good Sleep
Since depression may be causing you to have disordered sleeping habits, it can be helpful to develop better sleep habits.
Sleep hygiene pretty much just means good sleeping habits. Here are some ways of implementing sleep hygiene:
- Be consistent with sleep and wake times. Try going to bed at roughly the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning. This way, your body becomes accustomed to a certain routine that optimizes healthy sleeping.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. You can experiment with different room temperatures or try out a white noise machine. With patience, you might discover the best room environment to promote sleep.
- Remove TVs, computers, and smartphones from the bedroom. This may seem like an impossible task sometimes, but avoiding harsh blue light will help you fall asleep faster.
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Talk To Someone Friendly
Another very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Donât be shy about your anxiety â tell them you feel anxious and explain what youâre feeling.
Talking to nice, empathetic people keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and the supportive nature of friends and family gives you an added boost of confidence. If youâre suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something were wrong, youâd have someone that can watch over you.
Ways To Reduce Stress And Ease Depression
Director of Therapy
10 Minute Read
Its very common for people experiencing depression to feel more easily stressed, burnt out, and overwhelmed than typical. Stress can exacerbate symptoms of depression, while depression can also fuel stress, creating a self-sustaining negative cycle that can be hard to break.
Finding effective ways to deal with stress and depression in your daily life can be an important part of self-care. Addressing the root causes of your stress, learning to build resilience, and reducing the impact that stress can have on you can help you feel more empowered and less depressed.
The best way to relieve stress and depression when it gets out of hand is to talk to a mental health professional. At Brightside Health, licensed therapists and psychiatric providers are available to support you.
Want to speak 1:1 with an expert about your anxiety & depression?
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Signs And Symptoms: How To Identify Depression
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersdiagnosed with major depressive disorder
- Constantly feel tearful, empty, or worthless?
- Have little interest or pleasure in your work, hobbies, friends, family, and other things you once enjoyed?
- Notice dramatic changes up or down in your appetite or your weight not related to dieting?
- Often feel listless or fatigued for no obvious reason?
- Have trouble concentrating or making decisions?
- Find yourself wringing your hands, pacing, or showing other signs of anxious restlessness or the opposite, moving or speaking more slowly than usual?
- Struggle with insomnia or sleep too much?
- Have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death?
To be diagnosed with MDD, one of your symptoms must be a persistent low mood or a loss of interest or pleasure, the DSM-5 states. Your symptoms must also not be due to substance abuse or a medical condition, such as thyroid problems, a brain tumor, or a nutritional deficiency.
Of course, its normal to have any or all of these symptoms temporarily from time to time. The difference with depression is that the symptoms persist and make it difficult to function normally.
Seeking Help For Depression
Get help if you’re still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks.
Treatments for depression include psychological therapies and antidepressants.
You can refer yourself for psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling on the NHS. You don’t need a referral from your GP.
You can talk it through with your GP first if you prefer. Your GP can also tell you about antidepressants.
If you start to feel that your life isn’t worth living or about harming yourself, get help straight away.
- contact Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support
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Ways To Help Yourself Through Depression
If you are going through depression, itâs best to get help from a therapist. To get the most from your therapy, you can do things to help yourself, too.
Here are five things you can do to feel better. They may seem simple, but they can help a lot.
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