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Work Your Body, Work Your Mind

It took me a long time to admit that I wasn’t successfully coping with my depression and anxiety on my own. It took even longer to come up with a plan to fight back against my own...

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The Not-So-Great Depression

Feeling hopeless. Unable to sleep. Irritable. Weepy. Reclusive.

These are just some of the hallmarks of depression. If these feelings sound familiar, you’re not alone: Depression is a common psychological ailment, affecting nearly 20 million people in the United States annually.

Many mistake depression as just a phase and never seek medical assistance. But if you get the right help, in 30 days you may see significant improvements in your mood and get on the road to beating depression.

Depression: No Simple Sadness

“We all experience feelings of sadness, but depression is very different,” explains Joseph Luciani, Ph.D., a New Jersey-based psychologist and author of Self-Coaching: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety & Depression. Depression “is a physical illness with many more symptoms than an unhappy mood. The person with clinical depression finds that there is not always a logical reason for his or her dark feelings.”

Symptoms of depression can include an overwhelming feeling of unhappiness; changes in sleep and eating patterns; loss of interest in activities that once gave you pleasure; and restlessness and irritability. If you have suffered from these symptoms for two weeks or more, you could be dealing with depression.

The sooner you get help for your depression, the sooner you’ll feel better. “There are many different treatment options available, and it’s important to know help is available, and to take steps to get that help,” says John Preston, Psy.D., a board-certified neuropsychologist in California and author of You Can Beat Depression: A Guide To Prevention & Recovery. “Over 80% of people who seek depression help see improvements in their symptoms."

Depression Help: Treatment Options

Doctors and therapists generally stick to certain depression treatment options, usually consisting of talk therapy and medical or self-help techniques. Your treatment choices will depend on your diagnosis, severity of symptoms and preference.

“If depression is chemical in nature, a combination of medication and therapy might be necessary,” explains Preston. “The majority of depressions are psychological and most people can usually recover with simple self-help procedures and/or professional psychotherapy.”

Posted: 12/16/07
jimmymaxewell

It is true that most of people believe that sadness and depression are same but logically both are different but linked with the each other. And this problem can lead to serious problems in both men and women. Read more

bdcutts

According to me, the best way to deal with depression is to join a group or some sort of classes so that you can interact with new people. Interacting with people can make you feel good and also help to get rid of all negative thoughts.
Link

  • By bdcutts
  • on 2/27/13 6:02 AM EST
SeniorHomer

Probably the one single thing that is most consistently helpful to my depression is movement/exercise. Even so, I don't follow that advice as often as I should and I still have depression, but after many years I've learned that it's almost like magic; rarely do I get a bout of depression that doesnt respond to even the briefest walk. I guess if I'm deep enough in depression, it only takes a little walk to bump things up. When I walk regularly, it's like a Force Field against depression; I never get down. When i let things get in the way of the daily walks, I get depressed again. I think if I win the lottery I'll hire a personal trainer to make me get out and walk every single day and see if I can go depression-free for a whole year or something.

Anonymous

Deepak Chopra says that 90% of our thoughts daily are negative. I discovered that volunteering will take away quite a lot of that negetive thought. I volunteer for the Animal Welfare and during this holiday season, I took away at least 20% of my negative thoughts.

  • By Anonymous
  • on 1/1/09 10:55 AM EST
lilliede81

(Somehow I hit the wrong button, so now I'll finish my comment.)
The meditation really helped calm my anxieties & thoughts.
I am so thankful that I was guided through this painful time, with the easiest experience it could have been. I kept telling myself that "this too will pass" & it has.
Occasionally I will have a day or two when I feel "down", but on the whole, I continue to climb toward the sun.
Hope this helps somebody else.
Take care of yourself!

lilliede81

In Nov.'06 I went into a deep depression. My best friend was moving to an independent living senior facility & needed help packing boxes, moving furniture & possessions. It was the coldest, wettest, rainest winter in years, & then a wind storm uprooted trees blew off roofs, and I lost electricity (for 10 days). Because I had promised to help my friend move, I HAD to help. She lost power only 2 days, so she had heat. It took all my energy to get up, get over to help her. We finished the move Jan. 15. That hard work, tho' it was difficult under the circumstances, managed to MAKE me come out of the depression. To this day, I don't know what caused it but since then I've been told that hard labor was the best thing I could have done. It was during that time when I did daily meditation.

lindahopsing

I've been depressed forever and have dealt with it through medicine. The last few years have brought so many changes and "crisis" to my life that I spiraled into deep anxiety. I'm having a tough time just getting through the days, doing what needs to be done (go to work, care for my son), let alone caring for myself. The scariest part is feeling so alone, I literally have no friends or family here, and like Mollie says, 40 minutes a week in counseling doesnt help much. The days I feel strongest is when I do talk to my one friend (she lives 800 miles away and is currently going through her own crisis, and how long can you bother someone with your ongoing problems anyway without becoming a burden?) If I at least knew I was on the right path - I'm not sure the medicine I'm taking is helping, I dont have that network of help... and I'm not sure I'll even have a job at the rate I'm going. I'm so flustered I can't remember how I got here this morning...or what I should be doing...its like reading a page 20 times and it doesnt stick. I am trying to be my own advocate, but when you need help, even that seems hopeless.

Anonymous

If you are depressed and/or having panic and anxiety attacks, please know that you can get through this. Face the pain straight, don’t be fearful, you must walk with it. After several life unsettling life experiences I spiraled into deep anxiety, panic and depression. I am a dietitian and didn't want to take prescription meds, rather I looked towards natural-diet and exercise related treatments. If you give your body what it needs it will heal. One book I recommend is The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. Taking amino acid supplements (precursors to brain neurotransmitters) helped me feel better to the point where I could start doing the emotional work-such as positive self talk, meditation and yoga. Healing takes time, remind yourself that you are resilient and trust the process of life.

  • By Anonymous
  • on 5/27/08 8:55 AM EST
micdeb

Clinical depression is not just an illness that affects the sufferer. It can be confusing, overwhelming, and devastating to the whole family. My husband became clinically depressed after open heart surgery a few years ago. His personality changed, he was angry and irrational, he acted like someone I didn't even know. He has still not recovered and maybe never will. My point is this . . . if you are a family member or close friend of someone stricken with this disease, you need to get help and support for yourself; and you should do what you can to educate yourself about depression so that you can get through it and not take it all so personally. There are books out there on this topic, to help depression fallout sufferers. Often, people with clinical depression wear a mask for everyone else, but not for their spouses or significant others or the people they are closest too. YOU MATTER TOO, AND THIS IS AFFECTING YOU TOO. There is no shame getting professional help in this situation -- you owe it to yourself and your kids. And there is no reason to feel guilty if you are having a hard time dealing with inexplicable behavior that makes you think that an alien being must have taken over your loved one's brain while he/she slept.

  • By micdeb
  • on 5/14/08 6:51 PM EST
kimbrigid

I agree it is hard alone and you feel no one really cares call your closest friend you trust the most it helps inbetween appointments.

Karen22

I agree with Mollie. There's some great info in this article but you feel so alone going through this and your energy is so low that it's hard to pick yourself up. The medications only work for a while, if that, and have side effects. You want to be positive but you feel so crappy that it's hard to change your thinking.

  • By Karen22
  • on 5/6/08 11:00 AM EST
mollie22

I agree with what this article is saying, but there are those of us who don't have family and friends to turn to for help. You can only talk to a psycologist for so long. You feel good while you're there, but when you get home and reality sets back in, what do you do. It's very hard doing this on your own, even with taking medication.