Archive for Depression

Dealing with Mood Swings

Moods are the result of reactions in our internal chemistry. The brain is responsible for releasing many hormones and chemicals that cause the body to react in response to an external stimuli. We can’t avoid changes in situations so we can’t avoid mood swings. However, by being knowledgeable about what causes emotions or mood swings, we can overcome bad moods.

We can overcome bad moods by watching our diet. Moods are caused by the brain’s chemistry, which responds to foods. Caffeine is a quick pick-me-up but has the adverse side effect of causing you irritability. Skimpy meals or skipping meals also gives you black, bad moods. Eating balanced meals nourishes your brain and lessens the possibility of bad moods.

We can avoid bad moods with sufficient sleep. Resting at night renews our overworked body. Insufficient sleep causes crankiness as the fatigue disables your ability to cope with the daily demands of life. So sleep that bad mood away. Take a snooze whenever you feel down. Sleep gives you energy to deal with changes and stress, and it even gives you energy to deal with your own emotions. Your moods will not swing wildly because you feel you are in control.

Moods are affected by energy cycles. Our health, metabolism, food, and time of the day affect our energy cycle, which in turn gives us good or bad moods. People are more energetic earlier in the day. This is the time when you are in a good mood. You don’t wake up to a bad mood unless you have a splitting hangover. Sunlight also affects us by influencing our body temperatures. Higher temperatures denote higher energy levels, which give us good moods. Thus, we are generally happier in the morning. So you know why you tend to be cranky at night! It helps to eat a light carbohydrate snack to put your mood back into equilibrium.

We can overcome bad moods by coming into contact with nature. A concrete jungle is cold and depressing. Working long hours in a dreary office environment bores you and drags your mood down. Overcome this by glazing out the window into the scenery outside. Make maximum use of your lunch break to enjoy a change of atmosphere to refresh your mind and elevate your mood. This is the perk of eating out.

Dissolve your bad mood away by some psychoanalysis. Ask yourself what is causing you so much pain that it affects your moods. Work out solutions for your problems and you’ll definitely feel better. Bad moods can be just the negative way of seeing things. If we are pessimistic, then we bring our bad moods upon ourselves. If we choose to be optimistic and think positively for everything, then we are masters of our moods. It is as simple as thinking your bad mood away!

Cause: Bad moods may occur for no obvious reason, or be due to hormonal changes, pre-menstrual tension, blood sugar imbalances or stress.

Effect: You may feel angry, frustrated, tearful and sad, or swing from one emotion to the next. You may over-react to situations you normally cope well with.

Solutions: Communicate your feelings to family or friends.

Meditation will help to calm and energize you.

Eat regular meals with a low-glycaemic index (eg. wholegrains and protein) to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Remember a funny memory, or watch a video that makes you laugh.

Write a list of all your accomplishments and things you are proud of, as far back as you can remember.

Focus on an activity that you enjoy, such as cooking, drawing or playing a sport.

Make progress on your important goals; these might be your work, a college essay, applying for a new job, learning a new skill or a creative project.

Think of three good things that have happened to you in the last 24 hours, such as chatting to a friend on the phone, enjoying a meal or walking in the sunshine.

Do a kind act for someone else, or tend a pet or houseplant to help you feel good.

Discuss your mood swings in the therapy 247 forum

Feeling Bored, Cures for Boredom

Causes of Boredom: Lack of stimulation or interesting activities. Being trapped in a dull, repetitive job or life pattern. Being unable to get out and about due to illness, agoraphobia or other health problems.

Effects of Boredom: You may feel that there is no purpose to your life. Boredom may make you feel worried and depressed, or abuse drugs or alcohol. Sleeping too much, daydreaming excessively, over-eating and difficulty concentrating are other signs of boredom.

Solutions to Boredom: Inject interest into your life by starting new projects. Try getting involved with voluntary work, socializing with new people or learning a new craft or hobby. Step outside your comfort zone. Consider changing your job or doing a further education course. Take on challenges, eat healthily and try to exercise every day.

Feeling Bored? Join our Message Board and meet new people

Help with Depression

Deep-seated unhappiness accompanied by feeling helpless, worthless and unable to cope. May be a result of traumatic life events like divorce or bereavement.

Causes of Depression

Depression may be caused by stressful events in your life, such as divorce, illness or bereavement. Drinking too much alcohol or using non-prescription drugs can also trigger depression, as can a genetic predisposition to it, or sudden changes in hormone levels. Sometimes there is no obvious cause.

Effect of Depression

If you are depressed you will have a persistent low mood that is not lifted by doing the things you used to enjoy. You may feel hopeless, helpless, tearful and irritable, and anxious about the future. You may lose or gain weight, suffer from aches and pains, and lose interest in sex. Some people with depression find it impossible to make decisions, and may even harm themselves or contemplate suicide.

Depression Solutions

It is important to see your doctor if you think you are depressed, as some people need antidepressant medications to help them recover. However, depression is a common problem and there are lots of things you can do to help yourself:

  • Talk about your feelings to someone else
  • Exercise regularly. It releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain
  • Eat a varied, healthy diet to make sure you get enough nutrients
  • Self-help books
  • Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Counselling

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Help with Summer Depression

Cause: The cause is unknown, but thought to be linked to an increased amount of sunlight and higher temperatures. People may feel overwhelmed and exposed by the increase in daylight hours.

Effects: Summer depression can cause a low mood, loss of interest and enjoyment in activities, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, agitation, intolerance to heat, decreased appetite and weight loss, increased sex drive and thoughts of suicide. You may feel the need to stay indoors with the curtains closed.

Solutions: Talking about your feelings, counselling and anti-depressants may help. Include plenty of fresh fruit and salads in your diet, take cool showers, and use fans or air-conditioning to prevent overheating. If you feel the need to stay indoors, take up new indoor interests such as reading, crafts, music and creative projects.

Prevalence of Summer Depression

Summer SAD is thought to affect less than 1% of the US population. These sufferers appear to live in hotter regions and, as is the case with other depressive disorders, they are more likely to be female. It is hard to determine the true number of sufferers and significance of gender variation, as people may feel uncomfortable coming forward. Some may manage their symptoms themselves, without seeking advice.

Treatment for Summer Depression

The symptoms of summer depression may have a significantly negative impact on sufferers’ lives, making it difficult for them to function. As with the causes, there is very little evidence on how best to treat to treat summer SAD, though a few possible treatments have been highlighted by researchers.

Sufferers often attribute their symptoms to the summer heat, reporting relief from symptoms by staying indoors and keeping cool. Some find relief in air-conditioned environments and/or taking regular cold showers.

So far, summer SAD has been shown to respond to antidepressant medication, which helps to elevate mood by altering levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. These chemicals are strongly linked to mood and have shown to be effective in treating other types of depression, including winter SAD. Since it may take several weeks for antidepressants to kick in, a doctor may suggest beginning a course of medication in the late winter, before the onset of symptoms.

In non-seasonal depression and winter SAD, sticking to a healthy diet, doing regular exercise and accessing talking treatments have all been shown to be helpful, though it is unclear if these will help summer SAD sufferers.

For some self-help strategies, including information on sleep and diet, read Self-help for Summer Depression. Anyone suffering symptoms of summer SAD should seek advice from a qualified health professional.

Get Help with Summer Depression

Ways of Diagnosing Clinical Depression

The well-known term of ‘clinical depression’ is generally used to describe a more severe form of depression which is also sometimes known as ‘major depression’ or ‘major depressive disorder’. The diagnosis of depression can differ significantly, and can range from mild and occasional bouts of sadness, to severe and persistent episodes. It is important to seek advice from a medical professional to properly diagnose all forms of depression. The most significant symptoms of clinical depression are listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the United States and are stated below. Clinical depression symptoms include the following:

  • A general loss of interest or pleasure in most common day-to-day activities
  • Feeling in a Depressed low mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • A Significant and noticeable weight loss or weight gain
  • Either sleeping too much, or alternatively, not being able to sleep (on a consistent basis)
  • Slowed thinking or slowed physical movements that others notice
  • A feeling of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt for unknown reason
  • Losing ones concentration or periods of being unable to decide
  • Feelings of tiredness, fatigue or low energy levels nearly every day
  • Thoughts of death or thoughts of suicide on a recurring basis

If a person experiences 5 or more of the symptoms noted above, over a period of 2 weeks, AND one of those symptoms above is either a depressed or low mood OR a loss of interest or pleasure in day-to-day activities, they should see a Medical Professional immediately. We should be aware though, that some types of depression may not fit this strict definition and a Doctor will be able to provide proper diagnosis.

Clinical depression can cause significant and regular disruptions in someones daily life. Work, school and/or social activities can all be affected to the point of a person being unable to attend.

It is worth remembering that depression does not discriminate and it can affect men, women and children of all ages and from all cultural backgrounds. Clinical depression isn’t the same as depression caused by a significant loss (such as death of a loved one), or even substance abuse, or a medical condition such as a thyroid disorder.

It is comforting to know that clinical depression symptoms will usually improve with either psychological counseling, antidepressant medications or perhaps a combination of the two, giving the person suffering from the disorder a great deal of hope for the future.

Discuss Ways of Diagnosing Clinical Depression