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Overcoming Depression

To overcome depression, it helps to know the facts.

Depression is a medical condition and not “laziness” or a temporary response to normal grief and/or discouragement.

Symptoms of Depression

A major depressive episode is defined as experiencing five or more of the following symptoms every day (or most days) for two weeks or more:

•             Depressed or irritable mood

•             Sleep problems (i.e., sleeping too much or too little; sleeping mainly during the day)

•             Change in interests (i.e., not being interested in what you used to enjoy) or low motivation

•             Excessive guilt or unrealistically low self-image

•             Significantly low energy and/or change in self-care (i.e., not showering anymore)

•             Significantly worse concentration (i.e., sharp decline in grades or performance)

•             Changes in appetite (i.e., eating too much or too little)

•             Agitation or severe anxiety/panic attacks

•             Suicidal thoughts, plans or behaviors — including self-harm (i.e., intentionally cutting or burning yourself)

It’s important to remember that not everyone who is depressed is suicidal. You can still seek help even if you haven’t demonstrated any specific suicidal or self-harm behaviors, or even if your symptoms aren’t as severe or persistent as the symptoms noted above.  

OK, I’m feeling depressed… so now what?

Now that you know the symptoms of depression, some positive coping skills can be useful. All of the following techniques are supported by scientific research and medication prescribers — like psychiatrists — and these skills are frequently recommended as important parts of treatment even for patients who continue to take antidepressant medications.

Practice These Coping Skills Every Day

I recommend doing many — if not all — of the following coping skills and techniques once a day when experiencing depression. It’s important to know you probably won’t be motivated to do any of them at first because depression frequently saps motivation. In other words, know that it’s normal to feel unmotivated until you’re halfway done.

The patients I work with who frequently practice these coping skills get better. The seven techniques can be memorized with the acronym MY PEERS.

1. Meaning: Find small ways to be of service to others.

Find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself. Remember service doesn’t have to be big to count. Consider this, “Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue… as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.” – Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

2. Your goals: Find workable goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.

Most people feel guilty when talking about goals because they set unreasonable or unworkable goals. A goal is workable if it’s:

Something you can control (i.e., it doesn’t depend on others)

Manageable (i.e., not overwhelming)

Realistic for you (not for someone else)

Measurable (i.e., you know whether or not it is done or getting done)

If something goes wrong with your goal, adopt a “what can I learn from this?” attitude (versus a judgmental, “this is why I’m horrible” attitude). Also, be careful when comparing your progress with others. We usually compare our biggest weakness with another person’s biggest strength. This is unfair (and usually not accurate anyhow).

3. Pleasant Events: Schedule pleasant activities or events.

Don’t wait for yourself to be “in the mood.” For example, give yourself permission for a 30-minute “vacation” or schedule a healthy hobby every day. Just remember to do these activities with the right attitude (see Engagement).  Also, practice gratitude — take time to notice what went well today, not just what went wrong.  Consider keeping a gratitude journal.  Know that being grateful for your blessings doesn’t mean you have to discount your problems.

4. Engagement: Stay in the present.

This practice is sometimes called mindfulness. As best you can, during activities try not to be in your head with self-judgment. You may not be able to turn off the self-judgment, but you can notice it and bring yourself gently back to the present.  Research shows that people with higher self-compassion also have higher self-worth or self-confidence.

5. Exercise: And, eat right too.

Doing moderate exercise about five times a week (30 minutes a pop) can dramatically help your mood.  Moderate exercise is a level of activity where it is difficult to sing from your diaphragm while doing it.  Also pay attention to how the type of food or drink you’re eating influences your mood.  You don’t have to do fad diets, but anyone will be depressed if they frequently binge on carbs, junk food, and energy drinks. Remember the virtue of moderation.

6. Relationships: Focus on people who lift you up.

Interact frequently with others that bring you up (not people that bring you down). While it’s OK to have some alone time, find a balance and don’t isolate yourself or the depression will linger.

7. Sleep Regularly: Try to keep a regular sleep schedule.

Keep a balance with not too little and not too much sleep. Staying up late one night and then sleeping in excessively the next day is a sure-fire way to feed depression.  Also, don’t try to solve problems late at night when your brain is half-asleep.

As you practice these coping skills, know that you’re on the path to overcoming depression

In contrast, depression tends to linger when patients make up a reason why they can’t do these things.  No matter what medication you’re taking, doing several of these activities every day — especially when you don’t feel like it — is vital to the treatment of depression.  These positive coping skills may take time and practice, but if we don’t take the time to be well now, the periods of “unwellness” may be forced upon us later.

Alternative ways of handling anxiety

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Anxiety disorders are one among the foremost common psychological state conditions within the us . It’s estimated that 40 million adults ages 18 and older, or 18 percent of the country’s population, have some quite mental disorder. Yet, many of us with mental disorder are often hesitant to hunt treatment.

Alternative therapies became increasingly popular. If you’re experiencing anxiety and don’t wish to hunt conventional treatments, you’ll want to undertake alternative therapies. The essential goal of other therapy is to enhance your general health and relieve anxiety symptoms with few or no side effects.

Alternative therapies are often helpful in reducing anxiety, but it’s going to take a while before you see results. If you’re having a scare or other severe symptoms of hysteria, alternative therapy alone probably won’t be enough. Alternative therapies often work best when used alongside traditional treatment, like medication and counseling. It’s always best to consult your doctor before beginning an alternate treatment program.

Here are some alternative treatments which will help with anxiety:

Limit your caffeine intake

That morning cup of coffee might assist you get out of bed, but having an excessive amount of can offer you the jitters and reduce your ability to handle anxiety well. It also can cause your body to act as if it’s under stress, boosting your heartbeat and increasing your vital sign. This will cause a scare.

Avoid alcohol and nicotine

Some people use alcohol and nicotine to alleviate their symptoms of hysteria. This relief is merely temporary. Alcohol and nicotine can make the symptoms of hysteria worse and more frequent.

Eat a diet

It’s important to take care of a diet whether or not you’re experiencing anxiety. Attempt to eat a good sort of fresh, whole foods a day. Eating healthy food causes you to feel better. Avoid processed or nutriment and limit your intake of sweets. Eating unhealthy food adds stress to your body. This causes you to less ready to handle the opposite stresses in your life.

The key to a low-anxiety diet is avoiding foods which will contribute to your anxiety symptoms. You would possibly consider eliminating the common foods that are known to extend the body’s stress levels in some people:

• Fried foods are hard to digest, aren’t nutritious, and may contribute to heart problems.

• Alcohol dehydrates the body and may upset the body’s hormonal balance.

• Coffee contains caffeine. When consumed in large amounts, caffeine may trigger anxiety and sensations of a scare, like a rapid heartbeat.

• Dairy products may increase the body’s adrenaline levels when eaten in excess. This will contribute to your anxiety.

• Excess sugar can trigger anxiety and scare symptoms.

• Acid-forming foods, like yogurt, pickles, eggs, soured cream, wine, and liver, may decrease the body’s magnesium levels, which may trigger anxiety symptoms.

Drink more water

Seventy percent of the body’s weight is water. Water is that the essential component of a healthy body and mind, and that we often don’t get enough of it. Drinking eight to eleven large glasses of water or other hydrating liquids per day helps your body perform properly. This will help relieve stress.

Get regular exercise

Getting regular exercise is sweet for relieving stress. Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to assist lower stress levels and anxiety, and improve the system. Cardiovascular exercise means getting your pulse up for half-hour. Developing a daily exercise routine can assist you feel more on top of things of your health, which may also reduce your anxiety.

Get much sleep

A lack of sleep can increase negative thoughts and may place extra stress on the brain and body. Attempt to get a minimum of seven to nine hours of quality sleep nightly. If you’ve got trouble sleeping, attempt to support your body’s natural sleep schedule by:

• going to sleep and awakening at an equivalent time every day

• taking only short naps for 15 to twenty minutes within the early afternoon if you would like to

• exposing yourself to bright sunlight within the morning, spending longer outside during the day in natural light

• avoiding bright screens one to 2 hours before bed and ensuring you sleep during a darkened, cool room

• getting regular exercise

Massage your muscles

Muscles can become tight and tense thanks to stress. Massage therapy helps relieve muscle tension and promotes blood flow to key areas of the body to release stress and anxiety.

Practice relaxation techniques


Taking time to clear your head can do wonders. Meditation doesn’t change the planet around you, but it can change the way you answer it. Successful meditation can assist you better understand the source of your anxiety and possibly overcome it.

Meditation relaxes the body and should help within the treatment of phobias and anxiety disorder. A method to meditate is to take a seat still during a quiet place and specialize in nothing but the task of breathing deeply. When another thought tries to enter your mind, acknowledge it, then let it go.

Breathing techniques

Breathing techniques can assist you learn to regulate your breathing, so you don’t hyperventilate during an anxiety-producing event. This will help to stay you calm. Try sitting down together with your back straight. Then, breathe deeply, inhaling through your nose from your abdomen and check out to urge the maximum amount air into your lungs as possible. This may help bring more oxygen into your body, which can assist you feel less tense, in need of breath, and anxious. Once your lungs are full, slowly exhale through your mouth and repeat as required.


Yoga combines breathing techniques, meditation, and stretching through both moving and stationary postures. Consistent with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), yoga is one among the highest 10 alternative practices wont to treat a spread of disorders, including anxiety and depression.

When practiced regularly, it becomes easier to realize the relaxed feeling you get from yoga into your lifestyle. Try signing up for a category or private lessons to assist make sure you move through the poses correctly to avoid injury.


Acupuncture may be a traditional Chinese treatment for anxiety, depression, and other health conditions. During acupuncture, a practitioner sticks thin, sharp needles into the upper layers of skin at points of the body that correspond with different organs. It’s thought that acupuncture works by activating natural painkilling chemicals within the brain. For a few people, it’s effective at eliminating or reducing anxiety.


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