Journey Towards Depression Recovery – Mental Health Counseling

“It was all in your mind,” a common phrase that most people around me usually say every time I tell them I am not okay. It is a phrase that builds up a lot of confusion in my head, making me unable to express my thoughts and feelings. It is a phrase that somehow invalidates what I am going through, particularly in this battle towards depression.

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“You’ll get over it” is somewhat the same as the previous statement. It attempts to shift my mind into thinking that I am capable and mentally strong. It may not sound very comforting, but it gives me that tiny piece of assurance. Often, it gets into me, and I tend to believe it. However, I see it as something that people would tell me to get rid of the unwanted drama I am bringing in.

“I know what you’re going through” is one of the phrases I often hear, but I don’t want to. Sure, people know that depression is making me lose control. But who doesn’t? The statement makes me feel like there is no room for me to express my deepest thoughts and feeling because they already know what I am going through. But do they understand?

“Get over it” is the worst of all. This phrase invalidates my condition. It makes me think that I am not worthy of anyone’s time, attention, and effort. It makes me numb and unable to concentrate. It makes me feel more depressed and anxious. It makes me think that seeking help is not an option. It makes me feel alone.

These are quite a few things that I often hear from people who do not understand what I am mentally and emotionally dealing with. They only know depression, but they do not understand how it damages someone’s life. Fortunately, since I know I am not okay, I insisted on finding the best solutions for my psychological problem. That is where I held onto the best coping strategies that changed my depressing life.

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What I did To Regain Myself

I Let Go Of Toxic People That Contributes More Damage To My Overall Health

One of the hardest parts of my journey to recovery is letting go of people I used to be with. It was a decision I thought I could never make sense of. I have this fear of being alone. I was allowed to be surrounded by individuals because I thought that was the most important thing to do during depression recovery. However, the more I engage with different people and their different opinions towards my condition, the more I feel suffocated. So when everyone around me became too demanding, insensitive, uncaring, and inconsiderate, I shut them off. I felt bad at first because some of them are close friends and family. But ever since I surrounded myself with fewer people, it all made sense. It became clear that choosing the right people who will stick with me during this exhausting recovery process is more empowering than keeping the toxic ones near.

I Expressed My Emotions Even If Others Do Not Entirely Care About It

Another thing I realized during the worse stages of my depression is that keeping your mouth shut will only make you feel even more alone. So regardless of others not wanting to hear me or not interested in what I am going through, I still decided to let them know. It is not because I wanted them to sympathize with me or anything, but because I want to remove the weight in my chest despite the consequences of people not minding. I realized that expressing my thoughts and feelings has nothing to do with other people’s reactions. It is about how I should not endure the emotional pain that ties me to a struggling mental state. At some point, I got a little scared that the method will bring me more uncertain emotions. But to my surprise, it became a way for me to focus on myself and not give a damn about what people would think and say.

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I Seek Professional Help Despite The Fear And Hesitations Of Going For It

At first, I don’t entirely believe that counseling and therapy would bring me the solutions I needed for my depressive state. But despite the hesitations, I went through the process. The counseling and therapy sessions are not that perfect, but the key points of recovery are there. That is where I realized that there are so many things that I can do to manage this mental health condition. I realized that I am more capable of handling myself. I was surprised that I am almost near my recovery after considering some lifestyle adjustments. I became more empowered and self-aware. Seeking professional help helps me get through the times I can’t control myself, which I am truly grateful for.

 

Depression Counseling – Never Get Tired Of Trying To Get Better

At times, it is not easy to spot depression. There are too many factors that can contribute to its development, and some symptoms confuse it with other mental illnesses. Depression is a condition that most of us fail to understand, despite sometimes experiencing it firsthand. The difficulty of that particular scenario lies in the stigma that asking for help is for the weak. That is why most of us do not see many people express their emotions and thoughts due to fear of judgment, criticism, and rejection.

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It is not easy to maintain an overall balance, especially when dealing with the emotional issues affecting our mental health. Depression, though we know how it functions and affects our lives, most of us still ignore it. Perhaps that is because we are used to hiding sorrow and pain. After all, we believe that what we are going through is not somebody else’s problem. That mentality often leads to a complicated situation leaving us in a devastating silent mental health battle.

With all the complications that depression can bring into our lives, one thing is certain. That is never to give up trying to get better. Many things can help us get rid of mental illness. It is only a matter of self-awareness and proper understanding. To begin with that, we should exert efforts in acknowledging the damaging symptoms, working our best to focus on coping strategies, and seeking professional help if needed.

Why Is There A Need To Address Depression?

The answer is simple. We need to address depression because it ruins our lives. It makes us feel incapable of so many things. It affects everything we do at school, work, and home. It ruins our focus and ability to complete tasks. It makes us irritable, exhausted, and excessively guilty over nothing. Depression influences us to commit destructive behaviors. Some of which are smoking, drinking alcohol, staying up late, not getting enough exercise, etc. It also makes us lose concentration and suffer from declined performance.

Also, depression destroys our ability to communicate and engage with people. That supports the habit of constantly isolating. It makes us feel unloved and unaccepted that we often pushed people away. It makes us completely unaware of our social actions, making us contribute only to small talks and vague answers to questions. Sometimes, we intentionally hurt people verbally. It makes us doubt others’ intentions often, even if sometimes we know if those are for the best. Depression influences our minds to focus on other people’s mistakes and disregard their efforts.

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Depression also causes us to behave negatively towards ourselves. Depression builds insecurities that often stick for too long. It leaves us with an unrealistic low self-image that takes a toll on our self-confidence. It makes us pity ourselves up to a point where we no longer want to become a better person. It makes us feel weak and emotionally vulnerable. Depression contributes a lot to our anxiety and stress, and it holds on to our fears and doubts.

In some unfortunate cases, depression often makes us lie about everything, including our feelings. We often hide the pain through fake smiles and laughter. Depression is so intense that we sometimes end up harming ourselves emotionally and physically. At some rate, depression leads us to our doom as some of us commit suicide.

Never Get Tired Of Healing And Recovery

Depression is so negatively powerful that it can make us change a lot in handling ourselves and others. With this, we should realize that the condition is manageable as long as we know how to take care of ourselves. We must understand the importance of accepting the situation. That way, we can process things and easily make room for coping strategies and lifestyle changes such as:

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  •  Practicing Coping Skills One At A Time. There is the need for focus to motivate ourselves to be better until we are halfway done. We must maintain the desire always to get better no matter what.
  • Having A Sense Of Accomplishments. One way to deal with mental health problems is by focusing on something we can control. We need to have a realistic goal to measure our capability, especially when we can only rely on ourselves for healing.
  • Developing Self-Appreciation. We may not easily turn off our self-judgment, but we can always put higher regard towards our self-compassion and self-worth. Thus, we need to deal with a thorough process of better self-awareness and self-understanding.
  • Removing Toxicity At All Cost. Sometimes, our overall problem lies with the toxicity we surround ourselves with. If we want to get better and heal mentally and emotionally, we need to eliminate toxic things, whether it involves our dream job, family, friends, and special someone.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Myths

For some reason, many people believe that they entirely understand depression just because they often feel like their sadness and isolation are giving them a strong sense of warning signs. Typically, they base their conclusion on the emotional impact of the things they cannot control. Though there is nothing wrong with that, the problem lies in the misconception of what the mental health condition is genuinely all about.

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It is funny that people usually self-diagnose and assume that their emotional meltdown is related to a mental illness. Unfortunately, no one can blame them as they only understand what they are emotionally and mentally going through. However, self-diagnosing a mental health condition is not just about who’s feeling what. It takes more than just sadness and a series of isolation to get to the bottom of the mental illness.

Fortunately, I have here some frequently asked questions that somehow answer people’s confusion about depression. Let me walk you through a couple of information that can straighten those depression myths.

What is a fact about depression?

Depression, a known serious mood disorder, is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It affects people between the ages of 15 and 44 years old. In terms of gender impacts, it affects women twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with mental health conditions. Aside from that, research shows that nearly 50% of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

What are the seven types of depression?

The seven types of depression include Major Depression. It causes a tenacious sense of sadness and loss of interest and can interfere with your daily functioning. Persistent Depressive Disorder or also called Dysthymia. It is a chronic form of depression that causes an individual to lose interest in life, lack productivity, and feel hopeless. Another one is Bipolar Disorder or manic depression. It brings severe high and low moods to an individual and affects sleep, thinking, energy levels, and behavior. Nest is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or the type of depression related to seasons changes. There is Psychotic Depression. It is a severe mood disorder that requires hospitalization due to some Worrisome signs and symptoms. Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression or also known as “baby blues.” It is a type of depression that is very common, affecting 1 in 8 women during the first months after childbirth. Another one is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). It is a state in which a woman experiences difficult depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before her menstruation. Lastly, there is ‘Situational’ Depression, similar to clinical depression. It is a type of adjustment disorder that affects everyday life following a traumatic event.

Is depression the number one mental illness?

Major depression is considered one of the most widespread mental illnesses. It impacts more than 16 million or almost 6.7% of American adults each year. Depression can affect anyone, at any gender and age, and people of any race or ethnic group. The mental health condition is never a “normal” part of life, regardless of age, gender, status, or health situation.

What is the number 1 cause of depression?

There are many possible causes of depression that affect all types of individuals. These include inadequate mood classification by the brain associated with an experience of brain injury, early psychological trauma, or chronic maltreatment. It can also come from genetic vulnerability or those that refer to the inherited characteristics passed on from parents to their children. Depression can also come from stressful life events, medications, and medical problems.

Is depression always caused by something?

Everyone’s life experiences and stress factors are different. Thus, it is fair to conclude that their mental health struggles often come from a combination of factors that can contribute to a developing state of depressive symptoms. It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t always identify the cause of the mental health condition or even change difficult circumstances. You can’t always know the answer to everything about depression. However, the most important thing you can do is recognize the signs and symptoms and seek immediate professional support.

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How to know if an individual should go to a mental hospital?

It is significantly important to seek professional help when your mental health struggles become serious. Some of the more damaging symptoms of a mental health crisis that you should watch out for include not eating, not taking important medications, and not properly taking care of yourself. Also, if you seem tired all the time, you experience brain fog regularly. You get muscle cramps and experience a series of serious headaches. You can insert it into your list of warning signs.

Can you have seasonal depression and regular depression?

Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern, or formerly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is characterized by recurring incidents of depression in late fall and winter. Usually, the alternating periods of normal mood for the rest of the year are quite normal for some individuals dealing with physical impacts.

Does depression make you age faster?

Unfortunately, a new study found out that people living with a major depressive disorder are biologically affecting older individuals. However, since there are no exemptions, it also affects people without depression, and that childhood trauma worsens this effect. Thus, the brain physically ages faster when depressed when looking into the brain’s changes, even when an individual is still young.

Can you inherit depression?

Honestly, no one simply “inherits” depression from their parents. Each person inherits a series of unique genes that may or may not affect the psychological state. However, in some instances and certain gene combinations, the mixed-up can predispose to a particular illness, including any related health disorder such as major depression and bipolar disorder.

What are the risks of depression?

There are specific risk factors that can affect depression. It could be personal turmoil or disputes with friends or family, past physical, sexual, emotional abuse, traumatic life events, constant medication, and an unstable emotional state. Sometimes, even good things in life, like moving or graduating, could make someone depressed.

Is mood disorder the same as depression?

When our general emotional state is distorted or inconsistent with your state of affairs and interferes with your ability to function, then it is considered okay to say that you have a mood disorder. It can be seen when you are extremely sad, empty, or irritable, or you may have moments of depression varying from being excessively happy.

Does depression physically age your brain?

The latest research out of Yale University explains that depression can physically change a person’s brain by hastening an aging effect. The effect leaves them more susceptible to illnesses associated with old age, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Depression can make people look physically older by speeding up the aging process in our cells.

Are depressed brains different?

Several scientists have found some delicate but essential differences when comparing a depressed brain versus a normal brain. There is a constant change in depressed brains, including brain shrinkage, grey matter abnormalities, and a more active amygdala.

What percentage of depression is genetic?

Research shows that people with parents or siblings who have a mental health condition such as depression are more likely to inherit the mental illness. Scientists believe that scores of as 40 percent of those with depression trace it back to a genetic link, while it is the environmental and other factors that make up the rest of the 60 percent.

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Final Thoughts

It would be very unfair for the record to say that people who often feel sad and lonely are only overacting. There is no such thing as overacting when it comes to depression because no one can tell whether the mental illness is complicated or not. Only those individuals who are experiencing that agonizing signs and symptoms can make it obvious. Therefore, if people say that they feel sad and want to isolate themselves, never think of it as an excuse to deal with life uncertainties. Instead of thinking that everything is okay, make room for the benefit of the doubt. Never let the person feel that his thoughts and feelings are invalid.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Breathing Exercises For Anxiety

Dealing with mental health is often complicated than we thought. Yes, there are times that we think we can better manage our mental health symptoms, but often, things can get worse. Despite all our efforts in thinking about the positive things in our lives to get rid of the current emotional and mental dilemma, we somehow struggle to get that healing and recovery we deserve.

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Anxiety and depression, and other mental illness may be different in some aspects, but all of them are dangerous to our physical, emotional, and mental health. That is why if given a chance, we should always aim for our overall betterment and not just an instant recovery. But speaking of instant recovery, we should not mix it with long-term mental health reduction as some coping skills might help an immediate source of mental wellness. And one of the particular is breathing exercises.

Some may wonder about the effects of breathing in terms of reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Yes, the idea may sound a bit too good to be true, but the whole process is clinically proven. To understand how deep breathing can help address mental health issues, here are some of the answered frequently asked questions.

What are the best breathing techniques for anxiety? 

The best breathing technique that helps with anxiety includes long exhale, Breath focus, Equal breath, Abdominal breathing, Lion’s breath, Alternate nostrils, and Yoga breaths.

All of these are effective in reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. But for it to work best, you need to find the right one that suits you.

 Do breathing exercises help anxiety? 

Yes. Breathing exercises proved to help with anxiety as it promotes overall relaxation. It makes the mind and body stay in a neutral state as it sends a message to the brain to relax. There is also some evidence that breathing techniques can also help with previous health issues, particularly sleep.

What is the 7/11 breathing technique? 

The 7/11 breathing technique is where you aim to breathe deep into your stomach as it produces a bodily response. This relaxing breathing technique requires a breathing-in pattern for seven counts and out for a count of 11.

 What is a 4 7 8 sleep trick? 

A 4 7 8 Sleep trick starts with closing your mouth and inhaling quietly. Breathing should start from the nose and would go through 4 counts. After that, hold your breath for a count of 7, then exhale in your mouth. The last breath will make a whoosh sound that will count as an 8.

 How long are deep breathing exercises? 

It depends on a person whether they have more time to practice deep breathing. However, for most people, breathing exercises take only a few minutes. But it would be best to take at least 10 minutes to get even better results.

Also, it would is nice if you can incorporate it into your life and work on your breathing daily. If you can think about it, a few minutes can do a lot of health benefits. So what more if you do it regularly?

 When should you do deep breathing exercises? 

You can work on your deep breathing exercises anytime you need to relieve stress or relax. You have to sit or lie flat in a relaxed position. From there, place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Then slowly take a deep breath through your nose and allow your belly to push your hand out to feel the air in your lungs.

 Why do I keep yawning and taking deep breaths? 

Yawning excessively often means you are tired, and you need some rest to get over the feeling. However, if it generally happens more than a few times per minute, it may mean something. It might be a reaction to some of the medications you are taking, such as those used to treat anxiety or allergies, depression. Nonetheless, there is nothing to worry about it since it is perhaps nothing serious.

 Why am I taking deep breaths a lot? 

Excessive sighing is entirely common to most people that are active in everyday lives. However, there are instances that it may be a sign of an underlying health condition. Some of these are uncontrolled anxiety or depression, increased stress levels, or a mild or severe respiratory condition. Though it is not something to worry about, you should immediately seek medical help if you noticed an increase in sighing that comes with shortness of breath.

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 Is deep breathing good for the heart? 

Yes. Deep breathing helps you in a lot of ways. It lowers your heart rate, regulates your mood, normalizes blood pressure, and provides relaxation. Deep breathing helps decrease the stress hormone cortisol and provides your mind and body with increased energy levels. It also reduces inflammation, improves postures, helps with sleep problems, and acts as a natural pain killer.

 Can deep breathing stop a heart attack? 

One of the most effective techniques that provide immediate stress relief is deep breathing. It is a healthy practice that a lot of people consider, and most experts recommend. Several studies show that deep breathing slows the heart rate and reduces blood pressure, thus keeping the heart entirely healthy.

 What are the common symptoms of a weak diaphragm? 

The cause of diaphragm weakness can be due to some medical involvement. However, the most common occurs due to physical trauma to the diaphragm muscle, particularly a neck and head surgery. Some of the common symptoms of diaphragm weakness include shortness of breath, sleep-disordered breathing, and diaphragm paralysis.

 What happens to the body when taking deep breaths? 

Taking a few deep breaths encourages you to relax and calm down. Deep breathing can decrease your mind and body’s stress. It can normalize your increased heart rate, stop your fast breathing, and regulate your high blood pressure.

 How can I slow down my breathing? 

Slow breathing also means calming breathing. To achieve its amazing results, you need to breathe in through your nose and fill your lungs with enough air that you can hold for a couple of seconds. After a count of three, you then release it by exhaling softly. You work through it by slowly exhaling through your lips. It would help if you also relaxed your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach muscles.

 Which pranayama is good for anxiety? 

The most recommended for anxiety is Shitali pranayama. It is a cooling form of pranayama that provides excellent calming benefits to the mind and body. It promotes relaxed nerves and helps lower hypertension.

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Insight

Breathing exercises are good for overall physical, emotional, and mental development. Please do not underestimate the power of putting air pressure in your lungs as it promotes better blood circulation, relaxed muscles, a well-regulated mood, and improved cognitive function.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions On Postpartum Depression

Around eight in ten new moms feel so gloomy after having their baby. The ‘baby blues’ kick in during the first several days after giving birth, typically emerging on the third or fourth day and usually disappears within two weeks. When moms experience this mixture of emotions, impatience, irritability, anxiety, and constant crying spells, the emotions come and disappear by themselves. They may also feel intensely tired because of sleep deprivation.

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Studies have shown that almost one among five new moms experiences different levels of postpartum depression, which often emerge four weeks after giving birth. It also starts just before the mother’s first period after delivery.

To know more about postpartum depression, the baby blues, and other topics related to them, here are some frequently asked questions that might help you increase your awareness of the condition.

How common is postpartum?

Approximately 50% to 75% of new moms experience postpartum blues after giving birth. Up to 15% of these moms will experience severe and longstanding depression known as postpartum depression after delivering their baby. Additionally, 1 in 1,000 women develops a more severe illness known as postpartum psychosis.

How soon after pregnancy do you get emotional?

Women experience emotional outbursts in the first few days following delivery, particularly on the third or fourth day, and then they stop two weeks postpartum. These new moms may feel impatient, anxious, irritable, and tearful.

What causes madness after childbirth?

Postpartum psychosis development is not very clear, but most probably, the sudden hormonal changes after giving birth could be one of the primary triggers. Some studies suggest that older mothers may also be at a higher risk, while a mom with diabetes who delivered a larger baby, for some reason, maybe safer.

Is postpartum depression a disability under the ADA?

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Postpartum depression is considered a serious complaint and could be regarded as disabling in several cases. For a disability applicant to be given an SSI or SSDI, some symptoms must be present, including recurrent sleep disturbances and loss of sexual drive, among others.

How long do postpartum hormones last?

Six months after giving birth is an appropriate estimate for a new mom’s hormones to return to normal. This is also when many women experience their first postpartum period, which is not an accident. After six months, changes in progesterone and estrogen hormones postpartum are usually back to pre-pregnancy levels.

How long does your first postpartum period last?

As stated by the Cleveland Clinic people, most postpartum women have their normal cycle of between 21 and 35 days and a bleeding period of 2 to 7 days. However, these period cycles could change from the usual cycles that they usually had before their pregnancy.

How do you self check your stomach for pregnancy?

To self-check for pregnancy, start by walking your fingers up to the side of your abdomen just until you sense the top, under the abdomen’s skin. It is usually hard like a ball. You will feel the top by curving your fingers softly. Additionally, you can also use this technique to identify the location of the top of your uterus.

Can my newborn feel my emotions?

When newborns are only a few months old, they identify the disparity between a sad expression and a happy one. When they reach their first birthday, they can somehow feel how others feel.

How do moms feel after birth?

Moms experience the baby blues during the first several days up to 14 days after giving birth. They may be tearful often and for no reason at all. They also feel moody, irritable, restless, sad, or frustrated. These emotions may be because of lack of sleep, hormonal changes, and the stress that they are going through.

Can you go crazy after giving birth?

Postpartum psychosis is an unusual yet grave mental health condition that impacts a new mom soon after giving birth. Many mothers who have delivered their babies experience mild to moderate mood alterations after giving birth, which is called baby blues. This is actually normal and typically lasts for only a few days.

What triggers postpartum psychosis?

Substance abuse, trauma, severe stress, or an existing physical or mental condition can potentially lead to postpartum psychosis. Psychotic conditions, such as schizophrenia, entail a psychosis that commonly affects an individual for the first time in his late teens or early adulthood stages. Young individuals are particularly prone to getting it, although doctors don’t exactly know the reason why.

What is Pre-partum psychosis?

Pre-partum psychosis is one subject that is frequently neglected in clinical practice. It is described as an episodic disease that initially begins two weeks before giving birth.

Can you get fired for having depression?

No. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you simply because you have a mental health condition. This includes firing you, rejecting you for a job or promotion, or forcing you to take leave.

Can you go on FMLA for depression?

Mental health illnesses can initiate compliance requirements based on ADA and FMLA. PTSD episodes, anxiety attacks, severe depression, or other mental health situations may qualify as a grave health illness.

Is depression considered a disability?

Depression qualifies as a psychiatric disability according to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities). It is a particular mood disorder that commonly interferes with one’s daily activities, including your work capacity. Depression often gets so intense to the point that one cannot go to work anymore.

How many bones do you break while giving birth?

One form of birth trauma that can occur to a newborn in labor and delivery is a bone fracture. Studies show that bone fractures occur once in every one thousand births. This number may be relatively small, but it is substantial enough for expectant parents to be concerned.

Why does it smell down there after birth?

The smell is most probably due to a discharge from the vagina that is seen after vaginal delivery. This is called the lochia, and it possesses a musty, decaying odor much like a menstrual discharge. The discharge during the first three days following delivery is usually dark red, and small blood clots are typically normal.

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Postpartum depression, if prolonged and unmanaged, is harmful to the mother’s physical and mental health and can absolutely destroy the family and other relationships, damage the child’s growth and development, and ultimately weaken the infant-mother connection. The message from society that new mothers should be ecstatic and happy when giving birth does build hesitation and creates barriers to seeking help.

A new mother may be hesitant to acknowledge that she requires help and guidance with the depression that she is experiencing. She may not seek therapy and treatment because she is scared of admitting her emotions about herself and her baby. Treatment for postpartum depression is basically the same as that for major depression that happens at any time in a woman’s life.

 

How To Recalibrate Your Mental Health And Be More Hopeful For The Future

I used to be in love with Tyler. There was a considerable age gap between us (ten years), but it did not stop me from wanting to be with him. In the first couple of years that we were together, he was full of charisma and elegance. He seemed so different from the boys that I liked in the past.

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Source: pixabay.comUnfortunately, before our third anniversary, Tyler’s life hit a rough patch. The fall of his stocks in the market forced him to sell half of the company to anyone willing to buy it. He also had to let go of some employees and work double-time to accomplish his customer’s orders. Although those workers were willing to stay without getting paid much due to Tyler’s kindness to them over the years, he encouraged them to find new jobs.

During all this dilemma, I rarely saw Tyler. He was either cooped up in his office, bent over the accounting books, or driving a massive truck to deliver fresh meat to various restaurants. Even at night, whenever I asked if we could meet, he was always too busy thinking of ways to take his company off the ground again.

I missed Tyler during the three whole months that I only heard his voice. However, I understood why he wanted to focus on the company. He was a self-made man, you see. That was his bread and butter, and seeing it take a dip might have been too scary for him.

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Noticeable Changes

In truth, Tyler’s busy schedule did not become the reason for our breakup. I never got jealous of it or acted like a bratty girlfriend who needed his undivided attention. No, the reason was that his outlook in life started to change in those three months that we didn’t see much of each other.

I should have known that something was up based on the increasing shortness of his replies to me. Before the business problem came, whenever I asked, “How are you?” his response was always an entire paragraph. He was still like, “You wouldn’t believe what happened today, babe. I closed this deal that I had been trying to get for weeks. Then, after that, I…”

Somewhere along the way, though, when I asked the same thing, he would merely say, “Good” or “I’m okay.” I chalked it to exhaustion every time because he was indeed working from 7 A.M. until God knows what time. So, imagine how surprised and hurt I was when I received a text from Tyler one morning, telling me that he wanted to break up.

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The Heartbreak

The bitterness that I felt that day remained unmatched up to this day. After all the patience and understanding that I showered Tyler, he wanted to crush my heart – through a text, the biggest jerk move than a man could ever do.

I was livid, of course. I wanted to curse Tyler repeatedly and tell him how awful he was. However, my anger slightly melted when I called him and heard him say, “You deserve to be with a better man. I am a loser now.”

Man. How could you beat up a guy with words when he was already beating himself up too much? Even if I still had many things to tell Tyler, I kept my mouth shut and accepted the freedom he gave me.

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But before he turned his back to me, I said, “We may no longer be together as we speak, but you should let me help you recalibrate your mental health so that your views about the future could change.”

How To Be More Hopeful For The Future

Tyler didn’t want my help at first. It was expected because he just ended our relationship. But I told him to try the following to be more hopeful for the future:

Lower Your Expectations

Stop thinking that everything will go as well as it has been in the past. Things change, and there’s nothing else you can do but accept it. If you don’t, you’re only making your life difficult.

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Find Out Why Awful Things Happened

There will always be a reason why you experience awful things. However, it is often because you need to learn a lesson. Figure out what lesson you have possibly missed and understand how to fix your problems.

Look For A Hobby

It would help if you also did something else with your time. Working on the same things without rest will make you lose sight of your goals. Try reading, knitting, skydiving, or whatever fancies your interest.

Bottom Line

After a few months, Tyler came back to me to tell me that he followed my tips and that his mental health was more stable than ever. I couldn’t be happier for this man, and we became close again. Maybe – just maybe – we can be together once more in the future. One can hope, right?

When Depression Takes A Toll On The Family

 

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When someone in the family is depressed, the entire family is significantly affected. Depression causes irritability, which evokes disagreements among family members, which consequently destroys family dynamics. The negativity spreads among the members and ripples its pessimism in everyone. The self-isolation that breaks relationships and instills generalized feelings of neglect and denial. Ultimately, the whole situation is stressful and burdensome.

On the contrary, the family is a major source of comfort, cure, and love. Family members are crucial to proper acknowledgment and a treatment plan for a common yet debilitating mental health illness such as depression. Families are proven to be effective caregivers, whether they’re unwilling or willing to help. They strongly reinforce the emotional environment that the depressed loved one resides, thus making them agents of healing – or they may not.

Depression And The Family

A Harvard Professor named Nassir Ghaemi argues that it is not proper to diagnose depression without consulting the family. First off, many people, especially those with existing medical conditions and within both ends of the age spectrum, do not often acknowledge that they are depressed. They may also point these symptoms to other factors, which is why the insight of family members is truly beneficial. But ultimately, Ghaemi says it is significantly important for making prescriptions, as one has to know whether the type of depression is bipolar or unipolar. According to studies, half of the patients diagnosed with depression have no idea whether they are manic or depressive. It is the family members that recognize these symptoms initially.

There is also a need for continuous diagnosis. One depressive episode does not eliminate the possibility that a manic episode will develop as well, particularly those below 30 years old. The typical onset of bipolar disorder is a depressive episode, where the average age is 19. However, an initial manic episode occurs only after 25 generally. There is a greater risk for younger individuals to be diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.

 

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Standard antidepressants can hasten mania, and in these cases, it is crucial to inform patients and their family members about the manic symptoms. Professor Ghaemi stresses the importance of family intervention in the early detection and treatment of manic depression. When possible, patients come for a primary evaluation, he suggests that they bring their family members with them. He then asks them to call any time when they notice developing symptoms from their loved ones. Additionally, the approach of the family towards the patient’s medications can also make a difference in compliance and continuing illness. If the members are not agreeable to the prescription medications and the treatment plan, they are taught to deal with that. But ideally, the entire family should support the general treatment, especially playing a role in reminding the patient to take their medicines regularly.

The Concept Of Expressed Emotion

Undoubtedly, there is a vital need for the treatment of any type of depression. A reputable psychologist, David Miklowitz, created a treatment that focuses on the family, on the principle that family dynamics tremendously impact mood disorders. He explained the concept of expressed emotion, which he describes as a measure of personalities expressed by a caregiver concerning a mentally ill individual. This consists of hostility, emotional over-involvement, and criticism. All these create an environment of high expressed emotion, and this increases the incidence of relapse threefold.

Expressed emotion typically brings about a conflict between a family member and the patient, which affects the patient biologically. He may become hyperaroused, as seen often in imaging studies. The fear centers of the brain are stimulated when patients catch a family member talking about them judgingly.

Family-Focused Therapy

This type of therapy is one that Miklowitz devised specifically for families with bipolar patients, although it is currently also being used by unipolar patients. It is used to decreased expressed emotion by providing families about the whole gamut of depression and teaching them skills in problem-solving, effective communication, and increasing self-esteem. In the 90s, there have been studies demonstrating a significant reduction in the relapse rate of patients whose medical professionals were integrating family-focused therapy in their overall treatment programs. This, which Miklowitz refers to as psychoeducation, must be considered part of every treatment, especially those with intermittent mental illnesses such as depression.

 

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Yes, families play a vital role in helping a depressive patient go through life with fewer stress factors and triggers that might make him more miserable than ever. Families do have a tremendous impact on depression. This is why mental health professionals agree that the family should always be involved in the diagnosis and treatment plan of depressive and manic patients. In a way, they ‘make or break’ the prognosis of a family member suffering from depression.

 

 

 

Are You Having A Mental Breakdown? (Pandemic And Mental Health Awareness)

Perhaps you find yourself in a moment of mental distress due to this global health crisis. There are so many things you want to do. You feel anxious about bad things that have been going on lately, and your thoughts are filled with a lot of what-ifs. You have this feeling of loneliness that you don’t honestly know where it came from. You find it hard to concentrate and focus on the better things in life. There is an emotional burden that you can’t seem to shrug off. Well, that’s what a mental breakdown feels like. Some unwanted feelings progress, while others experience it suddenly. Sometimes, it causes you the inability to perform the daily task due to the overwhelming feeling.

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Isolation

Social distancing is one of the safety measures that keep you away from getting infected. However, if you find yourself avoiding people and often wanting to be alone, that’s different. There is a thin line between giving yourself an alone time because that is perfectly normal in most instances, especially when things around you becomes too much to handle. But according to some experts at BetterHelp, constant isolation may be a sign of a mental breakdown, especially when you often choose to avoid social interaction, including texting, chatting, and talking to other people.

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Absent-Mindedness

This whole pandemic situation is terrifying, and there is no doubt that uncertainties can bring a lot of negativities. So if you find yourself caught up with your thoughts, maybe you are having a mental breakdown. Mental distress can cause you to think a lot and make you preoccupied with unwanted thoughts. sometimes, when you think it is just part of daily stress, it is not. Usually, it is not healthy because it can impair your critical thinking and sometimes affects your daily function. In some unfortunate instances, it can cause other health issues such as the inability to sleep and eat.

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Depressive Symptoms

Being locked up in your home for quite some time can cause an emotional burden. That’s because everything seems too familiar that there’s no room for you to develop yourself in a variety of ways. Sometimes, you experience losing interest in things you once used to enjoy. Apparently, that may be a sign of mental breakdown. In some instances, the symptoms can be indicative of a change of mood. Usually, you often get too irritated without any reason, and you feel uncomfortable even in your comfort zone.

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Paranoia

Understandably, this pandemic issue causes paranoia. But when you overthink that you become paranoid over getting an infection, you might be suffering from mental health issues. Paranoia builds up when you have these irrational thoughts and constant anxiety-related beliefs. The developing symptoms of this mental condition indicate that you are under a severe level of stress. In some unfortunate cases, your paranoia can make you excessively cautious about your hygiene. Thus, you find yourself unnecessarily washing your hands, putting sanitizers too much, and disinfecting things every other minute.

Panic Attacks

Mental breakdowns are a period of intense psychological stress associated with depression and anxiety. Experiencing panic attacks serve as a warning sign that your mental health is deteriorating. But it is essential to note that not all panic attacks can damage you in an instant. Some cases of this mental illness may increase its risk whenever it gets mixed up with other forms of mental health issues. These include clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and so on.

Anxiety and stress are inevitable, especially this time of the global health crisis. However, it shouldn’t have to be the reason for you to disregard your mental health. If in case you feel you are having a mental breakdown, please reach out for help. Always take care of your overall well-being.

Coping Strategies We Need In A Pandemic Situation Like This

In a stressful situation that the world is currently experiencing, all of us feel the same way. `We are all anxious, frightened, and depressed with the Coronavirus outbreak. But it shouldn’t have to stay like that. Yes, we are in a lockdown situation, but we need to do something to regain our self-awareness. We have to stock it all to keep a closer touch with ourselves. Good thing there are options that we can do to save us from the emotional and mental torture of this pandemic uncertainties. Here are some of BetterHelp‘s suggestions on the effective coping skills we need.

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Reading – To keep our mental and emotional state intact, the coping strategy we need to consider is reading. It can help us in attention diversion. Meaning, instead of keeping negative thoughts lingering in our heads, reading allows us to imagine positive things through the contents of the book.

Writing – It is a coping strategy that proves in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Along with our creativity and imagination, writing can be an excellent method to keep us focused. It helps us think about the good things that are happening right now despite the global health crisis. It draws attention to realization and reflection.

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Exercise – Moving our body regularly not only lowers blood pressure, but it also boosts our mood. A simple workout that lasts for 15 to 30 minutes a day can honestly make a difference. Not only for the physical but to emotional and mental as well.

Watching A Show – A television film or series is always a good option when it comes to reducing anxiety and depression. It is the most convenient way to get rid of negative thoughts, even for a little while. Aside from its instant diversion, it also allows become aware of our other emotions and avoid us from getting too attached to stress and anxiety. It is worth a try.

Play Puzzles – There is just something about playing puzzles that is so relaxing. The challenges somehow help in acquiring a better mood. Depending on the level of difficulties, puzzles’ mind-boggling challenges helps us avoid unhealthy urges. It dramatically enhances mental strength as well.

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Cleaning The House – If you find cleaning your house relaxing and enjoyable, do it. It is one of the best distractions that benefit overall health at the same time. It allows physical exercise from doing the chores; It promotes a better mood after seeing a clean surrounding afterward. And it enhances your ability to stay calm and relaxed. It is also a great way to take time off from using too much of digital devices.

Listen To Music – Music allows us to focus our minds on something other than the stressors and upsetting issues at hand. It promotes the expression of thoughts and emotions as well. Music helps in getting unwanted matters out of our heads by clearing thoughts. It affects our mood and changes our perspective of the situation.

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Talking To A Friend – Talk therapy is one of the practical methods that help us in dealing with mental illness. Despite the limitations of the pandemic lockdown, possible ways of communication such as texting, chatting, and talking on the phone can be beneficial. It helps us connect and vent to our emotions to someone. It reduces the feeling of loneliness and isolation as well.

The pandemic causes us certain conditions of mental illnesses that keep on growing daily. The worst part, we can’t seem to control it. We often get overwhelmed by the situation that we forget to take a second, even to consider understanding what we are going through. Slowing down and taking time to internalize all the sentiment can help us better see why we are in such a mental and emotional state.