Clinical Depression Is Much More than a Down Day

Coping_with_breakup_Kelly_Chisholm.jpg

Living with clinical depression is not the same as having a down day. Someone living with clinical depression has a persistent mood disorder. It disrupts feelings, thoughts, and the activities of daily living such as working, studying, and eating. True depression does not go away with the dawn of a new day. A person who is clinically depressed experiences some combination of the condition's symptoms every day for most of the day over the course of at least two weeks. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step toward recovery.

Recognizing Depression

Each individual living with depression has a unique experience. However, depression includes a low mood and some of the following common symptoms.

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, anxiety, or pessimism

  • Fatigue

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Change in appetite

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Loss of interest in preferred activities

  • Difficulty with concentration, memory, or decision making

  • Irritability or anger

  • Weight loss or gain

  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts about death

  • Unexplained physical pain or digestive problems

Recovering from Depression

While a down day goes away on its own, depression does not. Usually, it takes a combination of medication and counseling to bring relief from the suffering. Several antidepressants are available. Sometimes it takes a period of trial and error to find the right antidepressant. An antidepressant needs to be taken daily for about four weeks to see if it is effective.

The goal of individual counseling, also called talk therapy, is to improve the emotional state of the person living with depression. A licensed counselor uses evidence-based techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Through CBT, the person living depression learns to replace negative or erroneous thoughts with healthy ones. Someone who has received CBT may stay healthy longer than someone who only took an antidepressant. Patients frequently continue to use the strategies they learned during CBT when they are no longer seeing a counselor.

Remember, if you need any support regarding you as an individual or with your relationship, feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help.

Motivation: Losing It, Finding It, Keeping It

We have all been there – 27 things on the to-do list, baby crying in the high chair with mashed potatoes in their hair, work from the office you had to bring home to get done, your partner asking about dinner, and your head feeling like it might explode if you hear that same Taylor Swift song blasting from your teenager's bedroom one more time. You're exhausted, overwhelmed, and your body just wants to shut down rather than jump up and fly around the room getting everything done.

motivation.jpg

So, you do what must get done – make a quick dinner, clean up the baby and put them to bed, confiscate the source of the Taylor Swift track, and slouch onto the couch. You are left with no energy, no motivation to finish that project you brought home from the office or work on the afghan you're knitting your mom for her birthday. What happened to your day?

Losing It

The days at the office are long and filled with little appreciation and unfulfilling tasks. Nights are chaotic and never seem to offer enough alone time. Weekends are packed with chores and errands and before you know it, Monday morning is breaking and the cycle repeats. You never seem to have that spark anymore to do more than the bare minimum, let alone the things you truly enjoy. Where did that feeling go?

Finding It

Motivation can be an elusive beast – something that needs to be nurtured and tamed. The good news is, there are a few lifestyle changes that you can implement that can help coax it back out:

  1. Set Goals – having short-term, specific, and achievable goals helps keep you and your motivation focused. And when you reach a goal, reward yourself – you've earned it!

  2. Sleep & Wake Up Well – before you go to bed at night, have a wind-down routine so that you get a deep, good night's rest. Then, when you wake up, try a simple five-minute meditation to start the day off with a positive vibe. Being out of alignment or exhausted all day from lack of a good night's rest does nothing to help with motivation.

  3. Make a Routine – you may feel like you have a routine now – go to work, come home, manage the chaos, go to bed, repeat – but that isn't the kind of motivation-inducing routine we are looking for. Make sure you have scheduled time for yourself. Keep to set times for bed and wake up and even meals. Keeping to a routine can help not just with motivation but with focus, energy, and even anxiety as well.

Keeping It

No matter what you do, you will still have days where the procrastination monster hits, and motivation is nowhere around to save you. And that's okay. The goal is to have less of those days and more productive days filled with the spark of positive progression in your life. Keep in mind that everyone is different, so be sure to explore different ways to kickstart the motivation flame within you. You may even need to change things up occasionally if you feel like what was working is starting to fall flat. The key is to never give up, never let yourself slouch on the couch and accept defeat, accept that the spark is gone because it is never gone.

Remember, if you need any support regarding you as an individual or with your relationship, feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help.

Being Aware of the Present to be better in the Future

Mindful.png

Many in the modern world find themselves constantly on the go, always busy in both work and home life without any intention of stopping. Ease of communication brought about by phones and the internet means that we get our information instantly, leaving the busy bodied of us with no time to rest. However, with this, we see common problems like stress and anxiety greatly affecting people. When we don't take a few minutes to breathe and allow our minds to constantly wander we lose track of the present moment, which can at times lead to poor judgment on the present situation. There is a solution to this, mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Being mindful would involve taking a brief pause from everything and simply observing the present moment from a spectator's lens. A common way of doing this is through meditation because during meditation you are solely to be in your own head. Through this many are capable of being more introspective and aware of the present moment, this is the basis of what mindfulness is. It could be suggested that mindfulness has five steps: setting aside some time, observing the present moment as it is, letting your judgments roll by, going back to observing the present and not worrying about a wandering mind, but simply observing it. This can be done in long or short amounts of time, but all that matters is that you stop and take a moment before acting.

What Benefits Could Mindfulness Bring?

Insight is one of the best things gained through being mindful, which can also lead to better judgment, a better understanding of the self and a better understanding of any given situation. Mindfulness and meditation can also lead someone to live a more satisfying life due to a greater appreciation of the present moment. There is also some evidence that would suggest that mindfulness betters mental health. As a whole, mindfulness is the process that allows an individual to be more aware of the present in order to see themselves better off in the future, and everyone could benefit from using it.

By the way, if you need any support regarding you as an individual or with your relationship, feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help.