Depression: When Your Brain Fights Against You

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Clinical depression is a mental health disorder characterized chiefly by persistent periods of low mood and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. The leading cause of disability in the USA, Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects more than 6.1% of adults alone.

Causes of Depression

Depression is a complex disorder that is not merely summed up as just being a "chemical issue". Each individual diagnosed with depression or displaying depressive symptoms has experienced life differently from one another. This difference often stimulates vast change in both the affect and overall inner turmoil brought upon by this disorder.

Development of depression can be heavily influenced by both genetics and environment. The odds of being born with or gradually developing depression increase if an individual has, for example, a close, depressed family member. Experiencing hardship and significant stress can also cause low moods, erratic sleep, and lethargy within people; in other words, cause them to exhibit some symptoms of depression.

Our increasingly competitive, online life can easily affect how people see themselves. For example, a study based on interviews with over 11,000 British 11-year-olds has recently linked higher social media usage in girls with higher depressive symptoms.

Brain composition and dysfunction, neurotransmitter imbalance, underlying comorbid conditions, temperament, stress, early childhood trauma, as well as limited exposure to daylight have been linked closely to depression.

Treatments of Depression

Through years of research and experimentation, several forms of treatment have since become available to alleviate symptoms of depression. It is highly recommended that patients suffering from depression seek out help from a mental health professional near them for support and discussion of methods to improve their quality of life. Patient treatment is a highly individualized endeavor that must be guided by the right professional, for their safety and transition to mental betterment.

Forms of psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), have shown great strides in enabling depressed individuals to create new ways to overcome the often disabling struggles brought upon by depression. Through goal-setting, talk, and healthful coping strategy formulation. depressed patients are taught effective methods of challenging negative thinking patterns.

Many patients are given the option to begin medication, guided by either a general practitioner or psychiatrist. Depression medication can take about 2-4 weeks to begin working, and several others to see some level of improvement. Due to the uniqueness of body chemistry, what works for one patient might not work for another; this, unfortunately, can mean patients must try different medications to find their right match. However, according to a recent study performed on the overall efficacy of anti-depressants, this negative outlook can become colored with positivity.

Other possible treatments include psychoeducation, support groups (such as this Depression Subreddit), brain stimulation therapies, along with supplementary exercise and diet management.

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

Depression in Today's Society

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Depression is described as anger turned inwards or the ability or inability to feel anything positive about anything. Although there are a variety of causes of depression, some situational, some biological,  this illness affects society in so many different ways that it needs to be addressed in a timely manner.

In today's society in the modern world there are many situational causes of depression. Wars, politics, poverty, disease, hunger...  all of these can take a toll on the general well-being of humanity in general. Many people feel horrible about what has been going on in the world and many feel helpless and paralyzed in its wake. 

The good news is that there is a lot that can be done to treat depression, even if the world situation isn't optimal. Although there are many different problems one can point to in the world, developing meaningful experiences in life no matter how small can be one way that society can combat depression on an individual and societal level. Life is precious and although many parts of the media and an elsewhere underscore the movement of negativity, the positive in people is coming out like never before.

People are more accepting of people with depression than they have been in the past and are willing to understand it more. Stigma is not as great as it used to be towards depression as more and more people are suffering from this illness. Traditional and newer means of treating depression are becoming more available and those who suffer from depression can expect to be treated respectfully rather than many times in the past where they were seen as weak or defective.

Although there is a lot of negativity that surrounds depression,  one of the true methods that works in the treatment of depression is to engage in activities that you do enjoy, used to enjoy, or might enjoy regardless of how you feel about them before you do them. In this way when you go about your regular routines and activities, alone or with friends, family, or mental health professionals you will see that life isn't so bad and that it can be enjoyed after all.

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.

 

6 Ways To Calm Anxiety

Racing thoughts and a horrible, terrible feeling that something bad is going to happen? It's anxiety and you're not alone. Most of us deal with anxiety in one form or another, at some point in our lives. Thankfully, there are some ways you can control it. In the following paragraphs, we're going to break down six ways you can help calm your anxiety. 

Write about it:

Although it may feel awkward at first, journaling is a great way to get out your feelings and express yourself. You don't have to show anyone, so don't worry about proof reading or spelling. Just jot down what's bugging you. Sometimes you'll find that once it's out on paper, it doesn't seem like such a big deal.

Talk It Out:

Discuss your feelings with a good friend or counselor. Sometimes just putting our thoughts into words makes it seem easier to handle. Plus, the person you speak with may have some ideas about what you can do to work through your problems. 

Get Exercise:

Sure, it can be hard to start this one if you're not used to moving your body, but we guarantee it will be worth it. Once you get moving, those endorphins kick in and make everything seem easier to handle. 

Use Fragrance:

Essential oils like lavender and peppermint can be great for stress relief and relaxation. Try putting a small amount on your temples or use an oil warmer to fill your entire home with a calming scent. 

Avoid Caffeine:

Although coffee always seems like a good idea, it can usually make stress and anxiety worse. If you need a warm beverage, try instead some herbal tea with a little milk. 

Avoid Alcohol:

Sometimes we just want to escape and alcohol seems like the perfect way to do it. But, in the morning, you're going to feel a lot worse and the same feelings will still be there. They may even be worse, especially if you're dealing with regret from the way you acted while intoxicated. 

Anxiety is hard to handle. Try the tips above, but if you still need help or someone to talk to, we're here for you at Albuquerque Family Counseling. Contact us if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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.