There’s little doubt that 2020 is the year of the mental health disorder. Even if you previously felt well-grounded, the past months’ events are enough to leave anyone shaken. You might wonder, “Am I in a depression?”
You might have a formal diagnosis, but even if you don’t, remain aware of the signs of depression. If you recognize a problem, you must know where to reach out for help.
Here are what to look for and four ways to get rid of depression fast and restore a less melancholy mindset.
What Are the Signs of Depression?
Many people assume that you’ll know if you experience depression. However, the symptoms vary from person to person, and yours may look quite different from your best friend with a diagnosis. Maybe you don’t lie in bed all day as they did, but that isn’t the only clue.
Other signs that you may have depression include the following:
- Feeling sad or depressed: You might attribute these emotions to other factors. After all, if you lost your job and prayed for a second stimulus check to keep your home, you have understandable disappointment and anxiety. However, your mind and body work in tandem — external events can lead to ongoing psychological problems.
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities: Your pandemic exercise program started swimmingly, but lately, you have no interest in using your fitness app.
- Loss of energy or fatigue: The mere thought of scrolling through internet job boards might exhaust you.
- Irritability: This symptom often manifests in men, although it can strike women. You could find yourself yelling at your kids with little provocation.
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness: Often, the behaviors associated with depression snowball — you feel guilty that you didn’t attend your child’s virtual back-to-school night, making you even more depressed.
- Suicidal thoughts: If you experience thoughts of ending your life, reach out to the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
1. Learn the Various Treatments of Depression
Depression treatment often follows a twofold path. Your provider often combines talk therapy with prescription medication.
What if, like many, you lost your job and health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic? If you are in survival mode, triage might demand that you stabilize your situation first. If your depression stems from sleeping in your car, you experience trauma anew every time you leave a session and realize you are homeless.
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Try to control factors that exacerbate your symptoms. Many depressed individuals turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, leading to substance abuse disorder. Once you get hooked, the drink exacerbates your symptoms and can make it more problematic to climb out of despair. As tempting as it sounds, you should say no to the bottle.
You do have options. Look into community clinics that may offer services on a sliding fee. Check with Healthcare.gov — you may qualify for coverage even if you didn’t buy during the enrollment period. If you have a way to secure food and shelter, getting care can help you return to normalcy more quickly and provide tips on rebuilding your life.
2. Consider Alternative Remedies Like Fasting for Depression
A quick search of the internet reveals a host of alternative remedies designed to get rid of depression. Can fasting cure depression? Evidence does exist supporting a link between your gut flora and mood, and adjusting your diet may help. In particular, white, processed flours, sugars, and additives found in the western diet can contribute to the leaky gut syndrome.
The problem is, if you are on a shoestring budget, you might not have the money for healthy whole foods. Periodic fasting might alleviate some symptoms by keeping your intestines from processing these substances all day. Theoretically, you then have more mental energy for coping with your disorder.
However, remain aware that restricting your food intake could also worsen your symptoms. Low blood sugar can leave you feeling lethargic. Can fasting cause depression? It’s possible. When determining what helps depression, try this technique, but don’t be afraid to abandon it if it makes you feel worse.
Other natural remedies for depression include St. John’s wort. This herb can make you more sensitive to the sun, but evidence suggests that the chemical hyperforin may act as an antidepressant. Some anecdotal reports indicate that chamomile and lavender may likewise help.
3. Engage in Activities Incompatible With Depression
Another way to boost your mood naturally is to engage in activities incompatible with depression. Many studies testify to outdoor exercise’s efficacy for improving a blue mood, so lace up your tennies and go for a jog.
While you may not feel very social, another way to get out of depression is by contact with others. If you remain sheltered-in-place, try attending a Zoom happy hour. You can also find online networking opportunities that might lead to job prospects if you are in the market.
4. Use Mindfulness to Identify Factors Contributing to Depression
Mindfulness is another way to get rid of depression fast. Fortunately, it’s free to practice. All you need to do is find a quiet place to sit and focus on your breath. By returning your thoughts to the present moment, you can reduce stress and anxiety. You can also often think of an actionable path forward.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have some ideas for getting rid of depression, here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
✅ What is the most reliable symptom of depression?
While the symptoms of depression vary, the main indicator that you need immediate help is suicidal thoughts.
✅ How can you reduce your risk of depression?
Sometimes, you can’t control the risk factors, especially in our current climate. However, avoiding drugs and alcohol and engaging in positive activities like exercise, eating right and meditating daily help.
✅ Which fruit is good for depression?
In general, you want to avoid fruits high in sugar and low in fiber. Fortunately, you can eat all the bananas and apples you like.
✅ Is milk good for depression?
If you aren’t lactose-intolerant, milk won’t aid you. A warm cup may help you fall asleep, though.
When you need to get rid of depression fast, the tips above can help you. Give these a try and reach out when necessary.
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