How to help a partner with depression. Depression.



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The Do's & Dont's of Loving Someone with Depression



How to help a partner with depression

The key is to start small and build from there. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself each day. How do you deal with depression? Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action. The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something that's difficult and something that's impossible. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one. Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hours—long enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. Coping with depression tip 1: Reach out and stay connected Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. How to reach out for depression support Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. Make face-time a priority. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away. Find ways to support others. So find ways—both big and small—to help others: Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed—both powerful antidotes to depression. Join a support group for depression. Being with others dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences. Do things that make you feel good In order to overcome depression, you have to do things that relax and energize you. Pick up a former hobby or a sport you used to like. Express yourself creatively through music, art, or writing. Go out with friends. Take a day trip to a museum, the mountains, or the ballpark. Support your health Aim for eight hours of sleep. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits. Keep stress in check. Not only does stress prolong and worsen depression, but it can also trigger it. Figure out all the things in your life that stress you out, such as work overload, money problems, or unsupportive relationships, and find ways to relieve the pressure and regain control. A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation. Develop a "wellness toolbox" to deal with depression Come up with a list of things that you can do for a quick mood boost. Spend some time in nature List what you like about yourself Read a good book Watch a funny movie or TV show Take a long, hot bath Take care of a few small tasks Play with a pet Talk to friends or family face-to-face Listen to music Do something spontaneous Tip 3: But exercise is a powerful depression fighter—and one of the most important tools in your recovery arsenal. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms. To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. A minute walk can improve your mood for two hours. Exercise is something you can do right now to boost your mood Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more. Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercise—such as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancing—where you move both your arms and legs. Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you move—such as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing. How to Start Exercising and Stick to It: Making Exercise Enjoyable Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated. Try joining a running club, taking a water aerobics or dance class, seeking out tennis partners, or enrolling in a soccer or volleyball league. Take a dog for a walk. Eat a healthy, depression-fighting diet What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones such as certain meats. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours. Minimize sugar and refined carbs. Aim to cut out as much of these foods as possible. Diet and Nutrition Tips for Women: Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B can trigger depression. To get more, take a B-complex vitamin supplement or eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs. Boost your mood with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in stabilizing mood. The best sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna, and some cold-water fish oil supplements. Get a daily dose of sunlight Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Remove sunglasses but never stare directly at the sun and use sunscreen as needed. Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening. Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend. Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows. If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box. Dealing with the winter blues For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder SAD. SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year. That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future. But even so, they can be tough to give up. Rather, the trick is to identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression, and replace them with a more balanced way of thinking. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right. I really am no good! When to get professional help for depression Depression Treatment: Resources and references Understanding Depression: The many faces of depression and how to find relief — Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Back from the Bluez — Self-help modules for coping with and recovering from depression. How to help a partner with depression

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  1. Regular exercise, eating well, managing stress, spending time with friends and family, spirituality, and monitoring your use of alcohol and other drugs can help keep depression from getting worse or coming back. How do you deal with depression?

  2. You can call for information on local services or if you just need someone to talk to. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated.

  3. Medication—There are many different types of effective medication for depression, and different kinds work in different ways. They can feel passionate with others who likely have no constraining relationships or might be seeking the same kind of escape. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression.

  4. Fantasies of escaping into a life full of new intensity seem like the perfect answer to their inner emptiness. ECT is a treatment done in hospital that sends electrical currents through the brain. Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening.

  5. A minute walk can improve your mood for two hours. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.

  6. No single explanation covers the diversity and unique facts of every relationship threatened by depression.

  7. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. ECT is a treatment done in hospital that sends electrical currents through the brain.

  8. Article continues below Are you or your partner feeling depressed? He can sense that the person before him could well have an undiagnosed depression that has emptied him of all feeling. It is being researched for use in other kinds of depression as well.

  9. No single explanation covers the diversity and unique facts of every relationship threatened by depression. You can certainly read about depression and consult a professional for more information, but the best way to understand how your partner experiences depression is to ask open-ended questions and use empathic listening.

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