Persistent sad, anxious, or ‘empty’ mood. Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness. Do this now!
By MH Staff - Posted on 11th June 2013
Could you be depressed? Look out for these warning signs:
1 Check in with the doc
Start with your GP. Depression is a treatable illness. The first step is a physical exam to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms. Seventy percent of people with depression will get better on anti-depressants. If one medicine doesn’t work for you, try another one.
2 Be open to therapy
Your doctor might recommend psychotherapy in addition to meds. A good psychiatrist or psychologist is very useful – as long as you buy into using them. It’s no good going to someone who you are not comfortable with and/or don’t trust their speciality. “You need to overcome any prejudices you may have to seeing a ‘shrink’,” says Richard Hawkey.
3 Cut back on booze
Stressed and depressed men turn to alcohol; this can put you at further risk for alcohol-use disorders. And don’t forget that alcohol is also a depressive.
4 Find an outlet
Whether sporting or creative, don’t let work or stress stop you from participating in something you love doing.
5 Tend to your marriage
Depression increases the odds of marital conflict. Irritability and anger can make you lash out at loved ones and leave you feeling guilty, isolated, and even lower. Having an understanding support structure can help protect your from the blows of depression and make your more resilient to future episodes.
6 Hit the gym
Exercise affects the brain chemicals associated with mood and helps to combat stress and anxiety. Try to get some cardio in at least three times a week.
7 Start talking
Women talk almost three times more than men – chit-chat triggers happiness brain chemicals and can help you feel more connected to the world. The more communication the better.
8 Be useful
Contributing to society, a charity, church or to a family doesn’t necessarily have to cost you financially, but will help you feel a greater sense of purpose and meaning in your life. Giving is shown to boost mental health and feelings of value and gratitude.
9 Take control of your recovery
“There is only so much drugs and therapy can do for you - the desire to get better is critical to making a full recovery. Only you can do that,” says Hawkey.