Definition: a mood disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness.
- feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness
- loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- significant weight loss/gain without any attempt to do so
- insomnia or increased need to sleep
- slowed behavior or restlessness that is obvious
- constant fatigue
- feelings of worthlessness, guilt
- trouble making decisions and/or concentrating
- thoughts of suicide or self harm – please get help as soon as you can! You are loved and help is available; there are many people who can and want to help you feel better. 🙂
- Prevalence: very common; more than 3 million cases a year in the United States alone.
- One in eight teens has clinical depression; so do one in thirty-three children.
- The median onset of depression is 32, but anyone from young children to senior adults can get it.
How to feel better:
- Foster Relationships: reach out to people you trust, such as a parent or close friend, and tell them how you feel. If you don’t feel like you can trust anyone you know, there are plenty of online resources and telephone hotlines (1 (800) 273-8255) you can use to talk to professionals who are trained to help people like you.
- Exercise: Even if you don’t feel like it, try to get yourself moving, whether you’re taking a walk or playing a game of basketball with a friend. Research has shown that exercise fights depression as well as some antidepressants.
- Beat Negative Thinking: It’s okay to make mistakes; no one is perfect, and that’s perfectly fine. Surround yourself with positive people and drop perfectionism. You can also try keeping a log of positive things that happen to you every day to help yourself think more positively.
- Food Matters: Some foods have chemicals that boost your serotonin levels; others reduce your feelings of stress. Check out 8 foods to fight depression and gain a better mood (link https://silverliningcommunity.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/8-foods-to-fight-depression-and-gain-a-better-mood/) for some ordinary foods that can do wonders for your mood.
- Hobbies: Do things you enjoy (or used to enjoy), such as a sport or other activity. Even if you don’t feel like doing it at the moment, you might be pleasantly surprised by how you feel afterwards. Doing something will also keep your mind busy and rouse you from your low.
- Laugh: While it might seem overly simple, laughing or even just smiling has been shown to scientifically increase your happiness. Watch a funny TV show or some cute baby animal videos on Youtube.
- Professional Help: When all else fails, don’t be afraid to seek out professional help. Seeing a psychiatrist isn’t shameful – it’s smart. You’re getting the help you need and deserve, and you’ll feel better soon.
Addition Links and Sources for this Article:
Hotline (call for instant professional help 24/7): 1 (800) 273-8255