Social Anxiety Disorder: Therapy And Other Treatments

 

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Your mental health provider is tasked to identify whether other disorders could trigger your anxiety or if you are suffering from social anxiety disorder together with another mental or physical illness.

Your provider may identify your diagnosis based on:

  • A physical examination to evaluate any medical illness or medication that could cause anxiety symptoms to manifest.
  • A review of the scenarios to determine whether or not they trigger your anxiety.
  • A thorough discussion of your indications, their frequency, and the different situations that they occur.
  • As published by the American Psychiatric Association, criteria are documented in the DSM-5 or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • Self-report questionnaires regarding indications of social anxiety.

Treatment Options

Treatment is dependent on how significantly social anxiety disorder impacts your capacity to perform your daily routines. The most typical treatment for SAD includes medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of both.

First Line Medications

Numerous medicines are available on the market, but selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are frequently the first lines of medications for longstanding indications of social anxiety. Your doctor or another mental health provider may prescribe sertraline or paroxetine. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) such as venlafaxine are also preferable for social anxiety disorder.

To decrease the negative side effects, your healthcare provider may give you medications at low doses and slowly increase them to a full dose. It could also take a few weeks or months of medication therapy to alleviate or improve your symptoms.

Your healthcare provider can also recommend other types of medications for indication of social anxiety, including:

  • Anti-anxiety Medications. Benzodiazepines may lower your anxiety levels. They have been proven to work rapidly, but they can also be sedating and addictive, so they are usually prescribed only for a brief period.
  • Some Antidepressants. Perhaps you already tried taking some antidepressants and choose which one is more effective for you with the least number of side effects as well.
  • Beta-Blockers. These medications work by inhibiting the rousing effect of adrenaline, which is a form of epinephrine. They can potentially lower blood pressure, reduce shaking of the limbs and voice, or decrease heart rate. For this reason, it is advisable to limit its use to specific situations, such as when giving speeches. Beta-blockers are not advisable for treating generalized anxiety disorder.

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Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy enhances symptoms in most individuals with SAD. Going through therapy, you are taught to identify and alter negative thought patterns about yourself and learn skills to increase your self-esteem, especially in social events. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most recommended form of psychotherapy used for anxiety. It can be likewise effective when done either in groups or individually.

Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes

SAD commonly needs the aid of a certified psychotherapist or another medical expert. Still, you can try doing some of these strategies in dealing with situations that are most probably going to trigger SAD symptoms.

  • Stay physically fit regularly.
  • Learn techniques on how to decrease or alleviate stress.
  • Maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Get sufficient sleep.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Participate in social events by going out with those that you feel safe and comfortable with.

Taking Smaller Strides

First, think about your fears so that you can determine the situations that can trigger your anxiety. Slowly learn these activities, get accustomed to them until they no longer cause you too much anxiety. Start with smaller strides by creating daily and then weekly goals in circumstances that are not very overwhelming. The more you learn and practice, the less tense you become.

Also, try to practice these situations:

  • Compliment someone you meet you talk today.
  • Have a meal or snack with someone close to you, like a close friend or significant other.
  • Intentionally make eye contact when you greet others or try to greet someone first.
  • Ask directions from a stranger.
  • Reach out to a salesperson to ask for help about finding something in a store.
  • Call a close friend to talk about weekend plans.

Prepare Yourself For Social Events

Initially, being sociable when you are socially anxious is quite perplexing. As hard or overwhelming as it would seem at first, do not try to avoid circumstances that cause your anxiety symptoms. By habitually confronting these kinds of circumstances, you will eventually build and enhance your coping skills.

Support And Coping

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These coping mechanisms might help alleviate your anxiety:

  • Regularly seek help and companionship with family and friends.
  • Try joining a group that provides opportunities to enhance public speaking and communication skills, like Toastmasters International. You can also be a member of a reliable online support group.
  • Do interesting and enjoyable activities, like hobbies and sports, when you feel stressed or anxious.

Conclusion

In time, these coping mechanisms and the rest of the treatments mentioned above will help you control your triggers and your symptoms and hopefully prevent you from having a relapse. Do not forget that you can overcome your anxious moments, that your social anxiety disorder is brief, and that the unpleasant outcomes that you are so anxious about will not take over your life if you decide to take control and practice positivity.

 

 

Breaking Free From Anxiety Without Therapy

 

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Between family issues, bills, work deadlines, and trying to stay fit, the daily tensions of life can make you become anxious and overwhelmed. Perhaps you were a worrier when you were a child because anxious parents brought you up, or maybe you became anxious after your teenage years. No matter when your anxiety symptoms started, it is possible that you are currently on overdrive, and you are constantly waiting for your bubble to burst.

Do not be surprised to know that you are not alone. The Anxiety And Depression Association of America states that anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorders in America, affecting over 40 million individuals. And just like a lot of people who are looking for alleviation, you turn to medications or perhaps consulted a therapist for help. It is a proven fact that antianxiety medications can reduce your anxiety. Still, the relaxing and peaceful feeling does come with a price by way of side effects in terms of medications and added cost if you have therapy sessions.

Here’s the good news: medications and visiting a therapist are not the only means to getting over your worries and effectively managing your anxiety. Below are some of the most recommended ways to break free from your anxiety naturally.

Be Physically Active.

Physical activity is perhaps the last thing you would like to try doing when you are on overdrive. You could be worried about delayed muscle soreness and being incapable of sitting or walking for the next couple of days. Or you’re scared that your condition might worsen if you overexert yourself and experience a heart attack. In truth, though, exercise is among the most recommended natural antianxiety remedies.

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Exercise increases serotonin and endorphin levels to make you feel emotionally better. Subsequently, when you feel internally better, your whole viewpoint improves as well. Try to start your exercise regimen for at least 30 minutes three times a week. You don’t have to struggle with a high-intensity workout initially and obviously feel muscle pains after. Any form of movement is great, so put on your most comfortable workout clothes, move around, clean the house, walk within the neighborhood, or get a mat and try some yoga poses.

Shout To The Top Of Your Lungs.

Talking to someone that you trust is another way of coping with anxiety. However, there is an even better thing to do besides talking – screaming to the top of your lungs. When you were a child, your parents probably reprimanded you when you screamed or talked in loud voices. But when you become an adult, you can make excuses or set your own rules! So this is your chance to shout all your worries, fears, and anxieties out.

When you’ve been anxious for a long time, you will know that the more you contest your anxiety, the more draining it will be on you. Instead, acknowledge anxiety as a facet of your daily life, embrace it, and then release it by screaming them out.

If your anxiety causes you to become nauseous, the thought of consuming food is as tempting as consuming mud. However, missing a meal can actually worsen your anxiety. Your blood sugar levels plunge when you do not eat, leading to the surge of the stress hormone cortisol.

The statement that you are required to eat does not validate eating just anything, so it’s not an excuse to consume too much junk food and sugar-loaded foods. It’s not the sugar that causes the anxiety, but the sugar rush can trigger physical indications of anxiety, like trembling and nervousness. Consume more fruits, healthy fats, vegetables, and lean proteins. Consume five small meals spread throughout the day and limit your sugar consumption of refined carbs and sugar.

Live In The Present.

Apart from the words written in this article, what are you contemplating at the moment? Are you anxious about a deadline you need to meet next week? Are you pressured about not being able to meet your financial objectives? Or perhaps you are fixated on whether or not you are a good parent even though you don’t actually have children?

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If your answers are all ‘yes, then you have just unraveled part of the dilemma. Like several others who are suffering from anxiety, you have difficulty living in the present. Rather than fretting about what’s in it for today, you’re already anticipating tomorrow’s worries. And regardless of the degree of your anxiety, you might even be worrying about yesterday’s missteps.

Remember that you have no control over your future, and nobody can lend you a time machine so that you can modify the past, so live every day as it arrives. You can think about the future for proactivity’s sake, but don’t concentrate too much on what will be, more so what has been.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, anxiety is a monster, but it’s possible to triumph over your battle with medications. Often, getting rid of it is merely a matter of changing your thoughts, attitude, and lifestyle. These natural therapies might even help you make adjustments to your medication routine. Give these tips a try and realize that anxiety has no control over you.

 

 

Harmful Impacts Of Overthinking

Overthinking happens when uncertainties in life are inevitable because no one has control over everything. Things happen purely as a result of a specific decision. Of course, there are times that those results come in favor and others end up with tons of consequences. That is the cycle of life. However, despite knowing that, some people still drown themselves with worries and fears.

Overthinking is part of human nature. It is what individuals typically do when they are about to create an evaluation. It is supposed to provide people with excellent mental ability. It is helpful in a way that it makes people more considerate and compassionate about certain situations. Overthinking helps with memory and brain enhancement by channelizing different thoughts and ideas in one. It allows individuals to think about multiple options and find the best one among them. Overthinking can be beneficial in the major life-changing decision as it provides people with a happier and more satisfying outcome. It sometimes connects people to the solution, opens new and fresh ideas.

However, though those positive traits may sound promising, overthinking is still dangerous in most ways. It is a habit of thinking about something too much for too long. Usually, it causes intense worries and fears. It creates a lot of what-ifs. It somehow makes people incapable of handling themselves as it grows more with self-doubt, low self-esteem, and lack of productivity. Overthinking usually promotes mental roadblocks that make it difficult for people to think positively.

anxious due to overthinking

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How Does Too Much Contemplation Affect One’s Overall Mental Health?

While overthinking is quite common, the habit of constantly practicing it is dangerous to people’s mental health. It can cause deterioration in brain function, making individuals lose concentration and focus. But aside from the general facts, there are specific things that overthinking can extremely impact. That is the development of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Anxiety

Like any other issue with overthinking, people deal with a less relaxed body and mind when anxious. That is because overthinking somehow draws negativity. Of course, when individuals have many things going on in their minds, they can’t focus. They get preoccupied with a lot of what-ifs and always look at negative things.

Too much thinking connects with anxiety because that is what thoughts do.

It often creates scenarios in people’s head that somehow triggers potential emotions such as anger, fear, worry, excitement, and happiness. Often, even a significant matter that does not need too much attention also becomes a factor for stress.

Overanalyzing and anxiety work hand-in-hand in giving people mental and emotional exhaustion.

This particular thing prevents them from internalizing present moments. It puts people in a cage with the emotions they created through their thoughts and leaves them isolated. And in worse cases, anxiety due to overthinking can lead to self-harm and suicidal ideations.

impact of overthinking

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Depression and overthinking are also related.

The brain keeps taking away people’s energy every time they focus on producing unnecessary thoughts and emotions. The emotional and mental burden is taking away people’s ability to overcome past negative issues. In some unfortunate instances, depressed people tend to experience more than just a piece of loneliness and sadness as they become more engaged in isolation and insecurities.

Of course, some factors can affect depression, and it is solely not limited to overthinking alone. There are genetics, medication, medical influence, life stressors, and so on. But with regards to overthinking and depression, other symptoms usually arise. These include physical manifestations such as body aches, headaches, and stomach problems.

Another thing with overthinking causing depression, it can also lead to unrecognizable self-destruction like anxiety. It can lead not only to self-harm and suicidal thoughts but greatly push people to commit suicide itself.

impact of overthinking

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Overcoming Overthinking

Sometimes, people do not know that they are overthinkers. Somehow, they cannot see themselves on the negative side and continue with the habit. It is as if they do not care about their overall well-being. In line with that, it is essential to understand that there are better ways to overcome overthinking.

  1. Notice The Things Stuck In The Head – Many things cause people to overthink. There are financial matters, family conflicts, marital issues, deadlines at work, relationship problems, etc. Basically, all of these are life endeavors. These things are inevitable, so people should notice these issues to keep away negative thoughts from constantly forming. Instead of creating other sets of problems, they should try and solve the ones that need an urgent solution.
  2. Focus On Problem-Solving – The matter with overthinking is its ability to take all forms of energy from the mind and body. After ruining people’s disposition, it will leave them in a pitched-black state. To avoid that, people must learn to solve their problems according to their priorities, needs, want, and basic accomplishments.
  3. Challenge Thoughts And Feelings – One way to eliminate overthinking habits is to challenge thoughts and feelings. It is vital to understand that thoughts are changing all the time, as well as emotions. People need to concentrate on identifying what they want to feel to connect to what they think.
  4. Schedule For Inner Reflection – Overthinking does not have to be constantly thinking about negative things. If people could have enough time, it would be nice to use it to reflect on other stuff such as those they want to change in their lives.
  5. Learn Mindfulness Skills – Meditation is one helpful way to get rid of overthinking. Aside from its ability to take down stress, it also reduces negative thoughts. It helps people gain a new perspective in life. Meditation increases imagination and creativity and improves patience and tolerance. It can greatly impact self-awareness.

 

A Counselor’s Take On The Complicated Issue Of Self Destruction

Dealing with uncertainties in life can be hard, especially for those who can’t find the right reason to struggle. Commonly, when individuals fail to accept the truth, they end up losing everything. However, it is not because they can’t handle the situation, but because they intend not to fight. Some people would just let it go and leave the rest of their success to a bit of unrealistic luck. Apparently, people are not perfect. They somehow do a lot of things that break them.

This particular negative attribute is what they call self-destruction. But what exactly is self-destruction? How is it done? Why are most people choosing it over emotional and mental stability? Why is it a factor of psychological incapability? How come it gets to be normalized? These are some of the few questions many people ask.

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Explaining Self-Destruction Based On Knowledge And Experience

Self-destruction connotes an unfavorable manner of an individual that includes reckless behavior and intentional self-harm. It involves pushing the physical health to the intense phase, cutting something that is part of the body, engaging in or going on a hunger strike, dwelling on self-loathe and isolation, attempting suicide, etc. Self-destruction is usually an extreme measure that individuals use in an attempt to alleviate emotional distress.

Self-destruction is often correlated to emotional pain and trauma. These two particular things are the most common reasons why they intend to connect with such negative actions. In some instances, people stick with self-destructive behaviors because they view it as a form of punishment for lack of control over themselves, other people, and everything about their lives.

One of the hallmarks of self-destruction is the inability to accept things as is. Thus, people find it hard to talk about current feelings and thoughts. But fortunately, there are better ways to manage self-sabotaging behavior.

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Identify Self-Destructive Behavior – One thing that most people do not know about self-destruction is its process. Usually, the negative behaviors accompanied to it go unnoticed. Thus, it makes the whole thing doable regardless of being unintentional. Understandably, self-harm comes naturally when people are emotionally hurt. We allow them to sabotage themselves because we believe that it is the proper way to give them space to heal. To break that flow, they should learn to identify self-destructive behaviors. They need to learn to evaluate their actions and weigh the impact of their decisions on their overall well-being.

Break The Cycle Of Negative Feelings – The morbidity of self-destruction intensely grow when people do not pay attention to the damages. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of individuals can only discuss their issues. Most of them are either afraid to talk about it because of the judgment they would receive. However, others are simply ignorant of the levels of mental, emotional, and physical torture self-destruction can cause. Thus, it is significantly important to break the cycle of negative feelings and express it as much as possible.

Disregard Negative Self-Talk – Negative thoughts direct to self-destruction. That is because people would think that what they do to themselves is valid. They begin to believe that they are a bad person. That is why they deserve to go down the pit. This certain idea drives them to push through with self-harm to ease that pain. To avoid the impact of negative thoughts, it would be best for people to disregard unhealthy self-talk. Instead of thinking about how incapable and unreliable they are, they should practice appreciating and loving themselves more. It would be nice that people pay attention to be thankful for who they are and what they can do.

Find The Positive Inner Voice – Dealing with emotional issues can be extremely exhausting. No one can immediately shift their minds onto something they held on to for too long. Not all are strong enough to face their demons. That explains why a lot of individuals find self-destruction as an excellent way to deal with themselves. But that is a total waste of energy, time, and capability. Instead of dying from emotional torture, people should learn to listen to their positive inner voice. They should instill in their minds that there is still hope for them regardless of bad things in their lives. They only need to trust the process and take time to reflect.

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Final Thoughts

Self-destruction is never a good thing. It may seem to be a great immediate escape, but everything about it fails. It is essential to change the pattern of behaviors before it is too late. Therefore, one should start making small and meaningful changes in the person’s life to avoid getting crushed with emotional agony. Understandably, the process of completely moving away from destructive behaviors takes a while. But if it is something that people cannot do by themselves, they can always seek help.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions Depression And Tiredness

Tiredness stems from a wide variety of reasons. For many who work out in a gym and go all out in a nine-to-five job, physical tiredness is a usual feeling. Others who take the challenge of doing math and academic tasks all day may experience being exhausted mentally. But did you know that a prevailing mental health condition may also cause episodes of unexplained tiredness? Check depression.

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Depression is a mental health condition that often causes loneliness and a general feeling of sadness or anger. And most of the time, the mood changes brought about by depression may interfere with a person’s way of life in various ways.

Today, depression has become a common disorder for many people. According to CDC, an estimated 8.1% of people living in the US, especially those 20 years old and above, had at least a 2-week persistent episode of this disorder. This data covers 2013 and 2016.

While depression and tiredness may differ in terms of their medical definition and underlying effects, these two may also be related.

One primary symptom of depression is constant fatigue or the feeling of being worn out.  A recent study explained that fatigue is felt for at least 90%of people experiencing Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

A lot of factors cause this bidirectional relationship. Sleep disorders, which are normal in many people with depression, can typically be attributed to a feeling of exhaustion. Insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality may cause a decrease in energy and, consequently, fatigue.

Stress among people with depression links to the occurrence of fatigue and tiredness. Chronic stress can alter the levels of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. Neurotransmitters play an important role in mood regulation and overall energy throughout the day.

In some cases, antidepressant medications taken by individuals diagnosed with depression may also trigger tiredness. While this medication shifts a patient’s mood towards a more positive note, it may also cause tiredness and fatigue.

If you’re interested in learning more about how depression might be related to your unexplained tiredness  or fatigue, check out the comprehensive list of FAQs provided here below:

Why do I feel so tired all the time?

There could be a number of different reasons for you feeling tired all the time. Sometimes, it could even be the obvious reasons we overlook because we do not even think it could affect us this way. One reason is vitamin deficiency. You should make sure that you are all stocked up with the right vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Another reason could be stress. You might be overworking and overthinking, leading to stress, no sleep, and a poor diet. This could also be caused by illnesses such as diabetes, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Can mental illness cause fatigue?

Yes, specific mental illnesses such as depression can cause a person to feel tired as if they had just lost all their energy without them even doing anything in the first place. For severe cases of depression, it causes the person to feel so tired that they would have a reason to stay in bed and not participate in a daily activity, which only furthers a person’s depression. Make sure that you can consult with a doctor when your fatigue becomes chronic because although it might not be depression, it might be something else that is causing your fatigue.

Can stress and anxiety make you feel tired?

The answer is yes. One of the symptoms of anxiety is fatigue or feeling tired. This may be surprising for some because anxiety is usually associated with high energy levels or hyperactivity. Although, some people might experience fatigue after they go through anxiety attacks, and for others, the fatigue could be chronic. Stress also makes you feel tired because you are constantly pressured and overworked, that you are unable to eat or sleep properly. This disrupts your body’s natural patterns leaving you feeling tired.

What are the side effects of being tired?

Feeling tired is a normal thing for everyone. At some point, we all would feel tired, especially after a long day. This is only a sign that our body needs to just rest and recharge. When we are tired, we could expect various side effects ranging from emotional, physical, and mental issues. You will be experiencing sore muscles, impaired decision-making, moodiness, appetite loss, poor focus, low motivation, and hallucinations.

What are the 3 types of fatigue?

We all feel tired at some point. However, there are three types of fatigue that you should know about so that you know how you could cope with it. First is Transient fatigue, which is acute fatigue caused by too many waking hours in one to two days. Second, Cumulative fatigue, where there are repeated mild restrictions to your sleeping patterns, and third is Circadian fatigue which refers to the lower performance during a specific time during the night, referred to as the window of circadian low.

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What Vitamin do you lack if you are tired all the time?

There could be a number of different reasons for feeling tired. One of them is for vitamin deficiency. You might be lacking the following vitamins: vitamin D, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, or potassium. The best way to handle this is to increase your intake of food rich in the mentioned vitamins and minerals. Another way to resolve this is to consult with a doctor to identify what specific vitamin you need more of.

Why is my energy so low?

Several factors can affect your energy levels, depending on your lifestyle. Your sleeping patterns, eating habits, exercise, and your daily activities could affect your energy levels. Apart from this, you might have low energy levels due to a medical condition that you are not aware of, such as low testosterone or even depression. Another cause for your low energy levels is your mood and stress. You might be drained by your overworking, and you might even be pushing and pressuring yourself a little too much than you should be.

How can I boost my energy level?

According to Harvard University, there are many ways for a person to boost their energy levels. However, the following are found to be most effective when attempting to boost your energy levels. First is so you can control your stress, make sure that you lighten your workload. Apart from that, make sure to exercise and keep your body healthy by avoiding smoking and too much alcohol. Ensure that you get the right amount of sleep and are eating properly with regular drinks of water.

What vitamins should I take if I’m always tired?

You should try to increase your intake of food or juices that could help with your vitamin deficiency. So try and up your Vitamin D intake, Vitamin B12, iron, magnesium, and potassium. This will help you regain your energy levels, and it just might stop your body from feeling tired all the time. You can also try to take multivitamins that could also help with your vitamin levels.

How do I stop being tired and lazy?

There are times when we all feel lazy at some point in our day or our life. It is normal to have lazy days once in a while, but when it goes beyond that and laziness starts to become a regular thing for you, it becomes a bad thing. What you can try to do to avoid being lazy, make sure that you avoid all distractions. This can help you create a plan and for you to now start talking to yourself more positively. You can also try to use your strengths to your advantage, and you can acknowledge your accomplishments as you go.

How do you fix fatigue quickly?

Fatigue could be caused by many different factors that could be treated in a lot of different ways as well. So make sure to identify the source of your fatigue, and this way, you can find a way to fix it. If it is caused by vitamin deficiency, increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. If it is caused by stress or mood swings, take a step back, breathe, and relax. If your bad sleeping habits cause it, make sure you can change it up and stick to a specific pattern that helps you rest better. Different factors causing one problem can also have different solutions.

What is a natural energy booster?

The best way to naturally boost your energy is to exercise. Whenever we exercise, our oxygen-enriched blood surges through our body and to different parts such as our brain, heart, and muscles. So if you try to squeeze in at least ten minutes of exercise into your day, you can keep your energy levels at a good level.

Why am I always tired and have no energy?

A number of different factors could cause your fatigue. This could be because of your bad lifestyle habits such as wrong sleeping patterns, bad eating habits, chronic stress, mood swings, and even vitamin deficiency. However, this could also be caused by medical issues such as depression. One of the symptoms of depression is chronic fatigue so if this becomes an issue, make sure that you consult with a doctor.

What illnesses can cause extreme fatigue?

There are a number of medical issues that could cause fatigue. From physical illnesses to mental illnesses, there could be different issues that result in extreme fatigue. One of these illnesses is depression, where you might feel too tired with very low energy levels. Whatever the case may be, make sure to consult with a doctor to get the help you require.

Why am I still tired after sleeping?

This might be because your body is still lacking the rest that it requires, or maybe it could be because your body lacks the vitamins that it needs to fully sustain your body’s energy levels. This could also be because you are too stressed that your mind still does not rest even when it needs to rest. You can also try to consult with a doctor to identify the root cause of this issue properly.

Why do I feel so tired, and my body hurts?

There is a medical condition referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS. This condition can cause you to feel overly exhausted, and it can even make you feel weak even when you get more than enough sleep or rest. This condition can also cause insomnia, and because of this, your body does not feel as if it has fully rested.

Conclusion

Depression and fatigue are difficult conditions to experience or feel. These unpleasant symptoms may even interfere with people’s everyday work and life responsibilities. With that, it is essential to prioritize urgent medical help. Depression-linked fatigue must not be ignored because it can lead to panic attacks or substance abuse.

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If you have been experiencing recurring episodes of tiredness despite having no underlying medical condition, visit the nearest healthcare institution. It is impossible to diagnose any particular condition, like depression-linked fatigue, without professional help. Diagnosing may entail health-related questions, lab and physical exams, or assessment of overall symptoms. 

Treatment for these conditions requires consistent therapy sessions with a licensed healthcare provider. Your therapist may accustom you to various therapy techniques to find what would fit your choices. Some recommendations may include changing the sleeping pattern and work lifestyle. They might also suggest doing light meditative activities such as yoga and stretching. Moreover, they might also recommend a diet or meal plan. 

A psychiatrist may also recommend taking medication such as antidepressants or mood-stabilizing medicines to supplement your ongoing therapy. Scheduling with a doctor can also help determine if you have an undiagnosed health condition other than your depression. At times, underlying conditions may contribute to feelings of fatigue.

Being cured for both conditions may take time, but it is always possible. With early diagnosis and consistent adherence to medication options, in no time, you can enjoy the proactive and healthy life you always wanted. Cooperation and developing a good relationship with your preferred healthcare provider can also be beneficial. It can serve as motivation to go back for therapy and consultation follow-ups.

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression, Psychology, And Treatments

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When I was growing up, my parents would always ask my teenage cousin Liza to babysit me whenever they would go out. I knew her as the daughter of Mom’s second cousin. I saw her as the big sister that I never had, so I loved having her around. She taught me how to braid my doll’s hair and helped me with my homework. I also liked that she was not afraid of bugs and would stand up for me when I couldn’t.

Despite that, I noticed something unusual. Liza would agree to go to our house anytime, except when my mother’s siblings were visiting and staying at our home. If she was my cousin from my mother’s side, then it could only mean that my uncles and aunt were hers, too, right? I remembered asking Liza when I was still in elementary school, but she became closed off and said that I was too young to understand, so I did not push it.

 I was already in middle school when I overheard my mother talking to another cousin of mine. Her name was Sidney, and she was the daughter of Mom’s sister, who died in a car accident years ago. I was close to her, but she was already working, so we rarely saw her. On that particular day, though, they were discussing Liza’s college plans.

“Where is Liza planning to go to college?” Mom asked.

“I told her to come to my alma mater, but she wanted to go to the East Coast,” Sidney replied.

“I see. And is she getting a scholarship?”

“She’s trying, yes. But I told her I could pay for her college tuition and dorm,” she uttered.

“You are very nice, dear,” Mom said.

“I’m just doing my part as her sister.”

Talk about mind explosion. Liza and Sidney were sisters. But they have different surnames and parents. How is that possible? I waited for Sidney to leave before asking my mother about it. She refused to tell me anything at first, but she eventually gave up the information when I said I would ask my cousins instead.

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“Here’s the thing,” Mom started, “Liza and Sidney are half-sisters. They have the same mother – my sister – but she gave up Liza for adoption because she did not want her husband – Sidney’s father – to see the result of her infidelity.”

“Do all the adults in the family know about it?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“It seems that Liza also knows. However, why won’t Liza bond with them?” I prodded.

Mom seemed super uncomfortable as she said, “My siblings are in denial about Liza’s existence. They won’t acknowledge her as family, especially if old friends would come by. I heard there were even times in the past when they would tell Liza to hide in the room if new visitors arrived at the house.”

Years later, Liza moved to another state and mostly connected with Sidney and her adoptive parents. We found out that Liza developed depression due to the childhood trauma she suffered from being hidden due to her birth nature.

What is the definition of depression in psychology? 

Depression is a type of mood disorder that causes a person to experience prolonged sadness and worthlessness. It can take a few days or months before it goes away, depending on how fast the individual realizes the problem and seeks mental help.

What are the three forms of treatment for depression? 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy

What are psychological treatments? 

Psychological treatments refer to various forms of therapy that allow mentally troubled individuals to connect with mental health professionals who can help them understand their issues.

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How does music therapy work with depression? 

Music therapy works by serving as a calming agent to people suffering from depression. The more individuals listen to music that they enjoy, the less they feel pessimistic, sad, and worthless.

What is the cause of a feeling of depression in human beings? 

Depression is the result of a combination of factors that affect humans. That includes (but is not limited to): genetics, environmental changes, way of thinking, and biology.

What are the four types of depression? 

  • Dysthymia
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder

Does depression count as a disability? 

Yes, depression counts as a disability.

How do I know if I’m bipolar? 

Mania and depression are two of the primary symptoms of bipolar disorder. When you feel sleepless and hopeless or impulsive for an extended period each time, you may have this condition.

What is the difference between mood disorder and depression? 

A mood disorder is a psychological issue that causes a person to experience an amplified level of sadness, happiness, irritability, impulsivity, and various emotions. Meanwhile, depression is one of the few mood disorders characterized by hopelessness, lack of energy, physical pains, etc.

What is the number one cause of depression? 

Experiencing prolonged changes may be the primary cause of depression. When an individual loses a loved one or significant source of income, gets uprooted, or deals with other issues, they may feel depressed.

What is the result of depression? 

Depression can make you irritable, lose or gain excessive weight, and hopeless. Unfortunately, some succumb to their suicidal thoughts and end up taking their own lives.

Which type of depression is the most common type of mood disorder? 

Clinical depression is the most common type of mood disorder. According to studies, 6.7% of adults in the United States have been diagnosed with this condition.

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What age group has the highest depression rate? 

People experience depression the most between the ages of 18 and 25.

Can a neurologist help with depression? 

The answer is yes and no. Yes, a neurologist may be able to help by prescribing an antidepressant to a depressed individual. However, a neurologist is not trained to find the root of a person’s issues – you will need to see a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist for that.

Final Thoughts

I drove a thousand miles to see Liza for the first time in a decade. She greeted me with a warm hug and wanted me to tell her everything I had been doing in life. When it was her turn to talk, I was happy to know that my cousin was getting the mental help she needed to get over her depression.

When I asked when she’d visit back home, she said, “In time.”

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Over the years, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) became one of the leading treatments for anxiety disorders – and for a good reason.

It does not rely on drugs or mood stabilizers. Instead, cbt focuses on the close relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behavior to achieve therapeutic goals. By reframing cognitive distortions, it’s possible to improve a person’s emotional state and influence their behavior for the better.

The therapy compartmentalizes a situation into distinct sections – thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, and behavior. As a result, negative thought loops are disrupted, which prevents people from spiraling.

A man looks anxious, cognitive behavioral therapy might help him
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Pioneered by Dr. Aaron Beck in the 1960s, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy relied on the restructuring of thought processes.  Instead of viewing mental health disorders as a product of chemical imbalances, it focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns. These cognitive distortions are reinforced over time until they become automatic thoughts associated with a situation.

The first step in CBT requires a patient to recognize a distorted thought. Common cognitive distortions include fortune-telling and jumping to conclusions. These might come in the form of, “I am going to mess up in my upcoming presentation” or, “All my friends hate me.” These thoughts may create negative feelings and result in maladaptive behaviors.

A cognitive-behavioral therapist will work with you to bring these thoughts to the surface. You can evaluate these thoughts to determine if they are irrational or harmful. Upon evaluation, you will be guided in reframing your thoughts. For example, your previous thoughts of failure in your upcoming presentation will be transformed into positive affirmations of your effort to prepare for it. To learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy, read the frequently asked questions below.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Anxiety?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that breaks down a problem into thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, and actions. It is based on the assumption that these components are closely connected and influence how we react to a situation. For a person with anxiety, it helps to identify these specific thought patterns, bring them under scrutiny, and replace them with more helpful ways of looking at a situation. Your therapist will guide you under structured sessions that can be done individually or with a group.

How Long Does It Take For Cognitive Behavioral Therapy To Work For Anxiety?

The effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are not immediate and vary on a per-person basis. As a rough guide, however, three to 12 weekly CBT sessions may be sufficient to help an individual with mild anxiety. Six to 24 sessions may be useful for someone with moderate anxiety, while an individual with severe anxiety may require a minimum of 24 sessions. In the end, the success of the treatment will depend on your receptiveness to the treatment and commitment to practicing what you’ve learned.

What are some therapy techniques?

Exposure therapy is one Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique where an individual is exposed to situations that they fear the most. Through controlled exposure to their triggers, patients can gain a better handle on their fears or phobias. Another CBT technique is cognitive restructuring, which focuses on helping you identify irrational thoughts. Once you’re aware of the unproductive thought, you can question and replace it with a more helpful way of thinking about a situation.

What gets rid of anxiety?

There is no surefire way to get rid of anxiety, but getting enough sleep and exercise improves your overall mood and well-being. Eat healthy and balanced meals that will keep your energy up. When you get overwhelmed, take a step back and assess the situation objectively. Break down the problem into distinct components until it feels achievable. Reach out to friends or family or consider professional help.

How can I calm my anxiety fast?

If you’re experiencing anxiety attacks, it helps to do the 5-5-5 activity, which involves looking at five different things, listing five sounds, and running your hands over five textures. This sensory-based exercise can be used to break your negative thought loop and bring you back to the present moment. You can also perform calming breathing techniques. Breathe in slowly through the nose for five counts and exhale through the mouth for another five. Repeat the exercise for three to five minutes.

Does CBD help anxiety?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of nearly 200 compounds in the marijuana plant. Once ingested, CBD interacts with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, neural pathways by which the endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates mood and pain. CBD also interacts with the 5-HT1A, the receptor for serotonin. Some studies suggest that CBD interaction with the brain’s receptors can help relieve anxiety and produce a relaxing effect. Still, more research is required to confirm its viability as a treatment method.

How can I kill anxiety naturally?

Exercise is one of the most effective non-drug anxiety treatments. Getting your heart rate up through physical activity increases anxiety-soothing neurochemicals like serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and endocannabinoids. Consider enrolling in yoga and meditation classes to clear your mind. Keeping a daily journal is also helpful. Writing your thoughts or feelings on paper can help you identify triggers that you may not have otherwise noticed. It is an excellent way to challenge this seemingly endless trains of thought.

a man looking problematic might need cognitive therapy
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What foods trigger anxiety?

High-sugar foods like candies, ice cream, soda, and cakes may contribute to anxiety and irritability by causing irregular spikes in your energy. Pasta products, white bread, and condiments also contain high levels of added sugar, so make sure to get your fill of sweets through fruits and naturally sweet vegetables instead. Once the body breaks them down, cultured foods like steak and cheese produce proteins that may interfere with digestion and disrupt the nervous system.

Are bananas good for anxiety?

Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted into serotonin, commonly known as the happiness hormone. Although the serotonin found in bananas cannot directly pass into the brain, it helps support hormone production by supplying essential vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B6. Bananas are also rich in potassium and vitamin C, which can help support the nerve cells and the immune system.

How much CBD should I take for panic attacks?

In a study, a small number of patients that took 300-600 mg of CBD experienced marked improvements in anxiety symptoms. CBD is a cannabis compound administered through oil, spray, capsules, edibles, and vaporized oil. Despite its purported therapeutic benefits, there are still no standard dosing recommendations for CBD therapy.

What supplements help with anxiety?

Studies show that vitamins D and B complex can help individuals manage anxiety and depression. If the body does not produce sufficient vitamins, it’s possible to get them through supplements. Magnesium may also help lift the mood, although it’s best to take mineral supplements in moderation since high dosages may cause diarrhea. L-theanine, an amino acid found in green and black tea, and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and flaxseed, are also good for the brain.

What foods are bad for anxiety?

If you’re anxious and craving a quick treat, it’s best to steer away from sugary and processed foods. Trans-fat, which is found in most snacks and baked goods, may also increase the risk of affective mood disorders. In terms of beverages, avoid alcohol since it numbs the central nervous system and affects how you regulate emotions. Consume caffeine in moderation since it might make you more anxious and negatively affect your sleep cycle.

What can I eat to calm my nerves?

Instead of snacking on sugar-rich foods, stock up on dark chocolate and yogurt instead. These foods can sharpen brain functions and help you respond to stress better. Salmon is another healthy food rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and promote relaxation. Almonds, blueberries, and chia seeds are also useful in anxiety relief and prevention.

Research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy effectively reduces the symptoms of a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD). According to a study, CBT is comparable or superior to relaxation training for GAD patients. Similarly, individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy combined with exposure therapy may be effective among those with SAD.

a woman looking very happy while running on a marathon
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may also be used in treating depression, eating disorders, anger management, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. CBT is not only limited to psychological disorders. Any person looking for a more constructive way of handling day-to-day stressors can try therapy.

Despite its wide clinical applications, it’s important to note that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy does not eliminate the risk of relapse. Like most mental health disorders, there is no permanent cure for anxiety. However, positive lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet and staying active increases the effectiveness of therapy. Doctors are also studying cannabidiol for its mood regulation and pain management properties.

Ultimately, the goal of CBT is to equip you with the tools and skills to respond to life’s setbacks outside therapy sessions. . The therapy enables you to harness your inner strength. Stress is unavoidable, but the way you engage with it can be reformed. Take strength from the fact that you can draw on resources deep within yourself to handle problems, resolve conflict, and build meaningful connections.

The premise of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy emphasizes that your thoughts do not define you in any way. When the voices in your head are at their loudest, learn to take a step back and assess the situation. Pick at the thoughts you have come to associate with a problem and the emotional consequences of these beliefs. More often than not, you’ll discover that they don’t reflect the on-ground reality or fail to capture your inherent resilience. You are far stronger than you know.

Signs That Can Tell You Have A Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is significant in life because it is where your opinion about yourself lies. It affects how you see and take care of your overall wellness. It holds the perception you have about yourself that you want others to acknowledge. It impacts how you want to view others and vice versa. When you have low self-esteem, it can cause a lot of damage and dysfunction. There is stress, anxiety, loneliness, and depression. It can impair physical performances and can result in vulnerability to alcohol and drug abuse. It can lead to unwanted issues in relationships such as family, friendship, and romantic ones. That said, it is significantly important that you often examine yourself to know if you have low self-esteem. That way, you can become aware of the things you need to do to address the mental condition. Without further ado, here are the few signs that can tell you have low self-esteem.

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You Have A Negative Self-Image – When you have low self-esteem, you often find your image unlovable. You tend to look down on yourself and think that you are not physically attractive. Sometimes, you play with your thoughts that you are unintelligent and full of imperfections. You stick to the idea that taking care of yourself is exhausting and useless because you believe in ending up unable to measure up with other’s expectations despite putting an effort. When you have low self-esteem, you are often conscious of your actions, feelings, and words. You scrutinize anything that you fall short. Sometimes, that consciousness gets illogical and disturbing. It ends up with the habit of hurting yourself. In worst cases, it makes you strive for perfectionism.

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You Are Overly Apologetic – Understandably, there are life situations that you have no control over. You understand and accept the reality as it is. You know when you make mistakes, and you take account of your words and actions. However, when you have this attitude of always apologizing to everyone because you feel you did something wrong, even if you don’t, that is a sign that you have low self-esteem. In that sense, your apologetic behavior serves as a front so you can excuse yourself from involving yourself in any discussions. At some point, you are using your apologetic behavior only to avoid conflict even if you disagree with other people’s actions.

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You Are Full Of Self-Doubt – Honestly, it is okay to question your capabilities from time to time. It helps you become aware of the possibility of improving yourself. However, when you find yourself overanalyzing your qualities, behavior, and personality, it is different. When you are highly critical about yourself that you often end up believing that you are not capable of doing anything, it implies a problem with having low self-esteem. When you frequently have this sense of inadequacy and often feel that you are not worthy, you require immediate emotional and mental health assistance. Kneeling down on yourself is a significant sign of your inability to live life to the fullest.

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You Develop Bad Habits – There are tons of different habits that can indicate you have low self-esteem. One of them is your unexplained shame, visible, especially in social situations. When you have this mannerism of constantly playing with your fingers, biting your nails, rolling your shoulders inward, and slouching over your body, it indicates ill-confidence about yourself. It means you don’t care about what others think because you expect it to be negative things. In some unfortunate instances, when you reach the extremities of the situation, you isolate yourself. It is where you become motivated to push people away even if their only intention is to help you.

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You Downplay Your Achievements – When you have low self-esteem, you find it hard to appreciate yourself. It makes you often think that you do not have self-worth and make you lose your sense of value. When you don’t like yourself, you feel that your achievements are not worthy of other people’s compliments. You have low self-esteem when you feel like you are unworthy of praise and that your hard work shouldn’t have to be a big deal. You develop the ideology that you are inferior to others despite your achievements in life. Over time, it manifests as the inability to accept and love yourself for who you are and who you can become.

Disclaimer

This article is for informative purposes only. It does not guarantee anyone a solution to their mental health issues or promises to get rid of their emotional and mental dilemma. Therefore, any psychological or medical needs should be provided by a health expert or a licensed professional. In case you find some of the signs relatable, let someone know.

Everyone goes through a period of self-doubt and insecurity sometimes. But if that impacts your way of living, you must take appropriate actions.

Reasons Why You Need To Set Boundaries With Toxic Family Members

You might think that it is not that bad to cross someone else’s boundaries. Or perhaps you think it is not a big deal because it is not going to harm them. Maybe you believe that because you are close to specific people, it is okay to emotionally and mentally hurt them. You’re mistaken. Whether intentional or unintentional, the damage you cause to people can stay for a more extended period. And that is vice versa.

When you often feel misunderstood and ignored, it is essential to realize that there is something wrong. As a human, it is your natural desire to point out that not all things are acceptable. If a particular action, words, and behavior hurt you physically, emotionally, and mentally, you need to stop it. That is, even if you resort to ending your relationship with them. Despite an inherently deep connection, you think you have with these people, you need to look out for yourself.

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Why Boundaries Are Important

There are chances that interactions with family do not always go the way you want them to. Sometimes, despite being close to your heart, these people can cause you an endless amount of stress and anxiety. Clearly, that is part of everybody’s lives. However, it would be best to deal with these toxic people once and for all before they could destroy you. Thus, you must recognize that your emotional health is always linked to boundary settings.

Setting healthy boundaries creates a direct influence on your mental and emotional health. It promotes a better feeling of control over the things you like and need, and the ones that make you happy. When you set boundaries, you begin to know who you are. It impacts your perception of how you want others to treat you, and limit the things you want to tolerate. It is your best card when you want clarity and comfort, as boundaries help and protect your emotions.

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However, people can be quite unpredictable. That despite telling them to stop hurting you, some enjoy the idea of you having an emotional and mental breakdown. These people are the ones who want to take control of you. They see you as something useful for a particular reason. Thus, your best thought-out interactions do not often go as effective as the way you want. But boundaries can change that. When you have precise maintenance of restrictions, you can control the situation calmly and more confidently. You will have the chance to protect yourself despite any difficult situation.

You Deserve Better

Usually, you have this mentality that people close to you will never hurt you. But that is a lie. Often, it is the people you love who always put you through a lot of pain. When you place an exemption to the way your family treats you, you will never acknowledge the bad things they do to you. As a result, instead of developing your overall well-being, you allow these people to destroy your inner peace.

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Having people around who provide care and love is different from surrounding yourself with individuals who only know you when they need you. It is essential that you try to distinguish which ones are genuine. Because when you fail to realize that these toxic people are a nuisance in life, you will never achieve serenity and great happiness. That is why you must know you deserve better. You need to understand that you are the master of yourself. Regardless of outside input, you are the only one that recognizes what your heart truly desires. So when you always think positively and often tell yourself that you matter, you will.

Sometimes, some actions often call for assertiveness. That is especially important when members of a family become way too pushy and aggressive. And despite how much you want to take your standards based on the boundaries you think are useful, some will still assault you somehow. That is how things like judgment, ridicule, forcefulness, and contempt take place. These are the ones that become very harmful to your emotional well-being. But it would be best if you didn’t let that shrug you. You deserve respect, and that is where assertiveness comes into play. It doesn’t mean you need to use aggression, though. Instead, it means setting boundaries in saying “NO.”

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Insight

It is natural to have a desire for others to love and understand you. Or at least acknowledge your presence and perspectives. But using that eagerness to be loved and allow yourself to fall into intense self-destruction should become a warning. That is why the boundary setting is a great help in putting things in order. Whether you want to express it is a direct or specific way, it does not matter. As long as your family accepts that you also need the right emotional and mental improvement, it will be okay.

Sometimes, you also need support outside your family . BetterHelp can provide that for you and give you all the emotional and mental support that you need. Check them online for more details.

Ways To Help Your Teen Manage Depression During The Pandemic

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COVID-19 is not only affecting people’s physical health, but it is also taking a toll on our mental health. Believe it or not, one of the age groups that are having a difficult time coping with the situation are teens. It’s primarily because they’re getting anxious with the uncertainty of what’s going to happen to them amid the pandemic. At the same time, this is the time that you’re used to having company. Therefore, the lockdown makes them feel isolated and sad. 

As a parent, it might be challenging for you to decide on what approach to take. Take note that with you swooping in does not mean that everything will be okay in an instant. However, there are things that a parent can do to ease what they’re feeling. Here are some of the ways you can help your teen cope with depression. 

Be A Supportive Parent

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“You might be frustrated that they seem down and irritable a lot of the time and don’t seem to be doing much of anything to help themselves. But if there isn’t much in their life that is making them happy, or something intensely disappointing has happened to them, it’s understandable that they might avoid things they used to enjoy and retreat to their room. Depression makes even doing the smallest things more difficult,” shares Stephanie Dowd, PsyD.

Therefore, your role as a parent is to try to be as empathetic as possible. You can do this by putting yourself in their shoes. Send a message that you are validating their emotion and trying to understand what’s causing their negative emotions. Make sure that you are not there to try to solve the problem. Instead, you are talking to them to give your love and support. 

Bring The Possibility Of Treatment

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Whenever parents bring up the possibility of treatment, teens react most of the time negatively. The reason behind this is that there is a connotation that treatments are only for those who have uncontrollable and severe conditions. Of course, this is not true. 

Therefore, it is your job to patiently explain what it is for, what to expect, and what the possible outcomes are. Once your child understands the ins and outs of the treatment, it will be easier to comply with this strategy. You may even encourage them to make small decisions connected to this, like taking charge of setting up their next session. This way, they’ll feel more in control. 

Since face to face might not be the best recourse now due to COVID-19, you may look for alternative medium for treatment. Teletherapy can be your number one option. 

Prioritize Physical Health

Keep in mind that physical and mental health will always be connected. If your teen has poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, and inactivity, there is a bigger chance that they’ll feel exhausted and depressed. As a parent, your primary role is to combat these unhealthy habits. You can do this by doing the following: 

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  • Limit Screen Time

Children these days often go online to distract themselves and find an escape to what they’re feeling. However, the higher their screen time is, the lower the time they allocate to face time with families and physical activity. At the same time, continually seeing the news about the global pandemic will only give them anxiety. 

  • Encourage Them To Exercise

Always get your teen active since exercise is a critical factor for good mental health. Ideally, children at this age should get approximately 1 hour of physical activity per day. You may even join them so they won’t feel bored and miserable on their own. 

  • Promote 8 To 10 Hours Of Sleep

For their mind and body to function correctly, they need to get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep. If they don’t engage in this, they’ll most likely be moody and tired for the rest of the day. Those things will burden their mental health. 

  • Cook Balanced And Nutritious Meals

Parents should also make sure that their teens are consuming nutritious food. They need this to boost their mood and reach their optimum brain health. Make sure to prepare meals with fresh produce, healthy fats, quality protein, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid giving them starchy and sugary food since these will only have a negative effect on their energy and mood. 

Admit it or not, it can be physically and emotionally exhausting to parent a child with depression. The best way to go about this is to avoid doing the blame game. Instead, make it clear that you are always there for him or her no matter what happens. 

You can also tell your teen about BetterHelp. This website offers therapy and counseling services online which is the new normal.