An NPR story
How Millennials Cope? Are millennials depressed, stressed, have resilience in difficult times? Millennials are young people who have grown up in turbulent and fast moving times. Mental health professionals and the general population wonder how they have faired in this very difficult period. I invite you to read the linked article and/or listen to the broadcast at the link below:
NPR's story: Reilience of Millennials
Improve Your Mood with Exercise
Many of us equate exercise with physical well-being. And it is true that keeping fit does help your body. However, the connection between exercise and stress to anyone who experiences depression or anxiety is very important. The bottom line is stress makes you more venerable to being depressed and or anxious. Studies have shown that your ability to cope effectively with life's stressors will determine your mental well-being. Those who are sedentary are more likely to become stressed out by day to day hassles. Folks who do not exercise have depression 50% more than those who even exercise moderately. Every cell in your body is connected to your brain. When you physically stimulate your cells you are simultaneously boosting your brain.
Exercise alone has shown to significantly reduce sadness and anxiousness. Outcome studies demonstrated that subjects exercising improved mood as much as those on antidepressant medication. An interesting side effect of exercise is that it improves both your sleep cycle and can actually control appetite. Poor eating and disrupted sleeping are significant symptoms of depression. Another added advantage of exercise is increased positive thinking, self confidence and reaching personal goals.
Just walking minutes a day will help your mood. Anyone can become more physically active. Simply taking the stairs instead of an elevator is exercise. Many people avoid exercise because it can cause discomfort. The secret to a successful exercise program is only do as much as you can tolerate. Walk for a few minutes each day and gradually increase the time. It is essential to make time in your daily schedule for exercise. Stick with your exercise routine and notice how your mood improves. As our former First Lady, Michelle Obama has said, “Let’s Move!”. Start exercising today and feel better.
It’s up to you
Mood is the way you perceive and respond to both internal and external events. Sadness, anger and frustration are quite normal mood reactions to life’s daily episodes. Everyone will feel down from time to time. However, when unhappy emotions cause you to withdraw from life’s happenings, it could be a sign you may be suffering from symptoms of depression. Poor sleep and unhealthy eating patterns are other significant signs that your sad mood has surpassed normal limits. If the above mentioned conditions have been persistent for more than two weeks it is strongly recommended you be evaluated by your physician or a mental health professional.
Measure Your Mood
Everyone experiences moods differently. Joy and grief will be sensed differently by each individual. Some people will be quite distressed by mild depression, while others will tolerate significant adversity and not feel upset. Mood is highly personal.
Determine your mood and if you have any real signs of depression by completing the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale
PDF at bottom of blog
Five Ways to Address Mood Issues
Engage in treatment with a qualified professional and make life changes to increase happiness and learn patterns to maintain a healthy mood.
Exercise: Physical activity such as working out, walking, biking, swimming, lifting weights and other physical activities has been proven to improve mood and reduce depression. Start small and do as much as you can tolerate. Whatever you do is better none!
Identify healthy/productive life experiences which you associate a positive mood. Schedule these events daily and note even slight improvements in mood. Rate each experience on a one to ten scale. One = Sadist, Ten = Happiest & Five = Average mood.
Healthy sleep: Go to bed and wake up the same time each day. Stay off your bed if you are not sleeping for the night.
Meditate daily: Spend five to ten minutes daily quietly focused on one thought or image. Be accepting and non-judgmental about your experience. Be mindful by trying to fully experience your meditative state. Meditation will help you to be accepting of self and your various emotional states.
Depression is considered one of the most responsive conditions to clinical interventions.
Associated Behavioral Consultants offers an initial no charge consultation. If you desire to find out more about mood issues or recovering from depression please contact us.
Do you have an elderly family member who you think is depressed but are not sure?
This is common because depressive symptoms in the elderly may be different from those in a younger adult. Here are some of the following reasons:
How is depression in the elderly different?
▸ fewer symptoms (may not meet all criteria for the disorder)
▸ depression may be accompanied or caused by medical illness
▸ depression may be due to side effects of prescribed drugs
▸ older individuals may be resistant to talking about depression
▸ depressive complaints may be couched in physical not emotional terms
Who is at more risk for developing depression?
▸ being female
▸ being single, divorced or widowed
▸ socially isolated
▸ family history of depression and/or suicide
▸ major life changes such as financial loss, death of family member or retirement
How is depression treated in the elderly?
▸ Cognitive and Behavioral Activation Psychotherapies
▸ medically oriented treatments - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or Electrocon-
▸ meditation and physical exercise
What can I do to help my elderly family member?
▸ get them to verbalize their feelings and reasons for being depressed
▸ don’t tell them it’s all in their head, or pull themselves up by their bootstraps
▸ break up difficult tasks into small, easy steps for them
▸ try to get them involved in support groups or social activities
▸ support daily involvement in activities they enjoy
▸ encourage and discuss advantages of getting professional help
If you are not sure whether your loved one is depressed we can help. Contact us at (847) 227-8323.