Common Causes of Depression

 

Feeling sad, alone, or depressed is natural. But anyone who has experienced major depressive disorder knows that it feels anything but normal. Major depressive disorder can be difficult to live with, and it causes many people to wonder what causes it. The exact cause of depression is still unknown, but scientists have theories and ideas about what can cause it, including a combination of nature and nurture. These are the most common causes and risk factors for depression.

 

Genetics

On the nature side of the causes debate, genetics is thought to play a major role in whether someone will develop depression. Because doctors still aren’t sure what causes depression, it’s hard to determine which genes play a factor. What scientists do know though is that depression runs in families. People whose immediate family members have depression have an increased risk of also developing it.

 

Substance Abuse

People who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction often also have depression and anxiety. Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems have major or clinical depression too. The depression could come either before the addiction, in which case many people try to self-medicate through drugs and alcohol. The depression can also come afterward, due to changes in brain chemistry or from negative life events from the addiction.

 

Major Illness

Depression sometimes co-exists with major illnesses or is triggered by another medical condition. People with chronic or major illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, or Parkinson’s may have what is called “secondary depression”. The change in the quality of life that comes with these disorders is thought to be the cause of secondary depression.

 

Medications

Some medications carry the risk and side effects of depression. Doctors warn patients about this ahead of time, and urge them to report any depression or suicidal thoughts. Patients that take drugs that carry the risk of depression are closely monitored.

 

Abuse

Abuse, either physical, sexual, or emotional, can increase one’s vulnerability to depression. Past abuse, especially childhood abuse has an even higher risk. Depression may not develop until years after the event.

 

Major Life Events

Major life events, even happy ones, can bring stress into people’s lives. Events such as starting a new job, moving, graduating, getting married, or having kids are positive, but can still lead to depression. Negative events can also cause depression such as losing a job, getting divorced, retiring, or losing a loved one.

 

Conclusion

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression do not hesitate to contact us. Depression makes you feel as if there is no hope or end to the struggle, but that is not true. With the right treatment, you can feel like yourself again.

 

psychologist-delray-beach-psychiatrist

5 Mental Health Issues That Affect Women More Than Men

Gender plays a big role in mental health. Men and women often experience different symptoms, even when diagnosed with the same disorder. Certain mental health issues even affect women more than men.  This is due to a number of reasons such as biological factors, socio-cultural influences, and the statistically higher chances that women have of experiencing sexual abuse, domestic violence, or rape in their lifetime. If you’re a woman, it’s important you know the gender-specific mental health risks you may face.

 

  1. Depression

Depression is twice as common in women as it is in men. There are a number of factors that contribute to this. Women biologically develop less of the feel-good chemical serotonin and they also process it slower. Female hormone levels also fluctuate more than male’s do.

 

There are socio-cultural factors as well. Women are expected to balance more roles than men, and much of the domestic and child-rearing duties fall on them. But women are also more likely to seek out treatment and psychiatrists are more likely to diagnosis women than men. Men and women could realistically experience depression at the same rate, but because of the stereotype that men are meant to be unemotional, the data is skewed.

 

  1. Anxiety

Women are twice as likely to develop General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and certain phobias than men. Similar to depression, the reasons for this are a mix of biological, socio-cultural, and psychological. Fortunately, there are ways to manage anxiety from medications to natural remedies like breathing techniques, yoga classes , and meditation.

 

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is more commonly associated with men, mainly because it’s usually associated with the military and soldier, which have a higher percentage of males. What many people don’t realize is that women are actually twice as likely to develop the disorder after a traumatic event than men are.

 

A big, and unfortunate, reason behind this is because rape is the number one trigger for PTSD and nearly 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime. Childhood sexual abuse is another major contributor, and a saddening 82% of juvenile sexual abuse victims are young girls.

 

  1. Suicidal Tendencies

Although more men die from suicide (roughly four times more often) than women, women actually attempt suicide two to three times more often as men. Data shows that women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, which isn’t surprising considering they experience depression, anxiety, and PTSD at higher rates. However, because most male suicide attempts are more violent and impulsive, they are more “successful”.

 

  1. Eating Disorders

Contrary to the myth, men actually do suffer from eating disorders, but not as often as women do. Societal expectations and our cultural definition of what “beauty” looks like puts pressure on girls to have the “perfect” body from a young age. 85% of all anorexia and bulimia cases are women, which should be taken seriously since anorexia is the deadliest mental illness there is.

 

Being a woman isn’t easy, and many of the factors that make it hard contribute to women developing these mental health issues more than men. Luckily these disorders can be treated. If you or someone you know is suffering from any of these mental health issues please contact a psychiatrist to get them help.

8 Shocking Facts About Seasonal Affective Disorder

The holidays are over, but winter is still in full force. Unfortunately, this means that people whom are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) have a few more months until the sun shines and provides them relief. While Florida is usually blessed with warm, sunny weather all year round, even we’ve been hit with cold blasts and snow.

SAD is a mood disorder related to depression and people who have it feel themselves getting down at the same time each year. It typically happens in the winter months, and although doctors don’t know the exact causes changes in hormones and lack of sunlight are thought to impact it.

 

This form of depression isn’t discussed as often or taken as seriously as other forms of depression. It’s important that people understand this is a very real and debilitating mental disorder. Here are 8 shocking facts about SAD that you might not have known.

 

  1. It Affects Around 10 Million Americans

A large amount of people in the United States has some form of SAD, from mild to extreme. The number could be even larger, but many people are unaware that their “winter blues” is an actual mental disorder and don’t get diagnosed.

 

  1. Women Are More Affected

Seasonal affective disorder is four times more common in women than men. It’s estimated that 60-90% of all people suffering from SAD are female.

 

  1. It’s More Common Further From The Equator

Data shows that SAD is more common in people who live further north and south of the equator. While doctors don’t know what causes SAD, this has them believing that the amount of sunlight plays a major factor.

 

  1. It’s Happens In The Summer Too

While most people with SAD are affected during the winter months, there is a rare form of seasonal depression that is called Summer Depression. Like winter depression, summer depression is marked by a shift in mood, sleep problems, loss of appetite, weight loss, and agitation.

 

  1. It Was Only Recently Recognized

SAD was only officially recognized as a mental condition in 1984 when Norman E. Rosenthal formally described it. People were aware of SAD before this though. There are many accounts of “winter blues” or other seasonal related mood shifts.

 

  1. It Can Be Serious

It’s common for people to dismiss SAD as “winter blues” and trivialize it. While many people who have SAD experience only mild-moderate symptoms, it can be more serious. The most serious form of seasonal depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

 

  1. It Runs In Families

Like other mental disorders, seasonal affective disorder seems to run in families. People with SAD usually have at least one close family member that is affected by it as well. There are also links with SAD and other mental disorders. People with SAD usually report at least one close family member with a psychiatric disorder, frequently major depression or substance abuse.

 

  1. Age Matters

Most people don’t begin experience SAD until after the age of 20. However, children and teens have been known to suffer from seasonal depression too. The chances of dealing with SAD decrease, as people get older also.

 

Conclusion

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real mental disorder that millions of people struggle with every year. Luckily, there are treatments out there to help with it. Don’t write your symptoms away as “seasonal blues”. Contact a psychiatrist and begin getting help today.

Historical Treatment Options for Depression

With all the focus and attention that mental health is getting currently, some people may be surprised to find that mental health issues are nothing new. People have been struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental disorders throughout history. Before antidepressants really boomed in the 1980’s, depression treatment options were very different then today.

Here are few of the most popular methods depression has been treated with throughout history.

Depression Treatment Medications

The 1980’s marked a huge shift in mental health, particularly in depression. With the invention of the antidepressant Prozac, people finally had a way to lift away the gray mist depressant cast around them. As huge as this was, it poses the question of what medication people used before.

There’s actually a long history of plant-based remedies that were used to treat depression. Each culture found local plants that they turned into medications. Unlike current antidepressants, these medicines were used to treat a wide variety of ailments, not just depression, such as coughs and fevers.

 

Here are some of the most common plant-based medicines that were used in history:

  • Opium Poppy: Opium, derived from the poppy plant, has been used in various forms to treat depression (and many other ailments) as early as 3rd millennium BC. It was known as the “Plant of Joy” as it enhanced the feeling of well-being.
  • Atropa Belladonna: Belladonna comes from the deadly plant, nightshade. In small doses, it has a calming effect and can stabilize the nervous system. It was sometimes mixed with other plants such as hashish.
  • Henbane and Thorn Apple: It was the ancient Egyptians that used these two herbs to help treat disorders.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol has a long history of being the go-to treatment option for a ton of injuries and disorders. It’s actually been the most recommended treatment option for melancholy up until the first half of this century. Many people today still self-medicate with alcohol to help cope with depression.
  • Other common treatments were poppy, Mandrake, hypericum oil, caffeine, cannabis and milk and barley mixtures. Eventually, substances like bromide (1826), codeine (1832), chloral hydrate (1869), paraldehyde (1882), and barbiturates were discovered and used.

 

Depression Therapy

There weren’t “psychiatrists” or “therapist” like there are now back in the day. Most patients went to local doctors, healers, or apothecaries. At some points, cultures turned to religion or magic for healing. Eventually, institutions were created for those suffering from mental disorders.

During the 14th century, so-called “madhouses” were created to treat the mentally ill. These were poorly run and looked more like dungeons than hospitals. The Middle East, has more modern and humane mental hospitals, originally just in Baghdad, but others sprung up in Damascus, Fez, and Cairo. The stereotypical images of mental hospitals were born out of this time, and the chains used to manacle patients took over 100 years to be banned.

As tangible advances were made with pharmaceuticals in the 19th century, therapy also progressed. Psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and behavioral therapy were developed and implemented.

Electroconvulsive therapy is probably the type of treatment for depression people think of most when talking about historical treatment options. While it has been criticized for being cruel, harsh, and painful, it was the beginning for major advances. Many patients were initially forced to undergo such treatment if they were admitted to a mental institute. Eventually, the technology developed enough that some people with severe depression were willing choosing to undergo the process. Today, the procedure has been advanced so that it is safer, completely painless, and more effective.

 

Other Depression Treatments

Even today, psychiatrists recommend individuals suffering from depression to focus on self-love, self-happiness, and self-acceptance. People are encouraged to do activities and hobbies that bring them joy. There’s actually a historical precedent for this. Joyful and relaxing activities have historically been used to treat depression.

The Ancient Greek and Romans would use music, dancing, and acting as forms of therapy. Work, entertainment, and other forms of distractions were used too. They also performed cathartic temple massages. Physiotherapy was used in history too, with baths, massages, and gymnastics recommended to help depression.

Arabic doctors used their profound knowledge of science and medicine to treat those with mental ailments. They tried to cheer and encourage patients to read, play or listen to music, and even used sexual stimulation.

 

Conclusion

The historical treatment options for depression weren’t the best, but communities did well with what resources and information they had. Without the long history, the current modern treatments in medication and therapy psychiatrists’ use today may not exist. Still, we should be thankful that we live in a time where mental health is at the forefront of discussions and where there are tons of treatment options available to people with mental health issues.

Thankfully, we offer only the most innovative and modern treatment options at Delray Beach Psychiatrist. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your depression.

Types of Therapy: Individual vs. Group Therapy

Talk therapy is an effective tool that helps with a variety of mental illnesses. It helps people learn to express their emotions and understand why they are feeling that way. Psychiatrists help people discover the reasons behind their actions and thought as well as help them learn tools for coping and overcoming them.

For talk therapy, there are two options psychiatrists might recommend, individual or group therapy. Both are useful and provide different advantages to a patient. Often, psychiatrists recommend a combination of the two.

Individual Therapy

During an individual therapy, session issues are discussed one-on-one between a patient and a therapist or psychiatrist. Individual therapy is effective at assisting a patient in identifying problems, exploring feelings, setting goals, and working through challenges. The patient and therapist work on building personal strength through interaction.

The one-on-one nature of individual therapy promotes more open discussion. People are less likely to lie, hide, or be withdrawn if it is just them and their therapist. Honesty and openness in therapy are vital for a psychiatrist to accurately assess them and suggest tools. A patient will also receive more attention and time when it is just them in the session. Issues can be explored deeper and more can be discussed, as all the attention is on one individual and not multiple.

Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD or difficulty with managing stress can all benefit from individual therapy. People with these mental issues can feel alone, lost, unseen, or isolated. The focused attention that comes with individual therapy works better at targeting their issues and problems. It allows the patient and psychiatrist to build a trusting relationship and works on promoting self-esteem and self-realization within the individual.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a collaborative approach that involves one or more therapist that facilitates discussion between multiple individuals at the same time. The goals of group therapy are similar to that of individual therapy. It is about helping people explore their feelings, thoughts, and problems. Group therapy can consist of people going through the same thing or be more mixed having individuals with different issues and backgrounds. In most instances, the people in group therapy are strangers although if continued sessions happen with the same people relationships can form between them.

The benefit of group therapy is that people with mental issues get to see that they are not alone. It gives them an opportunity share and relate to similar experiences and feelings with others. A psychiatrist may ask people to share their stories or pose a question or situation and ask people to engage with it. It is easier for people to see correlations between certain behaviors when they are related to others rather than themselves and as time goes on people begin to see they are similar.

Certain mental health problems really benefit from group therapy sessions. It is extremely therapeutic in the treatment of eating disorders and substance dependency as well as people that have gone through traumatic events like death, sexual assault and suffer from PSTD. Focusing on themes and insights, and experiencing shared support helps with these issues.

Which Is Better?

Both group and individual therapy have advantages. They help with different aspects of mental issues. Certain mental health problems benefit more from individual or group therapy than others. A psychiatrist might recommend a combination of both to help with the different problems that someone might experience. Some people might not feel comfortable opening up to strangers while other find one-on-one attention intimidating.

Trying out both forms of therapy, or using a combination of them, can help someone determine which works best and which they feel most comfortable with. Talk to a mental health profession to discuss options and recommendations regarding therapy. Contact us today to talk about signing up for one of our individual or group therapy sessions.

Postpartum depression warning signs

Warning Signs of Postpartum Depression

For years, postpartum depression was written off as the “baby blues”. Mothers would struggle for weeks, even years, with feelings of sadness, irritability, or even numbness. In recent years postpartum has not only been diagnosed more but the stigma around it has started to fade away. Everyone, from the average woman to celebrities, has experienced this type of depression. It doesn’t make one a bad parent, it’s like any other mental illness in that it’s not one’s fault.

There are warning signs to postpartum that often get overlooked or written off as common adjustments to parenting. Here are a few warning signs to look for, though. Seek help from one of the top Florida psychiatrists if you or someone you know has any of these signs.

Mood Swings
Mood swings will come with motherhood. The body will have to go through a hormonal change not to mention there are the stress and fatigue that comes with a newborn. If you consistently have mood swings for more than two weeks that are severe, reoccurring, or without a cause, you could have postpartum depression.

Difficulty Bonding With Baby
Many mothers that have postpartum have difficulty bonding with their babies. They may not even want to hold them or in extreme cases feel as if the baby isn’t even theirs. It can take some time to bond with a child, just because you carried them for nine months doesn’t mean it happens the second you hold them. If it’s been a few weeks and you still feel like you aren’t connecting with your child contact your doctor as you may have postpartum.

Depressed Moods or Excessive Crying
Crying after having a baby is nothing to cause concerns. Between the lack of sleep, the stress, and the hormones crying is normal. However, when depressed moods hit or crying becomes excessive it might be a sign of postpartum depression.

Intense Irritability or Anger
Stress and lack of sleep will cause anyone to be irritable or angry. These moods should pass though and won’t happen often. If you feel like you are intensely irritable or angry talk to your doctor about it.

Withdrawing Behavior
A new baby can be a handful so if a mother starts pulling away and withdrawing from family and friends it can be a sign of postpartum. Just like with other types of depression, they pull away to try to hide what they’re feeling. If someone you know and love has started to withdraw after having a baby talk to them about postpartum.

Changes in Eating or Sleeping Habits
There’s no getting around the lack of sleep when a baby arrives and focusing on their schedule means that sometimes you just forget to eat. Postpartum can hit anytime within a year of giving birth, though. When a mother starts sleeping too much or too little or eating too much or too little it is a sign of something wrong. This symptom and warning sign is one of the most consistent ones throughout all types of depression.

Loss of Energy
Being a parent, especially to a baby, is tiring. Excessive and overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy isn’t normal, though. If someone doesn’t have enough energy to do anything and it is impacting their ability to parent and live then it is more than just normal sleep deprivation.

Feelings of Shame, Guilt, or Worthlessness
Having postpartum and feeling so down after having a beautiful baby can make mothers feel shameful, guilty, or worthless. They seem themselves as ugly and unworthy.

Thoughts of Harming Oneself or Baby
This is one of the more extreme symptoms of postpartum. Luckily, most women don’t have harmful thoughts about themselves or their babies. Unfortunately, though the number one cause of infant deaths is at the hands of their parents. Postpartum depression can make mothers feel extremely disconnected from their children or convince themselves that their babies are suffering just how they are. Any harmful thoughts are cause for immediate concern and you should seek the help of a top Florida psychiatrist.

Seeking Help
Most of these symptoms occur with any new parent, which causes people to write them off as typical adjustments or the baby blues. The difference between postpartum depression and standard baby blues has to do with severity and length. Any new parent will have to make life adjustments, will be stressed, or feel tired. It’s when these symptoms last for more than two weeks or are so severe they put people at risk or severely disrupt their life should they seek help.

Having postpartum depression doesn’t make someone a bad parent. It is a mental illness that affects many women every day. There is no need to suffer through it alone and quietly. Contact us to get help today.

Postpartum Depression Explained

Postpartum Depression has been a trending topic in recent years. With celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Hayden Panettiere opening up with their struggles, more people have been comfortable coming forward with their own postpartum depression stories.

Almost every new mom feels the baby blues. Being a parent to a newborn is stressful and getting enough sleep is near impossible. It’s a strain both physically and emotionally. But when the baby blues linger for weeks and the emotional strain starts to impact a new mother’s quality of life it becomes something else, postpartum depression.

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is depression that can start during or any time up to a year after the birth of a child. It mostly affects new mothers that have just given birth but both fathers and adoptive parents have been noted to feel it before. Postpartum isn’t that different from other types of depression. It makes one feel down and alone. Mood swings, from happy to sad, are common.

It’s hard to tell if postpartum depression is on the rise or if it is now simply being recognized as a mental illness more serious than the standard baby blues. Some estimate that 0.5% to 61% of women will experience depression after delivering a child. Untreated postpartum depression is one of the leading causes of the murder of children under one year of age.

Signs of postpartum depression

Symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to other forms of depression. Signs may be sadness, low energy, and changes in eating and sleeping habits, anxiety, or crying episodes.

Postpartum does differ from other forms of depression, though. Parents with postpartum often feel like they’re “bad parents”. Not connecting or having an interest in the child is also a common sign of postpartum. This interference with the maternal-infant bonding should be fixed as soon as possible as it can affect the child’s development.

Causes of postpartum

The exact cause of postpartum depression still isn’t known. Most evidence suggests that hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy and birth play a role. It is known that mother’s that experience postpartum during one pregnancy are more likely to experience it in a later one.

 

Postpartum depression can make one feel isolated, but you’re not alone if you suffer from it. Thousands of women every day are going through the same struggles. Even celebrities have trouble with postpartum. Here are a few celebrities that have opened up about their own struggles:

•    Chrissy Teigen
•    Adele
•    Hayden Panettiere
•    Celine Dion
•    Gwyneth Paltrow
•    Britney Spears

What To Do

The best thing to do if you are feeling depressed, sad, isolated, or distant is to get help. Even if you think it might be the standard baby blues you should still reach out to a mental health profession. Having postpartum doesn’t make you a bad parent. Getting professional help will only benefit you, your family, and your new baby. Contact us today for more information about postpartum depression treatment.

Mental Health in Adults: Stats

In recent years, more conversations have revolved around mental health in the US. The stigma is around mental health and mental illness is gradually going away. Celebrities are coming forward with their struggles while politicians fight for funding for more mental health treatment. Yet still, the US has one of the highest rates of mental illness in the world. The statistics and facts around mental health can be shocking at times.

Prevalence
In the US, 1 in 5 adults will suffer from a mental illness at one point in their life. Over 44 million people a year that are affected by mental health issues. The number goes down a little when we look at those with serious mental illnesses. Nearly 1 in 25(10 million) adults in the US suffer from serious mental health problems. With such high numbers, it’s no wonder that Florida psychiatrists are fighting for more funding and better programs. Many people might be surprised to know that nearly three-quarters chronic mental illnesses begin by the age of 24.

Disorder
The top five mental illnesses that affect Americans are an anxiety disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia. Many people even suffer from more than one mental disorder at a time. 18.1% of American adults live with anxiety disorders while 6.9% of them live with major depression. These illnesses don’t have cures but they do have treatments. Unfortunately because of lack of funding, fear of stigma, or lack of knowledge almost 60% of American’s with mental illness don’t receive help.

Addiction
The most common illness that co-occurs with other mental disorders is addiction. Approximately 10.2 million adults suffer from both addiction and mental illness. People develop drug and alcohol addiction when they attempt to self-medicate. This can be done either because the person doesn’t want to accept they need help or because they don’t realize that they do.

Impact
Mental illness can have a huge impact on people’s lives. Due to the stigma and lack of discussion and knowledge on the issue many people don’t know how to help someone that has mental health issues. 4 of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US are mental disorders with depression being the leading causes of disability worldwide.

A large number of the homeless and prison population suffer from mental illness. 24% of the state prisoners have a recent history of mental health diseases. 26% of homeless adults living in shelters also have serious mental illnesses. Mental health problems, when left untreated, can be extremely detrimental to one’s quality of life.

Treatment
Luckily, mental illnesses are treatable. Most Florida psychiatrists recommend a combination of therapy and medication. The exact treatments and medications vary depending on the severity, length, and type of mental disorder someone has. Access to the mental health resources Florida and other states have are important.

What to Do
Many people are unsure what to do if they or someone they know is suffering from a mental illness. The first step is to seek help. Reach out to a doctor, a psychiatrist, or any other mental health profession. They will be able to best advise you on what to do next.  Research about the disorder to learn what you can do to help yourself or others. It’s also best to communicate with those in your life.

Don’t let the stigma of mental health keep you back. There is nothing wrong with having a mental illness. It isn’t a choice and it can be treated. It’s always good to find support in your illness. Reach out to family and friends, or if you don’t have support there find a support group. Our Delray Beach center for addiction and mental health can help – contact us today to book an appointment.

Best Things to Say to Someone With Depression

If someone you know and care about has depression or is currently depressed, figuring out what to say to them can be hard. You want to tell them you’re there for them but you are probably worried about saying the wrong thing. There are a lot of suggestions out there on what not to say, but not so many on what you should say. Here are the best things to say to someone you know who has depression.

“You’re right, that is hard”
No matter what has caused someone to be depressed or have depression chances are they just want someone to sympathize with them. They don’t want solutions or someone to come in and try to fix their problems. That is up to them or their mental health professional. As a family member, partner or friend the best thing you can do for them is listen, have empathy and acknowledge what they’re feeling.

“I’m here if you need me”
Depression is incredibly isolating. It makes people feel like no one can understand what they’re going through. By simply telling them that you’re there for them you’re reminding them that they’re not alone and that they are loved. It also reminds them that people in their life do love them even if they can’t always see that.

“I believe in you”
If someone suffers from depression they might have given up hope about their future. They might not have any self-esteem left. By you reaffirming that you believe in them and by boosting their self-esteem, you can help them see hope. They might not always feel awesome, but having someone that cares about them reminding them that they are to you is immensely helpful.

“How can I help?”
Depression sucks away a person’s motivation to do things. By offering to help you’re not trying to fix their problems but you’re still helping them out. Maybe they need help with errands or dishes. You should only offer to help though if you’re willing to do what they ask of you.

“I’m here if you want to (talk, eat, yoga, shop etc.)”
A direct suggestion of something you know they’re interested in or like doing are more likely going to motivate them to go alone. A general suggestion will usually have them agreeing only to back out later. A direct suggestion of an activity is a great nudge to get them up, dressed and doing something.

“This is only temporary”
If someone has depression or is depressed it’s easy to lose perspective on the situation. They probably feel like it will never end. Depression feels like you’re lost in endless dark with no light at the end. Reminding them that nothing, including this, is permanent will help them feel hopeful again.

 

Just being there and showing your support and empathy for someone with depression is important. The support from people that care about them makes it easier to get through the dark periods in their life. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, our Delray Beach Psychiatrist Dr. Raul Rodriguez can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Mental Health Resolutions You Should Make in the New Year

The phrase “new year, new me” has become a bit of a cliché. You might even roll your eyes at it, but there’s some value in that phrase though. The New Year is a clear mark for you to determine a starting point for change. Instead of a new you this year, adopt the phrase “new year, better me.” New years resolutions often focus on changing physical or behavioral patterns. People vow to work out more, loose weight or maybe cut back on spending. But changing habits and thinking about mental health can benefit you in these other areas as well. So this New Year consider adopting some of these mental health resolutions to coincide with your anxiety or depression treatment.

“I will speak nicely about myself”

Having self worth is one of the best things you can do. For people with mental health problems this is often incredibly difficult though. It becomes easier to see your faults, real or imaginary, which can go in a downward spiral. Try listing ten of your best qualities and tape it to a mirror so you see it everyday. If you’re struggling to make a list ask your family and friends, no doubt they have way more than ten things they love and admire about you.

 

“I will be physically active on a daily basis”

This resolution might seem more related to physical health than mental health but there is a proven link between exercise and an increased mental well being. If exercise isn’t really your thing try starting off small like taking a walk around your block once a day and then you can build from there. Physical activity is also great for alone time or listening to music that makes you happy.

 

“I will not be defined by labels”

Mental health has such a stigma around it and getting defined by labels happens both externally and internally. People are quick to become their labels: I am depressed, I am anxious. When you drop the label and redefine how you think about your mental illness diagnosis you become freer. Instead of saying “I am depressed” say “I have depression”. It’s a simple shift but it’s a lot easier to feel like you can change and overcome something if you suffer from it rather than feeling like you are it.

 

“I will enjoy my life”

People without mental health issue might not understand this resolution. Life is hard sometimes but who doesn’t enjoy aspects of it? But for people with depression or anxiety disorder finding the positives in life can be hard. Find something you enjoy doing this year. Whether it’s a new hobby like photography or writing or just a simple activity like taking a bath. Once you find something that brings you happiness be sure to dedicate time to this daily, weekly at minimum.

 

“I will take my mediation every time as prescribed”

It’s so common for people with mental illnesses to stop taking their medication as soon as they feel “better”. The reason you feel better is because of the medication. It’s also incredibly easy to let life get in the way of taking medication or refilling a prescription. Just remember that as important as other things in your life may be, your mental health comes first. If your mental health starts to fail again, so will everything else. Think of it as the keystone to everything else in your life.

 

“I will not shut myself away”

It’s so easy to isolate yourself when you have an episode of mental illness. Maybe you don’t want to burden anyone else, maybe you’re embarrassed or you think you can fix it yourself. It’s okay to confine in family or friends when an episode occurs. Even if they can’t fix the problem at least you don’t have to go through it alone. At the very least contact your mental health professional or psychiatrist to talk it out.

 

This year adopt the mantra, new year, better me. Commit to these mental health resolutions and you will see results when it comes to your health. Your metal health is the most important thing in your life. None of these resolutions will be overnight processes; maybe you slip up or give up. As long as you keep trying to better yourself you will make progress. Contact us today to make an appointment with our expert Delray Beach psychiatrist.