A lot of the time, Diane Carbo deals with her melancholy, but some days are not as great as others. For Carbo, a nurse in North Wales, Pa., melancholy symptoms return from time to time, especially during the winter when the weather turns chilly and dreary. “I find myself fighting with depression, tearfulness, as well as a deficiency of interest in doing things on those bad days,” Carbo says.
Carbo’s awful days are from time to time referred to as setbacks — common hurdles in depression treatment that can slow a patient’s progress, says David Blackburn, PhD, a psychologist at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas. Blackburn says crying spells and he occasionally gives his patients a list of depression symptoms, like excessive sleeping, and requests them to check off those that they are experiencing.
“If they are going along and the scores get lower, they’re going in the correct direction,” Blackburn says. “Nonetheless, something may occur and their scores may start going back up. That’s a drawback.”
Reverses could result in a vicious cycle, Blackburn says, because a man’s depression symptoms can often worsen. “They might get even more discouraged than they already are,” Blackburn explains. “They think, ‘Oh, I had been doing so well, what occurred?'”
Help for Drawbacks
There are ways to overcome setbacks and move from depression and toward wellness again. Try some of these strategies when you feel yourself slipping back into a depressed mood:
- Use contending techniques. When Blackburn’s patients experience a drawback, he tries to remind them of the strategies they learned earlier in the length of the depression treatment, like avoiding thoughts that have a tendency toward the absolute — for instance, telling yourself “I can never do anything right.” Blackburn also says that stop fixating on scenarios they’ve no sway over and people with depression should try and take occasions that are stressful in stride. “It’s crucial that you recognize that you, as an individual, cannot command a situation or people inside it,” Blackburn says. “The only thing you can control is how you respond.”
Improve dietary and exercise habits. If you take care of your own own body, you will feel better, both emotionally and physically. Even a little bit of physical activity can improve a person’s mindset. A recent study found that sedentary behaviors, like utilizing the computer and watching TV, are connected with an elevated risk of melancholy. Becoming inspired enough to begin, although the part that is hardest, Blackburn says, is not the specific exercise. “I go by the Nike advertisement. Simply do it,” Blackburn says. “You will feel better later.”
Carbo says her exercise routine will help lift her out of a bad disposition, and agrees. “I drive myself to get up and go out as well as walk, even if it is in the mall,” she says. As for diet, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults eat at least two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables per day, as well as loads of whole grains and low fat dairy products, like milk. Blackburn says that patients must also take care to avoid “emotional eating” — taking in excessive amounts of unhealthy foods as a way of coping with stress. “It doesn’t solve the problem — it is merely a temporary fix,” Blackburn says.
- Ask about adjusting your medication. If you’re on an antidepressant or alternative medicine for depression, occasionally setbacks can occur in the event the drug becomes less effective, Blackburn says. Sometimes, a simple switch is all that is needed to move forward. “The edge is there really are numerous drugs that are accessible,” Blackburn says. “But it might be trial and error. Each person may react differently to various drugs. You will need to be patient, in other words.” Consult with the physician who originally prescribed it to you for suggestions in the event you feel a drug difficulty could be causing your drawback.
- Consider psychotherapy. If you’ve been handling your depression with medication alone, you may find that adding psychotherapy to your own depression treatment regimen is advantageous. “Drugs can improve your mood to the stage where psychotherapy can be more successful,” Blackburn says. Therapy practitioners include licensed professional counselors, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and psychiatrists who, as medical doctors, can also prescribe and manage your depression medications.
With the understanding that depression symptoms can return from time to time along with only a little patience, you can manage successfully with periodic episodes of depression.