May is Mental Health Month
Depression symptoms, among caregivers of people with dementia, are reported to range from 28-55% although some studies put it as high as 60%. Depressed caregivers are more likely to have coexisting anxiety disorders, substance abuse or dependence issues, and other forms of chronic disease.
Depression often makes you feel as though nothing you can do will make you feel better. That is because depression changes the way you think about yourself and the world around you. In this Sharepost I have put together 10 self-help tips on how you can try to change how you feel and help you regain some of your previous happiness and energy.
1. Move away from negative thinking
The thought processes of someone who is depressed are almost entirely negative. Not only about yourself, but about the world you live in. Black-and-white thinking is a characteristic, as is a sense of pointlessness, guilt and self-blame. In order to move away from negative thinking you first you have to recognise it in yourself. This sharepost will give you hints on how to change negative thinking to positive to improve your depression.
2. Self doubt and self blame won’t help you
Depression is a very common disease that affects millions of people at some time in their lives. Recognize you're feeling bad and find the treatment that works for you. Talk to your family and friends about it. Ask for their help when you need it. Caregiving becomes easier if you can share the responsibility at times.
3. See a doctor
If you have not seen a doctor about your low mood, go now. They can assess you, make sure there is no physical cause for your depression and talk to you about treatments that will help you. There are many different types of drugs available that can help lift your mood and help you get better quicker.
4. Get out, don’t isolate yourself
It is very important to get out. Put yourself in a social atmosphere either with a friend or relative, by yourself or with the person you care for. Go to a place where there are other people, a museum, a park, or a mall. Have an activity you can enjoy with others. As a caregiver it is important to have some time set aside for yourself. Try to put any feelings of self doubt or self consciousness away. Going out, doing things all help to chip away at your depression.
5. Do things you used to enjoy
Even if you feel you can’t, or don’t enjoy things the way you used to any more, it is still important to do them.
6. See a good movie, read a funny book
It is important to try and lift your mood. You can do this by seeing a funny movie, reading a funny book, watch sitcoms you enjoy. Distraction is good, remembering what it feels like to laugh again is all part of gradually feeling better.
Lots of research shows that one of the most important things to lift mood and lessen anxiety, is exercise. When you're depressed your energy levels can drop dramatically. But it's a physiological fact that activity fights depression. Aim to increase your heart rate with exercise for up to 20 minutes a day. Do this type of activity five times a week. Exercising increases the neuro-plasticity of your brain and releases neurochemicals called endorphins, which will help to elevate your mood.