You might be depressed if you experience 5 or more of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks.
- You lose interest for things you usually enjoy
- You feel sad, cry for no reason
- You are always tired, no energy
- You sleep too much
- You have difficulty sleeping
- You have gained weight very quickly
- You lost you appetite
- You feel guilty, worthless
- It’s hard for you to concentrate
- It’s hard for you to take simple decisions
- You can’t stay still or you don’t feel like you can move
- You think about death and suicide (please get help immediately)
1- Get help!
In Canada you can consult your general physician, he will make the diagnosis and refer you to the proper channels. The Canadian healthcare system is well equipped to give you complete team of mental health professionals. One website that helped me was www.depressionhurts.ca/. If you live in Quebec, you should definitely go to a CLSC they were the most helpful.
If you feel like you are loosing control or yourself, you have a suicide plan, please contact a suicide help line or CALL 911
If you work, check with your employer (HR) if they have a help program for employees, it’s becoming very common.
Most school and Universities have Health care professionals on site. They are usually free. Remember that depression is an illness like any other one, it needs to be treated by a health care professional.
2- After the diagnosis
So the doctor gave you the diagnosis, you have clinical depression (or major depression) what do you do next?
Try to find a psychologist, register for a psychiatrist and look for a support group. You can find all these information online. There are many free mental health support groups they help a lot. You might have to wait to get psychologist, finding a psychiatrist will take even longer but in the mean time there is no harm in looking for support elsewhere. Online forums and blogs helped me a lot.
3- They prescribed you meds
Many times, when it’s a general physician who prescribed your medication, he won’t take time to explain what they are and what to expect from them. Do your research, ask questions to your pharmacist.
When are your depression medications gonna start to work ?
They usually take 4 to 6 weeks to kick in, so you need patience. You are not gonna feel high are super happy from them, the change is gonna be slight but it might make a big difference. They also might not work, it generally takes a couple of adjustments before they find the perfect combination of meds.
4-Schedule you days
If you are depressed, your agenda is your best friend. Your memory probably sucks and you don’t feel like doing anything so you will need some extra help.
-Make a list of what you like to do (or what you used to like)
-Make a list of what you have to do
Now schedule your days to do:
1 chore per day (It might be just to do 1 load of laundry)
1 activity you like (taking a nice bath for example)
1 physical activity (In the beginning it might mean 5 minutes walk around the block)
and try to get outside everyday. It will be hard to do all of them at first but be compassionate towards yourself.
5-If you have trouble sleeping
This is a huge reason why you are so tired when you’re depressed. The body can’t work properly when it’s sleep deprived. If you have trouble falling asleep here are some tips that can help you:
-Turn off all electronics when you are ready to sleep
-Don’t go to bed before you’re sleepy
-Avoid naps (very hard I know… I tried spending my days out of the house so I could resist)
-Try meditation (You can find guided meditation to sleep videos on YouTube)
-Drink something hot before bed
-Do some relaxation exercises
My biggest problem with sleep was that I had very bad sleep quality. I kept waking up. I had to take sleeping pills. Most sleeping pills are addictive when they are not taken properly and when you are not followed by a doctor. I was on them for about 3 months then he took me off them. I still don’t sleep but it’s a choice now.
Journaling is proven to help depression. This will help you keep your sanity. Most of the time, you won’t find people who really understand what you’re going through, and journaling is a great way to get out those feelings that are eating you alive. You can burn them when you finish writing, what’s important is that you stop ruminating. You can find online some websites that give you journal topics or you can just Google self help tools for depression and you will find plenty of tools to help you sort out your feelings.
This is it for my how to guide for depression. I will explore the subject further in other mini posts.
During the crisis part of my depression, I’ve felt suicidal to a point that I go scared of what I could do to myself.
What to do when you feel suicidal
1) Try to calm down: the first thing I would do was to try to calm down. Watch a funny show, write on my journal, take a walk, play with my dog, anything that could make me feel better. If that did not work I would try seek outside help.
2) Try to talk to someone you know: I made a list with my psychologist of people I could contact in case I felt like hurting myself. The first person of course was Bf. So I would call them or text them. Most of the time I was ashamed to tell them that I felt suicidal, so I would just talk to them, tell them was not feeling well. I’d ask my boyfriend to come over or to stay with me on the phone until I sleep. Support from family and friends is crucial, most of the time, after talking to someone close I was able to calm the pain.
3) Contact a Help line: I’ve actually never done that, but some of my friends did and it helped them. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger. So if you don’t have anybody to talk to , try calling a help line.
4) Look for Help online: Online forums saved my life multiple times. At a point in my life it was the only place where I could find people feeling like I did. Then I discovered WordPress which is even better. I use to go to a site suicideproject.com (I think), where people would post how they felt, it was helpful because I would comment on others post telling them there is hope. Then I realized that if I didn’t wan’t others to commit suicide maybe I should think the same for myself.
5) Call 911 or Check in a hospital: This happened once to me and it was the scariest experience of my life. I had already cut myself during the night, I cried for 2 hours or more and I destroyed a Teddy Bear with a knife. I was escalating, and I had the means to hurt myself seriously. I could not reach my boyfriend, I was too scared to call the Help line, I didn’t want to get committed by force. So I went to the hospital and checked myself in. It wasn’t pleasant but at least I was safe. I checked out in the morning, they informed my psychiatrist and my social worker so I could get more support. I hated the experience but I’m glad I did , because I’m alive and well now.
Postpartum Depression is a type of depression that is experienced by new moms. It can last months, and even years! Can fathers experience this too? Laci discusses why young men might want to wait to have children.
How does postpartum depression affect infants?
“Pregnancy’s fluctuating hormone levels are responsible for skin discoloration, strange food cravings, drooling, and bloated feet.”
I slept at 6 Am this morning. I had a very productive night, I learned how to create a website but at what cost? I woke up at 2 Pm drank my coffee, went back on Youtube to find videos to post and learn more about having my own website. I’m exhausted, I feel weak like I’m gonna catch a cold I don’t know what’s going on with me. If I take a nap right now, it will be impossible for me to sleep tonight, and I need a good night sleep. An uninterrupted 8 h sleep. I haven’t had that in a while.
I write most of my quality content at night, and I learn faster, but I really need to find another time frame for my creativity. I can’t go on like this, I think I’ll go back to a place I never wanna see again if I do. At the same time, my blog is the reason I wake up in the morning, I don’t have anything else to do, and I actually don’t want to do anything else. I just love writing! I’ve always had a hard time finding balance in life…
Millions of Americans suffer from depression, and some choose to end their lives. When are people more likely to commit suicide, and what can we do to prevent it? Tara discusses some disturbing trends in the United States, as well as how you can seek help if you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Organizing… and ADHD
I’m not the lady in the picture. Far from it, I’m very messy. My room looks more like that.
When I clean finally clean my room it’s usually spotless. Because I’m an overachiever even in cleaning. It’s stays like that for a couple of days.
However, when it comes to anything written, I’m a great organizer. I need order in my life, I file my papers, use an agenda, and I’m always planning something. I’m flexible though, let’s c usually when I’m planning something, I have plan A to D, sometimes more. I usually use my journals as Agendas, because It gives me more space to do whatever I want in them, and since my pans are usually date specific, it doesn’t matter. I don’t plan my daily activities, although I should. I’m more of a long term planner.
Do you know what I like to do more than organizing my life? Organizing other people’s life. I’m always looking for ways to work better, faster, because I hate wasting my times. (At least I use to when I use to work). So I would create all these organizing tools and share with my coworkers, so we didn’t waste time on paperwork. It wasn’t appreciated everywhere. I do that for my friends too… when the get confused about what they want to do in life, I help them put it on paper so they are able to choose rationally what works for them.
My boyfriend is the worse at planning. Because he has ADHD it’s very difficult for him to focus. He only got diagnosed last year, he had no idea. They made him think he was dumb for years although he’s brilliant. (When a subject interests him. )What I’ve realized is that there is no point of expecting him to plan anything related to our relationship because i’d likely be disappointed. So I do it my self. I’ve come to learn how he functions, and understand his learning style (I did a lot of research about that). He is good with routine, he has established a routine in his life and he need his personal idem organized or he gets lost of frustrated. He has a bit of dyslexia also, so it’s harder for him to focus at work.
From times to times, about every three months or so, when he asks, I help him organize his days and develop a pattern for work. He’s in sales, and he has a talent for bringing people in. If only he could stay organized and not get lost or loose focus he would excel at it. It’s very hard to do that though in a world that only understand one type of intelligence. He tries very hard, and he’s been working where he is for 2 years now, that’s a record for him. I think he finally realized that working in sales is a perfectly suitable job. Of course his parents bothers him, about not working in the fields he studied, but to what end? To be bored in unproductive? To have a job title that doesn’t mean anything to him?
ADHD in adults is often misunderstood. It’s not easy living with someone who has it, it can get really frustrating, but I’ve learned to use his strengths for the better. So he does the physical organizing, and I do the life organization. I still push him from time to times to try to focus and do some written activities like his taxes. It took us a lot of time because I had to bring his focus back to it often , but I helped him and he was happy he did it. I don’t think anyone should feel dumb because they learn differently, it would be more beneficial to the world if we used our differences to grow.
I’ve written double of the word restriction for the challenge so I’ll stop now.