Sunday Depression

Sunday Depression

The weekend is normally a time when people can relax and enjoy themselves as they are off from work and school. People tend to feel depressed, on the other hand, when Sunday comes around because they know that it is the start of another week. Instead of dreading Sundays when it inevitably comes around, find ways to look forward to it to avoid feeling depressed on this day.

Have a Fun Sunday Evening

While most people use their Saturdays to prepare themselves for the week like getting their laundry done, cleaning around the house, and other things to prepare for the week, you can also use this evening to find something fun to do. Save your chores and responsibilities during the morning and afternoon of Sunday. Do something fun in the evening like see an early movie or go out to dinner to places where they have Sunday specials. If you have another friend that gets depressed on Sundays, have them join you in your plans and leave the house. If you two have a gym membership, go workout together as well as socialize to make exercising easier. You two will also be able to release feel-good endorphins much easier as you exercise together.

Think of Exciting Things to Look Forward to This Week

Instead of thinking about all of the days you have of working or any classes or tests you have to take, think of things to look forward to for the coming week. It could be very possible that friends have made plans with you during the week or that there is an episode of your favorite show airing sometime this week. Try to make a list of all of your plans for each day of the upcoming week to help you look forward to the week. You always want to have a drive that will make you look forward to waking up in the morning. Let this list be proof that you do not have to dread this upcoming week, but feel excited about it instead.

Write Down Your Wants

It is possible that you could be having a lot of worries on Sundays, but you do not know what. Journaling can be a great way to write down what is going on your head. Studies have shown that journaling can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Give yourself ten minutes and jot down everything on your mind without worrying about if what you are writing down makes sense. Once you are down, read what you have wrote and write to the side what you will do to ease those worries. It can be that you hate that it is Sunday because you have four long shifts to get through this week. You can write down that every shift you work, you are bringing home a steady income to support yourself and it will only make your days off and weekends seem more precious. Writing things down will make you realize things about your wants and needs that you did not know you had before. Reading your thoughts will bring you more awareness.

Projects on Sunday

It may be possible that another reason that you dread Sundays is because you tend to use Fridays and Saturdays as your days of having fun and save all of the hard stuff that you have to do for Sundays. You should instead try to do the opposite where you try to get everything done on Friday mornings so that you can have the whole weekend to yourself. For example, if you have a project that will be time-consuming and can take all day, save that time for Friday morning. If you feel like this project will only take an hour or two but you are busy all weekend, wake yourself up early on Sunday to get it done and over with. If you are too busy during the beginning of the week to get your work done, save your work for Sunday morning and stick with it so that you can have the rest of the day free. 

Unplug For the Day

It may not seem like a realistic option to unplug for a few hours as you may have work emailing you or messaging you on updates to know for the upcoming week. If you feel like you need to be on your phone at night, turn down your screen light as the brighter the screen light, the more harder it will be to go to sleep at night. Being too absorbed in your phone will cause you to miss out on all the fun day occurring in the real world. If you give yourself off more time off on Sunday, you will feel more productive on Monday. 

Moments of Relaxation

You should not be ending your Sunday dreading for the start of another week. Before it is time to go to bed, give yourself a couple of hours to yourself. This can mean taking a bath, listening to a podcast, reading a book, or anything else that will mellow you out. Whatever you do, think about the present moment instead of picturing what the week will look like for you. Depression will only get to you on this particular day of the week if you let it get to you. Think of Sundays as a positive day to enjoy yourself and end your weekend on a positive note.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center using evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Thoughts People with Depression Often Have

Thoughts People with Depression Often Have

People with depression tend to think thoughts that may seem nonsensical to others. They believe the worst in themselves and feel like no one cares about them. By understanding what people with depression are thinking, you will know how serious depression is and how important it is to get help. 

Everyone Hates Me

One thought you may have is that the people you love like your spouse, kids, and friends all secretly hate you. Even when others tell you that it is not true, you refuse to believe it. You feel that by constantly having to get reassurance from your loved ones if they love you, you fear you will come across as needy. You could also be distancing yourself off from people because you believe that there is no point in making any connections if no one will like you. It is best that you challenge your thoughts in this instance and ask yourself why you think no one will like you. It may help you to write them down. See if what you wrote down is the real truth or your mind playing games with you.

My Partner Is Better Off Without Me

You could be thinking about all of the depressive episodes that your partner has witnessed and helped you through. You know that there is no cure for depression and there is always a chance another episode can come. You may be feeling guilty for putting your partner through this and feel like you are burden to them. That they may be better off with someone who does not have a mental illness and not a lot of emotional baggage. This can also make you think if this person will have a happier life without you. It is important to have a nice, long conversation with your partner and ask him or her if they feel like your depressive episodes are burdening them and what you could do to make it easier for them. Your partner may offer you words of support and love that they are prepared to handle anything that comes along with your mental illness.

Not Good Enough

Another thought you may have is that nothing you do will be good enough for anyone. You could be obsessively thinking about what you should have said, where you failed, how you could have been better, and how you could do more. You may want to improve, but you feel like you do not have it in you. While you may be aware that there are no perfect people in the world, you still feel like a failure. It is important to realize that we all make mistakes. As long as you are trying your best, you are not a failure just because your plans are not working out. You can write down a list of ways you feel like you are failing and then write next to each failure what you have in your power to do to succeed. Do not be afraid to express your doubts to the people around you as they may be able to help you reach your goals.

People Are Using Me

You may be thinking that the people around you do not really like you. They are only being nice to you out of politeness, but talking horrible about you behind your back. The only time your loved ones will be nice to you is if they want something from you. Do not be quick to assume that your loved ones are using you because they have been distant from you unless they want a favor. If this is bothering you, you should express your thoughts to them and tell them to be honest with you about your relationship with them. 

Losing People Because of My Depression

Before you were diagnosed with depression, you probably had more energy and were more happy compared to when your mood changed. You could be afraid that people notice a loss in personality or that you are feeling dull. You feel that because you are not the same person, no one will want to be around you. It is important for you to talk to your loved ones and explain to them that depression is a mental illness that you have no control over. You have changes in your mood, but you are receiving treatment for it. If they can be patient with you, you will be able to have a successful recovery. 

I Am Afraid I Cannot Love Anyone Anymore

Depression has a tendency to make you feel drained and numb. You could be afraid that you will push everyone away by feeling numb. That you will lose the tendency to love anyone. You should know that there are mood stabilizers to help you be in a better mood. Love is something that you will never run out of. You just need to be in a better headspace to be able to feel that love which treatment will help do for you.

No One Will Notice My Struggle

The worst fear you could have is when you feel terrible but no one notices. It feels like you are drowning, but no one will save you because they think you are fine. Do not wait until someone notices your depression as the opportunity to get help. Admit to yourself and others that you need help for your depression before it gets worse. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center using evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How it Feels to Have Anxiety and Depression

How it Feels to Have Anxiety and Depression

Having to deal with two mental health disorders at the same time can be draining and challenging. You not only feel anxious during your daily routine, but you also feel sad on a daily basis as well. Huffington Post asked those struggling with anxiety and depression what it is like to gain a better understanding and know how serious it is to look for treatment for both disorders.

Constant Fight with Yourself

Having anxiety and depression can mean that one minute, you are experiencing racing thoughts and emotions only to experience nothingness the next minute. You may feel like two people are talking to you. Your anxious self is telling you that there is something wrong with you and to get help, but your depressed self is telling you not to make an effort to get help since you feel too numb to worry about it. With these two selves fighting with each other, no one is winning if you are constantly battling yourself on a daily basis.

Caring About Everything and Nothing

When you are trying to control your anxious self and your depressive self, you feel like you cannot get any peace within yourself. It feels hopeless to win. You are struggling with the battle to get yourself out of bed when your depression kicks in, but you are also battling with all of the worries that you have waiting for you that is keeping you up while in bed. While your depression is yelling at you that you are worthless and nothing matters, your anxiety is telling you that you are not keeping up with your responsibilities or that something bad will happen to you.

Physical Symptoms

Anxiety and depression both come with their own physical symptoms. Sleep works differently with both mental disorders in that depression makes you feel more tired than normal, but your anxiety may cause you to always think, making it difficult to get any sleep. Anxiety can also lead you to experience chest tightness and stomach aches. The pains you are experiencing can also heighten your depression so it feels like these symptoms are never-ending.

Stuck in a Loop

Anxiety and depression together can also mean that the mental symptoms you experience are ongoing and you cannot shut them off. Anxiety is the constant feeling that everything has to go right. Depression is constantly feeling like you are always stuck. You know about everything that can go wrong and trying to make everything right, but you also feel like there is nothing that can be done so you have no choice but to feel stuck like this. With all of these constant thoughts, it is hard to tell if your anxiety came first or your depression. The point is that if you are battling both of these disorders, both of them need treatment.

Isolation

Being both depressed and anxious can lead you to isolate yourself from the ones you love. For example, having social anxiety can cause you to avoid any events that lead to social interaction like clubs, parties, meetings, mixers, etc. They are too busy overthinking what to say or worrying what others will think of them if they say something wrong. By doing that, you are increasing your depression by feeling more lonely. People who are depressed also withdraw from others thinking that they are not good enough for them or better off without them. By knowing your worth and carrying yourself with more confidence, making new friends will decrease your anxiety and depression symptoms.

Unpredictability

You spend your days feeling conflicted because you do not know if it is anxiety’s turn to make an appearance or depression. You want to spend hours sleeping in bed, but you also want to get up because you know you have important things that cannot afford to miss the deadline. There is a part of you that cares too much about what others think and another part of you that feels numb to the feelings of others. At parties, you may experience panic attacks when you are surrounded by a bunch of people you do not know, but also have no energy to attempt to socialize. This leaves you to deal with battling with two thoughts and you do not know which one to listen to.

Challenge of Accomplishment

It can be hard to get things done when you have two conflicting thoughts telling you how to go about it. Your anxious side is telling you that you have to get things done right now or something bad can happen. This can be something like a project, answering an email, getting together with someone, etc. Your depressive side, on the other hand, is telling you that you are a failure, a fraud, and that you will not get anything done. This can make it hard for you to get anything done when you cannot make up your mind of what to do.

Loss of Hope

You feel like not giving yourself the self-care that you know you should give yourself because your thoughts are telling you to do the exact opposite. You need to tell yourself first that it is okay to not feel okay. Acknowledge that you need to get yourself help so that you can feel good about yourself and your life. Treatment will teach you how much you matter and to be in control of your depression and anxiety symptoms.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How to Treat Your Depression After the Loss of a Pet

How to Treat Your Depression After the Loss of a Pet

Losing a pet is no different than losing a relative. Your pet has always made it their mission to fill you with love and they were always there for you. As difficult as it can be, it is still possible to heal yourself from the depression you will face after losing a pet by acknowledging the pain you are in as well as remembering the good times you had with them.

Acknowledge Your Grief

You may be trying to hide your grief from yourself and others in that you feel like it is not as if you lost a friend or a relative. But, the truth is that you have. You got this pet at a young age and took care of him or her through feeding, picking up after them, teaching them obedience, and were a great support system when you did not want to be alone. There is no reason to be ashamed of grieving for an animal as they played a big role in your life. Tell yourself that the tears, heartache, frustration, and grief you are feeling for the loss of your pet is real and reasonable. We also feel grief for them in that these pets provided us with unconditional love. We did not have to do anything to force them to love us, but they did it naturally which is a more common trait in animals than humans.

Grieving Works Differently For Everyone

Everyone grieves in a different way just like when you are mourning a human. Some people prefer to be active and engage with other people who have felt with this kind of grieve before. Then, there are others who prefer to stay inside to work through their feelings. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. The important thing is to not hide your feelings as it is not healthy for you to keep them inside.

Feel What’s Natural

Do not allow anyone to tell you that it is wrong or unnatural to feel so sad over the death of your pet. You were the one caring for your pet and taking care of them so only you will know what is considered a reasonable way to grieve. Do not allow people to tell you when it is time to move on or get over it. The sadness will lessen over time and cannot be rushed. Do not feel embarrassed for showing compassion, being angry, crying, or even laughing when a joyous memory of your pet enters your mind.

Create a Legacy

Honor your pet by showing just how important they were to you. This can mean making a memorial by hanging a casting of their paw print somewhere in the house or planting a tree in their memory. You can make a photo or video scrapbook of all of the recorded memories you have of your pet so that you can look back on happier times whenever you feel sad. This legacy will help you not to further grieve your pet, but to celebrate the life they had with you and to thank them for filling your life with wonderful memories.

Look for Support

Remember that you are not the only person in the world who is grieving for their pet. Look for online message boards, pet loss hotlines at the ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline at 877-474-3310, and support groups. Do not spend too much of your time being around those who are not going to support you through this hard time. Be around those who will comfort you and understand the pain you are in. If you are around others who have lost their pets before, you can learn about how to cope with the pain and you will realize that you are not alone.

Take Care of Yourself

Grieving for your pet can make you feel emotionally drained and tired. You need to be able to take care of other people in your house such as your spouse, children, and other pets you may have. You also need to look after your own physical and emotional needs like eating and sleeping right as well as exercising. By being active in your life, you will release endorphins that will help boost your mood.

Be There For Your Pets

When you lose one pet, the other pets in your house are grieving as well as they were close with each other as well. When you are sad, your other pets will feed off of that sadness. Keep feeding, walking, and giving your other pets love and continue with this routine. By increasing the times you have go outside and play as well as the love you give them, everyone in the house will be happy knowing that there is still time for you all to make new, happy memories with each other.

Get Professional Help

Depression is when your sadness persistently interferes with your daily routine. If this is the case after the loss of your pet, you should think about receiving professional help from a therapist. The best way to cope with the loss of your pet is to smile when you think of them as they served a vital purpose in keeping you happy when they were alive. You do not need a “good” reason to be depressed, but to acknowledge the sadness you feel for your pet and to do something to cope with your grief.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Antidepressant Withdrawal

Antidepressant Withdrawal

There have been cases where people with depression feel that because they are doing better with treatment, they no longer need to go on taking antidepressants. Abruptly stopping an antidepressant does not give your brain enough time to adjust to change. By learning about the seriousness of antidepressant withdrawal, you will also learn to continue taking your antidepressants just like before.

Symptoms

Symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal can start within two to four days and last about a week or two. This can mean having symptoms like fatigue, sweating, achiness, headaches, and feeling sluggish. It can also mean not being able to sleep or having nightmares when you do. You can have problems with balance where you experience vertigo or lightheadedness. It is also possible to feel tingling, burning, or feeling like you are shocked. Then, there are behavioral symptoms like irritability, anxiety, aggression, or mania.

Antidepressants That Are Hardest to Stop

While all depression medications can cause discontinuation symptoms, there are drugs that cause these symptoms to occur much more quicker. You are more likely to experience discontinuation symptoms with antidepressants that stay in your body for a shorter amount of time such as ones that affect serotonin and norepinephrine. Short-acting medications that affect serotonin include Effexor, Cymbalta, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, and Zoloft. Medications that take longer for the body to clear will make withdrawal less common to experience like Prozac or Trintellix.

Take Prozac as an Antidepressant

One way that you can help yourself avoid discontinuation syndrome is by taking Prozac. Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI like Zoloft and Lexapro. With this particular medication, once you stop taking Prozac, it leaves your body more slowly than other SSRIs. This will make it unlikely for you to have extreme withdrawal symptoms. This is something you should consider letting your doctor know if he or she asks you which antidepressant to try or which you would like to switch to.

Slowly Stop the Antidepressants

It is never good to stop any drug cold turkey or you could be experiencing discomforting withdrawal symptoms. The same goes with stopping antidepressants right away. It is best to taper off of them slowly by gradually decreasing your dose over a long period of time. Your doctor will tell you how to come about this based on how long you have been on antidepressants, how high your dose is, and anything else that is important for your doctor to know. When you have your follow-up appointments, your doctor will check to see if any discontinuation symptoms appear and if there any signs of depression returning. Continue to have these appointments with your doctor every month.

Exercise

You should also continue to exercise when you discontinue your antidepressants. Because exercise releases feel-good endorphins, you will be in control of your depression and eventually stop antidepressants. Exercise also makes serotonin more available by binding to receptor sites on nerve sites. This can make exercise compensate for changes in serotonin levels if you stop taking antidepressants. The active choices you make do not have to involve going to a gym, but can be exercises you can do at home like walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, playing a sport, etc.

Take Your Time

Do not be so quick to stop taking your antidepressants because you feel like you have a better handle on your depression. If you are starting to feel better, that is showing that the antidepressants are working. If you quit too soon, your depression will return. Doctors will recommend that you stay on the medication for six to nine months before quitting completely. Speak openly to your doctor about the good you have gotten out of your antidepressants as well as the risks you experienced. Ask your doctor whether or not you should stop your antidepressants and when is the best time. Think about how well you are functioning as well as how you can cope with any negative thoughts that come to you. Try not to quit when you are about to encounter a stressful situation like starting a new job or are feeling sick. Consult with your doctor first about the best time.

Set a Plan in Motion

Make a plan about how you plan to go about reducing your medications such as allowing two to six weeks between pill reductions. Your doctor can teach you about tapering your dose and prescribing you the appropriate dose. This will all depend on what antidepressant you are taking, how long you have been on it, current dose, and symptoms you have had when you changed medications before. You could also try recording how you feel every day by tracking what your mood has been like on a scale of one to ten.

Find Support

Continue to find support in your doctor. Let he or she know about physical or emotional symptoms that may have to do with discontinuation. Mild symptoms normally means that these effects from quitting antidepressants are temporary and that the medication is just clearing your system. Severe symptoms mean that you need to go back to a previous dose and reduce your doses more slowly. You should also speak to a friend or a relative about your plan to quit your antidepressants. They could recognize for you signs that your depression is coming back that you may not realize. Never quit your antidepressants without help from a doctor or your peers.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How Depression Can Change with Age

How Depression Can Change with Age

Depression is a mental health disorder that will always stay with you no matter how old you get. You may notice certain changes in your depression the older you get as life tends to hit you such as dealing with grief, break ups, job loss, etc. By knowing about how depression symptoms can change the older you get, the better you will be able to prepare for them.

Depression Changes Your Body Age

A study from the Amsterdam University Medical Center showed that the DNA of people with major depression is older by eight months compared to those who do not have depression. They examined the DNA of 811 with depression and 319 without. The changes in genes that did not affect the DNA sequence (epigenetics) took place more quickly for those with depression. The scientists saw that people with major depressive disorder had a great deal of epigenetics and methylation which changes the activity of a DNA segment without changing the sequences. It showed people with depression were biologically older by eight months compared to people without. Severe cases showed the biological age was 10-15 years older than the chronological age.

The study also showed that those with childhood trauma were biologically 1.06 years older than those who did not experience trauma. Methylation levels increased and decreased with age. The difference becomes more apparent when someone enters their 50s and 60s. This research shows how early-life trauma can have an effect on us and how important it is to engage in early preventative treatment for depression and tough childhood experiences.

Depression Can Change Your Brain

The British Medical Bulletin showed that certain regions of the brain can be affected by depression such as the hippocampus, thalamus, amygdala, frontal and prefrontal cortices. The severity and the length that the episode lasts affects how much the brain will shrink. For example, noticable changes happen in the hippocampus during a single episode of depression or multiple, shorter episodes. When a section of the brain shrinks, the functions of that section shrink as well. For example, if the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala are responsible for emotional responses and they shrink, this can lead to a reduction in empathy.

A study by the Cambridge University Press did a study that showed 71,000 people with depression had a rapid brain age. They experienced cognitive decline, memory loss, and a decline in processing information. This shows that cognition function needs to be looked at when people have depression since they may be risked for an increase in cognitive decline. The more cognitive decline there is, the worse your depressive symptoms can be.

Depressive Symptoms Appear for the First Time When Aging

Even though we can get depression when we are young, it can also occur as late as age 50 for the first time. According to a 2015 study in Psychology and Aging, depression diagnoses can increase from ages 65-85. This could just happen as a result of the challenges that come with aging. Cleveland Clinic says that when we have an increase in health issues, grief, and loneliness, it can be a trigger to depressive symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014 said that middle-aged women between the ages of 40-59 had the highest rate of depression in the United States.

Antidepressant Responses Change Over Time

People with depression take antidepressants for a long time, but our reactions to the medications change when we get older. Either certain medications lose their effectiveness or biochemical changes are just not agreeing with your antidepressants. You should speak to your doctor about the depressive symptoms you are experiencing that are conflicting with your antidepressants to make any kind of changes in your prescription. The Mayo Clinic believes that as you get older, your brain and thinking changes which affects your mood. The changes in the way your body processes substances may mean that you need to take more medication and change your dosage.

Lack of Folate Vitamin Leading to Depression

Folate is a B vitamin and pregnant women are told to take more folic acid to reduce the risk of a miscarriage. For women, lower concentrations of folate in the blood and the nervous system can lead to depression, mental impairment, and dementia. Those with naturally lower folate levels can lead to problems with antidepressants. Folate deficiency also increases with age where the older you are, the more likely you have low folate levels which contribute to more depressive symptoms over time.

How to Treat Your Depression As You Age

As we age and change, our depression does the same thing. One thing that stays the same is that there will always be treatment available. One way is by connecting with others and limiting the times that you are alone. Being alone will only making your depressive symptoms worse as you are focusing too much on it. Socialize with your loved ones over the phone, email, or in person. You can also get out into the world by going to a park, having lunch with a friend, going to a show, etc. You can also volunteer your time so that you feel a good sense of accomplishment. You should also make sure to sleep for seven to eight hours, eat balanced meals, and exercise. Do not let your depressive symptoms worsen as treatment options will always be available no matter how old you get.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How Addiction Affects Our Instincts

How Addiction Affects Our Instincts

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Addiction, just like depression, can totally interfere with the normal functioning of our instincts. Whereas we naturally would work in our best interests, addiction can cause us to instinctively work against ourselves. We become self-destructive. Our instincts for self-preservation go out the window. Our main focus is not on our health and well-being but on getting our fix and holding onto the high. We aren’t self-protective. We don’t care for ourselves. Our relationships with ourselves suffer.

Addiction and depression can completely alter our perception of ourselves. We can become self-hating. We drown in feelings of shame and regret. We create a self-image based on self-rejection rather than self-love, and we build our lives around this image. We don’t feel deserving of love, kindness or respect, so we settle for relationships that reflect back to us our feelings of insecurity and unworthiness. We don’t feel we deserve forgiveness for our past mistakes and wrongs, so we are constantly berating, belittling and judging ourselves. We deny ourselves our own compassion and understanding. We become our own harshest critics. We seem to become proponents for our own demise rather than our success. We compete with other people and never feel like we measure up.

Having such a skewed sense of self can impact how we view the world. Sometimes we feel like the whole world, and the people in it, are out to get us. We feel powerless over the circumstances and events in our lives. We feel like the victims in our own narratives. We blame other people for our pain, and we struggle to take personal responsibility. Addiction can weaken our ability to look at ourselves objectively, to be courageous in our self-inventory, and to stay strong in our quest to improve ourselves. We can become self-pitying, negative and pessimistic.

When our perception of ourselves and the world is so tainted by addiction, it can negatively impact our instincts. We don’t have the normal instincts to want to be happy, to want to heal, to want to contribute to the world, to want to design a life we’re happy with. Our instincts aren’t to grow, learn, improve, build or succeed. Instead, we are self-deprecating, and our instincts are to hide away, to isolate ourselves, to retreat inward, to avoid people. We instinctively put ourselves down and hold ourselves back. We put ourselves in harm’s way. We take chances with our safety. We self-harm. We even contemplate suicide. Addiction and depression have a way of manipulating our instincts to deepen our dependence on the substances, behaviors and emotions we’ve been clinging to. Working to heal from our addictions means understanding our instincts and working to return them back to a healthier state.

The holistic treatment programs at Enlightened Solutions will help you to heal, mind, body and spirit. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.


Depression Thought Patterns

Depression Thought Patterns

Depression can take over our lives, in many of the same ways addiction can. In a sense, many of us with depression are addicted, not necessarily to substances, but to certain thought patterns. Here are some common ones we share and suggestions for how to transform them.

Pessimism

Many of us default to thinking about the negative, in any given situation. We think in worst-case scenarios. We anticipate the outcomes we don’t want. Oftentimes we live with an overarching feeling of dread. We are so accustomed to this way of thinking that for many of us, it can be obsessive or neurotic.

We can begin to reprogram our subconscious minds with new thought patterns. Practice repeating affirmations such as “I choose to see the good. I allow good things to happen for me. I can manifest the outcomes I want.”

Over-worrying

We are human. We worry. We are always going to be concerned, and we are always going to care, about the things and people that matter to us. Over-worrying is taking that concern and allowing to go haywire. The energy of worry is an energy of fear. Fear can paralyze us, keep us stuck and make us act in irrational ways. When we are consumed by fear, we have a harder time accessing our intuition, hearing guidance from our higher power, and following our instincts.

We can transform our heightened anxious over-worrying energy to one of faith and hope. We can allow our concern and love to guide us rather than our fear. Meditate with affirmations like “Everything happens as it’s meant to. Everything in divine timing. I am hopeful. I have faith. Things are always working for our highest good.”

As we focus on thinking positively and hopefully, we are attracting what we want. When we allow ourselves to get lost in worry, we attract what we don’t want.

Insecurity

When we are depressed, we often don’t feel grounded or centered- in our purpose, our sense of self, our direction in life. We can feel insecure about any aspect of our lives- our personality, our past, our illnesses. We suffer from wounded egos and low self-esteem. We are self-conscious, we seek external validation, and at the root of it, we do not love ourselves.

Self-hate is factor in so many of our problems, including depression. We can start the crucial work of loving ourselves by talking to ourselves differently and consciously choosing thoughts of self-empowerment. “I love you. I believe in you. You are strong. You are capable. You can make your dreams come true.”

We have been defaulting to our painful thought patterns for most of our lives. Undoing them takes time and effort. Practice, practice, practice. We can heal our depression, and retraining our minds is an important step.

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer therapy, mentoring, recovery planning and more. Call (833) 801-LIVE  for more information.


Steps You Can Take to Recover from Depression

Steps You Can Take to Recover from Depression

Recovery can be extremely difficult and can feel impossible, but we can take steps that bring us closer to healing. Here are a few suggestions.

Try Therapy.

When we are depressed and in crisis, the thought of finding a therapist can be overwhelming, daunting and scary. Muster the strength, ask for help, seek out support, because finding the right therapist can help you immensely on your healing journey. Therapists have years of experience dealing with similar issues, emotional problems and life circumstances. And unlike with our loved ones, with a therapist we can speak freely without worrying about judgment or bias.

Walk.

Any kind of exercise is helpful for depression. It releases endorphins in our bodies which help us to feel happy, naturally. Sometimes when we’re depressed, we find it extremely hard to motivate ourselves to practice self-care, and vigorous exercise might be too much for us, but walking can come more naturally to us and can be easier to will ourselves to do. Walking can help you clear your mind, calm your anxiety, and process and organize your thoughts. Walking can be used as a form of meditation. Try focusing on your breathing, or on a mantra or affirmation while you walk. It can help you quiet and still your mind, which is so crucial for depression as we are often consumed by our painful thoughts.

Spend time with people who care about you.

This can be especially hard when we’re depressed. We isolate. We feel afraid of people. We avoid having to interacting with anyone. Try to spend time with someone who cares about you, even for just a little while. Take time to talk to them about your feelings and let them offer you support and encouragement. We often get advice, guidance and wisdom from our loved ones, often when we need it the most but weren’t necessarily looking for it.

Let yourself enjoy doing something fun.

Get out of your normal routine, which might be contributing to your depression. Do something different you’ve never done, or something you used to enjoy doing. Any time we can give our minds some much needed rest from our depressive thoughts, we are taking a step in our recovery. Having fun, changing our routine, venturing out into the world can feel like the last things we would want to do when we’re depressed, but if we can give ourselves a gentle push, it can mean the difference between staying stuck in our depression and moving forward.

You don’t have to figure out recovery alone. We’re here to help. Call (833) 801-LIVE.


Functional Depression

Functional Depression

Depression manifests differently in everyone. We have vastly different experiences with varied symptoms, patterns and cycles. Depression has multiple biochemical and social causes, making each person’s experience with depression totally unique. Many people who are suffering from depression can still go about their lives normally, but they are deeply unhappy, often struggling with addictions, and very often suffering in silence. This kind of depression is referred to as “functional depression” or “high-functioning depression.”

People with functional depression can maintain regular schedules and can sustain their jobs, finances and relationships as they normally do. They may or may not identify with being depressed. They may not call it depression. They may not ever tell anyone how they feel. On top of their depression, they have to deal with people not believing them when they tell them they are depressed. To other people they “seem fine.” Oftentimes no one in their lives suspects they have a problem, because they don’t outwardly show any signs.

Functional depression is sometimes characterized as lasting for years at a time. People might have lived with this depression for so long they don’t remember what their “normal” was, how they felt before they got depressed. People with functional depression often experience many of the same feelings associated with major depression.

Anxiety

Fear, panic, nervousness, worry. People with depression often live with intense anxiety, and the same is true for those with functional depression. Their anxiety can be related to any and every aspect of their lives and can be all-consuming.

Sadness

This may be an obvious one, but sadness is often the most pervasive emotion we experience with depression. We feel sadness about our past, from which we often carry a lot of shame, regret and remorse. We feel sadness and dread about our uncertain and bleak future. We carry sadness about our traumatic experiences, our losses, our current circumstances, our relationships, our self-esteem.

Hopelessness

People with depression of all kinds, including functional depression, often feel despair and hopelessness, on a regular basis. They experience suicidal thoughts, ideation and behavior, and as we know, many take their lives. We find ourselves surprised when people take their own lives who seemed happy, whose lives seemed perfect- they may have been living with functional depression and not shown any warning signs to the people in their lives.

We all need support, nurturing and care. Let’s make it a point to check on our loved ones as often as we can, whether or not they have already exhibited signs of depression. It can make all the difference.

The community at Enlightened Solutions is here to help. Call (833) 801-LIVE.