Preventing Depression Relapses With Therapy

It’s a unique feeling to wake up and feel like singing. The sun is shining, the world is bright, and there are things to do that you are excited to accomplish. It’s that brilliant feeling that you learn to look for and appreciate as you face challenging and draining times. 

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Nobody wants to lose that feeling. However, depression can make it difficult to remember why you treasure this happiness at all. It can drain your energy, your motivations, and your joy dry. This mental health issue is just as severe and as lethal as other physical diseases in the world. Depression is not just a form of sadness. It is a mood disorder that can lead to a myriad of mental, emotional, and physical problems.

It’s an uphill battle to overcome depression. You have to take action and remember that you are not alone. However difficult it may be, it’s not impossible. But often, this is also not the final battle. Depression can occur more than once in your life, and each instance doesn’t mean that surmounting it becomes easier. 

Negative emotions don’t just go away. Some might rely on treating the symptoms with pills and medication, and others may choose to ignore it and refuse help. With the help of professional therapists, you can equip yourself with the tools to face the root of the problem. Undergoing therapy even after first overcoming bouts of depression can help keep you mentally healthy for life.

The Toll of Depression

Any health problem can leave a person drained and less healthy than before. It takes a lot of our willpower and strength to combat not only physical but mental illnesses. This requirement is the same for depression. Throughout a depressive episode, you may lose the vigor to continue looking for a better day and even the motivation to keep on living. 

It’s a serious issue that many of our people face today. In 2020, more than 264 million people worldwide battled with depression. Fortunately, the rising awareness of mental disorders such as depression can encourage people to take care of their mental health.

Depression isn’t only sadness. It can manifest in different symptoms that vary in severity. Here are some symptoms that can be a sign of someone struggling with depression:

  • Strong negative emotions such as sadness, hopelessness, and anger
  • Loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities and lack of energy
  • Difficulty sleeping or over-sleeping
  • Anxiety and difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent suicidal or harmful thoughts
  • Physical pains such as chronic pain and headaches

These symptoms can reach a point where they can start negatively affecting your daily life. You may stop doing simple activities such as chores or running errands. It can feel like you need so much energy to get out of bed or go to school or work. They continue to feed into a downward cycle of depression.

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Recovery, Relapse, and Recurrence

Despite how severe depression and all its effects are, it’s not something you have to experience 365 days a year. It is an episodic disorder. Meaning that even after you overcome it, there are still high chances of a relapse or the recurrence of another episode.

A relapse into depression is characterized by experiencing depressive symptoms less than six months after your treatment. On the other hand, a recurrence is the onset of symptoms after those first six months. The continuing struggle against depression can seem hopeless.  But know that there are ways to be alert, prepared, and minimize the impact of a relapse or recurrence.

The most evident sign of relapse is experiencing depressive symptoms. A persistent change in your usual behavior can be your most glaring warning sign. A few of these symptoms include: 

  • a downward spike in energy levels
  • beginning to eat and sleep much more or much less
  • losing motivation to do what you normally would consider as fun activities 

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Benefits of Therapy 

Heeding the signs can minimize the impact of relapsing and help you overcome it. But the best cure would always still be prevention. While the chances of relapses may be high, you can lessen this and avoid a relapse into depression.

Overcoming depression isn’t the end of taking care of yourself. The healthy habits taught to you by your therapist are good practices to continue despite feeling better. Whether this may be journaling, meditation, exercises, or other coping mechanisms, these will go a long way to staying mentally healthy. 

You are also not alone. Having a steady support system can give you an outlet for the buildup of negative emotions that so often trigger depressive episodes. Don’t be afraid to rely on your friends, family, and significant other. When times get tough, they can be the first to notice the warning signs and be the best sources for encouragement and motivation.

Your therapist is also there for you. Their job to help you doesn’t end once your prior depression is resolved. It is part of their professional care to ensure that you stay happy, healthy and equipped to avoid relapses in depression.

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Keeping the lessons and exercising the practices you’ve received throughout your therapy sessions isn’t the only thing you can do. Continue seeing your therapists regularly to heed the warning signs and cultivate a healthy lifestyle. 

One form of therapy that is beneficial for people with recurrent depression is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. It focuses on combining mindfulness training and cognitive therapy to teach you to be more aware of your mental state. With this, you can look for the signs of negative thoughts and emotions and deal with them healthily.

In Conclusion

Talking about depression can be, well, very depressing. This feeling is especially true at a point when you may have thought that your mood disorder and all its accompanying negative emotions are a thing of the past. However, it’s crucial to be aware and alert about the risks of relapse and recurrence. 

However, relapses and recurrences are avoidable. Plus, you don’t have to deal with these alone. Your therapist and the regular therapy sessions can keep you on track on a happier, mentally, and emotionally healthier life.

How Therapy Can Help Students With Manic Depression

Manic depression or bipolar disorder is a neurobiological disorder affecting the brain’s functions. Symptoms of this condition can be difficult to manage, especially for kids and teens. Some signs of early bipolar disorder in adolescents can include impulsivity, talkativeness, and a short attention span, all of which can negatively impact their academic performance.

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Beyond academic performance, untreated manic depression can result in serious problems such as substance abuse and suicide attempts. Despite all these challenges, students with manic depression can still succeed in the classroom. So early diagnosis and treatment would be most helpful to combat future problems. To help them understand their condition, support and mental health resources must also be readily accessible.

What Is Manic Depression?

Studies show that depressive disorders affect 1 out of every 7 people in the United States. Manic depression, more commonly known as bipolar disorder, is a mental health condition that affects how a person’s brain functions. People with manic depression have their moods swing from extreme emotional highs to extreme emotional lows. The highs are called mania, while the lows are depression.

Two distinct types of manic depression differ in the severity of manic episodes. Bipolar 1 disorder is characterized by experiencing at least one manic episode that precedes a major depressive episode. Some people with bipolar 1 also experience psychosis. On the other hand, people with bipolar 2 disorder experience at least one depressive episode and one hypomanic episode. Symptoms for episodes include: 

For Manic Episodes

  • abnormal hyperactivity or agitation
  • exaggerated self-confidence (euphoria)
  • lack of sleep
  • impulsive behavior

For Depressive Episodes

  • feeling sad or hopeless
  • loss of interest in hobbies
  • weight loss or gain
  • sleeping problems
  • loss of energy
  • suicidal thoughts

What Causes Manic Depression?

While there is no exact known cause for bipolar disorder, several factors may lead to it. These include:

  • biological makeup
  • genetics 
  • family history
  • traumatic experiences
  • substance abuse

Your genetics contribute to a higher risk if an immediate family member also has bipolar disorder. Traumatic episodes, such as losing a loved one or exposure to violence, can also trigger an episode of mania or depression.

Researchers have also agreed that genetic and environmental factors are involved. They found out that bipolar disorder is a condition caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. That is, the brain’s mood-regulating system does not function as it should.

How Can Manic Depression Affect Students?

At least one million American children and teens struggle with bipolar disorder. It’s also been observed that those with bipolar disorder are more likely to have poor academic performance. Consequently, they are also more vulnerable to substance abuse and suicide. 

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The first episodes of bipolar disorder often show up in adolescence. Children may not have the same symptoms of bipolar disorder that adults have. But they experience extremely rapid mood swings, including agitation and anxiety. 

A student with bipolar disorder can suffer from cognitive deficits, even when their mood is stable. These deficits include the inability to do the following: 

  • pay attention
  • remember information
  • think critically
  • organize information
  • solve problems

Because brain function is affected, students with bipolar disorder think, act, and feel are also altered. 

It can be challenging to face this disorder all by yourself. Moreover, symptoms of manic depression are often mistaken for other mental health conditions, such as ADHD and borderline personality disorder. So seeking a proper mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis will be beneficial. 

How Therapy Can Help Students

Seeking help from a mental health professional is the first step towards healing. Therapy makes use of different methods to cater to each patient’s needs. Psychotherapy, with its various treatments, is used to treat manic depression. 

For example, in cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, manic depression is treated one-on-one with a therapist. The primary goal of CBT is to help you approach your thoughts differently, so when you start having manic or depressive thoughts, you can find a way out of it. CBT is short-term and focused on eliminating specific problems, making it incredibly useful for students suffering from manic depression.

CBT works by helping you identify thoughts that contribute to your emotional distress. Therapists challenge these thoughts with you by coming up with different explanations, giving you a more objective perspective. CBT can help you better understand your mental health condition and relieve you from emotional highs and lows. 

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Students can also join support groups that will help encourage them to develop coping skills and give them a safe space to voice their concerns. Support groups will also help them feel less alone in their problems. Through the experience of others, they can get a better understanding of how to cope with their condition.

Other Therapy Remedies For Manic Depression

While going to therapy and seeking guidance from a mental health professional is effective, long-term changes in your behavior can start with yourself. You can do so by developing good habits for keeping yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy through:

 

  1. Proper Exercise 

Physical activity is greatly effective at battling symptoms of depression. Studies suggest that 30 minutes of exercise three times a week is enough to see positive results from exercise. 

  1. Meditation 

Yoga and meditation can help relieve stress and tension. Deep breathing exercises in yoga can potentially adjust the nervous system to reduce stress hormones.

 

  1. Sticking To A Routine

This means going to bed at consistent hours every day and structuring your day. Simple self-care activities, such as making your bed, showering in the morning, and preparing a healthy breakfast can help prevent symptoms of depression. You can try making a list of things you need to do within the day to help you feel more productive and accomplished. 

Conclusion

Symptoms of manic depression in children and teens can be difficult to diagnose at an early age. So, manic depression can make life and school more challenging than they should be. Students need proper access to mental health resources, as depression can negatively impact their academic performance.

If they suffer from drastic mood swings, their brain functions may hinder them from academic success. Despite these challenges, students can still succeed in the classroom when given the support they need. With therapy, students can better understand how their condition affects them, and it can greatly benefit them in finding ways to cope with manic depression.

Mental Health 101: 4 Things I Will Never Do For A Man Again

I am one of those women who wish to find their Prince Charming, get married, and have kids. Every night, I pray for God to push the one in my path so that I do not need to be single anymore. The idea of having someone to share my woes and wins also sounds incredibly appealing to me.

However, no matter how much I fantasize about a happily ever after for myself, my mental health is still intact. There are four things that I will never do for a man ever again.

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Accept All The Blame In Our Relationship

My first boyfriend had anger management issues that I used to pay no mind. He was just diagnosed with a heart problem at the time, and I thought that he merely acted up due to stress. Sometimes, he would pick a fight with me when I couldn’t answer his call at the first ring or had to go to an important work meeting, claiming I didn’t love him anymore. It would come to the point that he would be unable to breathe, causing him to require immediate medical attention.

Of course, since I was young and naïve, I always apologized to him frantically. I felt like everything that happened was my fault, even though it was because of my boyfriend’s inability to control his emotions.

It was only when I got dumped that I realized the problem. I accepted the blame in our relationship too much. I often walked on eggshells around my boyfriend, too. But I never confronted him for his misgivings because I was stupidly in love.

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Consider Turning My Back On My Family And Friends

Another major cause of my fights with my first boyfriend was that he did not want me hanging out with my family, although I lived with them back them. Whenever we had family outings planned, he made me cancel at the last minute. If my friends asked me to meet them, he made me choose between him and my friends.

I will forever be ashamed to admit that I listened to my boyfriend most of the time. I did as I was told, disappointing my family and friends in the process. But then, he ghosted me in the end. I would never even consider leaving my loved ones behind for any man again.

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Give Endless Chances

A year after my breakup, I had a second boyfriend. I had always known that he was a player, but I was a hopeless romantic – I assumed that his gigolo days were over.

Unfortunately, I caught my boyfriend texting some girl once. I forgave when he said that it was from an old fling who kept on bugging him. A few weeks later, my best friend saw him coming out of a bar with another woman in his arms.

When I confronted him, he said sorry, and I let it go again. The only deal-breaker for me was when that same woman called, claiming that she was pregnant with my boyfriend’s child.

At that point, I genuinely blamed myself. I thought, “If I left that guy the first time he tried to cheat on me, I would not have been this brokenhearted.” But things already happened – all I could do was learn from it.

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Remain In Hiding

My third boyfriend was unique. He had been divorced for four years and shared custody for his seven-year-old son with his ex-wife. I did not think I would fall for a divorcee – much less a dad – but his looks, intelligence, and kindness were all swoon-worthy.

After a couple of months of dating, my boyfriend said that his ex-wife found out that he was seeing someone new (me). I was like, “So? You’re a free man now.” But he said, “She is bipolar; her mental health condition is delicate. I hope it’s okay if we stop dating in public places for a while.”

Again, I was stupidly in love, so I agreed to hide our relationship for six more months. I merely got fed up with our setup when we were grocery shopping one time, and the ex-wife happened to be in the same store. My boyfriend left our cart and dragged me to the car, saying that we should stay there until the woman was gone. It made me feel cheap, as if I was a mistress that he needed to hide. I left him on the same day and never answered his calls or texts.

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Bottom Line

The last thing that I learned not to do ever since my first heartbreak – and managed to apply when my other relationships ended – was to avoid crying over the men who hurt me. Of course, I was hurt. I wanted to hurl curses at them and make them feel my pain. But then again, I just told myself that they lost more than I did.

I was – and am still – not a damsel in distress. I make my own living; I don’t ask for anything from anyone. If those guys couldn’t appreciate me, that’s their problem.

Depression From Frustrations

[Supporting Your Husband Dealing With Frustration]

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Depression can come from goals and dreams that did not become a reality. Many people may live the rest of their lives trying to chase the opportunities that they think will lead them to their goals, but sadly some opportunities knock only once.

“There seems to be a misunderstanding that depression is crying all of the time and not getting out of bed. However, increased irritability is a common symptom,” says Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D, LCSW.

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Why Caregivers Are Prone To Depression

 

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In the society, the nurturers or the natural caregivers is not considered as a coveted job as compared to high paying jobs or technology savvy positions. It takes an inherent characteristic to put the welfare of others above one’s self unselfishly. Some caregivers have part-time jobs and at the same time spend the time to assist their loved ones.

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