Can a Negative Mindset Lead to Symptoms of Depression?
There is a good chance that you have experienced symptoms of depression in your lifetime or know someone who has. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, it can affect anyone at any time. The mind is a beautiful and complicated organ and despite all of the research and studies over the years, we still do not understand all of its complexities.
However, one thing that we can be sure of is that a negative mindset can very much be a factor in depression. There are many factors when it comes to depression symptoms, for quite some time it was believed to be purely chemical. While that may be true for some sufferers, it is not true for every person.
Psychology Today discusses how many thoughts we have in a single day (up to 50,000) and if those thoughts are negative, well… just imagine the damage that your own thoughts are having on your mood.
Once you are in the grips of depression, it can be quite difficult to alter that mindset; after all, it is far easier to give in. Except it isn’t.
Does Therapy Help
Cognitive Therapy has been heavily researched over the years and it is proven to aid those showing symptoms of depression. There are many types of therapy, each type can be used for different issues.
The key to successful therapy sessions is having a willingness and an open mind. Therapy teaches vital techniques that will assist you in converting negatives into positives.
Through open and honest discussion with an unbiased ear, the patient can get to the root of the problem. Those who suffer from depression tend to move towards alcohol and drugs to cover up their severe low moods. The substances cover up the feelings temporarily and due to that momentary relief the patient continues down that destructive path. This obviously impacts other aspects of health, which then feeds into the vicious cycle.
A Harvard review discusses how mindfulness meditation is another technique that can be used instead of, or alongside, therapy. This can assist in the treatment of the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Three issues that tend to come as a package deal- the key to it is that the patient deal with their past head on and accepts the experiences that they have lived through.
Mindfulness meditation is most frequently used in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It will arm patients with the tools to deal with self-defeating thoughts and irrational perspectives.
One of the most wonderful aspects of this technique is that it can be started at home. There is no need for a doctor to start practicing mindfulness meditation, simply do some research and learn how easy it is to get started.
Create Your Own Reality
According to the Cognitive Therapy website, there are 4 chief types of negative thinking; all of them revolve around the same thing- fear of failure. Those types of thoughts apply such a grave pressure to a person that it is no wonder that depression symptoms manifest themselves in those who frequently live their lives by these thoughts. Perfectionists strive to get everything just right, that is an impossibility.
Use a thought record to track opportunities and write down how you will handle the situation when something similar arises. Keeping a journal like this will assist in letting go of the thoughts that have been dragging you down. Whether a negative mindset truly leads to depression or it is depression that feeds a negative mindset, the steps listed above can help you cope with the symptoms.
One thing is sure, stress and a negative mindset absolutely feed depression and learning to cope with these issues will assist you in beating the symptoms of depression.
Can Yoga Help with Symptoms of Depression?
There have been many studies done to see just what the effects are of yoga for those that are depressed. However, most of those studies were inconclusive when it comes to deciding if yoga really does help with the symptoms of depression. So, the real focus is on whether doing yoga can help to enhance a person’s mood which in turn does help with mood in some people. This focus is much narrower, but because yoga is used to help calm the mind as well as the body then yoga surely can’t hurt someone who is suffering from depression.
Certain types of yoga are designed to help with temperament, anger issues and anxiety which in turn will help those who suffer with depression symptoms. One type in particular is Iyengar yoga which is a form of hatha yoga which works to align the body. It is believed that if the body is aligned then it transfers into the mind as well.
The Iyengar type of yoga uses a lot of props during the poses. There are bolsters, blankets, chairs, blocks, and straps. These props are used to help assist students in being able to attain perfect alignment while the effects of yoga work on opening up their body.
Incorporate Yoga into Your Treatment
Yoga can help to ease signs of chronic stress, which has been linked to those diagnosed with depression. Because yoga is a physical exercise it can be used as a part of the self-care plan that is used to help those who suffer from depression. It is important that you talk with your health care professional before incorporating yoga into your treatment program. While some believe it can be helpful there are others that believe it’s not.
If you feel that you are showing symptoms of depression and haven’t been to seek help from a professional it is important that you do. There are treatments available for you and yoga just might be something that you can incorporate into your daily exercise routine.
There are several self-care options out there for you and talking with your doctor can help you decide if yoga is one that might be helpful for you and your particular symptoms. Doing yoga can help to calm the mind and the body which can be extremely helpful in those suffering from signs of depression.
Getting the mind and the body in balance is the main goal for yoga and can be used for you to supplement any other therapy you might be doing. Alternative therapy can be touchy for some doctors, so again, make sure to talk to your doctor and make sure you are making the right decision when it comes to doing yoga.
Medical Conditions Leading to Depression
Medical conditions are often the culprit for causing depression. If you’re experiencing health problems, it can be natural and normal to have feelings of grief and sadness. It’s possible that not dealing with those feelings can cause them to become more intense and disabling.
One of the most common causes of depression is chronic illness. Chronic illness could be any illness that causes regular treatment and leads to a change in your lifestyle. For example, if you’ve become diabetic or have had a heart attack you’re more at risk for depression. Other similar conditions include stroke. After a stroke you may not regain the function that you once had. Losing your independence may lead to feelings of helplessness, depression, and isolation.
Cancer is another medical condition that can make a major change in your lifestyle and lead to feelings of depression. Not only are you dealing with the concern that your life may end earlier than you expected the treatment for cancer is often painful and debilitating.
Depression and Sexual Dysfunction
Another problem that people often have to deal with is sexual dysfunction. This can be related to your heart health or other conditions. But regardless of the cause, individuals who have problems in this area are twice as likely to develop depression. As you can see, this is an important area of health you shouldn’t ignore. Many people feel shame or embarrassment related to sexual dysfunction. But often sexual dysfunction is related to a physical issue and can be treated with great success.
You might also experience depression as a result of an injury that has had a major impact on your lifestyle. For example, an injury that causes you to be reliant on a wheelchair or other assistive device can lead to feelings of sadness, grief and depression. Chronic pain is also linked to depression. For example, if you’ve had multiple back surgeries and are still left with a lot of pain you may find that the pain leads to feelings of depression and frustration.
The Aging Process Can Lead to Depression
Even the simple process of aging can lead to feelings of depression. You may feel you’ve lost some independence or experience social isolation. The good news is that if you’re experiencing medical problems there are often very helpful solutions. For example, if your feelings are related to a specific illness or injury you can often find support groups in your area where you can go and talk to others in the same situation.
Being able to share your experience with people who understand can go a long way toward removing feelings of shame and isolation. You can also seek professional treatment from a mental health professional to help you deal with feelings. In some cases, you may also be prescribed medications to assist with lifting your depression.
The Difference Between Burnout and Depression
A lot of people who are "burned out" show signs of depression. Depression is often an indicator that someone has burnout syndrome. What's the difference? These terms are often used interchangeably. However, even though they are related in some ways, they're not actually the same. Stress has a lot to do with both burnout and depression.
When you are challenged in any way, mentally or physically, emotionally or spiritually, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol. These are known as the "stress hormones". Your pulse quickens, your breathing becomes deep, your heart starts pumping blood at a faster rate. All your senses are on high alert. This is part of your "fight or flight" response, which has allowed human beings to survive and rule the planet for eons.
Chronic stress, when your body is constantly releasing stress hormones, can lead to a situation where you simply cannot cope with the never-ending stress in your life. When you feel out of control, like there is no end in sight to the turmoil in your life, depression is a normal reaction. Unfortunately, so is burnout when your stress is left untreated.
The Definitions of Burnout and Depression
The US National Library of Medicine defines depression as:
"A state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being."
That respected health institution goes on to say that depression episodes are short-lived. A constantly depressed state is a sign of possible burnout. The Mental Health Foundation in the United Kingdom gives us this depression definition:
"Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration." On the other hand, psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter of the magazine and website Psychology Today tells us that burnout:
"Is more than just a bad day or a bad week. It's a problem that significantly interferes with one's health, happiness, and over quality of life." She goes on to say that the difference between a stressed-out individual experiencing depression, and burnout, "is a matter of degree".
The respected health authority that is the Mayo Clinic has this to say about burnout:
"Burnout is a special type of stress – a chronic state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion."
As you can see, when depression is long-term, it is often a sign of burnout. Many people enter a distressed state of emotions periodically. Put another way, you may be depressed if you experience a bad day from time to time. Your issue might be burnout if you feel that every day is a bad day. If you do feel depressed or stressed out constantly, your issue could be burnout, which can lead to serious health problems long-term when left untreated.