Depression and Over-Sleeping
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Ten hours, eleven hours... the hours fly by in bed. But oversleeping is detrimental, just as insomnia is. Learn more about this depression symptoms.
Transcript: Excessive sleeping or feeling overly tired during the day is one of the symptoms of major depression-affecting...
Excessive sleeping or feeling overly tired during the day is one of the symptoms of major depression-affecting 15 to 20 percent of people who have the disease. If you are crawling into bed for more than 8 hours a night or taking extended naps during the day, talk with your doctor to make sure medications you are taking are not the cause. Extreme drowsiness may be a side effect of your antidepressant or an interaction between that drug and other meds you take. If your HYPERsomnia-that's oversleeping-is not from your medications, talk with your therapist about what you are feeling and why you think you are so tired all the time. If you're not in psychotherapy, you might want to start. In therapy, you'll learn to confront your feelings and negative thoughts. You may find you are subconsciously DODGING them with sleep. And whatever you do, don't STOP taking your antidepressants. They help relieve your depression and your symptoms may WORSEN if you go off them abruptly. Sometimes, people who re depressed use intoxicating substances as self-medication to dull their thoughts and feelings. But alcohol and drugs can DEEPLY impact your sleep cycle, and may make you oversleep even more. Plus, alcohol can make your symptoms WORSE, clash with your antidepressants and INCREASE your risk of suicide. One effective way to break out of your lethargic state is to start working out. Exercise has been shown to ease depression, and regular physical activity may help reset your wake-sleep cycle. SUNLIGHT also may help reset that cycle - so if the weather's okay, exercise outside. To learn more about major depression, watch other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-22 | Tags »
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It's very small, yet important, details that make up your depression story. And writing them down in a mood diary may help your doctor determine the best treatment for you.
Transcript: You may not realize it, but it's the little things that can aggravate or relieve depression. For instance,...
You may not realize it, but it's the little things that can aggravate or relieve depression. For instance, a small mishap during breakfast, a dip in energy around noon, or a sudden burst of energy around dinner are all very small, but very important details that make up your depression story. Identifying those details and writing them down in a mood diary may help your doctor determine what forms of treatment could be best for you. And it can help YOU understand your depression triggers. In a mood diary you note any and every change in your feelings and outlook. In addition, you might like using a mood SCALE, where you rate your feelings numerically from 1 to 10 or rank them with phrases ranging from "very upset" to "very happy". You also will want to record the day's events, so you remember exactly what was happening that day. There, you'll always want to note a few items:* Your daily medications and dosages. For everything, not just depression.* Notes about side effects you think are associated with a specific medication.* If you have had any alcohol or used recreational drugs.* How much sleep you got the night before and when you went to bed.* Anxiety or panic attacks. You might also note certain changes or events that are less frequent, such as: Your menstrual cycle, monthly changes in weight, friends birthdays, family events, compliments at work and outings or vacations. You -and your therapist--can use your mood diary to track any patterns that would otherwise remain undetected. Your therapist will then use the detailed information to design and implement the best and most individualized treatment plan for YOU. Some people find that the diary offers a sense of control over their depression. It lets them keep tabs on symptoms while highlighting personal choices, such as playing an instrument, painting or walking the dog. That way they can structure their day in a way that weaves mood-lifting activities around times when they often start feeling more depressed. For more information on depression treatment options, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-02 | Tags »
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Having major depressive disorder (MDD) can be difficult, but having a family that understands and supports you can help. Watch this video about helping your family understand your MDD.
Transcript: Major depression can be hard to understand if you've never experienced it. So you may find that your...
Major depression can be hard to understand if you've never experienced it. So you may find that your family members are a little confused by what you are going through. You need to let them in on what's going on with you. The idea SEEMS daunting, but major depression is a burden that will feel lighter once you LET yourself open up to people who care about you. You don't need to tell EVERYONE in your family-start SLOWLY and confide in one trusted relative first. If you're feeling up to it, answer questions about your major depression. They'll want to know about your symptoms. If you inform them about the most common ones--such as fatigue, disinterest, irritability, sadness and lack of appetite-they'll better understand why you may sometimes behave in ways they don't expect or understand. They may MISTAKENLY think that you can just SHAKE OFF your depression. Tell them that you have a very REAL illness which is caused, at least in part, by a CHEMICAL imbalance in your brain. Your antidepressants correct the imbalance, and YOUR work in therapy will relieve your symptoms, but NEITHER work right away. Eighty to ninety percent of people diagnosed with major depression DO recover successfully, but it takes time. You might need at least a couple MONTHS of treatment to feel the full effects of medication and to begin to benefit from therapy. Your relatives will be EAGER to support you-and you should let them. But they may not KNOW what you need, so give them specifics to the best of your ability-you might prefer encouraging words, an entertaining diversion or simple conversation. By the same token, you should feel comfortable with politely telling them when you DO want to be left alone. But...COMPLETE isolation isn't a good idea. Social connections are important- a 2005 study showed that emotional support helps ease depression. To get more information about major depression, watch other videos in this series.More »
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If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with MDD, then you probably have many questions. Check out this video for FAQs about major depression treatment.
Transcript: If you've been NEWLY diagnosed with major depression, you PROBABLY have some questions. Let me help you...
If you've been NEWLY diagnosed with major depression, you PROBABLY have some questions. Let me help you answer FIVE of the most common ones. Do you need to go on antidepressants? Forever? Your psychiatrist will help decide what pertains to YOU, personally. But the American Psychiatric Association recommends antidepressants as an initial treatment choice for mild to moderate depression, and strongly suggests they be used for patients with SEVERE depression. Since major depression is partially caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, ANTIDEPRESSANTS balance OUT the levels of these chemicals, known as neurotransmitters. People react to antidepressants differently, but often, people who have had 2 or more major depressive episodes within 5 years-- DO stay on antidepressants for a long time. Next question. How LONG before the antidepressants KICK IN? Well, you might START to feel better in a couple weeks, but they must be taken REGULARLY for 6 - sometimes even 8 -- weeks before you feel maximum relief. So it's important not to give up too soon. If you're not feeling better even after 6 to 8 weeks, your doctor will probably switch the medication or add a second one. THIRD question: What about SIDE effects? SSRIs -- or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors - are the most popular class of antidepressants, namely because it has FEWER side effects than older antidepressants. And while the side effects depend on which SSRI you take, many of them may go away over time. SSRI side effects may include: nausea, agitation, dry mouth, headache, weight gain, loss of orgasm and low sex drive. Other antidepressants, such as tricyclics and MAO inhibitors, may ALSO cause high blood pressure, constipation, blurred vision and weight gain. If you're being bothered by side effects, your doctor should be able to switch your prescription. Fourth question. Do you need BOTH psychotherapy AND antidepressants? You might. While psychotherapy and antidepressants are DEFINITELY effective on their own, numerous studies have shown that TOGETHER, they're far MORE successful. Last question. How can I help MYSELF? There's plenty you can do to take an active role in your treatment, and Mental Health America reports that a pro-active approach WILL aid recovery. You can: Start exercising...eat healthy... take supplements...meditate... and get acupuncture. These techniques - have all been shown to relieve symptoms for some people. Ask your psychiatrist for additional info. To get more details on major depression treatment, watch other videos in this series!More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-30 | Tags »
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Stress and depression go hand in hand. Learn how to break the cycle of stress and depression.
Transcript: Stress and depression have quite the relationship. That's because stress increases levels of the hormone...
Stress and depression have quite the relationship. That's because stress increases levels of the hormone CORTISOL, and REDUCES levels of the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Cortisol speeds up heart rate, tenses muscles and revs up overall negativity and intensity. While lack of available serotonin and dopamine in the brain causes the blues. So if you're prone to bouts of depression, identifying and reducing stressors in your life can actually make you happier. One very effective way to IDENTIFY stressors is to keep a stress journal that documents the ins-and-outs of your daily life, while paying close attention to things that trigger stressful feelings, such as: * Work, including deadlines, relationships with your boss and coworkers, and even extra work you take on voluntarily * Personal errands, including cleaning and grocery shopping * Family matters and schedules * Health concerns * Debt and other financial stressors. You also want to notice how you're responding to stress. Some of the ways you may try to get relief from stress that actually BACKFIRE and produce MORE stress include: *smoking or drinking *using recreational drugs and overusing prescription drugs *sleeping too much *reacting with explosive anger or violence *withdrawing from family and friends. By replacing these negative responses with positive, and actually EFFECTIVE, ways to reduce stress, you can take control of your mood and begin to feel better. The next time you're stressed, make an effort to:* Side step stressors. I know that not all stress can be avoided, but steering clear of a stressful sibling or coworker can help, as can turning off an angst-ridden TV movie or taking care of responsibilities in a timely manner. Yes, that means giving up procrastination.* Communicate. If someone or something is stressing you out, discuss it. This way you can deal with it head on and avoid future flare ups. It's also helpful to learn to forgive, this way you aren't carrying any stressful resentment. * Clear clutter. When your home and office are messy it's hard to feel peaceful and relaxed. Unclutter your digital life too. Yes, close the laptop, turn off the smart phone and take a walk. When your mind is clear, stress drifts away. *Get in shape. A healthy diet packed with whole grains and omega-3s, along with regular exercise, can help release mood-improving endorphins and make you feel better about yourself both physically and emotionally.* Catch up on your hobbies. Depression can make you uninterested in activities that used to give you pleasure. Reclaim them and make room for them in your life.For more information on how to manage your depression, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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That cocktail might seem like the answer to your depression, but alcohol and depression actually go hand in hand. Find out the dangers of alcohol and depression.
Transcript: You might think that alcohol makes you feel more CAREFREE, less blue. But alcohol is actually a DEPRESSANT,...
You might think that alcohol makes you feel more CAREFREE, less blue. But alcohol is actually a DEPRESSANT, so it's ultimately wise for anyone with major depression to AVOID alcohol consumption. If you're taking antidepressants such as SSRIs that affect mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, alcohol may COUNTERACT their effectiveness blocking any mood-boost they may have offered. Alcohol consumption can also WORSEN the side effects of some antidepressants, exaggerating drowsiness, DIZZINESS and impaired coordination. One particular class of antidepressants known as monoamine-oxidase inhibitors-or MAOIs-reacts BADLY with tyramine, an ingredient found in wine and beer. This combination can trigger a drastic, sudden rise in blood pressure. If you have major depression, you're likely familiar with insomnia. Alcohol can make insomnia worse because while you may fall asleep sooner, alcohol can prevent you from getting DEEP sleep. You're also more likely to wake up in the middle of the night. Alcohol consumption may also increase risk of SUICIDE because it makes a person more impulsive and weakens judgment. Additionally, you might be at greater risk for alcohol abuse. In fact, depression is the MOST COMMON psychiatric problem in alcoholics. If you're ALREADY predisposed to alcoholism, you don't want to RISK triggering dependence for what are fleeting feelings of relief. To learn more about major depression, watch other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-31 | Tags »
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Even if you feel your depression meds are working, don't stop taking them. Learn why depression meds & compliance is critical to your treatment.
Transcript: When you take cold medicine, in an hour or less your symptoms diminish. That makes it easy to see why...
When you take cold medicine, in an hour or less your symptoms diminish. That makes it easy to see why you should KEEP dosing yourself. But it's less obvious-at least right away-why you should STICK to an antidepressant. The benefits don't kick in immediately-in fact, it can take up to two months before you feel significant relief from your depression. For some people, that can be so frustrating that they don't want to stick with the therapy. A depressed person plagued with pessimism and negativity might give up TOO SOON. For others, the SIDE EFFECTS associated with the medication are troubling and make them reluctant to take the meds. And for still others, depression makes them disinclined to seize control of their wellbeing and take full responsibility for becoming healthier. They are just not willing or able to comply with treatment recommendations. On the flip side, some people stop taking the medication as soon as they start to feel BETTER. In reality, you should stay on your meds for at least 6 months, and LONGER if you've had 2 or more major depressive episodes within 5 years. But whatever the reason, many, many people FAIL to follow their doctor's prescription for antidepressant therapy. In fact, different studies have reported that only about 20 percent of patients comply, according to the World Health Organization. This is VERY risky behavior, because stopping medication abruptly or taking it sporadically can increase depression-like symptoms or plunge you back into full blown major depression. When it IS time to come off antidepressants, your doctor will put you on a tapering-off schedule so your body can gradually adjust to going without the medication. To learn more about antidepressants, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Your lapses in memory may not be coincidental. Learn more about the relationship between memory and major depressive disorder.
Transcript: Major depression is commonly associated with symptoms such as BODY pain, insomnia, FATIGUE, and decreased...
Major depression is commonly associated with symptoms such as BODY pain, insomnia, FATIGUE, and decreased libido. But an even more troubling, and harder to pin down side effect is memory problems. Research has found that chronic depression may damage your HIPPOCAMPUS, an area of the brain mostly responsible for short-term memories and new learning. And the longer you suffer from major depression, the greater your risk for memory loss. The hippocampus contains receptors for the stress hormone CORTISOL. People with major depression are known to have cortisol levels that remain slightly but consistently higher in that region of the brain. Prolonged exposure to cortisol may SHRINK or ATROPHY the hippocampus, causing memory loss and maybe even mild cognitive impairment, which is the stage of memory problems that comes before Alzheimer's disease. A 2010 study performed at Rush University Medical Center even indicates that depression may DOUBLE the risk for Alzheimer's disease. If major depression is TREATED early enough, memory loss MAY be avoidable OR reversible. However, in rare instances, people reported memory problems as a side effect of almost all antidepressants but those problems went away when they stopped taking the medication. If you have major depression and are experiencing memory problems you've never had before, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Watch other videos in this series to learn more about major depression.More »
Last Modified: 2013-02-01 | Tags »
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Depression is common, but it's often misunderstood. Learn which myths about depression can be debunked.
Transcript: Even though major depression affects more than 21 million Americans, many people have trouble understanding...
Even though major depression affects more than 21 million Americans, many people have trouble understanding exactly how it affects someone and what causes it. One common misunderstanding is that depression ONLY occurs when something BAD happens to a person, like a death in the family or the loss of a job. While these events can TRIGGER a depressive episode, often times, major depression develops in an individual WITHOUT any preceding specific event. Let's examine the FALSE notion that depression is simply a NASTY case of the blues. Many studies show that depression is caused in part by an IMBALANCE of the neurotransmitters in your brain. These neurotransmitters-namely SEROTONIN, norepinephrine and dopamine-influence our moods and help the brain transmit information, thoughts and feelings. Research also suggests that the neurons in the brains of depressed people don't adapt and grow the same way that they do in non-depressed people. FURTHERMORE, MRIs have revealed that that there are PHYSICAL differences between the brains of depressed and non-depressed people. But there's more research needed to strengthen these theories. These discoveries dispel the myth that depressed people should be able to FORCE themselves to be happy. To correct these neurological and chemical brain glitches and get relief from their symptoms, people with major depression usually need to start-and often STAY with-antidepressants and psychotherapy. That leads me to another myth. Major depression doesn't just GO AWAY on its own. Don't ever wait for this to happen-UNTREATED depression MAY lead to cognitive problems, memory loss, and even physical problems such as headaches and digestive disorder. And, suicide is MORE likely if depression is left untreated. In fact, major depression is the TOP risk factor for suicide in the elderly. Along with psychotherapy, ANTIDEPRESSANTS help depressed people manage their symptoms. But they're also at the center of a common myth-that they somehow erase ESSENTIAL parts of an individual's personality. A 2009 study out of Northwestern University shows that the medications do change personality-but in a GOOD way! In the study, they found that the antidepressant increased the POSITIVE emotions in participants, and DECREASED neuroticism and introversion, which are related to depression. This brings me to another myth. Antidepressants are often erroneously thought of as "happy pills." In reality, these medications aren't "picker-uppers" - they DON'T instantly transform a sad person into a peppy, cheerful one. What they do is normalize chemical imbalances in the brain. Bleak moods, out of proportion to what is going on, can subside and with therapy the person can take on life's ever-changing good and bad events.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-17 | Tags »
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Anger and depression have a volatile relationship. See how they continually fuel each other and what you can do to break the cycle of anger and depression.
Transcript: Anger and depression have a volatile relationship. Depression can fuel anger, and anger can act as an...
Anger and depression have a volatile relationship. Depression can fuel anger, and anger can act as an outlet for uncontrolled depression. And the angrier a depressed person becomes, the more depressed he may feel. According to researchers, anger and depression activate adjacent areas of the brain, share the same neurological pathways and are regulated by the same neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.Numerous risk factors can lead to simultaneous feelings of depression and anger in susceptible individuals. Some of these risk factors include: * Heredity. The tendency towards depression AND uncontrolled anger IS related to genetic predispositions. They don't determine your fate, but can alert you to your risk and make you more vigilant about avoiding potential triggers of both depression and anger.* Poor health. The frustrations and fears associated with poor health, plus the lack of physical activity that often goes along with it, can fuel feelings of anger and depression that may be brewing inside a person. * Environmental factors. This includes loneliness, lack of support system, unemployment and debt. No mystery why these can worsen depression or cause anger.* Drug and alcohol abuse. Artificial stimulants and depressants may affect the part of the brain that triggers feelings of depression and anger. It turns out that what people THINK will provide relief only makes them feel worse in the long run. Fortunately, the cycle of depression and anger can be broken with the right treatment, which may include anti-depressants combined with stress-relief techniques, lifestyle modification and talk therapy. For more information on how to manage depression, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Hypnotherapy? Really? Yes, really. When it comes to hypnotherapy and depression, experts believe that this deep relaxation can help promote positive thinking. Find out how.
Transcript: Whether you are taking anti-depressants or not, you may want to try an adjunct treatment such as talk...
Whether you are taking anti-depressants or not, you may want to try an adjunct treatment such as talk therapy -- or even hypnotism. Although there is some controversy about what it means to be hypnotized, it appears that succumbing to the suggestion that you are deeply relaxed and free of conscious thought, puts the nervous system to sleep for short periods of time. During these trance-like, 'hyper-relaxed' moments, your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure slow down. In depression treatments, it's at that point when your doctor or hypnotist may help you construct new, healthier thought processes and behaviors, such as deep breathing or positive thinking, to use when feelings of depression set in. Afterwards, you are brought back to normal waking consciousness and you will discuss the process with the hypnotherapist.Does it really work? Well, a 2007 study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that it was more helpful than cognitive-behavioral therapy in reducing depression, anxiety and hopelessness. And the benefits continued for a year after the hypnosis was used. However, hypnotherapy isn't for everyone. In fact, up to 10 percent of the population cannot be hypnotized at all. And it's not suitable for people who use drugs or alcohol or experience delusions and hallucinations. In addition, since many states do not regulate hypnotherapy, you'll want to really research your options and consult your doctor to make sure the practitioner is reputable.It is best to obtain a proper diagnosis and treatment for major depression from a doctor or psychiatrist before considering hypnotherapy. Without a proper diagnosis, hypnotherapy may worsen symptoms of depression. And the MOST effective way to relieve major depression is proven to be a combination of lifestyle modification, medication and psychological therapy -- which may include hypnosis.For more information on ways to manage depression, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-01 | Tags »
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Life becomes challenging when someone you know is depressed. It's tough to know what to say and when someone is depressed what NOT to say.
Transcript: When a loved one has major depressive disorder or MDD it's tough to know what to say - or NOT say. You...
When a loved one has major depressive disorder or MDD it's tough to know what to say - or NOT say. You want to understand what the person is going through, but the truth is you DON'T quite. And you want to offer comfort and consolation-but aren't sure what will help. Well, there are some basic guidelines that will help you navigate the tricky situation. First and foremost, remember that your loved one didn't CHOOSE to be depressed. Depression is caused by a combination of factors: a person's genes and biochemical make up, life experiences and psychological factors. If you understand THAT, it will help you avoid laying BLAME on the person for being depressed. And you won't say things such as "Get over yourself, you're just in a rut." or "Why do you always have to be such a drama queen?" It will ALSO help you understand that a person can't simply SHAKE OFF depression. You do more harm than good by suggesting that they just "Snap out of it!" or "Think some good thoughts." Also, don't belittle the situation. You only hurt the person's feelings by saying:-"What do you have to be depressed about?"- or "You're not the only one who gets sad."While dealing with a loved one's depression may be difficult, don't make the situation about YOU. Telling your loved one that you know how they feel because you were ONCE blue, or relating what YOU DO to get out of a funk, will not ring true, unless you've also had MDD. Instead try saying: -"I can't really understand what you're feeling, but I am here if you need anything any time of the day or night." - and "Maybe seeing a therapist is a good idea." For more information on dealing with depression, check out other videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-01 | Tags »
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Is group therapy right for you? Well, it certainly has its advantages. Check out this video to learn more about the benefits of group therapy.
Transcript: Along with antidepressants, INDIVIDUAL, one-on-one psychotherapy is a cornerstone of treatment for anyone...
Along with antidepressants, INDIVIDUAL, one-on-one psychotherapy is a cornerstone of treatment for anyone with major depression. But GROUP psychotherapy is effective in treating major depression as well. The group structure is more affordable than individual therapy. It allows you to practice your new coping skills with others, and it will improve your communication skills because you can interact with the other participants without fear of judgment. Plus, group therapy may help you avoid feelings of loneliness. Your DOCTOR will decide if group therapy will SUPPLEMENT your current treatment or REPLACE individual therapy sessions, but it's NOT something you should start on your own. Also, if you're having suicidal thoughts, you need more than group therapy. You should speak ONE ON ONE to a mental health professional. A typical group therapy session involves several people, usually no more than 12, sitting in a circle. The group is always guided by a mental health professional. Several types of psychotherapy can work in a group format, including cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is most often used for major depression, however. Like individual psychotherapy, cognitive GROUP therapy will help you identify and replace your negative thinking patterns and behaviors for positive ones. Interpersonal therapy is used to treat several types of depression. It focuses on improving the patient's behavior and interaction patterns with others. SUPPORT groups may also help you from feeling lonely, but they're a bit different from group psychotherapy. Support groups are not always led by professional therapists because they exist to help you COPE with symptoms, not to TREAT your unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. You can gain helpful tips from group members on how to MANAGE depression and feel less isolated, but you wouldn't usually begin a support group until AFTER you're on a steady treatment plan for managing your depression. Whichever forum you and your doctor decide may best help you manage your depression, remember that there's NO need to go through this illness alone. To learn more about major depression treatment, take a look at other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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