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Have you ever been told to “just snap out of it?” When you are experiencing the symptoms of depression, you know that is not good advice. Learning more about the symptoms and effects of the mental illness can help you be better prepared to manage it. A mental health screening can help you recognize the symptoms and know more about how to get out of depression.

Together for Mental Health

October 7 is National Depression Screening Day, part of National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. The theme for this year is “Together for Mental Health.” Mental health conditions should be discussed openly throughout the year, but this month is designated to focus on improved care for all individuals with mental illness.

A screening that is free, confidential, and anonymous can help you determine whether your symptoms might point to depression. The screening is not a diagnosis. You can use it as a tool to move forward with seeking treatment and learning more about how to get out of depression.

Learn About the Symptoms

When you know more about depression, including the symptoms you are experiencing, it can help you better manage the illness. Some of the symptoms of depression include a persistent feeling of sadness or emptiness as well as a feeling of hopelessness. In addition, you may be experiencing:

  • Irritability, restlessness, or frustration
  • Feelings of helplessness or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed
  • Significantly decreased energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering details
  • Difficulty sleeping, including early morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
  • Aches or pains, including headaches and stomach problems that don’t have a clear physical cause and that do not get better with treatment.

Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide are serious symptoms of depression. If you are thinking about suicide or about hurting yourself, call 911 immediately or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text HELLO to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Develop a Positive Support Network

When you are trying to get out of depression, a positive support network can help. When you have close family members or friends who understand your condition, it can make a huge difference in how you manage your depression. You will know that you have people you can count on, especially when you want to talk through what you are feeling.

A formal support group also gives you a network of people who understand what you are going through as you experience the symptoms of depression. If you are not comfortable meeting in person, there are a number of online groups available that give you the same support in the comfort and safety of your home.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Though it may take some effort, improving your physical health can have positive results for your mental health as well. Focus on eating nutritious meals that give you the vitamins and nutrients you need. Try to eat more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Go for a walk for find another way to get some exercise. Getting outside and participating in physical activity may feel like the last thing you want to do, but physical activity has been shown to release endorphins that improve mood and can be an effective part of your effort to get out of depression. Start slowly at first if you need to but try to get moving in a constructive way every day.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Many people experiencing the symptoms of depression will turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to manage their condition. However, these substances will only make your mental illness worse. Alcohol is a depressant and can make you even more fatigued with feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Substance use can also lead to an addiction, which will need to be treated at the same time as your depression.

Reach Out for Treatment

A mental health screening can guide you toward a better understanding of your symptoms. The next step is to reach out to a healthcare professional for treatment so you can get out of your depression and begin living a healthier life, physically and mentally.

Hope by the Sea is Here to Help

If you or someone you love is dealing with mental health issues, the professionals at Hope by the Sea are here to help. We are a southern California mental health and addiction treatment center, focused on helping men and women begin the journey of recovery from mood disorders and addiction. We specialize in treating you as a whole individual, so you can embrace your recovery with as much support and momentum as possible. When you need help treating your mental health or substance use disorder, we offer the dual diagnosis treatment program you need. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services. Hope Starts Here!