I found an article on CNN, “Could You be Almost Depressed?”, to be very informative. It reports that as many as 12 million people in the United States may be suffering from low-grade depression symptoms. The author, Shelley Carson, described findings from a Harvard Medical School investigation. “People who are almost depressed report lower job satisfaction, lower satisfaction with their marriage and other personal relationships, more anxiety issues, less control over their lives. In fact, on some of these measures, people who are almost depressed report feeling worse off than people who actually fall into the clinically depressed range. Even though almost depression does not rise to the level of a diagnosable mental disorder, it is nevertheless associated with a substantial amount of distress and suffering.”
There’s a greater likelihood that people who are suffering these low feelings will fall into major depression if something isn’t done. Major depression is a serious mental health concern that can lead to other problems such as heart disease and even dementia. Persistent low feelings should not be ignored.
What can you do?
Get daily exercise. It improves moods due to the release of endorphins and also releases stress and frustration. Find time daily to exercise even if it is just for a few minutes. Since we are approaching the winter season, click here for some tips on how to exercise during this time of year. Getting outside as much as possible is good for everyone!
Improve your sleep habits. Without adequate sleep, your mind and body suffer and whatever you may be dealing with will only be aggravated. Depression, anxiety and stress have been linked to sleep disorders like sleep apnea. If you suspect this may be a problem for you, contact your doctor.
Maintain a balanced, healthy diet. A diet low in sugar and fat and high in protein, fruit, and vegetables is recommended. Better physical health contributes to improved mental health.
Identify faulty thinking. Emotional distress distorts our thinking and decision making skills. But we can combat these bad effects by retraining how we think.
Stay connected. Although you may feel like isolating yourself, it’s important to reach out to your network of positive friends and family so they can support you.
Talk to a mental health professional. You don’t have to have clinical depression to benefit from therapy. A therapist can help you identify underlying issues and come up with a plan to improve.
If you need help don’t hold back from getting it! You can speak to your doctor for a referral or if you live in the Portland Metro area you can schedule an appointment to see me.
You can read more on my website – Overcoming Depression.