Depression (major depressive disorder)
(Mayo Clinic Staff)
Although depression may occur only one time during your life, usually people with major depressive disorder will have multiple episodes of depression. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
Behavioral Interventions to Diminish Depression
- Diet (good nutrition is important)
- Sunlight, and being outside
- Groom yourself in the morning
- 10-minute tasks (break tasks up into 10 minute periods)
- Social involvement – accept invitations to be social.
- Decrease TV and reading the newspaper for awhile (for less things to worry about).
- Eliminate caffeine, and increase water intake.
- Do anything that feels nurturing to you
- Smile—it chemically changes your mood.
- Use direct communication—for what you want.
- Think or talk to yourself with love and forgiveness.
- Serve others, or volunteer. This releases the "feel good" chemicals and can help lift depression.
(Possible) Treatments for Depression
- Spirituality and forgiveness
- Combinations of the above
- Major depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. It can significantly interfere with individual thoughts, behaviors, moods, activities, and physical health.
- Depression is treatable; however, if left untreated, it can lead to suicide. If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. If you're reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.
When to see a Doctor
If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. If you're reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.
When to get emergency help
If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Also consider these options if you're having suicidal thoughts:
- Call your mental health specialist.
- Call Spokane's First Call for Help at (509) 838-4428.
- Call a suicide hotline number
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
Use that same number and press "1" to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Seek help from your primary doctor or other health care provider.
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community.
If a loved one or friend is in danger of attempting suicide or has made an attempt:
- Make sure someone stays with that person
- Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately
- Or, if you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room (Source: Depression (major depressive disorder), Mayo Clinic)
- Depression is not a “solo” condition; it resonates throughout the entire family, and creates a significant increase in risk for depression in other family members. When depressed mothers receive appropriate treatment, depression in their children lessens.
In 2013, 11% of adults reported poor mental health in
Spokane County. The proportion decreased as age and income increased,
and non-whites were more likely to experience poor mental health than
whites. Poor mental health is defined as 14 or more days of poor mental
health in the last 30 days. (Spokane Counts 2015, Spokane Regional
- Among youth ages 14-18, or 8th-12th grade, in 2014, 33%
reported being depressed in the last year in Spokane County. Depression
among youth decreased as maternal education level increased, increased
as age increased, and was more likely among females, Hispanics, and
multi-racial youth. (Spokane Counts 2015, Spokane Regional Health
- If your depression has become unbearable, seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values.
- If you are considering ending your life,
please talk to someone. There are people all around you who are
willing to help—but you need to speak up. Talk to someone you trust,
and ask for help.
If you have no one to talk to,
- Call (509) 838-4428 First Call for Help in Spokane
- Contact the Resources listed on this page.
- Exercise. Get moving to help manage depression and stress. Exercise in almost any
form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good
endorphins and distract you from daily worries. Most people know that exercise does
your body good, but feel they are too busy and stressed to fit it into
their routine. Hold on a second — there's good news when it comes to
exercise and stress.
Virtually any form of exercise, from
aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever. If you're not an
athlete or even if you're out of shape, you can still make a little
exercise go a long way toward stress management. Discover the connection
between exercise and stress relief — and why exercise should be part of
your stress management plan.
- Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of
well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise
also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
- Exercise pumps up your endorphins. Physical
activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good
neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often
referred to as a runner's high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature
hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
- It is meditation in motion. After
a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you'll
often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated
only on your body's movements.
As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions
through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on
a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you
remain calm and clear in everything you do.
Exercise will improve your mood. Regular
exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can
lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise
can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress,
depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your
stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your
life. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016)
- "Good deeds (helping someone in need, showing kindness, writing a thank-you note) can also serve as an effective, low-cost treatment for depression, and how we feel about ourselves, others, and life in general.
Good deeds require no
doctor's prescription, have no negative side effects, and most often
cost nothing more than a little time and effort and a bit of your
When you are depressed
it seems difficult, and at times impossible, to think of others or do
for others in any meaningful way; so, start small. Find a way, even in
your sorrow, to open your heart to others. Write notes to people who
have touched your life for good. Make phone calls and visits to others
who might be lonely. Bake homemade treats and share them.
Miraculously, your own burdens and losses will seem more bearable, as
you think and act positively for the good of others.
Today, reflect on the
good things in your life, even right them down. As you go about your
busy life, find time for service to others. A smile, a willing heart,
and a helping hand can change someone's day for the better, and yours as
well." (Music and the Spoken Word, BYU-TV, April 22, 2012)
- Low parental parenting is associated with adolescent depression and anxiety,
according to research. This indicates that parents can play a crucial
role in the prevention of these disorders in their children. As a
result, 171 strategies were endorsed as important or essential for
preventing childhood depression or anxiety disorders by 90% of the
panel; and these were written into a parenting guidelines document with
- Establish and maintain a good relationship with your child,
- Be involved and support increasing autonomy,
- Encourage supportive relationships,
- Establish family rules and consequences,
- Encourage good health habits,
- Minimize conflict in the home,
- Help your child to manage emotions,
- Help your child to set goals and solve problems,
- Support your child when something is bothering them,
- Help your child to manage anxiety, and
professional help seeking when needed. (Source: Yap, M.B., Pilkington,
P.D., Ryan, S.M., & Jorm, A.F. (2014). "Parental factors associated
with depression and anxiety in young people: A systematic review and
meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 156, 8-23)
- Remember - Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and many other people have struggled with depression.