When you have a mental health problem, such as depression, it can make it difficult to complete day-to-day functions, putting you at risk for physical conditions, or sadly, even death. Just as you take steps to stay in good physical health, it’s important to be aware of your mental health, and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Signs of Depression
Everyone feels down sometimes, but if you find yourself experiencing the following symptoms, you may be suffering from depression:
- Avoiding people and activities you used to enjoy
- Eating or sleeping too much or not enough
- Feeling helpless or like nothing matters
- Fighting with family and friends
- Inability to perform daily tasks, such as your job
- Low energy
- Mood swings
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Using alcohol, smoking or other drugs to cope
Protecting Your Mental Health
There’s no way to prevent mental illness, but you can take steps to improve your overall mental health, including:
- Avoiding symptom triggers, such as alcohol or drugs
- Visiting your doctor for regular checkups
- Self-care: eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
- Speaking up when you need help
- Taking steps to reduce stress
Getting Help for Depression and Mental Health Conditions
If you experience any symptoms of depression or mental illness, it’s important to seek help. Talk to a professional about treatment options to help you get back to feeling like yourself.
Your treatment may include:
- Medication, such as antidepressants
- Brain stimulation treatments
- Outpatient or inpatient residential treatment programs
Friends and family can also be a huge support in helping you cope with mental illness.
Balance, HCR ManorCare's comprehensive health and wellness blog, supplies readers with healthy ideas throughout the year. The blog is designed to serve as a resource, not only for patients, residents and families, but for anyone who strives to live a healthy, "balanced" life. For more information and help making healthy choices, go to balance.hcr-manorcare.com. If you need help making a health care decision, visit our CareFinder and live chat.