Pressure, Stress & Depression

Pressure, Stress & Depression

Hey, I got diagnosed with depression, and I want to know ways besides antidepressants to cope and deal with my anger problems, such as trying to keep it under control?

There are many effective treatments for depression that can be used instead of, or with, medication. It would be helpful to talk to the professional who diagnosed you so that you can know the intensity of your depression, and to work with them to make healthy choices for treatment – you may find that your depression is at a point where medicine would be helpful, or that these other methods might be better. At any rate, I highly encourage you to work with a professional counselor, therapist or psychologist to determine the best, and most personal, course of action for your situation. With effective talk therapy, you may also want to try improving your diet – less processed food and fast food; more fruits, veggies and whole grains can help your brain chemistry fight off depression. So can a healthy schedule of regular exercise like running, swimming, biking, weight lifting and sports. You may also want to try particular exercises like yoga or tai chi, which can be helpful for anger management as well. I also recommend learning about deep breathing and meditation for depression and anger. Any one of these, or in some combination, may be the key for you. But again, I would highly recommend that you work with a trained professional to monitor your progress, and to formulate a plan that fits your needs.
Does depression affect your body in any way, like growth?

Depression affects much more than just the mind and brain. A common saying among mental health professionals is that “depression hurts.” Many patients with depression experience body aches and pains throughout the day, without a clear reason. The pain can be so severe and difficult to deal with that people cannot work, sleep or relax. Depression can change how well hormones work in our bodies, affecting some that control how strong our muscles are and how much nutrition we take in. It is very possible, although not entirely proven, that depression could affect growth among young people. The combination of increased stress hormones, poor nutrition and poor sleep could possibly affect one’s final obtainable height. Depression can also affect your immune system, which makes you more likely to suffer from colds and infections.
I have a new boyfriend (whom I was involved in drugs with before) and he is a frequent drug user (of all sorts). He’s a few years older than me (we are both in our teens, under 18) and everyone is concerned he is going to get me back into doing drugs, constantly. How do I say no if he asks me to?

This really seems to be a question about respect – does he respect you enough to know you are serious about not using? If he does, the question should never come up, and you should never have to say “No”. On the other hand, do you respect yourself, and your recovery, enough to let him know you don’t want to use? Do you respect yourself enough to walk away from the relationship if he doesn’t understand and persists in trying to get you to use again? It is very difficult to maintain a relationship where one person is using and one person is trying to stay clean. The differences in beliefs and behavior between the two people are a considerable strain on the relationship. As the differences continue to grow, there really is nothing in common between the two people. However, should both people work towards recovery, not only does it help the relationship, but it certainly helps each individual. I would hope you could be a positive influence on him, before he is a negative influence on you.
How do I know if I’m depressed? I’ve had days where I’ve wanted to end it all but I also have days where I’m happier than ever. Also, how can I get help on those sad days?

When sadness and feeling down become so intense that you feel like hurting yourself or ‘ending it all’, it is a definite sign of depression. Other signs that may be present, but don’t have to be for depression, would be a noticeable change in eating habits and/or sleeping habits, withdrawal from friends and family, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and a lack of enthusiasm or motivation.The best way to find out for sure is to work with a trusted professional who has experience in helping others with these kinds of problems. Usually a counselor or therapist is your best bet. Even though there may be days you feel “happier than ever”, the fact that you are experiencing those very sad days you described, it would be highly recommended to talk to someone about it. By working with a professional that can help you get on track to have more of those ‘good days’, and put the bad ones behind you. For information on resources and support near you visit or call 1-800-662-HELP.
Should depression always be treated? Like should you always have an antidepressant? My Mom thinks depression is causing my insomnia, but my Dad doesn’t think I’m depressed. What should I do?

Depression as a clinical disorder can be treated in a variety of different ways. Medications are not always needed or used in effective treatment plans but they can be extremely helpful when used properly. Research studies have shown repeatedly that the best method to treat depression is a combination of medications, individual counseling, and lifestyle changes (like regular exercise, healthy nutritional habits, and learning new ways to cope with stress). Antidepressants can be very helpful to improve sleep, concentration, restore energy, reduce the intensity of negative thoughts, and help people be more present during conversations. Counseling is most helpful to deal with life stress, develop new ways of dealing with the world and for understanding how and when depressive symptoms show up.Whenever parents or family members disagree about depressive symptoms, it is recommended that family meeting take place between all involved persons and the mental health specialists. This meeting will help to figure out which “symptoms” are from the depression, which ones are side effects of the medications, and which ones are part of a person’s personality. Whenever patients feel trapped or caught in between family members, meeting with a therapists is the best way of adding clarity to the situation.
My father had depression and my brother still has depression. Is depression hereditary and how do I know if I have depression as well?

Depression, like many other psychiatric disorders, runs in families and can be inherited. Science is beginning to figure out which genes are responsible for passing on the risk that makes a family member vulnerable to developing depression. The other major factor that determines whether or not someone becomes depressed is the environment that one lives in. People who experience high amounts of life stress, such as abuse, violence, financial stress, or troubled relationships all have an increased chance of developing depression.There are a lot of possible warning signs of depression. The most common symptoms are being sad most of the time, not being able to enjoy things, sleeping poorly, not having an appetite, having difficulty completing daily tasks and not having any energy or motivation. Other signs of depression that people don’t always consider include being irritable, not being able to feel any emotions, and/or doing things that are different from your usual personality. The best way to tell if you have a treatable, clinical depression is to see a doctor or a counselor.
It seems like more than half of the kids in my school smoke pot. What do I do other than just say “no” when it seems to be all around me?

Although it may seem like everyone is smoking marijuana in your school, they are really not. In fact the majority of teens do not smoke marijuana. In 2007, only 16 percent of teens ages 12-17 reported using marijuana in the past month. There are plenty of kids at your school making the smart choice not to use it. It would be a great opportunity for you to build friendships by seeking these kids out. You will find a lot of people your age who aren’t using drugs and are doing well in sports, academics, and other areas of life. Spending time with these kinds of people, being a part of these groups, and saying “no” and meaning it will keep you strong in your conviction.
Does drinking and smoking pot increase depression? I stopped smoking and drinking, but now I have bad mood swings and sometimes I get so depressed. Is all of this from doing drugs?

Many factors can contribute to a person becoming depressed, and alcohol or drug use are two factors that do make depression more likely to occur. Many people have the wrong impression and think that alcohol is a stimulant, but it is actually a powerful depressant. Depressed people often use alcohol to try to feel better or fit in socially, but this “self-medication” results in the opposite effect, greater depression. What is known about marijuana is that use, particularly frequent use, causes memory and learning problems, distorted perception, difficulty thinking and solving problems, and a loss of motivation. Chronic pot smoking has been associated with depression, anxiety, and personality changes.You should feel very good about having made the important choice to stop smoking pot and drinking. Now you can think more clearly about the potential causes of your mood swings and depression, and what to do about them. The teenage years are one of the prime times when depression is common, particularly for girls. Although feeling sad or “blue” can happen fairly often to teens, it is important to recognize when depressive moods are increasing and starting to interfere with daily life, relationships, and responsibilities. It is important that you have a support system, usually with your friends and family, to help you continue to avoid drug and alcohol use, but also to help you decide if you need to seek professional help to get through this low point in your life.
My family says I’ve fallen in with the wrong crowd because my friends do drugs, and now I do them. I don’t want to dump my friends but my parents want me to. If I don’t, my parents say they’ll have nothing to do with me. What should I do?

Although you may not agree with it or like it, your family is doing the right thing in setting strong boundaries with you. This isn’t easy for them either, but I am sure they are doing it because they care about you, and want to help.If your friends are using drugs, and supporting your use of drugs, are they really “friends?” If they are supporting your drug use, they probably aren’t looking out for your best interests.You may want to consider finding friends you can do other things with that don’t involve drugs. Hopefully, you can find some other positive, healthy activities that you enjoy. By branching out, you’ll meet new people who want to still have fun, but don’t have to rely on drugs for a good time.

I get so stressed out from school and just dealing with family problems. Sometimes drugs help me deal. Is it really bad to use drugs to get by every once and a while?

I try to stay away from words like good or bad. Rather, let’s look at what’s healthy for you and likely to help you with these unpleasant feelings. Look, my intent is not to “bum your high” or something. If doing drugs would help you with your feelings why would I get in the way of that?The reality is that drugs of abuse and addiction are never helpful or healthy. The impact of virtually every drug of abuse will ultimately adversely impact how you are feeling. I cannot deny that in the short run drugs make you feel good, but there is a consequence on the other side.Drugs of abuse impact your brain in such a way that after you come down you feel worse, often a lot worse. This is many times how people end up doing more and more.

If you are having stress at school or family problems there are people who can help with these issues, people that can help you find relief and help you deal productively with these issues. Tell a trusted adult family member or someone at school about how you are feeling and ask for help.

My friend seems sad a lot, maybe even depressed. She says smoking a little weed isn’t a big deal, but could this be making things worse for her?

The high school years are one of the peak times for depression to occur, particularly in girls. Most adolescents on occasion feel sad, get “the blues,” or have trouble coping, but it’s important to note if these moods are more frequent, or start to interfere with daily life.Sometimes people think that drinking or smoking pot will help them feel better by escaping their worries and problems. But alcohol is actually a depressant, which could make you feel even worse.It sounds like your friend is trying to convince herself – and you – that her pot smoking is not harmful. But research has shown that smoking any amount of pot has a number of well-known associated risks and health consequences like it causes memory and learning problems, distorted perception, and difficulty thinking and solving problems. These are all things that would make her life even more challenging. Also depression, anxiety, and personality disturbances have been associated with chronic marijuana use.

Your friend says she is only smoking a little weed, but even this amount is likely to lead to more frequent use. And she may be complicating things if as a result of her smoking, she falls behind in her schoolwork, loses motivation for things she once loved, or gets caught by her parents. If you can’t talk to her about your concerns, try to convince your friend to talk to a trusted adult or seek medical help, so her depression and other concerns can be addressed as soon as possible.

image of pills Privilege, Pressure & Pills
I never would have imagined motivated, bright students, with everything going for them, turning to drug use.
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