Here’s how to tell a psychopath from a sociopath ~ Tanya Lewis and Samantha Lee

The terms psychopath and sociopath are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t quite the same thing.

So what’s the difference, you ask?

To find out, we asked James Fallon, a neuroscientist at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine who specializes in studying psychopaths (and also happens to be one himself).

While neither term appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the medical handbook used by psychiatrists, psychopaths can be divided into two categories, according to Fallon. The first category includes what are known as primary psychopaths. The second includes what are known as secondary psychopaths, or sociopaths.

Here’s what sets the two apart:

(Note: These definitions are meant to be informative only, not to be used as a diagnostic tool.)

bi_graphics_differences between a psychopath and a sociopath_1

(Samantha Lee/Business Insider)

But that’s not all. According to Fallon, both psychopaths and sociopaths can be further broken down into two subtypes, based on their demeanor:

bi_graphics_differences between a psychopath and a sociopath_2

(Samantha Lee/Business Insider)

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/heres-tell-psychopath-sociopath-150000795.html

24 Creative Ways To Channel Depression Or Anxiety ~ Alanna Okun

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to show us what they've created during periods of depression, anxiety, and other mental health struggles.
Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Everyone deals with these conditions differently, of course. (And you should always consult your doctor if you feel you might be depressed or anxious!) Often a side effect can be that you don’t want to make so much as a piece of toast, let alone a painting or throw pillow, and that is in no way a sign of failure; but sometimes, using your hands to make a tiny corner of the universe look how you want it to is just what you need. These are some of the infinite ways to do so.

1. Tend to some plants.

Tend to some plants.

“I usually sit outside with my dog and pot seedlings for hours, just taking my time relaxing and focusing on the little seedlings. After they’ve been outside growing for a while it’s like a proud parent moment — you’ve seen them since they were tiny seedlings and now they’ve grown up to full blossoming plants.” — ashleyc09

2. Take self-portraits.

Take self-portraits.

“I’m a photographer and I always found doing self-portraits as a way to deal with my depression and anxiety. I’m able to escape reality for a moment in time.” — vanessas14

“Photography (particularly film) forces me to slow down, breathe, think about my surroundings, and focus on being present. Whenever I feel anxious or depressed, I go outside and start shooting. It calms me down, centres me, and I get to create something beautiful out of the monster that is my mental illness.” — yanaleigh

“I have had anxiety and depression for years. During a particularly rough bout of depression my junior year of college, my boyfriend and I collaborated on a photography project to visually depict our lives with these illnesses. It was a deeply cathartic experience for both of us; creating an honest depiction of a misunderstood part of myself enabled a shift in how we talked about it and managed it moving forward.” — amandam42

“One miscarriage and an emotionally abusive relationship later, I was able to translate the isolation into an image.” — mercedesh3

3. Turn the old into new.

“I take forgotten chairs off the side of the road and reupholster them into something new and beautiful. And it makes me feel amazing… I haven’t done this yet but I’ve always wanted to bring the chair back to where I found it so whoever threw it out could see that things that look like they’re on their last leg still have much life left in them, possibly a brighter one. Because it really helps me.” — beatrixk3

4. Get out in the world…

Get out in the world...

“Going for runs and making it to the top of the mountain and feeling on top of the world gives me relief from my anxiety.” — liffieboy.

5. …And capture what you find there.

...And capture what you find there.

“Sometimes when I’m at work and depressed/having too many feelings I like to go outside, and draw things I see on the street. Drawing makes me feel like I’m in control, and it forces me to find some solace in the weird beauty of the physical world. Also, I’ve realized that ten minutes of sunshine actually legitimately kind of helps.” — avw

6. Or literally turn it into art.

Or literally turn it into art.

“I enjoy going outside, finding a smooth rock by the river, and making these designs on them. It forces me to go outside, walk, and then the freestyle artwork becomes very therapeutic as well.” — Dana Rae Wilson

7. Work with makeup or body paint.

Work with makeup or body paint.

“I have struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life. I used to be basically locked into my own world of despair. Three years ago, I volunteered at a local haunted house and started learning makeup. While I’m still far from the best, learning this new skill has helped improve EVERYTHING in my life, even my relationship with my boyfriend. 

Now I refuse to hide from the world, and enjoy creating new characters that capture this. This is a bodypaint I did last April. I consider it my best turn so far. I look forward more to learning and improving my craft and it’s given me something to be proud of and live for.” — clharbert

8. Blend your own scented candles.

Blend your own scented candles.

“Leaving university and being unemployed with no routine brought back my anxiety big time. I needed something to keep my mind and my hands busy one day, so I made soy wax candles and used essential oils to scent them. I found picking the essential oil blends really relaxing and watching the wax melt each time really therapeutic. I spent hours making them and a whole day had passed without me being worried/anxious/nervous/panicked. The candles are pretty gorgeous to light, too.” — ashro14.

9. Focus on a new buddy.

Focus on a new buddy.

“Pepper is my three-year-old Belgian Malinois service dog that I rescued from a shelter and then trained with the help of a trainer. When I met her I was in deep depression, had anxiety, bipolar, and was suicidal. Pepper is the reason I am alive; she gave me a reason to live. Her training gave me a purpose when I had none and now gives me freedom. I actually want to leave my house more. I still have trouble every day but with her I can live again instead of just being there. She is everything to me, my best friend, my rock, my teacher, my savior, and my heart. The absolute greatest thing to ever happen to me is her.” — charlotteh43

10. Design your dream house.

Design your dream house.

“I have been battling both anxiety and depression for the past four years, probably longer. About two or three years ago I started designing rooms on RoomStyler and eventually moved on to making houses on Sketchup. I have had no training or anything, just stuff I have learned from the internet, but I am proud of my little designs.” — beanloser

11. And your dream outfits.

And your dream outfits.

“I have severe depression and anxiety, self-harm tendencies, low self-esteem and terrible body image. With summer coming up, it becomes harder to hide my scars. Being a plus-size girl, I don’t have many options in stores that will fit, be flattering, fun, fashionable and cover what I need covered. 

So I’ve started drawing clothes that I want to make and wear this summer. It gives me something creative to plan and look forward to, and I find colouring my sketches digitally to be pretty meditative. By drawing pictures of myself, I’m trying to work towards seeing my body in a different, more positive light, but that’s a long way off yet. I’m pretty happy with how this picture’s turned out, though, and I’m hopeful that I can find the motivation to make it real.” — lunarbluemoth

12. Wrap arrowheads.

Wrap arrowheads.

“Started wire wrapping arrowheads my boyfriend made to combat anxiety. I find having something to do with my hands really helps me relax!” — audreyhosephineh

13. Bake, bake, bake.

Bake, bake, bake.

“When nothing picks me up, all I need to pick up is a whisk and start baking!” — humayra.

14. Teach.

“I haven’t created a ‘thing’ as such, but I am in the process of creating a new, more educated me. I decided to use my struggle to help others like myself. Next year I’ll be a qualified counsellor, changing the lives of people with mental health issues, using my own terrible experience to help better the lives of others living through the same thing.” — katiejade.

15. Draw.

Draw.

“When my depression and anxiety was at its worse I discovered two things. The first was that I could draw, something I didn’t really realize till that point. And also that drawing took enough concentration that it would stop my anxious thoughts for at least a little while.” — sunshineabove

16. Crochet a blanket, for yourself or a beloved pal.

Crochet a blanket, for yourself or a beloved pal.

“I crocheted these harlequins and plan to make a blanket out of them. It’s not the perfect medicine but it helps with my anxiety and depression. It’s the sense of accomplishment that gets me going and made me feel a little bit better. Though I’m not sure if the blanket will be mine, since Kiwi is so eager to use it.” — Nadine

17. Sell what you’ve made.

Sell what you've made.

“Everything in my Etsy shop is a product of my mental illness, whether directly or indirectly. I battled for years with depression and anxiety and I was diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder a few years ago. After having my son I felt useless, like I as a person has ceased to exist, that I was just a conduit for my son to receive food and care and comfort. Making things became my way of reassuring myself I still mattered and that, no matter how bad things got, I was still capable of making the world a little better with the things I created.” — laurenl4

18. Paint.

Paint.

“This is a poster I painted two years ago. It was a really difficult day for me to go through but I still have it in my room and looking at it every night it gives me peace.” — anyaa2

19. Play with fire.

Play with fire.

“I play with fire. Specifically, I do lampwork; I sit in front of a 2,000*F flame and melt glass. Destructive and creative at the same time. It puts me in a zone where I HAVE to focus (or risk getting burned) which banishes the depression demons for a short while. Did this vessel just before starting meds.” — allivymar

20. Make your tears work for you.

Make your tears work for you.

“After losing my kidney transplant and getting my heart broken by my cheating boyfriend, I went into a deep depression. I was so angry and sad I could barely get out of bed. The only thing I can credit to getting out of that dark hole was my tears….. my pillow tears. I thought instead of crying about it, I would instead make literal tears out of fabric and embroidery. Each one with a different message. After I would finish each one I felt liberated.” — marianaeloysad

21. Know the value of even the smallest, most temporary projects.

Know the value of even the smallest, most temporary projects.

“I made this bracelet out of candy wrappers at a party to cope with my social anxiety. It ended up being a good idea, because people started giving me their spare wrappers because they thought it was cool, and I didn’t have to stress about coming up with topics of conversation.” — katelynj42.

22. Make little monsters.

Make little monsters.

“I make lots of my peg dolls to combat depression/anxiety. It’s a nice thing to do with my hands and keep me occupied :)” — fiorentinokimmy

23. Take up embroidery.

Take up embroidery.

“I had a physically and emotionally devastating miscarriage and my life kinda fell apart. I embroidered cream and white tulips that mean purity, new life, and ‘I will love you forever’ in memory of my baby. During the hours I worked on it, I grieved, cried, let my mind go blank and my feelings go numb just to rest. I keep this folded up and every once in awhile I take it out and look at it and make myself remember that I’ve survived some awful times and there’s good in life and I can make it.” — hannahr4

“I made this to remind myself what I really am.” — emilyceratops

24. Create your life.

“I created my life. Through everything I deal with I have used art in multiple manners such as painting and photography and created a career built on my passion for photo. However, even when I was wanting to end it all I was able to create a life. I wanted to die, to never see the light again; when the light came I went straight through it and came up with something brighter. I built relationships with my family and friends that helped me build my self again. I molded my path in a way that worked for me not having to bob and twist for others. 

I created myself as I wanted to be. The outcome has been happiness, and although I still deal with my mental illness, I have been able to control it like an artist uses a brush to control paint. And even if your life is as messy and sporadic as a Jackson Pollock, it is still beautiful and someone out there is going to see the beauty in you as well.” — abbis4c

To learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.

If you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can speak to someone immediately here or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

 

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/making-it-through#.qt8D4myozM

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed ~ Kelsey Darragh, Kirsten King

Understanding your own mental illness doesn’t happen overnight – It’s a process. So, using the medication she was prescribed, one woman opened up about her long, and sometimes impossibly difficult, experience coping with her own mental illness.

BuzzFeed Video / Via youtube.com

“I had my first panic attack when I was 17-years-old. My body went into flight or fight mode. Well, jokes on me because I was on an airplane flight when it happened.”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

“I had so many questions, but one stood above them all: Why me?”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

One in four people struggle with their mental health.

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

And only roughly one third of people with mental illness seek ANY form of help.

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

“I sure as hell didn’t like the way I felt and I didn’t care who knew it. Well, maybe I cared a little.”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

“I was afraid of telling my friends that sometimes I felt like I was dying… physically, and emotionally.”

“I started going to therapy. I had good days, and bad days… and really bad days.”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

Eventually, a diagnosis was reached: “Bipolar disorder. Getting a definitive diagnosis meant there had to be a cure, right?”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

“…Hope. What a misleading drug in itself.”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

“I tried to fixed everything externally to fix an internal problem. I switched jobs, colleges, therapists, I took more Ativan.”

“I had good days, and bad days, and less really bad days. And then life happened – smacked me in the face and right off my tracks because a guy I loved broke up with me.”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

“The threat of unpredictability is the scariest part when something depressing happens to someone with depression.”

“There are no rights and wrongs when it comes to feelings and moods, they just exist. We just feel. It’s the choices we make on how to constructively deal with those feelings that define us.”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

“In seven years time, seven psychiatrists, four psychologists, countless therapists, two misdiagnosis, and over 20 medications… I was finally figuring my mental illness out.”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

“I cannot hold myself accountable for what happens with my depression and anxiety. That I don’t have control over. But I can hold myself accountable for the strength of trying.”

A Woman Explains Her Mental Health Journey Using The Pills She Was Prescribed

11 Things People With Anxiety Want You To Know ~ Kirsten King, Haejin Park, Anna Borges

1. The symptoms of anxiety are not just internal — they’re physical, too.

The symptoms of anxiety are not just internal — they're physical, too.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Anxiety can wreak physical havoc on your life in the form of headaches, insomnia, muscle pain, panic attacks, and more.

2. …But internal symptoms are just as debilitating.

...But internal symptoms are just as debilitating.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Anxiety is an invisible illness that may not be seen, but is certainly felt. When you deal with anxiety, there’s no separating yourself from the symptoms. You carry the misery in your thoughts, your choices, your relationships, yourself. And sometimes, that weight is so heavy that it feels physical.

3. There are several different types of anxiety — and even those can manifest in different ways.

There are several different types of anxiety — and even those can manifest in different ways.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

The most common disorders are Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which involves chronic, irrational worry about day-to-day things, and Social Anxiety Disorder, which involves a fear of social situations and other people, whether interacting with them or fearing judgment from them, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). There’s also Panic Disorder, which involves sudden and repeated attacks of irrational fear (aka panic attacks), plus intense worry between those episodes. 

All that said, even people with the same anxiety disorders experience symptoms differently — so don’t presume to know what someone is going through. Anxiety is not one-size-fits-all.

4. We cancel plans last minute not because we’re jerks, but because some days we wake up and can’t imagine leaving the house.

We cancel plans last minute not because we're jerks, but because some days we wake up and can't imagine leaving the house.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Taking time away from work/friends/obligations doesn’t mean we don’t like being social… it just means sometimes we need a break.

5. Meditation and relaxation techniques do not work for everyone.

Meditation and relaxation techniques do not work for everyone.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

While these techniques sometimes do help alleviate symptoms, suggesting them as a cure-all can be incredibly frustrating for someone with anxiety.

6. Finding the right therapist who is both effective and covered under your health insurance can be such a daunting and difficult task, that many people give up on getting help.

Finding the right therapist who is both effective and covered under your health insurance can be such a daunting and difficult task, that many people give up on getting help.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

While mental health is partially covered, it’s hard for people without health insurance, or who cannot afford copays, to make their mental health a priority.

7. A lot of people who have anxiety also suffer from depression.

A lot of people who have anxiety also suffer from depression.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

The two exhausting, debilitating struggles can come hand-in-hand. Nearly one-half of people who are diagnosed with depression also have an anxiety disorder.

8. Requests we make that might make us seem uptight are actually things that make us feel safe.

Requests we make that might make us seem uptight are actually things that make us feel safe.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Like if we ask who’s going to be at the party you invited us to or if we want to make an exact plan rather than ~winging~ it. Uncertainty and open-endedness can exacerbate anxiety so details that seem insignificant are actually huge helps.

9. Anxiety can make you question relationships completely irrationally, so please don’t take it personally if we express doubts sometimes.

Anxiety can make you question relationships completely irrationally, so please don't take it personally if we express doubts sometimes.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Having anxiety can mean anything from questioning if your friend actually wants you to go to the movies, to wondering if you’re really loved. So reminding us that we’re important to you might seem like it’s obvious… but it’s super important.

10. Anxiety doesn’t need a reason.

Anxiety doesn’t need a reason.

BuzzFeed

Anxiety and panic attacks can have a pin-pointed cause (like a job interview, exam, or break-up) or they can occur essentially out of thin air. Having anxiety means you might not always be able to understand why you feel the way you do.

11. Suffering from anxiety doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you damaged goods.

Suffering from anxiety doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you damaged goods.

Haejin Park for BuzzFeed

Having anxiety, or any mental illness, doesn’t make you any “less” of a person. It just makes you, you.

To learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/kirstenking/things-people-with-anxiety-want-you-to-know#.dpKoNyzx8j

This Eerie Photograph Shows Anxiety Like We’ve Never Seen It Before ~ The Mighty

In one haunting photograph, an Australian photographer took his own internal experience with anxiety — and turned it inside out.

image

(Photo: Beethy)

The photographer, who goes by the name of Beethystarted having extreme anxiety in 2009. In a reflection on the piece, he told his fans about about his experiences with panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.

At any random point in the day I can get these attacks,” he wrote. “During these attacks I’m overwhelmed with the feeling of imminent death. No rational thinking can erase the thought or feeling. Imagine having a gun held to your head. And you know it’s going to go off. You just don’t know when. That’s what happens when I experience an attack. I get these daily. I hide it well from people around me. By just walking away. Or keeping to myself a lot.”

For a while, the attacks were so debilitating he couldn’t work.

I slowly started to feel like a vegetable,” he wrote.

The image has been made into a popular GIF on Tumblr, making it all the more haunting.

Literally the most accurate physical depiction of anxiety ever,” one Facebook commenter wrote.

Really glad I found this and the photo,” a reader on Beethy’s blog post said. “Finding this and everyone elses (sic) posts has made me realize I’m not alone. There are more of us with inner demons then society admits.”

Beethy says he didn’t expect the piece would be so appreciated.

The idea of the image is something that’s been twisting and turning in my subconscious for a while,” he wrote. “I’m glad other people with anxiety understand it.”

By Sarah Schuster

http://news.yahoo.com/this-eerie-photograph-shows-anxiety-1302723567550518.html

A Complicated Normal: Riding the Wave of Mental Illness ~ Vanessa Hazzard

I thought I was well. It’s been over a year since I stopped cutting and almost two years since I’ve been released from the hospital after being treated for borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder and PTSD. Since then, I’ve held a steady job and re-enrolled in a Bachelors degree program. My life had been successfully recalibrated after years of trauma. That life was so far in the rear view mirror, so small, that it seemed just a blip on the radar compared to all the good things that lay before me.

I felt normal for the first time in my life. Not bland normal, just sane normal; a stable, healthy, functional normal. I should’ve known that my kind of normal is a bit more complicated when a seemingly innocent hug from behind triggered a rush of memories long forgotten. It wasn’t even so much the memories themselves that bothered me. It was the feelings of being dirty, used-up, and insignificant that accompanied them. I’m not lazy when it comes to my mental health. I do the work, as tiresome as it may be, and yet this occurrence sent me into a tailspin. How can some people shake off their woes, while others, like myself, are just left shaken? 

That night, I tried to sleep it off, but to no avail. Through all the tossing and turning and tears, I couldn’t escape myself. I remembered that I had an expired bottle of Valium with a few pills left inside. Hoping they still had some potency; I washed down a pill with a sip of cheap wine and waited for my mind to settle but it wasn’t long before the psychosis began. This trance-like reality was a familiar place for me, just a few years prior when the symptoms of PTSD were at its peak. I was slow and heavy, yet deliberate when I grabbed the razor in my drawer and did as I’ve done many times before. I cranked up the classical music station I was listening to and began slicing my inner thighs. The razor slid across my skin like a bow on violin strings. I always want to be a violin when I’m in this state. It’s so beautiful, fine and delicate, attributes I always fell short of embodying.

At first, my slicing was a bit haphazard, a few cuts here and there. I just wanted to see my blood escape from the inside of my body. Then, as the music grew louder, I became increasingly more intentional with the cutting, as my need to be a violin intensified. I was focused and on a mission. By this point, my mind was completely fragmented yet a small part of me knew I was obsessed with an impossibility. But the orchestral violins, like a pied piper, led my other parts further and further away from the stable, healthy, functional normal that I worked so hard to achieve. I began cutting a musical staff in my leg. Then I sliced another. Then one more. I kept going until the violins released their hold and I was re-minded. I’m not sure how much time went by, but when I looked down, I had cuts that spanned the length of both my inner thighs. The drops of blood dripped out like notes in a messed up lullaby, as it was successful at putting me to sleep. 

The days and nights that followed were more of the same. I’d put on a happy, pleasant face at work. I’d help my son with his homework, make dinner, and then head upstairs to cut while he was playing with his uncles. I was good at faking normalcy when all the while I was slipping deeper and deeper into depression. Truth is, I was battling a depressive episode for a few weeks, but was able to keep it at bay. Between medication, meditation, and working out, I knew I was able to work through it as I have done in the past. This trigger though…it snuck up on me and pulled me under. For days, I was a melancholy mass of flesh and shame drudging through what felt like molasses towards the mights at the end of the tunnel. I might be healthy one day. I might be successful. I might never have to take medication again. The thought of my son was like dangling a carrot in front of me to keep me running towards those mights, instead of succumbing to my current reality…my inner thighs were full of fresh, self-inflicted scars… the results of a poor and dangerous coping mechanism. One that I sadly and shamefully enjoyed.

When bedtime came, my son came upstairs crying for his dad. His dad and I have been divorced and living in separate households for a few years now. Even when I think that my son has processed our separation and accepted that he’ll see his dad only on weekends, by mid-week he usually begins to cry for him. I do as I always do. I put him on my lap and rock and embrace him. The weight of his, lanky, seven-year-old body stings my scars and I am immediately filled with hypocrisy. How can I console him when I can’t healthily attend to my own depression?

After his tears subside, he asks me to read him a book, Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth. The little girl in the book is in search of something beautiful in her neighborhood and questions her neighbors on what they think is beautiful. In the end, the girl’s mother says that she is her something beautiful. I looked at my son and said, “…and you’re my something beautiful”. Without hesitation, he replied, “…and you are mine, mommy”. I couldn’t help but burst into tears while my son drifted off to sleep. This tainted, scarred body and complicated mind was his mommy…and he thought her beautiful. That was his normal and I hope that one day it becomes my own.

http://www.forharriet.com/2015/10/a-complicated-normal-riding-wave-of.html#ixzz3qlLrU7Kd

Depression Slideshow: Tips for Exercise, Diet and Stress Reduction ~ WebMD

Young thoughtful woman, indoors

Tips for Recovering From Depression

If you’ve had depression, you know how hopeless you can feel. It’s important to get professional treatment. But there are things you can do to ease symptoms of depression. Exercise, changing your diet, and even playing with a pet can improve your mood. Click to the next slide to see how you can start regaining control of your life.

 
 

Woman sitting with dog on jetty, rear view

Let Your Pet Nuzzle Blues Away

Sometimes your pet really can be your best friend — and that’s good therapy. When you play with your pet, you take your mind off your problems. Also, when you take care of your pet you’re fulfilling a commitment to something outside yourself. Caring for others can be very therapeutic.

 
 

Young woman at table with plate of food, smiling

Eat Smart to Lift Mind and Body

There’s a connection between mind and body. Although there is no specific diet that works for depression, a healthy diet can be part of an overall treatment plan. Build your diet around plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help boost your physical and emotional health.

 
 
 

Salmon fillet with spinach and lemon wedge

Choose Foods to Boost Your Mood

Some studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 — especially for people for may not get enough of these nutrients — may ease the mood changes that are part of depression. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids. So do flaxseed, nuts, soybeans, and dark green vegetables. Seafood and low-fat dairy products are sources of B12. Vegetarians who eat no meat or fish can get B12 in fortified cereals, dairy products, and  supplements.

 
 

Fresh popcorn in carton

Try Low-Fat Carbs for a Pick-Me-Up

Serotonin is a brain chemical that enhances your sense of well-being. Carbohydrates raise the level of serotonin in your brain. Low-fat carbs such as popcorn, a baked potato, graham crackers, or pasta are options. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grain options also provide fiber.

 
 

Businessman crushing coffee cup

Drink Less Caffeine to Improve Mood

Do you really need that third cup of coffee? Anxiety can accompany depression. And too much caffeine can make you nervous, jittery, or anxious. While possible links between caffeine and depression haven’t been definitively established, cutting back on caffeinated drinks may help lower your risk of depression and improve sleep. 

 
 
 

Man with headache

Treat Your Aches and Pains

Feelings of depression can be related to pain. Work with your health care team to treat your depression and your pain.

 
 

couple on a treadmill in a gym

Exercise to Change the Way You Feel

For some people, exercise works almost as well as antidepressants. And you don’t have to run a marathon. Just take a walk with a friend. As time goes on, increase activity until you exercise on most days. You’ll feel better physically, sleep better at night, and improve your mood.

 
 

Two men on outdoor basketball court

Choose an Exercise You Enjoy

If you don’t like to run, you won’t last long training for a marathon. But you will stay with a moderate exercise you enjoy. For instance, try walking, golfing without a cart, riding a bike, working in your garden, playing tennis, or swimming. The important thing is to pick something you like. Then you’ll look forward to it and feel better when you do it.

 
 
 

Group of women with instructor in exercise class

Exercise With Others for Support

Staying connected with other people helps overcome the lethargy, exhaustion, and loneliness of depression. Join an exercise group or exercise with a friend. You’ll stay connected. And you’ll have support to help you stay on track!

 
 

Woman opening curtains, looking out window

Be Sure You Get Enough Sunlight

Do you feel more depressed during darker, cold months? You may have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. SAD is most common in the winter, when there’s less sunlight. SAD can be treated with light therapy or exposure to artificial sunlight, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.

 
 

Woman photographing forest on digital camera

Explore Your Creativity

Painting, photography, music, knitting, or writing in a journal: These are all ways people explore their feelings and express what’s on their mind. Being creative can help you feel better. The goal isn’t to create a masterpiece. Do something that gives you pleasure. It may help you better understand who you are and how you feel.

 
 
 

Man sitting in woods listening to music

Make Time for Mindful Relaxation

Stress and anxiety can increase your depression symptoms and make it harder to recover. Learning to mentally relax can help restore a sense of calm and control. You might consider a yoga or meditation class. Or you could simply listen to soothing music while you take a long, hot bath.

 
 

Group of people lifting wall of unfinished house

Become Actively Involved

Being involved with others can help you regain a sense of purpose. And it doesn’t take much to get started. Try volunteering with a charity. Or join a discussion group at the library or at church. Meeting new people and doing new things will help you feel good about yourself.

 
 

smiling family having a meal at a picnic table

Keep Friends and Family in Your Life

The people who love you want to support you. If you shut them out, they can’t. If you let them in, you’ll feel a lot better. Call a friend and go for a walk. Have a cup of coffee with your partner. You may find it helps to talk about your depression. It feels good to have someone listen.

 
 
 

Young woman sleeping, close-up

Get the Healthy Sleep You Need

Depression interferes with healthy sleep. Some people with depression sleep too much. Others can’t fall asleep easily. As you recover from depression, relearn good sleep habits. Start by going to bed and getting up the same time each day. Use relaxation techniques to help you fall asleep. Healthy sleep makes you feel better physically and mentally.

 
 

Man sitting at bar looking at glass of liquor

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs can slow or prevent recovery from depression. They can also make your depression worse and interfere with the medicines you take for depression. If you have a problem with substance abuse, ask for help now. You’ll have a far better chance of recovering from depression.

 
 

Female Doctor Talking to Patient

Continue Your Treatment

The steps outlined in these slides may help you feel positive about your life. But alone, they’re not enough. They won’t replace medical treatment or talk therapy. Depression is a serious illness, and it carries a risk of suicide. If you are thinking about suicide, seek help immediately. And never stop or change treatment without discussing it carefully with your doctor.

 

http://www.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-depression-diet-stress-exercise?ecd=wnl_men_100215&ctr=wnl-men-100215_nsl-ld-stry_img&mb=RbO7%2fvTOx1EjKOU4pPXoLChonS%2fH3cwyP02j5xZ6yv4%3d&print=true

A Comic That Accurately Sums Up Depression And Anxiety ~ UpWorthy

Sarah Flanigan has been fighting depression since she was 10 years old and anxiety since she was 16. “I wish everyone knew that depression is not something that people can just ‘snap out of,'” she explains. “I mean, if I could ‘snap out of it,’ I would have by now.”

Depression and anxiety disorders are real illnesses. Mental illnesses are not “in someone’s head,” they’re not something a person can “just get over,” and they affect so many of us — over 40 million people in the U.S. alone.

Despite how common they are, it’s still really difficult to explain to people who may have never experienced a mental illness.

Enter: cute, clever illustrations that get the job done.

Nick Seluk, who creates the amazing comics at The Awkward Yeti, heard from reader Sarah Flanigan. She shared her story of depression and anxiety with him. If it could help even one person, she said, it would be worth it. 

Nick turned her story into a fantastic comic that perfectly captures the reality of living with depression and anxiety.

“I’ve been through and seen depression and anxiety in action, and thought Sarah’s story was so perfectly simple,” he told me. “We all get sick physically and mentally, but we need to be open to talking (and laughing) about [it].”

I couldn’t agree more, and I think this comic will resonate with a lot of people.

Simple yet powerful, right? 

“The hardest part of living with depression and anxiety for me is feeling like I have to hide it,” Sarah said. “I’ve always been known as the happy one in my group of friends. Everyone’s always so shocked when I tell them I have depression or they see the self-harm scars.”

“It’s much harder than it should be to say, ‘Hey, I have depression and I’ve been struggling with self-harm since I was 10 and I just really need your support to get me through tonight,'” Sarah explained. 

Let’s all keep working to make it easier for our friends, family members, and ourselves to get support. Let’s keep talking about it.

http://www.upworthy.com/a-comic-that-accurately-sums-up-depression-and-anxiety-and-the-uphill-battle-of-living-with-them?g=2

My Story of Depression, Culture and Community by Giovannah Philippeaux

It makes me angry sometimes when I think of the pain, loneliness, sadness, and frustration that come with closeted depression. I am a 28-year-old Caribbean-American female from a deeply-religious family. Depression, therapy, and help are not topics of discussion. My family did the best they could, but like in many Caribbean and African-American families, the symptoms and afflictions of depression were never addressed. At best, you get prayed over or, in my case, you get offered the option of an exorcism.

As I look back on my life, I realize that I began to show signs of depression at an early age. At school, I was failing nearly every subject. Outside of school, I would spend days and weekends in my darkened room playing with matches while lying on my bed. Things reached their worst when I began taking classroom chalk home so that I could draw on my bedroom walls. I remember this now as a clear indication of a nervous breakdown. Why was I feeling this way? I do not know, but it was real, raw, and dark. It was a step beyond pain; I had become numb.

I look back and ask: “Why was no one there for me? Why did no one reach out to me and say something, anything?” Simple: In my experience, in Caribbean and African-American cultures, depression does not exist. There is no space for this difficult conversation, and this attitude persists.

I recently shared with my father that my therapist wanted me to go on anti-depressants. His response: That I needed to be more active, to get out more. On another occasion, I revealed that I sometimes felt like I was losing my mind. His response: “Go ahead.” Yes, these comments were insensitive and ignorant, but they were not his fault. They are symptoms of a culture that continues to overlook the reality of mental illness. That, at worst, chooses to ignore the issue or, at best, chooses to pray it away. What we do not realize is that by continuing to do this, by continuing to remain silent and uninformed on the issues of depression and mental illness, we make it worse.

I wish there had been someone in my life to notice that I needed help, guidance, direction and support. I wish there had been someone there to see that I was struggling and drowning. If so, I might have gotten help much sooner. My life could have been much different.

I do not resent how my life has worked out. I do not write this to assign blame. I write this in hope that someone will read it. Someone with a child, sibling, or spouse will read it and think it is time for a very difficult conversation. Trust me: You want to have this compassionate conversation sooner rather than later, because if I had not gotten help when I did, I might not have been writing this now.

Originally posted on The Huffington Post. Yeah!!! Me on The Huffington Post…awesome. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/giovannah-philippeaux/my-story-of-depression-cu_b_5742466.html