Depression is not something we choose to have. Whether depression is a condition you’ve struggles with your entire life, or whether it’s something that you developed after a devastating or traumatic effect, it’s always important to seek help and learn about the best tools you can use to manage your mental health. While depression is a difficult condition to live with, these tips can help you manage your symptoms on a bad day.
1. Chronic Care Management
Access to a chronic care management service, or chronic care management (CCM) practitioner, is beneficial for Medicare patients who suffer from depression triggered by chronic illness. Clinical depression in older patients can be triggered by chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, and arthritis. These chronic illnesses meet the criteria of two or more chronic health conditions required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for chronic care management. Consequently, your CCM coordinators should assess for symptoms of depression and intervene with a chronic care plan on chronic illnesses and mental health resources.
Depression can significantly decrease your energy levels, making small tasks difficult to do. While this may be difficult, try and increase your heart rate (and consequent brain activity) by starting with small movements and building on this momentum. Try taking a 10-minute walk each day, riding your bicycle, skipping rope — anything to keep you moving. Movement is important for mental health as exercise increases the brain’s plasticity by releasing endorphins, which help to improve your mood.
3. Alternative Treatments
Cannabinoids are chemical extracts found in the industrial hemp plant. Two of the best-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD. CBD’s benefits for depression are still speculative but have been linked to having a positive effect on the brain’s serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer responsible for your mood and emotions. Consequently, low serotonin levels have links to depression, insomnia, and anxiety.
While CBD does not boost the brain’s serotonin levels, it may affect how your brain’s receptors respond to existing serotonin in your system. This is because CBD has a relaxing effect, and may reduce symptoms of depression caused by stress.
Plain Jane is an Oregon based company best known for stocking quality CBD and hemp products. Their bestsellers include their pre-rolled joints, CBD oil, CBD cigarettes, and their one-of-a-kind CBD hemp flower strains. One such strain is the Hawaiian haze hemp flower. This hemp strain appeals to smell by giving off a smooth fruity smoke and to taste by favoring the pineapple flavor.
These combinations offer relaxation, making their Hawaiian haze a great product for anxiety and depression relief. Visit their website at tryplainjane.com for more information on their CBD products. Please note that CBD is not a substitute for prescribed anti-depressant medication, nor does it get you high.
4. Online Therapy
Individuals with depression could be more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic because:
- You may have limited access to treatment options (like therapy or counseling)
- Isolation can trigger symptoms of depression (such as feelings of loneliness and hopelessness)
Additional National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) guidelines for COVID-19 prevention recommend that where possible, healthcare providers like professional counselors and psychologists in private practice across the United States should start providing their services remotely through telehealth services like online therapy and teletherapy.
The Therapy Group of DC is a niche telehealth therapy group delivering their therapies online and through video calls. Their team of professional counselors and psychologists are well trained in family therapy, relationship issues, and couples counseling.
Your therapist in Washington DC will use secure technology to conduct confidential therapy sessions with you from the comfort of your home, so if you need extra support with your mental health, reach out to them for a specialized care plan. They are currently accepting new clients.
5. Meditation and Mindfulness
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapies (MBCT) for depressed patients are presenting encouraging results. Ongoing studies by the University of Exeter are finding that daily 20-minute meditation sittings are complimentary to antidepressant drugs or counseling sessions for depression. More than half of their patients in this study felt well enough to be off their antidepressants after three months with no other intervention but MBCT.
As you seek professional help to manage your depression, these tips can be complimentary in managing your depression on a daily basis.