Cognitive reminders for depression relapse
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Cognitive reminders for depression relapse
To avoid depression, there are things you may do if you notice that your mood has deteriorated. Depressive disorders affect millions around the world and are a primary cause of disability. It can leave you feeling unsure, weighed down, or despairing as you go through its ups and downs.
So, how can you know whether depression is making a comeback? When it does happen, what can you do to avoid it from occurring?
We could all need a little encouragement and a little nudge in the direction of better mental health.
Some may find this as simple as reading a short article, while others may need to speak with a specialist.
What is a relapse in depression?
After a few months of healing, depression sufferers often experience a return to their pre-depression state. A depression recurrence or relapse occurs when the same or different symptoms of depression return after a period of improvement.
People with major depressive disorder have a 60% risk of relapsing 60 years after their initial major depressive episode, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
The interval between feeling better and worse might vary widely from person to person and from situation to situation. According to a 2018 assessment, it’s unclear when exactly a recurrence happens.
According to the DSM-5, a recurrence must have at least five of the following symptoms present on a daily basis for at least two weeks to be regarded:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of interest in activities you normally like to do
- Feelings of worthlessness or severe guilt
- Decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Significant changes in appetite or weight
Psychomotor agitation (rapid movement) or retardation (slowed movement)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Overall low mood
Cognitive aids that can help prevent a recurrence.
Recurring depression can be demoralizing, even if you’ve been feeling better.
Remember that you’re not to blame if you start to feel depressed again and that there are cognitive techniques you may use to increase your mood and prevent your symptoms from worsening.
The ability to recognize one’s own symptoms. Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling, even if it seems like a simple thing to do.
For example, if you notice that your mood is changing or that you’re spending more time at home, take a moment to reflect on how frequently this has occurred in the past.
The first step in preventing a recurrence of symptoms is to recognize them and take extra care of yourself if that is the case.
When practicing mindfulness meditation, it is common to change your focus away from bad thoughts (rumination) to how you feel in the here and now.
Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) can be improved by including mindfulness meditation as a technique, according to a 2020 study.
According to a study published in 2019, mindfulness meditation may also lessen the risk of developing depression.
Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (MBCT) is another treatment strategy that incorporates both meditation and CBT. A new study from 2019 reveals that MBCT may assist persons with depression avoid relapse.
However, more study is required.
Indications for treatment
Because they feel better, some people stop taking their medicine or going to treatment. This could jeopardize your progress. If you’ve been slacking off on your treatments, make an effort to get back on track. Keep in mind that depression necessitates ongoing treatment and attention to one’s own needs.
Planned activities for the day
Depression is frequently accompanied by a decline in interest in past hobbies or pastimes. One technique to improve your interest in a certain activity is to write it down.
- adding structure to the day
- enhancing self-management, including negative thoughts about activities
- increasing the likelihood of performing the tasks
- reducing the perception of tasks being unmanageable or chaotic
You can also include enjoyable activities like meeting up with pals for coffee, in addition to mundane ones like going to the grocery store.
Challenge negative thoughts
According to a 2018 study, those with depression are more likely to have negative ideas, or cognitive distortions, than those who are not.
A 2018 analysis indicated that cognitive therapy focusing on negative thinking can be more effective than other types of therapy in eliminating this habit.
But there is still a need for further investigation.
Practice self-love, embracing appreciation, and cultivating self-awareness are other coping tactics that can assist combat negative thinking.
Have a game plan in mind
Preparing for a depression recurrence might help you deal with it when it does occur.
Keep in mind that the DSM-5 estimates that you have a 60% chance of relapsing into depression if you have had at least one previous episode.
Recurrence rates can rise as high as 70 percent for people who have had two or more episodes of depression and as high as 90 percent for those who have had three or more episodes.
Even though you can’t stop every incident, there are steps you can take to be ready for one.
Consider the following options as a course of action:
- keeping a journal of your feelings to keep track of your symptoms
- identifying your triggers
- marking on the calendar when your symptoms are at their worst
- having friends and family help monitor your behaviors
When is it time to seek help?
Getting in touch with your prescribing doctor or a mental health expert may be a good idea if your symptoms have persisted despite following your treatment plan for more than two weeks and are interfering with your regular activities.
A change in your prescriptions, herbal remedies, or psychotherapy may be necessary. Depression recurrence symptoms to watch out for include:
- feeling extremely hopeless
- thinking that you’d be better off dead
- using self-prescribed drugs or substances to manage symptoms
- feeling impulsive
- having thoughts of harming yourself
Contact your doctor or one of the sites below if you have any of the following symptoms.
The reappearance of depression symptoms after a long period of improvement is not unheard of. Depression is a mental illness that demands constant attention, care, and awareness.
Recurrences of the same or different symptoms are possible, but with the correct support system, it is possible to cope much more readily.
Even when you’re feeling bad, it can be difficult to ask for help. Getting quick assistance is now more accessible than ever before, be it via phone call, text message, or online chat.
Remember that you’re not alone and there is a lot of support out there for you if you’re experiencing persistent depressive symptoms.