Defeat Depression & Insomnia

Learn how to defeat depression and insomnia from someone who's been there ...

How to Help People with Depression

In general, you should treat everyone with 3 keys things: empathy, respect and understanding.

Each person you come across may have similar symptoms but how they affect that person can vary greatly, so there isn't a magic formula that you can use on everyone.

Be prepared to actively listen to what the person is saying, don't dismiss anything they say just because they have a different opinion to your own, try and be as honest as you can and be respectful. If you don't know an answer to a question say so, and offer to get the relevant information when you can. Above all don't make any promises that you can't keep.

If you care about someone who's depressed, here are some suggestions for what you can do to help them.

1. Educate yourself. There are countless sites on the Internet where you can learn about depression, it's symptoms, and treatment. My Depression FAQ is an excellent starting place to find answers to many common questions about depression. Learn about informed consent and the legal aspects of treatment in your state. Read up on disability law as it applies to the mentally ill.

2. Put yourself in their shoes. Learn what depression feels like, the misconceptions about mental illness that they must deal with, and get the facts about what depression really is.

3. Take care of yourself. Feelings of depression are contagious. Periodically take some time to step back from the situation and recharge your batteries.

4. It's okay to feel upset, angry, frustrated. These feelings are a valid response to a very trying situation. Join a support group, talk with a close friend, talk to a clergy, or see a therapist. The important thing is vent your frustrations rather than allowing them to build up inside.

5. Be there for them. Give them a shoulder to cry on or just listen while they spill out their hearts to you. Be patient with them. Let them know that you care. Share the things you've learned while researching depression. Let them know it's not their fault, that they're not weak or worthless.

6. Remember that the depressed person's behavior isn't indicative of the "real" person. The depressed person has impaired social skills. They may be withdrawn and shy or sullen and angry. When the depressed person lashes out in anger, it's because they're actually angry with themselves and the way they feel. You just happen to be there. When your spouse or significant other doesn't feel like having sex, don't take it personally. Loss of sex drive is a classic symptom of depression, as well as the medications used to treat it. It doesn't mean they don't love you.

7. Depressed people aren't lazy. They're ill. Everyday activities like cleaning house, paying bills, or feeding the dog may seem overwhelming to them. You may have to take up the slack for them for awhile. Just like if they had the flu, they simply don't feel up to it.

8. Proper nutrition, exercise, medications and therapy may be crucial to their recovery. Help keep them on track with good eating habits, exercise, and treatment. Help to ease their fears about treatment by letting them know that they're not crazy.

9. Offer hope in whatever form they will accept it. This could be their faith in God, their love of their children, or anything else that makes them want to go on living. Find what works best for them and remind them of it whenever they're not sure they can hang on any longer. If they're suicidal, you may need to seek immediate help. There are some very valuable suicide resources on the Internet that will help you to help your loved cope with suicidal feelings as well.

10. Love them unconditionally. Let them know that you love them by saying it. Let them know you're not frustrated, angry or disappointed in them -- it's their illness that you're frustrated with, not them.

Dealing with Depression

As previously stated, we should treat everyone with 3 keys things: empathy, respect and understanding.

Here are some tips for dealing with your depression:

  • Even though you might not feel sociable (and, in fact, probably don't), do not give in to your inclination to isolate yourself. Try to get out, even for a short time, among people whose company you enjoy. A “change of scenery” can also help; try taking a short walk, preferably in the morning sunshine, as exposure to sunlight can positively affect your mood.
  • Share your troubles. You may want to confide in a close friend or family member. Sometimes, it really does help to talk. (This is not, of course, meant to substitute for a therapist or other qualified professional.)
  • Join (or become active again in) a spiritual community. Find a local church or synagogue and start attending regularly; religious involvement has been shown to have long-term benefits for those who participate. And you just might find yourself becoming part of a community with similar values.
  • Get a pet. Assuming you're not allergic and you like and can care for (and are able to keep) a dog, cat or other animal, you may want to explore this option. It's well documented that animals have a therapeutic value for humans. Even watching a tank of fish swimming, it's said, can help generate a feeling of calm.
  • Although you may feel bleak, remember the saying that “laughter is good for the soul.” Watch a movie that makes you laugh. (The Marx Brothers? Tootsie? A romantic comedy?) Listening to music you enjoy may also help lighten your mood. Don't forget to sing along. Singing can be a great blues buster, too.
  • Write. Keeping a journal has been shown to have a healing effect. Or work on writing something even more creative: a book, a play, a song or poem, or what-have-you.
  • Any kind of creative activity, such as painting, writing, or dancing, can help you to feel good. (Dance or other physical activities carry the added benefit of being good exercise. Exercise helps people to feel good, too.) Creativity is thought to release endorphins, the brain's so-called “feel good” chemicals.
  • Do something nice for someone else. Seek out volunteer opportunities; get ideas and local referrals through charitable organizations, your place of worship, the newspaper, or online. Whether it's dropping in to visit a lonely older neighbor or spending the afternoon preparing bags at your local food bank, if you feel as you're contributing to the world around you (and you are!), you will likely begin to feel more a part of it.
  • Remember to eat well. Giving in to sugar cravings will almost certainly make you feel worse ultimately, as will not eating very much. Eating balanced meals and drinking plenty of water will probably help to stabilize your mood.
  • Dress up. Sometimes it can feel cozy just to laze around (especially when the weather outside is bad) in soft, worn, not-very-presentable clothing. However, like just about anything else, too much of it probably won't be good for you. Even if you're only going to the corner store for a quart of milk, make an effort to look nice. You may just find that you feel better, too.
  • Act as if you feel better than you do. Sigh contentedly. Smile. Say out loud, “What a gorgeous day!” (Or maybe, “I like rain.”) “I feel great!” Think about one thing, or more, that you feel truly happy (or at least pretty good) about.
If you suffer from seasonal depression or “winter blues,” (also known as “seasonal affective disorder” or SAD) you might want to consider adding light therapy to your routine. (Some people use it for non-seasonal depression, as well.) SAD is common in residents of northern climates where there is insufficient sunlight throughout the winter months. Generally, light therapy involves sitting in front of a specially designed lamp or light box for a specified period each morning, often thirty to sixty minutes. Many types of light boxes are available.

Note: Formerly at the fringes, light therapy seems to be gaining mainstream acceptance. If you'd like to give a light box a try, make sure to look for established guidelines before making a purchase.

How to Get Help If You're Depressed

Depression can make your feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, even hopeless. Depressive episodes can be time limited, especially if you are in treatment with a qualified professional.

While negative thoughts and feelings may make you feel like giving up, it's important to realize that negative views are part of the depression and often do not accurately reflect your actual circumstances.
As treatment begins to take effect, negative thinking is likely to fade so be patient with yourself. In the meantime:
1. Commit to working out issues by attending regular sessions and being frank with your therapist
2. Outside of therapy, set realistic goals you need to achieve in your day-to-day life
3. Take on a reasonable amount of responsibility and ask for help if you feel overwhelmed
4. Break large tasks into smaller ones and reward yourself for completing those larger tasks
5. Set priorities and do what you can when you can
6. Try to spend time with other people and to confide your feelings to someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive
7. Let your family and friends help you
8. Participate in activities that may make you feel better such as going to a movie, a ballgame, or participating in religious, social, or other activities
9. Make time for exercise, but don't over-do it.
10. Postpone important decisions, such as changing jobs getting married or divorced, until the depression has lifted.
Note: For information on dealing with depression from a spiritual perspective, read the Spirituality web page.

How Long Will It Take to Feel Better?
People rarely "snap out of" a depression, but they can get a little better day-by-day. Expect your mood to improve gradually. Feeling better takes time. Positive thinking will gradually replace the negative thinking that is part of the depression. The excessive negative thinking grow weaker and disappear as your depression responds to treatment.

Where to Get Help
Be sure to seek outside help if you feel down for more that a couple of weeks, your depressive symptoms are interfering with your life or if you have any thoughts of suicide. Other options include looking in the yellow pages under "mental health," "psychologists," "counselors," "social services," "suicide prevention," "crisis intervention services," "hotlines," "hospitals," or "physicians" for phone numbers and addresses. Your local emergency room can also help in a crisis.

Additional sources of help include:
  • Family doctors
  • Mental health specialists - such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors
  • Your health insurance plan
  • Community mental health centers
  • Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics
  • University- or medical school-affiliated programs
  • State hospital outpatient clinics
  • Family service, social agencies, or clergy
  • Private clinics and facilities
  • Employee assistance programs


If you’re living with high levels of stress, you’re putting your entire well-being (and family) at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life.

The goal of stress management is to bring your mind and body back into balance. By adopting a positive attitude, learning healthier ways to cope, and changing the way you deal with stress, you can reduce its hold on your life.    

Taking Care of Stress

In our frenetic, fast-paced world, many people deal with frequent or even constant stress. The overextended working mother, the hard-charging “Type A” personality, the self-critical perfectionist, the chronic worrier: they’re always wound up, always stretched to the breaking point, always rushing around in a frenzy or juggling too many demands.

Operating on daily red alert comes at the high price of your health, vitality, and peace of mind. But while it may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level—the bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, your career will always be demanding—you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management.

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun —and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

Healthy Stress Reducers

Here are some simple stress reducers.

•      Go for a walk.                                              Play with a pet.

•      Spend time in nature.                                   Work in your garden.

•      Talk to a supportive friend.                          Get a massage.

•      Sweat out tension with a good workout.       Curl up with a good book.

•      Do something for someone else.                  Take a yoga class.

•      Write in your journal.                                    Listen to music.

•      Take a long bath.                                         Watch a comedy.





Anti-Stress Foods

It is a known fact that stresses are among the factors that destroy our body and our health; and, cause our blood sugar to rise. The good news is that you can control your blood sugar and limit the damage to your body caused by living a stressful life. How? By simply embracing a superior nutritional program such as the Death to Diabetes Super Diet. Although this diet was designed to address your diabetes, it also reduces the impact of stress on your body.

There are some simple rules, like avoiding caffeine and alcohol, avoiding fried and fatty foods, and so on.  Here are some foods that can you add to your daily diet to combat stress and relieve the effects of stresses.

Almonds. Other great sources of magnesium, zinc and the above mentioned vitamins. Have a little snack and eat a handful of almonds, but remember that eating more of this delicious natural foods is linked to increased risks of cardiovascular problems.

Asparagus. This amazing green vegetable is an excellent anti stress food, a natural source of folic acid, which is an important chemical that helps to balance your mood and block the hormones produced when we are stressed out.

Bananas. These natural foods are rich in vitamin B, an important nutrient to keep stress hormones and blood pressure levels under control even in the most stressful situations.

Blueberries. This great low calorie product is rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C, can also effectively help us fight against stresses.

Dark chocolate. It is known as one of the best anti-stress foods which is packed with flavonoids with amazing relaxing properties. Phenethylamine is another very important natural substance which can be found in dark chocolate. This chemical enhances our mood and makes us feel relaxed too. In addition to this, studies have shown that regular consumption of dark chocolate in small doses is linked to lower levels of cortisol, known also as stress hormone.

High in flavonoids, which are lauded for their relaxing properties (Lemon Balm and chamomile tea – other excellent sources), chocolate also contains phenethylamine, a chemical that enhances your mood. The darker the chocolate, the more healthful substances you’re being paid in your diet, so look for bars that are 70 percent cacao or privileged.   Researchers found that eating the equivalent of one mean-sized dark chocolate candy bar (1.4 ounces) each day for two weeks reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines in vastly stressed people.

Bison/Beef. Rich in iron, vitamin B and zinc, beef and other types of red meat can be the best choice for the main course on a stressful day. However, remember that red meat has unhealthy saturated fat which is very harmful to your health.

Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is crucial in combating stress. In fact, prolonged periods of stress deplete levels of vitamin C in the adrenal glands, so it's important to consume foods that contain high levels of it.

Cottage cheese. This type of cheese is very rich in proteins, calcium, as well as vitamins B2 and B12, which assist in banishing such symptoms of stresses as anxiety and restlessness.

Since cottage cheese is a good source of vitamins B2 and B12, mixing it with cantaloupe for breakfast or a midday snack will help you banish your feelings of anxiety.

Milk. A rich source of antioxidants, vitamins B 12 and B 2, raw milk (or goat's milk) can be used to block the activities of free radicals associated with stresses. A study has shown that the women who drinks lowfat milk on a regular basis displayed twice less symptoms of stresses in their PMS period.

Oatmeal. Carbs help you produce serotonin, a kind hormone that helps fight anxiety’s negative things-which is doubtless why many of us crave them when we’re stressed. Go with the appetite and choose healthful sources. The B vitamins in oats stimulate production of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter that sends soothing signals to your brain. Oatmeal is high in fiber, which means that your body will absorb it at a snail’s pace. In one fell swoop, you’ll prolong the serotonin boost, keeping physically feeling full for longer (and on less) and building sure your blood sugar’s in check.

Oranges. Oranges have high vitamin-C content. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights the free radicals that get unhindered when you’re stressed. It also lessens symptoms and shortens the duration of colds, which may be brought on by stress. Other excellent sources include kiwi fruit and strawberries.

Salmon. This is one of the best natural sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are reported to be an excellent food to slow down production of hormones adrenaline and cortisol, associated with increased levels  of stresses. Also, good amounts of Omega 3 acids in our body can help boost serotonin levels making us feel more happy and content.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids-overflowing in fish like wild salmon-can help back stress symptoms by boosting serotonin levels, and that an omega-3-rich diet can also help suppress the production of the anxiety hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

Sunflower Seeds: A excellent fund of folate, which helps your body produce a pleasure-inducing brain chemical called dopamine. Low levels of zinc are common among those suffering from stress. It is elemental for boosting the immunelogic and fighting infections.

Sushi. Aside from the benefits of fish described on the first page, the seaweed in maki (rolls) also has anxiety-fighting properties. It is packed with stress-relieving magnesium, as well as pantothenic acid and vitamin B2 (riboflavin).

Pantothenic acid is crucial, as it contributes to the health of the adrenal glands, which play a vital role in stress management. In times of stress, a deficiency in pantothenic acid can lead to feelings of anxiety and increased vulnerability to infection, illness and chronic fatigue.

Walnuts: They’ve been shown to help lower blood pressure, which is critical for those whose hearts are by now working overtime thanks to high adrenaline levels. In fact, research so strongly backs their health repayment that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration goes so far as to recommend 1-1/2 oz per day (Brilliant raw, organic walnuts, 1/4 cup daily but watch depression on thyroid function).

Breakfast. Almost every other person has a practice of regular skipping breakfasts. Why do we do this? Sometimes we sleep too long and have no time for having breakfast before leaving our house. Some people believe that skipping breakfasts can help in weight loss, but this idea is absolutely incorrect. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and skipping breakfasts does not lead to anything positive.

But, you must eat a properly-balanced meal in order to reap the benefits of breakfast. So, follow a program such as the Death to Diabetes Super Breakfast protocol to ensure optimum health.

Moreover, according to famous British expert nutritionists Professor Tanya Byron and Amanda Ursell, who recently published their Kingsmill Breakfast Report, eating healthy breakfasts can help us to reduce negative effects of our daily stresses.

A research leaded by these two specialists showed that eating a good nutritious breakfast in the morning helps to boost our resistance to stresses and improve our mental functioning during the day.

Professor Byron underlines that skipping breakfast or eating a poor one “..leads to substantially heightened stress levels and given the understanding of the role of stress in the deterioration of thinking, problem solving, focus, concentration and behavior, has profound implications for everyone, adults and children alike.”



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