This blog post explores the presence of a quick fix for depression and helps us understand the things we can do right now to ease depressive symptoms and boost our moods.
Is There a Quick Fix for Depression?
No, there is no quick fix for depression. The recommended course of action for treating depression involves visiting a psychiatrist to get a prescription for antidepressants and going to a psychologist or a counselor for therapy.
It is understandable that in the rush of today’s world, people have a desire to accomplish every last thing they wish to achieve. When we cannot complete something set for the day, we leave it for tomorrow and try to find a quick fix so that we do not have too much to catch up.
We live in a world where stress is on a tremendous rise because of unrelenting wishes and desires to accomplish more and more every day. There is a sense of incompetence and discouragement when we are (naturally and understandably) unable to reach these goals. It bogs us down, and we are left exhausted and face a multitude of difficulties, including sleep disturbances and intense sadness. We are urged to do something about it and do it fast.
People with depression nowadays tend to believe that going to their general physician and asking for antidepressants would be a quick fix for depression. However, it is not that simple.
Depression is a manageable condition, yes, but it takes time. It does not stop with antidepressants, although they are great drugs that work toward bringing back some amount of bodily regulations. Even in the case of antidepressants, one medication does not work for everybody. Your doctor will assess whether there needs to be a change in the dosage or if they need to put you on a different antidepressant altogether; there is a trial-and-error approach even with antidepressants.
Moreover, for your antidepressants to work optimally, your doctor will suggest you seek therapy from a trained psychologist or a counselor. The therapeutic intervention will enable you to learn to identify and alter negative ways of thinking, establish a sound support system, communicate effectively, and equip yourself with adaptive coping strategies, among other incredible things.
If you think you are or someone you know is suffering from depression, seek help from a mental health professional immediately.
Things You Can Do Right Now
Despite a lack of a quick fix for depression, there are several things you can do right now to elevate your mood and manage your depression better. These things include:
- Change Your Outlook;
- Positive Journaling and Taking Control;
- Use Positive Descriptions;
- Reduce Alcohol Intake;
- Have Something Pleasant to Anticipate; and
- Express Kindness and Love
Change Your Outlook
There may be incessant thoughts filled with negativity that permeate your consciousness, including, “I will never be okay,” “I will always be a failure,” or “I am unworthy of love and affection.” Such a unidirectional style of thinking will make you miss out on perspectives that could be beneficial.
Therefore, instead of being consumed by one way of looking at things, proverbially open your eyes to a million other ways to look at yourself, your concerns, and the world around you.
When you think of an unpleasant thought, before you go spiraling down a dark tunnel of more and more negativity, try to divert yourself to a more pleasant place. Think of one memory that you may cherish. Either write down the memory in great detail or say it out loud to somebody else or even to yourself. The key is not to miss even a single element.
You will find that this simple activity can bring you a great deal of relief. These days, as we are always immersed in the digital world, revisiting old, pleasant memories can be a great exercise. Try to capture happy moments and turn it into an album that you can go over whenever you feel like you might go down a rabbit hole of negative thoughts and feelings.
Social media and other online platforms can effectively be used if you want to. You can choose to follow whomever you want, and if you feel that a specific set of people make you feel inferior or unsure of yourself, even for no fault of theirs, do not hesitate to unfollow them.
Positive Journaling and Taking Control
Before going to bed every night, sit by yourself, and write down events that brought you satisfaction, excitement, and a sense of gratitude. It can be something as simple as a fulfilling meal. The next morning, read these points before starting your day. The way you begin your day is crucial as it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
With that said, keep in mind that if one of your mornings is not so good, it does not mean the rest of the day needs to be as bad. You are your boss, and you can refresh and start your day over whenever you choose to do it. So, if your day begins on a sad note, do not think that the entire day is ruined.
Positive journaling aims to take your mind off of the automatic negative thoughts that come with depression.
Use Positive Descriptions
Instead of continually telling yourself words like, “I am pathetic,” “I look horrible,” or “I am a failure,” try to use kinder, more compassionate words to describe yourself. Tell yourself that you are caring, loving, helpful, trustworthy, deserving, considerate, to name a few.
Whenever you start feeling critical of yourself, try to replace the negative self-talk with these attributes. Get your friends, family, and other close ones to contribute to your pile of kind adjectives. Surround yourself with these by writing them down and carrying them with you, sticking post-it notes on your work desk, mirror, and even on the refrigerator.
Although depression makes you socially withdrawn and isolated, your mood improves when you surround yourself with people you care about and who care about you. Establish a support system entailing people who are considerate, understanding, supportive, and emanate positivity.
Try to open up to them and reach them out even in the smallest way you can. Talk to them about some minor thing that is troubling you and ask to meet. Research shows that if you restrict social media usage only to a half-hour every day, your depressive symptoms and a sense of loneliness can improve.
However, it is imperative to stay connected. Therefore, instead of conversing online, try to make plans and meet your friends and family. Ask them to assist you with household chores or accompany you while you shop for groceries. It need not be an elaborate meeting, but something simple is enough as long as you get out of your bedroom.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
There is a tendency for people with depression to consume a lot of alcohol in an attempt to feel less emotional pain. However, it is a depressant and involves hangovers when you go overboard. Hangovers will make you more irritable and reduce your daily functioning the day after you drink. Therefore, you should limit your alcohol intake.
Have Something Pleasant to Anticipate
Having something to look forward to can distract you from your preoccupations with negative thoughts. It boosts your mood more than reminiscing a pleasant event does. Plan something that entices you even a little bit. It can be a weekend getaway, a night out, a concert, or an art event. You can even volunteer at a non-profit organization.
Express Kindness and Love
Wishing others well has been tied to feeling more empathetic, connected, considerate, and happy. You are also likely to feel less anxiety when you express kindness and love to the people around you. Instead of merely thinking it, try to mean it.
Often, being competitive rather than considerate can make people more depressed, anxious, and stressed out. Therefore, remember to wish yourself and others well.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
This blog post explained a lack of a quick fix for depression while outlining things you can do right now to uplift your mood and regulate your depressive symptoms better.
Remember that depression can be diagnosed and treated. Reach out to your general physician, who will assess you and refer you to a mental health practitioner. Be wary of the signs of depression to understand when to go to a doctor.
What we recommend for Depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Quick Fix for Depression
Is there a way to boost your mood quickly?
There are a few ways to boost your mood quickly, including:
Going for a walk or run outdoors;
Listening to pleasant music;
Having a good laugh;
Do something nice for somebody;
Go on a vacation;
Sleep or take a nap;
Be around pets;
Engage in sexual intercourse;
Look back at pleasant memories; and
Write down things for which you are grateful.
What type of tea is helpful for depression?
Some types of tea that could lift your mood and decrease the risk of depression are:
St. John’s wort tea
Lemon balm tea
What is the treatment duration for depression?
The usual treatment duration for depression is somewhere between three and six months. For some individuals, it could take longer due to the severity of their depression. Commonly, a depressive episode goes on for four to eight months on average, which can be reduced through appropriate intervention.
What foods can help boost your mood?
Some foods help boost your mood, such as:
Whole grains: brown rice, wild rice, millets, quinoa, oats, amaranth
Probiotics: yogurt, tempeh, buttermilk, miso
Leafy green vegetables: spinach, kale, lentils, okra, avocado, broccoli
Vitamin D: egg yolks, cheese, milk, orange juice
Moderate amounts of caffeine
Eat a nutritious breakfast that is fibrous and contains healthy fats and protein.
Omega-3 fatty acids: canola oil, walnut, flax seeds, chia seeds, sardines, fish, anchovies
What are the natural ways to boost serotonin?
Some of the natural ways to increase serotonin are:
Being physically active by swimming, jogging, hiking, exercising, or bicycling;
Eating the right food, like oatmeal with nuts, whole-wheat or multigrain bread with cheese or turkey, and brown rice with grilled salmon;
Getting a massage;
Visualizing a happy or feel-good memory in detail;
Exposure to sunlight and fresh air; and
Taking supplements like pure tryptophan, St. John’s wort, or probiotics
How can you ease anxiety naturally?
Some things you can do to ease anxiety naturally are:
Not consuming alcohol;
Practicing deep breathing;
Consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet;
Not consuming caffeine;
Getting adequate sleep; and
Amatenstein, S. (2020, November 16). How to Overcome Depression: 5 Things You Can Do NOW to Make a Meaningful Impact. PSYCOM. Retrieved from https://www.psycom.net/therapist-plan-for-overcoming-depression/.
Samaritan Counseling Center. (n.d.). Quick Fix for Depression? Retrieved from http://samaritan-vail.org/index.php/vail-counseling/resources/quick-fix-for-depression/.
Raghunathan, R. (2013, April 17). The Top 10 Happiness Quick-Fixes. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sapient-nature/201304/the-top-10-happiness-quick-fixes.