Getting Through The Day With Severe "Crippling" Depression
Severe depression can sometimes make getting through the day challenging. You might have days or weeks where you don't want to get out of bed, shower, get dressed, clean, or brush your hair. When you have depression, it can be beneficial to take the pressure off yourself and know it's okay to ask for help. With a treatment plan, you can begin addressing symptoms and returning to the activities you enjoy.
What is "crippling" depression?
"Crippling" depression is a pop culture term that describes severe clinical depression, clinically known as major depressive disorder. Major depressive disorder is a depressive disorder, alongside several other forms of depression, including the following:
- Postpartum depression
- Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Major depressive disorder with psychotic features
Major depressive disorder can involve feelings of sadness that affect a person's ability to function on a fundamental level. It can lead to job loss, estranged relationships, substance use, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or urges, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or text 988 to talk to a crisis provider over SMS. They are available 24/7 to offer support. 988 also offers an online chat for those with an internet connection.
Below are a few of the most common symptoms of depression:
- Prolonged feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- Sleep disturbances and changes, like insomnia and hypersomnia
- Appetite changes
- Irritability or anger
- Slowed thought, speech, and physical movements
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Difficulty completing daily activities, such as bathing, household chores, or work
- Suicidal thoughts
To be diagnosed with clinical depression, symptoms must persist for most days for more than two weeks.
Risk factors for depression
Below are a few potential risk factors for depression:
- Family history or genetics
- Substance use
- Major life changes
- Grief after the loss of a loved one
- Relational conflict
- Certain medications
How can you get through the day with severe depression?
While each person might respond differently to depression, there are some widely used tactics with the potential to improve your mood, including the following.
Start a routine
Following a daily or five-day routine may offer you structure and physical well-being, which could reduce the impacts of depression. Using a habit-tracking app on your phone or computer could help you get started. Make a list of the routine you'd like to have and work to improve it through steps like drinking more water, taking a daily walk, or showering on a schedule.
Design your routine so waking up can feel more manageable. You might offer yourself a reward if you get out of bed on time in the morning. In addition, you can schedule self-care and relaxation into your agenda to ensure you have coping skills for difficult moments throughout the week.
When living with depression, you might experience some positive days and others where it's more challenging to care for yourself. As much as you might try to plan and prepare for life's moments, there may be days when you struggle to function as well as you'd like. Try not to be hard on yourself during these times. Instead, allow yourself the time you need to feel better and try to remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day.
Have a support system in place
A robust support system can be an essential complement to medical treatment for depression. A support system that consists of friends, family members, doctors, and therapists can help you cope with your depressive symptoms and potentially prevent future severe episodes.
Celebrate all wins
Like it's important to forgive yourself when you need rest, celebrating all victories can also be beneficial. From making your bed in the morning to working all week without calling in sick, celebrating the times you make strides to care for yourself may improve your mental health.
If you focus on what you haven't been able to accomplish, your thought patterns may worsen depressive symptoms. When you've been doing well or have gotten up in the morning despite not wanting to, take notice and give yourself credit. Experiencing positive moments is one way to turn the focus off of your depression and onto your progress.
Some people may feel that the only way to exercise is by going to the gym or doing a high-intensity workout. However, exercise doesn't necessarily have to be intense or complex. Research shows that exercise can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Exercise might mean walking for 30 minutes, stretching, or doing a few yoga poses after work. If you exercise outside, you can also reap the benefits of being in nature, which has been linked with mental health.
How to treat severe depression
While severe depression can feel debilitating, depression is a treatable mental illness. With severe symptoms of depression, seek professional medical advice from health and wellness professionals, such as a doctor or psychiatrist. Below are two of the most common treatment options for depression.
Below are a few of the common therapeutic approaches for depression:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Family therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Person-centered therapy
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
Talk therapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment for depression, though it is often combined with medications to reduce severe symptoms.
While therapy takes time, your treatment provider may prescribe antidepressant medications to you to help manage symptoms. Taking medications can help you temporarily reduce the worst symptoms of depression to help you focus on therapy.
A meta-review in the Lancet found that all forms of antidepressant medication were more effective than placebo in treating major depression. The medication your doctor prescribes can depend on your symptoms. Consult with your doctor before starting, changing, or stopping a medication.
How to find support
Working with a mental health professional can be essential to overcoming depression. However, if you're living with depression symptoms that make it difficult to get out of bed, you may not want to drive to a therapist's office for a session. Online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp is one way to get treatment from the comfort of your home.
With an online therapy platform, you don't have to drive to an office or meet face-to-face with someone. You can choose between phone, video, or live chat sessions and attend therapy from bed in your pajamas if it feels best to you.
Research shows that online therapy can play a significant role in reducing depression symptoms. For example, one study found that online therapy was more effective than traditional in-person sessions, with most participants in the online group showing continued symptom reduction three months after treatment. Another found that participation in a therapist-supervised, mobile phone app-based treatment program significantly decreased symptoms among those with moderate-to-severe depression.
What counts as crippling depression?
"Crippling depression" is a colloquial term often used to describe severe or profound depression that significantly impairs a person's ability to function in daily life. While it is not a clinical term, it generally conveys the severity of depressive symptoms and their impact on various aspects of an individual's well-being.
Some characteristics that might be associated with what is colloquially termed "crippling depression" include:
- Profound Impairment
- Social Isolation
- Loss of Interest
- Sleep Disturbances
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Physical Symptoms
- Feelings of Hopelessness
Is it OK to say crippling depression?
Using the term "crippling depression" is a colloquial expression that people sometimes use to describe the severity and profound impact of their depressive symptoms. However, it's essential to be mindful of the language we use when discussing mental health. Some individuals and mental health advocates may prefer more accurate and less stigmatizing terms when describing mental health challenges. It may be more accurate to say “severe depression.”
What does crippling mental health mean?
The term "crippling mental health" is not a clinical or specific term used in the field of mental health. It is a colloquial expression that people might use to convey the severity and profound impact of mental health challenges on their well-being. The term "crippling" implies a significant and debilitating effect, suggesting that the mental health concerns are severely limiting or impairing the individual's ability to function in various aspects of life.
It's important to note that mental health is a complex and nuanced aspect of overall well-being. The term "crippling mental health" may encompass a range of conditions and symptoms, including severe anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and others. The impact of mental health challenges can vary widely among individuals, and the term is often used subjectively to describe the perceived severity of one's struggles.
What is another word for crippling depression?
While there isn't a single specific term that is universally synonymous with "crippling depression," there are alternative phrases and terms that people might use to describe severe or profound depression. Here are some alternatives:
- Severe Depression
- Profound Depression
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
- Clinical Depression
- Deep Depression
- Overwhelming Depression
What is the most crippling mental illness?
It's not accurate or appropriate to label one mental illness as the "most crippling" because mental health conditions affect individuals differently, and the impact can vary widely. Additionally, the term "crippling" can carry stigmatizing connotations, and each mental health disorder presents its own set of challenges.
What is the least severe type of depression?
The severity of depression can vary widely, and it's important to note that any level of depression can have a significant impact on an individual's well-being. However, within the spectrum of depressive disorders, a less severe form is often referred to as Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD).
Dysthymia, now recognized as Persistent Depressive Disorder in the DSM-5, is a chronic and milder form of depression compared to Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Some key features of Dysthymia/Persistent Depressive Disorder include:
- Chronic Duration: Symptoms persist for a long period of at least two years in adults and one year in children and adolescents. The depressive feelings are often less intense but are consistently present.
- Symptom Criteria: Individuals with Persistent Depressive Disorder may experience symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, low energy, poor concentration, feelings of hopelessness, and low self-esteem.
- Intermittent Major Depressive Episodes: While Dysthymia represents a chronic low mood, individuals may also experience a major depressive episode during this period.
It may be important to recognize that even milder forms of depression or other mental disorders can have a substantial impact on daily functioning, relationships, and overall quality of life. Seeking a support group and intervention may be important regardless of the severity of depressive symptoms. Many forms of health insurance may cover depression or other psychiatric disabilities or conditions.
Is depression a type of stress?
Depression and stress are related concepts, but they are distinct from each other. Stress is a natural response to challenging or threatening situations, while depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities.
Stress is a normal and adaptive response to situations that demand our attention or pose a threat. It triggers the body's "fight or flight" response, releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Short-term stress can be beneficial in certain situations, helping us respond to challenges effectively. However, chronic or overwhelming stress can have negative effects on physical and mental health.
Depression, on the other hand, is a mental health disorder that goes beyond the typical ups and downs of daily life or feeling sad. It involves persistent and often intense feelings of sadness, emptiness, and a lack of motivation. Depression can affect various aspects of a person's life, including their thoughts, emotions, and physical well-being. It is not a normal response to stressors but a complex condition with multifactorial causes, including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
What does crushing depression feel like?
Experiencing "crushing" depression feels debilitating. It's important to note that the experience of depression can vary widely among individuals, and the term "crushing" is subjective and metaphorical, reflecting the intense and oppressive nature of the feelings. There is no diagnostic criteria for “crushing depression” as it is a term used to describe how depression feels and may vary from person to person. Here are some common descriptions of what crushing depression may feel like:
- Overwhelming Sadness: A pervasive and deep sense of sadness that seems all-encompassing, making it difficult to find joy or interest in activities that were once enjoyable.
- Hopelessness: A profound and pervasive feeling of hopelessness and despair, where it may seem challenging to envision a brighter future or improvement in one's circumstances.
- Physical Heaviness: Some individuals describe a physical heaviness or weight, as if a burden is pressing down on them, making even simple tasks feel exhausting.
- Emotional Numbness: While depression is often associated with intense sadness, some individuals may also experience emotional numbness, feeling detached from their emotions or unable to experience pleasure.
- Fatigue and Low Energy: Persistent fatigue and low energy levels, making it difficult to engage in daily activities or maintain a regular routine.
- Difficulty Concentrating: Cognitive difficulties, including trouble concentrating, making decisions, or remembering details. This can impact work, school, and other daily tasks.
- Isolation: A tendency to withdraw from social activities and relationships, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- Sleep Disturbances: Changes in sleep patterns, such as have trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping, further contribute to fatigue and impact overall well-being.
- Physical Aches and Pains: Some individuals with depression may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or other unexplained pains.
- Loss of Interest: A loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable, leading to a sense of emptiness and disconnection.
What is super depressing?
The term "super depressing" is a colloquial expression used to describe something that elicits an intense and profound feeling of sadness or despair. It is a subjective and informal way of conveying that a situation, event, or content has a particularly strong and negative impact on one's emotions.
For example, someone might describe a sad or tragic movie, a gloomy piece of news, or a personal experience as "super depressing" to emphasize the depth and intensity of the sadness it evokes. It's a way of expressing strong emotional resonance with something that feels overwhelmingly disheartening or sorrowful.
Are depressed people not mentally strong?
The concept of mental strength is complex, and it's important to avoid making sweeping generalizations about individuals based on their mental health status. Depression is a mental health condition that can affect anyone, regardless of their perceived mental strength. Mental strength is not a fixed trait but a dynamic aspect of overall well-being influenced by various factors, including genetics, environment, life experiences, and coping mechanisms.
It's crucial to understand that experiencing depression does not reflect a lack of mental strength. Depression is a complex condition with multifaceted causes, including genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors, and environmental stressors. It may also be impacted by other co-occuring conditions such as substance abuse or anxiety. It is not solely a result of personal weakness or a lack of resilience.
People facing depression may often demonstrate significant resilience and strength in their efforts to cope with and overcome the challenges associated with the condition. Seeking help, whether through therapy, support groups, common treatments and medication, or other supportive measures, is a proactive and courageous step that requires strength and self-awareness.
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