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depressed dad | Beliefnet | Terezia Farkas | depression help

Did you know that a depressed dad affects his kid’s mental health the same way a depressed mom does? If dad is depressed, his child will suffer mentally just as much as if the mom was the depressed parent.

This link between depression in a father and the mental health of his children hasn’t really been studied. Why? Because its assumed women have a bigger role in raising children. But that stereotype has changed in the past decades. Yet depression in dads is still under reported and not well researched.

A depressed dad is less likely to ask for help.

Men are reluctant to admit to being depressed. There’s the stigma about emotions. There’s the idea that being a man means you have to ‘suck it up.’ There’s the stereotype of the rugged, detached man who deals well with everything life throws at him.

Men are less likely to ask for help when depressed. This means that all the darkness, hurt, shame, anxiety, and pain of depression is stuck inside the person. Instead of getting mental help, he will instead angrily lash out at loved ones. He’ll blame his mood on others, and act out on that either aggressively or with downplayed anger.

There’s all kinds of symptoms to watch for in a man because he won’t ever be the first to say he’s depressed. A depressed man will likely turn to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, or even food instead of telling anyone how he feels. Acting out with bad or vicious behaviour that’s not common to him is another sign that something is wrong emotionally.

A man who is depressed will focus on his physical symptoms – back ache, headache, muscle pains, stomach acid, insomnia – rather than on emotions – grumpy, apathetic, anxious. He’ll say, “I feel grump cause my shoulder aches” instead of “I feel grumpy.” Anger is one of the biggest symptoms of a depressed man. And anger manifests itself in many ways, so be careful when trying to confront a man about depression.

depressed dad help | Beliefnet | Terezia Farkas | depression help

Diet can help lessen depression.

If your man isn’t admitting to being depressed, a change of diet may help him. Obviously the best thing is to try and get him to see a mental health professional. But sometimes tweeking diet helps steady emotions.

1. Blueberries.

Blueberries reduce stress levels and anxiety with antioxidants. Blueberries are stacked with Vitamin C, which lowers cortisol. It also contains high amounts of water. Water is essential for your brain to properly function. Depression causes dehydration, which leads to poor mood and increased anxiety. Blueberries reverse age-related memory loss, thanks to abundant antioxidants called flavonoids.

2. Beetroot

Beets are a great source of Vitamin B folate. Folate helps boost mood. Beets also are loaded with betaine which your brain uses to produce SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine), which is involved in synthesizing hormones that affect mood. While SAM-e is a prescription drug in Russia, India, Germany, Italy, and Mexico, the drug is only sold as a dietary supplement in the United States. It’s not good for people who have bipolar disorder and its not clear if it can treat major depressive disorder.

3. Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and protein. Great for your nervous system, which in turn can lead to better mood. Walnuts fight depression by increasing serotonin, and boosting your immune system, making you less prone to fatigue. Walnuts contain melatonin which help with better sleep patterns.

4. Chocolate

Yum, chocolate! Dark chocolate with high a high percentage of cocoa is the best. Chocolate is called the Joy Stimulant. Great for improving mood. Dark chocolate contains serotonin, the feel good hormone. Stimulates production of endorphins which bring on pleasure and a peaceful, calm feeling. Contains anti-oxidants which help lower blood pressure. In moderate amounts, chocolate also boosts your concentration.

 

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Heart of Love Evolution - Surviving Depression | Terezia Farkas | depression help

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“Wake up. Listen to the silent cries. The woman too emotional or the guy who just got fired.”

The following video was created by a young poet. Her poetry eloquently describes what it’s like to be young and depressed. And it cries out what a young person wants and needs from you.

“It’s not that I don’t want to be happy. It’s that no matter how hard I try to be happy, I can’t bring myself to be happy.”

Help spread the message that it’s okay to tell someone you’re depressed. Help spread the message to youth that they are not at fault for feeling depressed. Tell someone young who is depressed that you will listen without judgement. That you will stand with that person against the darkness.

“I tell them it cannot be solved by meditation or yoga. It’s a disease that affects every aspect of my life.”

If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts please tell someone. Reach out. Seek help.

Stay safe and know that you are not alone. 

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  (http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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emotional intelligence | author | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

Do you know what’s your emotional intelligence? Never heard of it before? Let me explain what emotional intelligence is.

Emotional intelligence is…

Emotional intelligence is your ability to perceive, evaluate, and manage emotions in yourself. It can also be used to manipulate those things in others. Some believe that emotional intelligence is a better indicator of how successful you will be than your actual IQ can predict.

How to build your emotional intelligence:

1. Learn to accept full responsibility for your emotions and actions.

Don’t blame others for what you do or how you feel unless it really is someone else’s fault. Take responsibility for how you feel. You woke up grumpy, nasty, and angry. That’s on you. It wasn’t because someone made you feel that way. Own it. Then own whatever you decide to do to either get over or past those feelings. If you decide to be a mean miserable s.o.b. for the rest of the day, own that too. Don’t shift responsibility onto someone else and start blaming that person.

Choose how you respond to daily living. That deliberate choice teaches your emotions to be smarter than they are. After all, your emotions are based on instincts, hormones, and physical contacts that create experiences for you.

2. Work on your listening skills.

Focus 100% on the person you’re interacting with. Don’t just listen to the words. Look at the person. See how the face changes, where the eyes look, how the body shifts in posture. You’ll become much better at noticing and correctly evaluating what a person is thinking and feeling.

3. Develop self-awareness.

How often do you stop to listen to your thoughts? Too busy to do that? You’re not alone. Few people actually listen to their inner voice. So many distractions keep us from hearing what our soul is saying.

It’s often called intuition, but really, its listening to your soul. After all, your soul knows what’s really going on. It’s not fooled by fear, guilt, anger, trauma, or hate. Your soul also knows the choices ahead of you, and the consequences of the decisions you’ll make. So you owe it to yourself to take a bit of time each day and listen to what your intuition, your soul, is saying. Are you choosing your behaviours in an intelligent way consistent with the nature of your soul, or are you allowing others to push your buttons?

4. Learn to effectively deal with your impulses.

Impulses aren’t always bad. But impulses can lead you to make bad choices when you’re angry, frustrated, or afraid. Impulses shift control away from the brain onto the body. Your thoughts aren’t in control. This is the dangerous behaviour that can cause self harm, attempt suicide, or hurt someone.

Notice when you are behaving in an impulsive way. Try to slow down and start thinking. What’s a better choice? Is there someone who can help you? Where can you go for help?

Ask as many questions you can to start slowing down your body’s instincts and start gearing up your thinking. Don’t react in a knee-jerk reflex. Avoid lashing out when someone hurts your feelings. Think it through. Can you handle the situation differently? Do you simply need some time out?

5. Increase your empathy.

A person with developed emotional intelligence usually has high empathy towards others. That means the person recognizes and understands the emotions of others. Say someone is angry. If you’re empathetic you recognize the anger, but you also see beyond that emotion. You see what is the cause, what an appropriate response should be, and possible solutions. You can help ease the person out of the anger state and into a more relaxed, calm mood.

A simple way of learning to be empathetic is this:

Ask yourself how you would like to be treated if you were feeling the same emotions.

Then concentrate on finding solutions.

Refrain from getting angry or defensive.

Now you’ll be able to make intelligent decisions and view yourself and others objectively.

Follow Terezia Farkas on Twitter: @tereziafarkas

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depression | god | terezia farkas | author | beliefnet

I wrote an article about Barbara Swanston  3 years ago. Barbara Swanston is a suicide awareness advocate. What she does is as relevant and important today as it was then when it comes to dealing with the suicide of a loved one. How do you talk about the suicide? How do you find closure? Or do you just ignore the event and try to move on?

Barbara Swanston’s son, Terry, died by suicide. It was heartbreaking and tragic. Barbara tried to make sense of Terry’s death – just like every other parent who has lost a child to suicide. But Barbara is different than most parents. She’s not apologizing about Terry’s suicide. She’s staring suicide straight back in the face, and fighting the stigma and taboos of suicide.

Barbara Swanston wants to help others who are left behind by someone’s suicide

Barbara wants to erase the stigma of suicide that prevents those who are struggling with depression from seeking help. Remember not too long ago when talking about cancer was taboo? How we acted about cancer is how many of us act about mental illness and suicide. Talking about suicide doesn’t cause someone to become suicidal. Speaking about suicide won’t increase the risk for a suicidal person. In fact, it might prevent a suicide attempt.

 Barbara Swanston isn’t apologetic about Terry’s suicide. Terry suffered with severe depression and then one day, in the grip of the terrible darkness, he used a gun to end his life. Like most who suffer, he had mastered concealing his depression. Terry’s wife and closest friends knew he was depressed and tried to get him to go for help but Terry refused. Barbara recounted how Terry had written in his final note ‘you could not help me because I would not let you, I am so sorry.’

Don’t blame the person

Barbara doesn’t blame Terry. In fact, she understands why he took his own life and realizes how difficult it was for Terry to fight both stigma and depression. Instead of blame, Barbara talks openly and honestly about how she copes with suicide bereavement, how the stigma of mental illness and suicide stops people from reaching out for help, and what we can do to make a difference.

“When Terry died I was shattered and thought I would never be able to put the pieces back together again. But slowly, oh so slowly, my new self began to emerge and take shape. Some pieces of my old self are probably lost forever; some got misplaced but eventually have found a place they fit; and some new pieces have been added. Terry’s pieces are interwoven and are an undercurrent in my heart, not always obvious to the world. Sometimes, not even so obvious to me, but he gently flows throughout my life, ever-present, always missed. I will always be Terry’s bereaved mum, but today I also feel happy and at peace.” ~ Barbara Swanston

Suicide Awareness Advocate

Barbara calls herself a Suicide Awareness Advocate, speaking out to end stigma so no one feels so ashamed, worthless or hopeless that they consider suicide instead of seeking help.  A suicide awareness advocate isn’t afraid to talk about suicide or to use the word in public.

After Terry died by suicide, Barbara was met by awkward questions and silence from friends who were afraid they’d hurt her feelings by talking about Terry or asking how she felt. Barbara needed to talk about Terry. Her memories of a beautiful child, a loving son, and the life Terry lived coping with depression are worth talking about and don’t need to be silenced as if Terry had never existed.

“We must speak out and replace the stigma with compassion and understanding. We need to open people’s minds so they can open their hearts! To make the Unspeakable speak-able!” says Barbara.

I’m sharing with you Barbara’s incredible speech she gave at the Belfast Conference. Please pass along this post and spread the word it’s okay to talk about suicide.

To read more about Barbara’s journey or to contact her, visit Remembering Terry

Follow Terezia Farkas on Twitter: @tereziafarkas