Depression Traps: Social Withdrawal, Rumination, and More

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When Orion Lyonesse is getting depressed, she turns into a hermit. She doesn't privation to permission the location (not adjacent to prime up the mail), and she cuts disconnected interaction with her friends and family.

"The much I'm alone, the deeper the slump gets," Lyonesse, an creator and writer successful Lake Stevens, Wash., tells WebMD successful an email. "I don't adjacent privation to cuddle my cats!"

Avoiding societal interaction is simply a communal signifier you mightiness announcement erstwhile falling into depression. Some radical skip activities they usually bask and isolate themselves from the world. Others crook to intoxicant oregon junk nutrient to disguise their symptom and unhappiness.

Depression traps alteration from idiosyncratic to person, but what they person successful communal is that they tin service to worsen your mood, perpetuating a vicious cycle. Here are six behavioral pitfalls that often travel depression -- and however you tin steer wide of them arsenic you and your doc and therapist enactment connected getting backmost connected track.

Trap #1: Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal is the astir communal telltale motion of depression.

"When we're clinically depressed, there's a precise beardown impulse to propulsion distant from others and to unopen down," says Stephen Ilardi, PhD, writer of books including The Depression Cure and subordinate prof of psychology astatine the University of Kansas. "It turns retired to beryllium the nonstop other of what we need."

"In depression, societal isolation typically serves to worsen the unwellness and however we feel," Ilardi says. "Social withdrawal amplifies the brain's accent response. Social interaction helps enactment the brakes connected it."

The Fix: Gradually counteract societal withdrawal by reaching retired to your friends and family. Make a database of the radical successful your beingness you privation to reconnect with and commencement by scheduling an activity.

Trap #2: Rumination

A large constituent of slump is rumination, which involves dwelling and brooding astir themes similar nonaccomplishment and nonaccomplishment that origin you to consciousness worse astir yourself.

Rumination is simply a toxic process that leads to antagonistic self-talk specified as, "It's my ain fault. Who would ever privation maine a friend?"

"There's a saying, 'When you're successful your ain mind, you're successful force territory,'" says Mark Goulston, MD, psychiatrist and writer of Get Out of Your Own Way. "You permission yourself unfastened to those thoughts and the information is believing them."

Rumination tin besides origin you to construe neutral events successful a antagonistic fashion. For example, erstwhile you're buying groceries, you whitethorn announcement that the checkout idiosyncratic smiles astatine the idiosyncratic successful beforehand of you but doesn't grin astatine you, truthful you comprehend it arsenic a slight.

"When radical are clinically depressed, they volition typically walk a batch of clip and vigor rehearsing antagonistic thoughts, often for agelong stretches of time," Ilardi says.

The Fix: Redirect your attraction to a much absorbing activity, similar a societal engagement oregon speechmaking a book.

Trap #3: Self-Medicating With Alcohol

Turning to intoxicant oregon drugs to flight your woes is simply a signifier that tin travel depression, and it usually causes your slump to get worse.

Alcohol tin sometimes relieve a small anxiety, particularly societal anxiety, but it has a depressing effect connected the cardinal tense system, Goulston says. Plus, it tin screw up your sleep.

"It's similar a batch of things that we bash to header with feeling bad," helium says. "They often marque america consciousness amended momentary, but successful the agelong run, they wounded us."

The Fix: Talk to your doc oregon therapist if you announcement that your drinking habits are making you consciousness worse. Alcohol tin interfere with antidepressants and anxiety medications.

Trap #4: Skipping Exercise

If you're the benignant of idiosyncratic who likes to spell the gym regularly, dropping a bid of workouts could awesome that something's amiss successful your life. The aforesaid goes for passing connected activities -- specified arsenic swimming, yoga, oregon ballroom dancing -- that you erstwhile enjoyed.

When you're depressed, it's improbable that you'll support up with a regular exercise program, adjacent though that whitethorn beryllium conscionable what the doc ordered.

Exercise tin beryllium enormously therapeutic and beneficial, Ilardi says. Exercise has a almighty antidepressant effect due to the fact that it boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, 2 brain chemicals that often ebb erstwhile you're depressed.

"It's a paradoxical situation," Ilardi says. "Your assemblage is susceptible of carnal activity. The occupation is your brain is not susceptible of initiating and getting you to bash it."

The Fix: Ilardi recommends uncovering idiosyncratic you tin spot to assistance you initiate workout -- a idiosyncratic trainer, coach, oregon adjacent a loved one. "It has to beryllium idiosyncratic who gets it, who is not going to nag you, but really springiness you that prompting and encouragement and accountability," Ilardi says.

Trap #5: Seeking Sugar Highs

When you're feeling down, you whitethorn find yourself craving sweets oregon junk nutrient precocious successful carbs and sugar.

Sugar does person mild mood-elevating properties, says Ilardi, but it's lone temporary. Within 2 hours, blood glucose levels crash, which has a mood-depressing effect.

The Fix: Avoid sweetener highs and the inevitable post-sugar crash. It's ever omniscient to devour healthfully, but present much than ever, your temper can't spend to instrumentality the hit.

Trap #6: Negative Thinking

When you're depressed, you're prone to antagonistic reasoning and talking yourself retired of trying caller things.

You mightiness accidental to yourself, "Well, adjacent if I did A, B, and C, it astir apt wouldn't marque maine consciousness immoderate amended and it would beryllium a existent hassle, truthful wherefore fuss trying astatine all?"

"That's a immense trap," says Goulston. "If you contention up and expect a antagonistic result, which past causes you to halt trying astatine all, that is thing that volition rapidly accelerate your slump and deepen it."

The Fix: Don't get excessively attached to grim expectations. "You person much power implicit doing and not doing, than you person implicit what the effect of actions volition be," Goulston says. "But determination is simply a overmuch greater accidental that if you do, past those results volition beryllium positive."

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