What helps against burnout/depression?

What helps against burnout/depression?

If you have a diagnosis – burnout, exhaustion depression, depression – then try the low-hanging fruits first, maybe something will already help you. It is important that you try it for at least 3 weeks, because it takes a while until the effect becomes apparent. IMPORTANT: This is not a medical expert article and for every individual different therapies, supplements, drugs and actions help. This is just an example what helped a startup founder that burnt-out.
What can I do myself?

  1. 10,000 lux light therapy once a day for 15-20 minutes. Klarstein, for example, has such light devices that you can get cheaply on ebay.
  2. Take SAM-E food supplements. More information here
    Recommendation: Compare different online pharmacies via google product search, american shops are often much cheaper – e.g. piping rock, iherb but prices can vary a lot and even double from time to time, so better get a bit more when its cheap or search around for alternatives. Be aware that you get the right version, there are 200 mg, 400 mg etc. versions of SAM-E. (Important: Please ask your doctor, therapist, psychatrist, pharmacist for advice, this is not a medical expert recommendation.)
  3. Take vitamin tablets – vitamin D weekly depot 7,000 I.U. It is important that you look at the I.U. value. The higher the value, the more vitamin D is contained in a tablet. This means taking the 7,000 I.U. tablet you only have to take one tablet a week instead of several tablets with lower doses.
  4. Take vitamin B and C. You can buy it cheaply, for example in the drugstore.
  5. Try to get experiences – a city trip, a walk in the forest, going out to eat, meeting friends, doing your hobbies – this is easier said than done, do not be too strict with yourself but try to plan at least once a week those experiences.
  6. Set yourself goals in your job and what you still want to see in the world.
  7. Check if you drink enough – women should drink at least 2 liters a day.
  8. Talking to people that have a similar diagnosis can help, as you do not feel alone then.
  9. Finding out more about ones behaviors and starting to work on routines that are not healthy. A great book to start is „Burnout und chronischer beruflicher Stress: Ein Ratgeber für Betroffene und Angehörige“. It contains examples, is briefly written (about 80 pages), and the exercises are great.

You should also get help from outside. It would be great if you could start making appointments with doctors because the waiting time for endocrinologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists is long, normally 3–6 months. If you are better by then – great – if not, you have secured an appointment that you can still cancel, which will make another patient happy who gets an appointment promptly.

  • Family doctor/general practitioner is the first medical doctor you should contact. She/he is there for physical as well as mental illnesses. Every fifth person gets a depression once in their life, so it’s quite normal for doctors to treat this illness. The doctor checks that everything is physically ok – blood test, blood pressure, skin test, organs, so that a physical illness that leads to symptoms similar to those of depression can be ruled out. Should a doctor, do not take you serious, look for another one.
  • Endocrinologist – tests your thyroid more thoroughly than most doctors do, as they also test your T3 and T4 levels, as well as other hormones – hormones can be responsible for your depression. Here it would be good to have a medical direction („Überweisung“) to a specialist, in this case the endocrinologist. You can get it at your family doctor, or women at their gynecologist.
  • Psychotherapist – health insurance companies pay for depth psychology and behavioral therapy
  • Psychiatrist – prescribes medication, e.g. for depression – psychotherapists and general practitioners do not usually do this – except possibly natural preparations.

For most people diagnosed with depression, it takes a lot of effort to admit the diagnosis and get help, so it often takes 3 months or more for the patient to admit to themselves that they can’t get out of the situation without help. It is a pity that the 3 months are „lost“. Therefore, if you manage to secure appointments with your family doctor, endocrinologist and psychiatrist, this is a lifeline that you have already secured for yourself. You don’t have to do this yourself, you can also ask your partner or friends to support you. For example, friends could find suggestions for doctors in your area and then you choose.

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