Many people will experience some form of depression throughout their lives. Sometimes it is a temporary state of sadness brought on by a traumatic event. Other times a more serious psychological profile can develop that hinders your loved one's ability to function in her life. Mental hygiene is necessary to maintain good quality of life. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. Nor is it something to shame in others. When someone in your family is suffering from depression, he or she needs you more than ever. So how can you help yourself and your family when you know something in his life just isn't right? Signs to look for:

  • Feelings of sadness, lifelessness, dullness, numbness or negativity last for a considerable amount of time.

  • Feeling hopeless or faithless, and like nothing will work out.

  • Feeling there is no reason to get out of bed, put in effort and try, or go to school or work.

  • Feeling like failure is inevitable.

  • Feeling like any efforts to change the situation and have a good life will be sabotaged.

  • Feeling as if you don't deserve, or are not meant to be happy.

  • Feeling as if you don't deserve, or are not meant to have good things in your life.

  • Feeling unworthy.

  • Feeling like your presence in others' lives, in your own life or in the world is ultimately a detriment.

  • Feeling like everyone would be better off without you.

If you or anyone in your life feels they have no purpose in life, or in living, it's time to call in a professional.

Depressive states can range from very short-lived and temporary to long-term and chronic. These moods can be circumstantial or pervasive. If you feel like your spouse's, your child's or your state of mind is beyond your help, don't hesitate to recommend or introduce professional therapy or counseling. But if someone you love is battling the blues are has a more serious form of chronic depression, there are things you can do to lighten the load.

Little things that make a big difference in depression:

Brighten your world

Paint your bedroom a bright color, or create a bright accent wall. Wear bright clothes and accessories. Men, wear brightly colored ties, handkerchiefs, socks, sunglasses and hats. Ladies, wear bright lipstick, eye shadow, nail polish, costume jewelry, sunglasses and shoes. Dye your hair a brighter color, bring along a brightly colored purse, even buy a bright case for your phone or tablet. This goes for glitter and shimmer, as well.

Match your unmentionables

Women, match your bra and panties. It seems simple, but goes a long way. Even go out and splurge on a really nice frilly set, even if you're the only one who'll see it. Trust me, this one works wonders.

Maintain your hygiene

Something as simple as showering and brushing your teeth once or twice every day, brushing and styling your hair, wearing clean clothes, cologne or perfume, and applying your regular skincare or makeup regimen will help lift your mood and tell you "you're worth it."

Surround yourself with comforting smells

Burn candles and incense that invite calm and relaxation. There are so many wonderful scents that can remind you of being home for the holidays, or a leisurely day at the beach. If you're not a fan of open flames, try an oil diffuser or wall plug-in.

Go for good food

Eat good food. Don't just indulge in fattening, rich, decadence; as this will likely mask your sadness. But eat what really tastes and feels good to you. Go for sushi if that's your favorite. Make mama's famous lasagna with your personal touch. Make reservations, even for one, at that fabulous restaurant everyone's been raving about.

Laugh and smile

Find any way to be entertained. See a movie, watch a show or go to lunch with your best guy or girlfriends. Go to an amusement park. Roller coasters and go-karts will get your adrenaline and mood way up. Visit a museum on the discount day.

Mix and mingle

Socialize whenever you can. Go to an office party, happy hour gathering, Meetup, or special event. Visit the park during a farmer's market, start a conversation with a stranger at your regular hangout, or try your hand at the local pub's trivia night. Talking to people and interacting with outside energy will help fill the void you may be falling too deep into all alone.

Depression is a serious mental and physical issue that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you love is suffering, please get help; there is so much available. But if you feel like you can step in and help your spouse or child beat the blues, these are some fabulous tips to help lift him out of his funk.

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