According to the CDC, about one in every 10 Americans reports symptoms of depression, which means that more than 31 million Americans experience symptoms of depression every year. People of any age and gender can be affected by depression. Anyone can be affected by depression at any time. The good news is that depression is also among the most easily treatable mental health disorders, and early diagnosis and intervention can go a long way in reducing symptoms.

Some people believe that no one they know will ever suffer from depression. However, the statistics above show very clearly that this is not the case, and anyone in your life could become depressed at some point. Depression doesn’t just affect individuals—it affects everyone around them as well.

It seems simple, but one of the best ways to help reduce symptoms of depression is through laughter. Laughter is free, reliable, and very effective in reducing feelings of sadness, stress, and pain. Here are some of the benefits laughter can provide:

  • Laughter prompts the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” chemicals, which can help make you feel happier and ease pain.
  • Laughter helps reduce stress and increase your body’s resistance to infections, which can help you avoid catching illnesses like the cold or the flu.
  • Laughter increases the rate of brain activity in the cerebral cortex, which improves your ability to learn and remember information.
  • Laughter uses large muscle groups all over your body, which improves the flow of oxygen and can help you relax.

Think about how you can add more laughter to your life. The easiest strategy is to smile more, since smiling often leads to laughter. Another useful strategy is to list all of the things in your life that make you happy. You can also spend more time with people who are naturally playful and happy. Of course, it’s not always easy to laugh more, especially when you’re facing difficult circumstances, but taking time to laugh when you can will definitely help improve your quality of life.  Laughter is an effective anti-depressant.

Because our treatment center relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing symptoms of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.