Psychologists are often asked how to deal with depression. Depression occurs more commonly than we think, and has varying impact to a person’s life. Depending on the individual lifestyle, coping mechanism and personality, it could range from manageable to disastrous. Symptoms could also vary, and a depressed person may exhibit frequent emotional down-times manifested through crying. It may also affect sexual desire, alienation from family and friends, as well as difficulty in finding meaning in life. A person with depression is also disinterested in participating in group activities, and may end up neglecting personal and professional responsibilities. Furthermore, this is often accompanied by excessive eating habits as well as insomnia.
To know how to deal with depression, it is essential to know what usually causes it. A variety of factors lead to this phenomenon, and may be caused by a certain situation or stressors. For instance, situations like death in the family, loss of income, or personal disappointments may lead to depression. At times, it may also be caused by alcohol or drug use, chemical imbalance, or even improper dietary practices. Knowing the source of the depression is key in treating it; otherwise, the situation may just worsen.
To overcome depression, it is important to understand that small, attainable steps should be taken. One step at a time, you will eventually get over the dark path and live a more normal life. Here are some tips on how to embark on that journey:
1.) Get strength from strong relationships – A good support system is essential in knowing how to deal with depression. It will be difficult to ask for help, but you should realize that depression would only get worse if fed with isolation. While it may feel shameful to ask for help from someone you have neglected, a person who truly cares about you will move mountains just to be able to help you go through your ordeal. These are normally the immediate members of your family, or close personal friends. Force yourself to join some of the social activities you used to enjoy, making sure that your support group is there to be with you every step of the way. It is also helpful to look for other people dealing with the same situation and forming a support group.
2.) Avoid negative thoughts – Do not make things too hard for yourself. Be realistic about your standards, and allow yourself the luxury of failing at some things. Failure is a common cause of depression, but a lot of times the situation is really unattainable or extremely difficult for regular human standards. Identify self-imposed stress factors, and try to come up with more realistic goals or attainment levels. Avoid all or nothing situations; try to look at the things you were able to achieve during the venture. Avoid generalizing from the last experience that you had, and forever closing the door to trying it one more time.
3.) Taking care of yourself – You should try to live a healthy life, eat right, and balance activities to avoid too much stress. Getting enough sleep is usually underrated, but sufficient sleep actually helps improve the mood. You also need to identify the things that cause you the most stress, and come up with ways to avoid or overcome these. Finally, relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga do actually help develop a saner and more peaceful mind.
4.) Exercise – Getting enough exercise will not only make you look good from the outside, but is also a good tool on how to deal with depression. An increased energy level works as an anti depressant, and increases mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.
5.) Know your limits – Sometimes, professional help is required to overcome depression. There is nothing shameful about seeking help; knowing your personal limitations and acting on them are actually signs of a strong personality. Certain kinds of depression may not be dealt with without medication, especially if it involves a chemical imbalance.
Depression leaves devastation in its wake, but fortunately there is something that can be done about it. At this day and age, people are more aware of the harmful impact that untreated depression can lead to. Modern advances have more or less minimized the recurrence of depression once identified and treated. Knowing how to deal with depression will definitely save a life, yours or a loved one’s.