TIPS FOR COPING WITH DEPRESSION

TIPS FOR COPING WITH DEPRESSION

Evidence from a number of research studies has revealed that the correct way of coping with depressive disorder is by combining psychotherapy (talk sessions) and medication. So, if the depression is so severe that a person’s level of functioning is deteriorating I recommend consulting a professional, either a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a clinical social worker. In such cases there is no point in waiting until the depression passes by itself while the person continues to suffer. However, there are other things that people with depression can do to make life easier for themselves.TIPS FOR COPING WITH DEPRESSION

The vicious cycle that increases depression emanates from the fact that in order to get over depression we have to be active and the main aspects that characterizes depression is a lack of energy. So, what do we need to do? We need to start becoming active, slowly but surely, take another small step forward every day. Here are some ideas:


Get support – Loneliness increases depression. So think of at least one person you can depend on to be there for you, to encourage you, someone who will understand you and won’t be judgmental. You might find it hard to think of someone like this.

 

When you’re in a deep depression you get the feeling that everyone else is happy and no one will want to be bothered by you and your pessimistic thoughts. This feeling will only empower your loneliness. You may also be embarrassed and weakened by the feeling that you need help, but don’t underestimate the friends and family who hold a significant place in your life, and who would more than likely feel they want to help you. Talk to someone close to you about what is happening to you, ask them to check up on you every now and then to find out how you are, consider the option of joining a support group, write to people via email/chat forums/whatsapp. Get out of the house with a friend or sign up for group classes.


Take care of yourself – lead a healthy lifestyle, take care of aspects that arouse tension, fix limits at your workplace, invest as much time in yourself as you do in other people, get enough sleep, go out during the daytime too to be in the sun, take part in the type of sports you prefer.

Enjoy yourself – it sounds really simple but one of the problems with depression is finding that you no longer enjoy things you enjoyed previously. Part of the solution is to try and continue doing those same things you used to find pleasurable even though they don’t give you the same enjoyment anymore. Why? Because it is still better than being lethargic and there is a chance that in time you will start enjoying it more.

Relax – try and work out what is causing tension in your life today and think how to minimize them, or at least change your attitude to them. For example, if order and cleanliness in your home cause tension, think how to get your family members to help or, alternatively, lower your standards (it’s not the end of the world if a few dishes are left in the sink or a bit of dust on the furniture). Also, involve yourself in relaxing activities like regulated breathing, relaxation exercises, yoga or any other sports-related activity.

Optimistic thoughts – Depressive thoughts tend to make you think about what is lacking, they lower your expectations, paint the future black, etc. It isn’t easy to change your thought patterns so you may need to deal with this issue professionally.
Try to think in terms of “satisfactory” and not perfection. For example, I am a good enough student, the house is quite well taken care of, etc.
Think in shades of gray, not black or white, everything or nothing. Life is never one extreme – i.e. only bad or good. It may really be alright - not perfect but not the very worst.

Don’t involve yourself with what people may think about you but rather with what you think about yourself – especially today, when you are taking yourself in hand. Check how much you are improving every day, or every week.

Stop rejecting the positive and empowering the negative – one of the tendencies of people suffering from depression is to give a meaning to everything negative rather than seeing the positive aspects. For example: “They only told me I was pretty because they want to cozy up to me”, “So what if I got the best grade in the class?
Grades aren’t the most important thing.”


Another tendency is to attribute successes to an external factor and failures to something internal – “I only passed the exam because it was so easy”, “I was nervous when I got up to speak because I’m such a hopeless loser.”

Overcoming depression is not a simple matter and it takes time, persistence and effort. But - that said - it really is possible…