Depression is a word that is used a lot of the time now and one that when I was a child I had never even heard of. But with cases rising of people suffering from depression surely there’s something more that can be done? If you’ve been confirmed of suffering from depression follow these tips alongside your medication and start to make a change in how you feel.
What Is Depression
We all have days of feeling down in the dumps and demotivated they are normal reactions to life’s struggles. Many people use the word depression too easily and quickly these days however it’s when these days of darkness and sadness spread into weeks or months is when it will be called and probably confirmed by your doctor to be depression. It is much more than just sadness, People suffering from depression may describe it as living in a black hole or having a feeling of impending doom. Some depressed people may not feel sad they may instead feel lifeless, angry, aggressive and restless.
Whatever symptoms you have depression is different than normal everyday sadness, it engulfs your life and interferes with your ability to continue day to day jobs.
People suffering from depression may have symptoms such as:
- Feelings of hopelessness – Having a bleak outlook on life, feeling that nothing will ever get better. Feeling that there is no way out of your situation.
- Loss of interest in day to day activities – Losing interest in old hobbies, social activities or even sex. The ability to feel joy and pleasure has been lost.
- Appetite or weight changes – if you have significant weight loss or weight gain with a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep patterns change – you may suffer from insomnia waking through the early hours or you may find you are oversleeping more than usual.
- Anger/irritability – feelings of restless, agitated some may even experience violence. Tolerance levels are low and tempers short. You may find that everyone and everything annoys you.
- Low energy – feelings of fatigue sluggish and feeling physically drained. Your whole body may become heavy and doing small tasks are exhausting taking longer to complete.
- Low self-worth or self-loathing – strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt, criticise yourself harshly.
- Abnormal behaviour – you may engage in abnormal behaviours.
- Concentration problems – you may have trouble focusing on things or remembering things
Depression does vary from person to person and it is important to remember that these symptoms above can be part of life’s normal low points. If you are suffering from more than one of these symptoms and the stronger they are along with the length you’ve had them the more likely it is that you are suffering from depression. It’s when these become overwhelming I advise you speak to somebody about receiving help. It is also important to remember that before you decide to go to a therapist for help you will need to see your doctor beforehand as they may suggest medication first which will need time to enter your system and start to work.
What Can I Do To Overcome Depression?
If you are suffering from these kinds of symptoms I firstly want to tell you to go and see your doctor if you are thinking of having therapy any therapist will ask that you have first been to your GP before they can see you.
Other things that you can try to help alleviate the burden of the symptoms are:
- Speak to trusted family and friends – let the people who are closest and trusted know what you are going through, dot expect them to understand and be able to offer infinite wisdom and advice but keep them in the loop. Having these support networks can help you to feel less isolated and alone by simply having somebody who is willing to listen to you.
- Keep up with your social activities – you may not feel like keeping up with your social activities but really try to keep yourself active. Ensuring you stay active can help to make you feel more alert and release endorphins and being around other people will help you to feel less depressed.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet – eating a diet that is rich in nutrients and vitamins can really help with your overall mood. When the body receives the fuel it needs it runs better giving you the energy to keep up with your social activities.
- Start a journal – setting up a journal can help you track your emotions through the day and what was the key trigger cause of those emotions. This will then help you to understand what to avoid helping keep your emotions on track.
- Try to sleep – although you may be suffering from insomnia you need to try to get as much sleep as possible ensuring you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Limit or eliminate caffeine from your diet as caffeine will make it harder to sleep.
- Try to think positive – during low times if you can try to maintain a positive attitude it will help you to stay positive rather than allowing negativity to drag you into a lull.
- Look after you – it may feel hard to take care of yourself but if you can ensure you make an effort each time you face the world you will, in turn, feel better about yourself giving you that boost of self-worth that you need.
It may seem that there is no way out of where you are at the minute but know that there is. If you can begin to make small changes and get yourself more active you will begin to notice a change.
A great quote from Wayne Dyer I found goes
“Be Miserable or motivate yourself, whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice”
You can make the choice today to make a change and start to motivate yourself to do more and overcome these feelings of depression.