December 11, 2017

How to Get Rid of Depression

Depression is a common condition, and it can happen to anyone.  Each year, millions of Americans experience the mood swings, sadness, anxiety, loss of interest and other symptoms associated with depression; and since symptoms vary in their severity on an individual level, treatment methods often vary as well.  While some people suffer from severe depression and opt for professional treatment, others have milder symptoms that can be improved through self-help methods.

The following tips can provide significant benefits to those suffering from depression, no matter the type or severity:

Set Realistic Goals

Feelings of failure and disappointment are common among people who suffer from depression.  These feelings can either be the source of an individual’s depression, or a symptom of the disease.  Either way, there are ways to work through these issues and leave those negative feelings behind.

Setting small, realistic goals is essential when it comes to success of any kind.

While staying focused on an end goal is okay, it’s also important to recognize the small steps that need to be taken in achieving success.  In addition, celebrating these small victories can also help alleviate depression.  Rewarding yourself for small accomplishments can increase self-esteem and mood, as well as serve as motivation and inspiration for tackling larger goals and projects.

Be Kind to Yourself

Feelings of guilt and low self-worth are common symptoms of depression.  And what’s more, many feel selfish and guilty for suffering from this disease! The fact is, depression is a real medical condition, and you are not to blame for your symptoms.

By realizing you are not at fault for being depressed, you can shift your energies onto recovery.  Instead of blaming yourself your symptoms, try to take a proactive approach to healing by being kind to yourself.  Pride yourself on your strengths, and work on your weaknesses.  Take time each day to remind yourself of your best qualities.  Realize that everyone has faults, and that your faults don’t make you a bad person.

Spend Time With Loved Ones

Social isolation is extremely common in individuals suffering from depression.  Symptoms such as physical pain, sadness and anxiety can make socializing extremely difficult.  Many people with depression isolate themselves completely, which can lead to failed relationships and lost friendships.  However, maintaining relationships and making an effort to socialize is essential in recovery from depression.  Friends and family can serve as an enormous source of support, and can help pull you out of the isolation associated with depression.

Join a Support Group

Discussing depression with people who aren’t depressed can be frustrating.  No matter how supportive a friend or loved one may be, unless they’ve gone through depression themselves, they can have a hard time understanding your situation.  Those who have never suffered from depression may assume that treatment is easy, or that you can simply “snap out of it. ” This type of misunderstanding is common, but can also lead to increased isolation, anger and confusion.

By joining a group dedicated to depression, you can gain essential support and understanding from like-minded individuals.  Also, treatment and coping methods are often topics of discussion among members of a support group.  The sharing of coping strategies, advice and success stories can be enormous sources of strength and motivation, which can ultimately lead to recovery from depression.

Take up a Hobby

Many people with depression experience a loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed.  Taking up a hobby is a great way to regain this interest, and is also a positive way to spend your time.  In addition, hobbies can be a great way to boost confidence, as well as calm anxieties that are often associated with depression.

Lead a Healthier Lifestyle

Sedentary lifestyles are becoming increasingly common in today’s society.  Inactivity, combined with poor eating choices, can have a major impact on depression.  What’s more, depression can lead to even more inactivity, as well as cravings for fatty, sugary and otherwise unhealthy foods.  Regular workouts and a healthy, balanced diet can help put an end to this cycle.

While it may hard to exercise and fight unhealthy food cravings when you’re suffering from depression, the rewards are well worth the effort.  Exercise increases mood and energy by releasing endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals in the brain, and a balanced diet will help alleviate the fatigue and sluggishness associated with depression.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Substance abuse can be both a cause and a symptom of depression.  It’s not uncommon for depressed individuals to “self-medicate” with drugs and alcohol in order to find relief from their symptoms.  These people numb themselves, both mentally and physically, instead of dealing with their problems directly.  However, once the euphoria wears off, the depression is still there, and is often even more severe.

In addition to regular symptoms of depression, substance abusers are also faced with the shame, guilt and low self-esteem associated with addiction.  By avoiding drugs and alcohol, you are better equipped at getting to the root of your problems, and your chances of recovery are greatly improved.

depression treatmentWhen to See a Doctor

Sometimes, self-help methods aren’t enough to overcome depression.  For cases of severe or long-term depression, professional help should be sought as soon as possible.  If left untreated, severe depression has dangerous consequences, including worsened symptoms and increased risk of suicide and other harmful behaviors.  If you have symptoms of depression that keep getting worse, have lasted for longer than a few weeks, or if you’ve thought about or attempted suicide, seeking help from a mental health professional is essential.

Typically, professional treatment for depression often involves a combination of medication and talk therapy.  Initially, a doctor may prescribe an antidepressant; however, since individuals and their symptoms and reactions to medications may differ, several antidepressants may be prescribed until the right drug, or combination of drugs, is found.  Since many medications used in treating depression have adverse side effects, make sure you keep track of any side effects you may have and discuss them with your doctor immediately.

Talk therapy, or counseling, involves discussing symptoms and possible ways to overcome them.  Different types of counseling include psychoanalysis, hypnosis, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy and group therapy.  These types of therapy encourage complete honesty, and offers objective support and insight from a trained professional.  Combined with medication, talk therapies have a rate of success in the treatment of depression, and should always be considered in cases of severe depression.

Symptoms of depression can be completely debilitating, and can affect every aspect of an individual’s life.  However, with the proper treatment, be it professional help or self-help methods, you can overcome your symptoms and live a life free from depression.

 

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