If you’ve been feeling down too often, here’s a guide for reclaiming your life while living with depression so you can face things better.
Depression, also known as a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a mental health disorder. It’s characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. It is more than just feeling “down” or “blue” for a few days. It’s a mood disorder that affects a person’s ability to function in their everyday activities.
As common as depression may be, unfortunately, the exact cause isn’t known. Clinical studies and research, however, show that depression involves a combination of factors.
For example: genetics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical conditions, stress, grief, or chemical changes in the brain.
Fortunately, depression is treatable. There are many ways to get a hold of your life back, despite living with depression. There are professionals, too, to help out – like myself.
Plus I founded the therapist recommended self-paced online course called The Anxiety Cure.
I love to help people to live calmer, happier lives. So I put together this article with key strategies for reducing and coping with anxiety so you can feel better.
Read on for techniques to help those struggling with depression.
If you’re dealing with depression, it’s important to reach out to a healthcare provider. There are professionals, such as therapists, who are well-trained in managing mood & anxiety disorders, so being under their care puts you in good hands right off the bat.
Afterwards, they decide on the right treatments for you will be made. You’ll also be asked to physically see your therapist so that they can monitor your progress appropriately.
Treatment by professionals often involves psychotherapy (talk therapy), medication, or a combination of both.
Psychotherapy can be very effective at treating depression. Other options include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).
Visiting your therapist might seem like a lot of work to do, given your busy schedule, but if you want to reclaim your life, you must make time for this. Change comes one session at a time, especially if you’ve chosen a good and qualified therapist.
Antidepressant medications can help improve how your brain uses certain chemicals that control mood or stress. When in the proper dosage, these can be effective in managing depression. However, you may need to try several different antidepressant medications before finding one that truly works for you.
Discussing this option with a healthcare provider is essential, as there can be side effects. These are normal and expected, albeit limited, for as long as the dosage is correct.
Most importantly, once you decide to take this route, staying disciplined is crucial.
No matter how strong the urge may be, never overdose.
If you feel you have an episode of anxiety or depression coming on, put your medications away where it’s not easy for you to reach.
Depression might have you feeling like isolating yourself from the world, but remember, no man was ever meant to be alone. Staying in isolation may give you moments of solace and peace, but it doesn’t help you get your life back together.
Isolation can exacerbate feelings of depression. Reach out to people you trust—friends, family, or mentors—and let them know what you’re going through so they can provide support.
If you’re comfortable doing so, consider joining a support group for people with depression. Meeting others dealing with the same struggles can provide comfort, reduce feelings of isolation, and provide sound and practical advice as you all encourage each other through this journey in your lives.
Regular exercise can boost your mood by increasing the production of endorphins, natural mood lifters.
When you’re feeling sad and low in energy, regular physical activity can increase your energy levels and reduce those feelings of fatigue.
Moreover, it can also help improve sleep and self-esteem.
Find an activity you enjoy, whether walking, cycling, yoga, or dancing. Make this a part of your routine. Try to spend time outside each day, as exposure to sunlight can help increase serotonin levels, a hormone that affects mood.
Looking at it from a bigger perspective, making time for physical activity is more than just about improving your mental health. In the long run, your physical health is positively affected, too, making a significant holistic change in your life.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s essential to reach out to a healthcare provider for evaluation and treatment. Depression can start as a minor problem.
However, when left untreated, it can quickly progress into something more serious and worse, often leading to life-threatening situations like suicide.
Get help immediately to continue staying positive, despite depression hurting your mental, emotional, and psychological well-being. It’s not the end of the world for you, there is help, and with that, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel and walk out of depression in a much better state.
Explore my therapist recommended audio and video course: The Anxiety Cure.