Coping with Depression
Do feel down from time to time? Are feelings of hopelessness and guilt interfering with your daily functioning? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing depression. Feeling down every now and then is a common experience for most people. However, when negative emotions such as irritability and despair take hold, it can become debilitating.
Depression occurs when the symptoms significantly impact your ability to enjoy life. It can also interfere with daily functions such as eating habits, work, and sleep. Depression is a common mood disorder that has the potential to change how you think, feel, and manage life. There are many life situation or events that can trigger depression. Some of these include illness, social isolation, and stressful life events such as losing a job. Substance abuse and trauma can also contribute to the development of depression.
Some of the most common symptoms of depression are the following:
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Concentration problems
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Difficulty sleeping
The good news is that depression is treatable. It can be treated with medication, psychotherapy, or combination of the two. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of treatment approach that can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Through the use of CBT, a therapist can assist you in identifying false or negative thoughts and replace them with more realistic, healthy ones. The method helps you become aware of your thought patterns and behaviors that are contributing to the depression.
What can you do to begin feeling better?
- Connect with other people – Isolation is the breading ground of depression. Reaching out to a friend or family member can help to lift your spirits.
- Eat well – Reduce the intake of things that can adversely affect your mood such as caffeine and alcohol.
- Exercise – Getting active is a natural antidepressant and can help to alleviate symptoms of depression.
- Engage in an activity – Pick up a hobby that keeps your attention. It will help you keep your mind from wandering to negative thinking.
- Set goals for yourself – identifying and achieving goals is a great way to increase motivation and develop a positive mood.
Help is available! Sometimes support from family and friends is not quite enough. Besides discussing the problem with your primary care physician, it might benefit you to meet with a therapist. A trained therapist can provide you with the tools and the motivation to alleviate your depression. Therapy can also provide you with the right tools to prevent re-occurrence of depression. If you are ever feeling suicidal please reach out by calling 1-800-273-TALK.
If you would like help with depression or other issues that might be on your mind, please feel free to contact me. I would like to help.