How to Cope and Deal with Depression
Depression is a mental illness that affects millions of people around the world. WHO reports that approximately 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
It is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Depression can also lead to physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and weight loss or gain.
Several things can induce depression. It can result from certain challenges in life which include letdowns, heartbreak, loss of a loved one, stress, substance abuse, or medical conditions such as hormonal imbalance, among others.
If you are feeling depressed, there are several steps you can take to cope with your symptoms and start feeling better. These include: getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, seeking professional help, and attending support groups.
Below are ways to cope and deal with depression:
1. Look out for early signs of depression:
So many people do not know when they begin to get depressed. Identifying early signs of depression can help in making you deal with it at an early stage.
Study your mood and changes in your body and behaviors, even if they are not obvious.
Do you find yourself not having the motivation again to engage in activities you once loved? Does life begin to look boring, tiresome, and hopeless? Do you feel like taking your own life or feel outraged to hurt others?
You might be having mental health challenges which may be a consequence of depression. Once you notice this abnormal behavior, you can begin seeking a way out.
2. Get professional help:
Depression is a serious condition that can get worse if one does not deal with it accordingly.
If you think you might be depressed, do not try to act tough. Talk to your doctor, ob-gyn, midwife, or health provider. Tell the professional about your feeling and how it is affecting you. Even if they cannot help, they can refer you to a mental health specialist.
In a situation where your depression is caused by childbirth (postpartum depression), the doctor or the midwife can offer great assistance to help you cope with the symptoms and combat them.
3. Talk to someone you trust:
Don't bottle-up your emotions. Talk about how you're feeling with someone who will understand and offer support. Talking about how you're feeling can be very helpful in helping you cope with depression.
Find someone who will listen without judging, and who can offer support and practical advice. There is a sense of relief in sharing your problem with someone. They may be able to comfort you or find a way around it for you.
Also, someone else might have been in your current situation. They can share their story with you thereby helping to make you feel better.
4. Do something active every day:
Exercise has proven to be beneficial for mental health. Even if you don't like it, try to do something physically active each day. Being active promotes your mental health and physical well-being.
Do not sit idle. Even if you are not employed, get yourself into business or any activity that keeps you active. Being actively engaged in activities that keep you happy can help save you from depression.
5. Promote positive thinking:
Make an effort to catch yourself when you start thinking negatively about yourself or your situation and replace those thoughts with more positive ones. You can manipulate your thought into positive thinking by taking your mind away from dark thoughts whenever they flow in.
Your thoughts have a great effect on your mood and physical reality.
Why do you have to think negatively always? Had there not been anything good in your life since you were born? No, that is not possible. Everyone had once had a good time. There might have been that childhood friend that used to make you smile or a moment of love and laughter sometimes past in your life.
Visualize that moment and let it give you a reason to smile in hope and happiness. Replaying good memories can give you a smile in your depressed mood.
6. Let yourself grieve:
If you're dealing with a loss, it's important to give yourself time to mourn and process your feelings. It's okay to feel sad, angry, confused, disappointed, or heartbroken.
Do not hold your emotion for long. Cry it out to get the relief you need. Express it the way you feel it.
Expressing your emotion accordingly can give you a speedy recovery from your depressed mood. However, while you are crying out your feeling, keep seeking solutions and a way out. Long-term grief can as well make you more depressed.
7. Take care of yourself:
Make sure you're taking care of yourself physically by eating a nutritious diet and following good health tips. Good health and physical well-being can help promote your mental health and save you from depression.
Starving yourself of food because of your current situation would only worsen your depression and deteriorate your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
8. Connect with others:
Spending time with loved ones and supportive friends can help reduce stress, reduce isolation and promote positive emotions. You may also want to join a support group (especially for pregnant women or new moms dealing with depression).
Loneliness can worsen depression, but when there are positive people around, you can always feel a positive spirit.
Check out for things you can do to cope with loneliness.
Having people around and engaging in group programs, especially programs that create social impact is a great way to deal with depression.
9. Be patient with yourself:
Recovery from depression takes time, so be patient and understand that there will be good days and bad days.
Do not think you are the only one in that shoe. No, so many people share similar problems but may not share them with you. Many have won the fight in secret while many have lost their lives to depression. You should be on the winning side.
You are not a coward. You have to win. It is an act of cowardice to give up.
Depression should not be stronger than the power in you. It may take time to go through it, but one thing is sure, whatever is your worry will someday have an end.
10. Seek out fun activities:
Make an effort to do things that make you happy and help take yourself out of the depression. Engaging in your hobbies and other fun activities are sure ways to be free from depression.
The joy you derive from such activities can go a long way to creating a sense of positivity and optimism in you, thereby making you overcome the dark enemy.
11. Have enough rest and sleep:
Rest and good sleep just like exercise are essential in promoting mental wellbeing and suppressing depression. Sometimes depression can result from stress-related issues.
Sleep reduces stress and related conditions thereby helping to suppress depression. Therefore, to easily deal with depression, you need to have enough rest.
12. Engage in a goal-oriented mission:
This is a very important point to consider in coping with depression. Depression can result from a feeling of hopelessness. Create a plan about what you want to accomplish in the future. Begin working towards that goal.
Even if your dreams are big ones, ensure you start from where you can afford to target them. Once you engage in goal-oriented activities, you stand a chance to be free from depression. Such missions give you a sense of hope for the future and a reason to get engaged in activities that promote such goals. Faith and hope boost positivity and optimism.
The joy in getting busy toward a set goal is a key to overcoming depression. Without a mission, life would feel so empty, boring, and void.
13. Seek medical attention:
Meet your physician. There are a lot of antidepressant drugs and therapies that can help to suppress depression.
Your doctor will know when you need such drugs. Nonetheless, antidepressant drugs are recommended mostly for those whose depression is related to hormonal imbalance, such as depression associated with childbirth, substance abuse, or other health-related issues.
14. Avoid depression triggers:
Some things can worsen your condition. If you feel depressed because of heartbreak, then learn how to cope with heartbreak and implement it to move on from such a depressed mood.
Avoid people or things that worsen your condition. Our society is congested with people who bring too much pressure, both financial, family, marital and social pressures. You must block whosoever or whatsoever is dangerous to your mental well-being.
15. Boost positive courses:
Engaging in positive courses like charity, preaching, and other activities that help others can boost your sense of positivity and heal your mind from depression.
The mind knows when you are doing something good. Yes, there is this feeling of contentment and joy when you are on a good course.
Try to do something good every day and see yourself losing free from depression and grieving.
16. Change your perspective about your current situation:
Whatever makes you feel like you are not going to make it out of that situation is deceiving you. Stop looking at things from a negative perspective. A popular quote says, “no condition is permanent”.
Whatever you are facing today is a temporary encounter preparing you for a better tomorrow. Try to see things from a different perspective. When you think it is bad, it shouldn’t be you, also see why it is you and the good side of what you are experiencing.
17. Avoid envies, jealousy, and excessive expectation:
The fact that you want to get to a high level in life does not mean that you should be obsessed with getting rich.
When you envy and create obsession about what others have, you are harming your mental health which may worsen your depression status. Outrageous expectation as well creates room for the disappointment which is also harmful to your mental health.
Live a life of hard work, hope, faith, and contentment, and see things turn around for you. Having hope in the future and faith in yourself and what you are engaging in is a way forward to combat depression.
18. Fight against your internal conflict:
Depression results from conflicts within oneself. Such conflicts may come in form of confusion about what to do, self-blame, and overthinking. It may also result from lacking life objectives thereby not knowing what to do next.
Instead of contrasting yourself with conflicting opinions, set your mind to a goal and tackle that goal with faith.
In conclusion, depression is a serious disorder that can hurt every area of your life. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone and there are ways to cope and deal with it.
If you are feeling depressed, reach out to a mental health professional for help. Also, know that irrespective of whatever makes you depressed, you can always win the battle if you deal with it in a proper approach as recommended above.