If you or someone you know has depression, you may understand how debilitating and life-consuming it can be. No matter what level of depression you may have, it’s important to discover what you can do to deal with it so you can limit how it negatively affects your life.
How You Can Treat Depression
The good news is, it is very often treatable. If you are struggling with depression, it is important to get yourself help so you can deal with it and kick depression to the curb! Don’t feel ashamed of getting treatment; it’s the best thing for you and those you love. Treatment will take some work and you may constantly need to fight the symptoms of your depression, but with time and effort you will be able to learn how to help yourself understand depression and overcome its struggles.
Talking with a family member or close friends can sometimes help you through tough times with depression, but they don’t usually have the professional background to help you best. Seeing a family counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist or sometimes even a combination of professional help can make a big difference in your life.
Counselors, Therapists, or Psychologists:
Counselors, Mental Health or Family Therapists and Psychologists all work to help you treat your depression without medication. They work with you to help you understand why you get depressed and how you can cope with depression while it is affecting you. During therapy you may learn how to lessen the depression and function better through it. You can differentiate the depressed thoughts from reality and practice ways to overcome your depression.
Psychiatrists are able to treat depression with medication that you can take while feeling depressed. There are side effects that come along with medications, but you may want to weigh the risks to rewards for if they could be helpful for you.
Sometimes a combination of counseling along with medication is the best help for depression, where overtime you could be able to minimize or get rid of medication if counseling and the practice and techniques learned through counseling can help you cope with depression effectively.
Tips for Dealing with Depression when it Hits You
So what can you do to help get through your depression and not let it “win”? The best tip, would be to seek professional help for depression, but here are a few actual tips and techniques you can try when you feel depression taking over your mind.
Regular exercise is good for your health… not only physically but mentally too. Try going for a run, hitting the gym, or going to a dance class next time you feel depression creeping in. The endorphins released through exercise will help, but getting you moving can change your thoughts and let you release some tension and built-up emotions.
Challenge your Thoughts:
Do you find your mind wandering to dark places and the next thing you know you run away with those thoughts until you are lost in negativity? Try to challenge your thoughts and look at them from an outsider perspective. If you start feeling down or guilty about something, remember no one is perfect. Try to find a balance of your thoughts when you find they seem to be simply black or white… Instead of labeling something you did as awful, or that you completely failed, make yourself think about one positive thing you did too.
You may not feel like doing anything if depression is taking over, but when trying you are dealing with depression, distracting you mind with other things can help snap you out of it sometimes. Try to do an activity that you usually enjoy or would make you feel good, even if you don’t really want to at the time. This could be painting, reading a book, visiting a pet or homeless shelter to volunteer, meditate, visiting a relative, playing with your dog, taking a walk in the park, grabbing coffee with a friend, crocheting, or whatever it is that you normally like to do. It may not take away all of your depression right away, but it may help you relax or uplift you enough to help get you on the right track.
Build a Support System:
You don’t have to have a huge support system, but try to have some people that you can talk to when you are down. Either people you can vent to when needed, a shoulder to cry on, or someone who will try to make you laugh. Also be sure you are able to reach out and let someone know when you are really feeling down and need some extra support. Having a professional counselor along with family or friends is a great component to an effective support system.