Depression, nothing makes one feel more uncomfortable and useless like this condition.
That statement is not true, in fact only you can empower depression, and when you’re not ready to do that, it disappears.
Yet, with each passing day, millions of people are getting depressed and many more are going a step ahead to committing suicide. Depression is very prevalent in the world, and it is killing many people around the world.
You may then wonder, why will a condition with proven solution kill people that much? Here are some questions we will talk about in this article:
- What is Depression?
- What are the Signs of Depression?
- What Causes Depression?
- How to Deal with Depression
- Coping with Symptoms of Depression
What Is Depression?
So what is depression? This is a disorder that is marked by excessive sadness, losing interest in activities that bring joy and satisfaction. This results in low motivation and less engagement in activities.
While it might be normal to experience sadness at some point in one’s life, it could result in loss, changes in pattern of living, disappointment, or stress. Until one comes to accept the reality of their new condition, only then can they see improvement in their way of life.
Some depression can be triggered by certain events, say anniversary for depression resulting from loss of loved ones, birthdays, for depression resulting from loss of loved ones, etc.
Depression is quite prevalent, it is estimated that 1-in-3 people experience some episodes of depression in their lifetime. Most cases of depression can be mild, yet 1-in-10 people are said to experience moderate to severe episodes at one point in their lives.
What are the signs of depression?
There are several signals that show if one is suffering from depression. Here are some of the major ones.
- Continuously feeling miserable (and it may last for weeks)
- Losing interest in pleasurable activities.
- Slow response, lack of concentration when thinking, which results in poor planning and decisions.
- Having episodes of unpleasant thoughts of being guilty, unworthy, or being a bad person.
- Thinking it’s better to die than live.
- Losing appetite, with excessive weight loss.
- Losing interest in sex, food, and becoming less active physically.
- Loss of sleep even when exhausted. Or sleeping excessively in some cases.
- Slowed speech and activities.
These symptoms are the early signal one will notice when battling with depression.
What causes depression?
The exact cause of depression is largely unknown. Some sort of depressions is as a result of genetic factors. Genetic influences is one of the major causes of depression, and can be passed down like other mood disorders.
Daily events of life that bring stress is another cause of depression. When having issues with others, this often results in depression. Other situations that can lead to depression include: financial difficulties, loneliness, breakup, divorce, retirement, childbirth, unemployment, loss of loved ones, chronic sickness, drugs, etc.
The view of oneself changes when depression sets in, and they start to see themselves in the negative light. At that point, positive things make little sense to them, while they tend to engage in bad things. Some even when not depressed often behave in this same manner, such ones are said to have a depressive personality style.
Dealing effectively with depression
The good news though, irrespective of how chronic your depression has become is that you can deal with this condition effectively. There are several things you can do to deal with depression, and we’ll consider some of them. The medical options include:
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Antidepressants medications
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
You can also benefit from education and simple coping strategies if you don’t want to explore medical treatments.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
This is one of the most effective treatments for depression. It can be explored alone, nor in connection with other medications. This treatment often involves learning process which involves:
- How to overcome negative thoughts which can lead to loss of interest or feelings of unworthiness.
- How to address your emotions like sadness, or hopelessness.
- How to deal with loss of energy even when one is not engaging in physical activities.
- How to deal with poor concentration issues, and thoughts of death.
All these techniques will be explored for someone engaging in CBT irrespective of the cause of their depression.
This is so effective that more than 80% of individuals battling with mild, moderate or severe depression have recorded improvements in their conditions.
CBT is advised for people who, or in conditions like:
- Suffer mild, moderate, or severe depression
- One who once responded positively to CBT
- If a CBT expert is available as of the time of lodging complaint.
- If one is prepared to make use of CBT.
- If depression results from excessive use of drugs.
A change in behaviour is one of the first signals for depression. This often results in engaging in less activities, and feeling bad about their poor engagement in activities. With behavioral strategies, it is easier to identify and change the affected aspect of one’s life.
Even if the urge to do so is low, it is best to engage in more physical activities when depressed. While spending more time on work-related activities will worsen the condition, you can explore:
- Activity scheduling
- Social skill training
- Goal planning
- Engagement in sporting activities
You can continue with these options throughout your lifetime as their benefits span beyond depression. It will also help prevent relapse or recurrence of depression.
One common thing about those battling with depression is a thinking pattern that focuses on negative aspects of their life and the world as a whole.
Such ones see themselves as worthless, and see the world as unfair and against them. Such one feels that are worthless and without hope that something good will ever happen to them now, or in the future.
Peradventure, something bad happens, they often blame themselves for such occurrences. Identifying and appreciating positive events becomes hard, and they see good things in life as luck.
Cognitive approach is designed to help people battling with depression to identify and correct the distortion affecting their thoughts that is negatively biased.
The working pattern of this approach involves identifying the challenges, and encouraging a switch in thinking pattern of those battling with depression.
It will provide them with a better solution for dealing with their failures, and how to respond to good things in their lives, and take credit for their success.
They will also know how to react to things that affect them, and these skills will improve their conditions significantly.
Some might require antidepressant medication when they are in a severely depressed mood. If the depression is a chronic one, it is advisable to add the use of medication to other treatments methods.
For mild and moderate depression, use of medication may not be advised.
Medical experts will advise you on what will work best for you based on your condition. Here are some things you should avoid:
- Avoid self medication
- Keep close contact with your prescribing physician and inform him of any changes observed.
- Use your medications accordingly.
- Don’t stop the medication unless you are advised to do so by a medical expert.
- Contact health professionals when you notice severe side effects.
- Even if you notice improvements, don’t stop using the medication.
Learning about depression is one way to effectively deal with this condition. This will give the person a better control over their life. This improved control will then lead to improvement in feelings of helplessness.
Education is not for people suffering from depression alone, it is also beneficial for caregivers and family members of those battling with this condition, as it will improve the way they care for depressed individuals.
If you are battling with depression, please know that this condition is a common disorder that affects many and not you alone. When you undergo effective treatment you will notice improvements in your health condition.
Please note that:
- Depression is an illness and not a signal that you are weak.
- Recovery is guaranteed
- Treatment works well if administered in the right way.
- There are several treatment options and methods.
- The goal of the treatment is to help you become well completely.
- Rate of recurrence is very high, as such you need to effectively deal with all episodes of depression.
How to cope with the symptoms of depression
When you start to notice the symptoms of depression, you can deal with it actively. They include:
For behavioral changes
- Set goals for your activities each day. Planning will make your day more useful and enjoyable. Stick to this plan as much as possible.
- Try and increase your involvement in activities that give you joy and pleasure.
- Spend time with friends and families that care about you and your condition.
- Never compare yourself with others. Comparing your abilities will lead to more depression.
- For every little and big thing you do, reward yourself and appreciate your abilities. This will help you deal with depression resulting from a feeling of failure.
- If daily tasks become too hard, break it down into simpler tasks and handle it like that.
For loss of appetite
If your depression leads to loss of appetite. You don’t need to force yourself to eat much. Eat in small portions, and ensure the food you eat is one of your favorites. Don’t pressure yourself into finishing the food, take little and drink a lot of water or fluid.
Loss of sleep
Set an alarm to wake you up and tell you when to sleep. Developing a good sleeping pattern will be of help. Force yourself to sleep at a specific time. Switching off your mobile device will make this easier for you.
Reduce taking tea and coffee that will prevent you from sleeping. Engage in relaxing exercise that will help improve your sleep pattern.
Excessive worrying or Ineffective thinking
Turn your worries to tools that will improve your life. Instead of underlining your problems repeatedly, pick out the positive traits you possess and work around them. With time, other positive traits will surface. Seek the help of friends when you worry too much. Here are some things that can also help:
- Identify the problem or the issue.
- Identify your goals.
- Research possible solutions to the problems, and identify how to reach your goals.
- Identify those that you can easily address and those that may be hard for you.
- Choose the solution that works well for each problem you’ve identified. Or the best route to address your goals.
- Try every option out if possible and evaluate the results. You’ll find one that will work for you.
- Seek for assistance from friends and family members in implementing the result of your research.
Feeling unpleasant and miserable
Switch your attention to pleasant things that will improve your life.
- Ask friends to help you identify 3 positive traits you have. Try noting some you can observe too.
- Find as many people as possible to help identify these traits.
- Each day, note every pleasant thing you do, and share them with others.
- See unpleasant thoughts or events in better lights. Don’t blame yourself for simple failures.
- Always make yourself busy by engaging in useful activities.
- Avoid sitting without doing anything.
- Watch funny movies or listen to songs that can uplift you.
- Read books and chat with friends.
Depression is prevalent in the world as we have identified, but it’s not the end of your life. It’s a battle many have fought and won, and you can do the same too.
This article has provided you with details that will make it easier to address your depression problems, and help others dealing with depression.
When depressed, don’t deal with the trouble alone, look for friends who care, and speak with them. A listening ear will definitely help you deal with your problems. Drink plenty of water every day, and avoid taking alcohol as a solution for depression.
You can also use the comment section to talk about your issues and see how others have overcome such situations and conditions.