What is Depression?
It’s common for most of us to feel sad, lonely, and depressed at different points of time. Feeling depressed can be overwhelming and can manifest itself through several physical symptoms. If it occurs consistently over long periods of time, then it may be time to consult a doctor.
Your doctor can conduct some tests for depression and can suggest measures for overcoming depression. Dealing with depression can be hard but if it goes without treatment, it can lead to severe symptoms, in some cases even suicide.
What are the Symptoms of Depression?
The first step towards dealing with depression is understanding whether you have it or not. Identifying the symptoms can help you get a proper diagnosis and, subsequently, treatment. Studies reveal that almost half of the people don’t get a proper diagnosis or treatment which poses a problem in managing depression.
Some of the Common Symptoms of Depression are:
- Difficulty in concentrating, making decisions, and remembering details
- A feeling of hopelessness and negativity
- Insomnia, oversleeping, or periods of wakefulness
- Loss of appetite or periods of overeating
- Lack of interest in things that give pleasurable, for example, sex
- Chronic pains, aches, and cramps
- Suicidal thoughts
How to Diagnose Depression?
A proper depression recovery begins with a good diagnosis since it helps to determine the scope of treatment. There isn’t a specific test that your doctor can take to confirm that you have depression.
However, some of the information he may require to make a diagnosis are:
- When did your symptoms start?
- How long are they persisting?
- How severe are they?
- If there is a history of depression or other mental illness in your family?
- If you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse?
How to Overcome Depression?
The key to overcoming depression is to start small and build from there. Feeling better takes a bit of time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day. Take things one at a time and reward yourself on each accomplishment. The steps may seem small but they’ll add up quickly. Here are a few tips for dealing with depression to help you.
Nurture Supportive Relationships: Though the very nature of depression is to hole up in your own shell and be alone most of the time, it can be quite helpful to go out and be around people. Fighting depression can be lonely so It can be beneficial to share your problems with someone you trust.
It’s also important, in this context, to choose your company carefully. Spending more time with people who can make you feel good about yourself is better than being with those who try to bring you down. It’s also essential to balance out your periods of being alone and being in the company of others.
Join a depression support group: It can help your condition if you join a support group, where you get to talk to and share your problems with people who are going through the same thing as you. It helps discard the feeling of isolation from the patient’s mind.
Support groups help in sharing lived experiences which go a long way to understand different perspectives of the people dealing with depression. Sharing your feelings, experiences, and coping strategies can help you to get the right emotional support you need.
Go out for walks: Sitting in your room, at home, with no change of surroundings can often depress a person even more than he/she already is. Lack of exposure to sunlight can worsen the depression, not to mention the deficiencies you may develop. So one of the tips for beating depression is to go out for a walk, get some fresh air. The change in surroundings can help you to feel better.
Sleep for at least eight hours a day: Little to no sleep often aggravates the condition and makes the person irritable. Sleeping for more hours a day can have an adverse effect, reducing annoyance in the patient. Balancing out your sleep is also one of the ways to overcome depression. For example, staying up really late one night and then oversleeping the next day can also cause depression due to the imbalance created in Circadian rhythms.
Surround yourself with positive thoughts and people: The stream of negative thoughts that come with depression can often burden you down. It can bring in self-doubt, negativity, and a feeling of loneliness. In moments such as these, people who can bring in a positive perspective and instill positive thoughts in you can be a good influence.
Do things you enjoy: Getting over depression can be tough. But there are ways to deal with depression which can ultimately help you to feel better. Do things that interest you or things you used to find interesting. It may be hard to find pleasure in anything at that point in time, but take up something you used to enjoy – such as a sport, music or art, or reading books. Go out with your friends, party or go to the park.
You may surprisingly find yourself feeling better and having fun once you do one of these things. Don’t think you’ve to be in the mood for pursuing certain activities. You should try to make time for the activities that make you happy such as a healthy hobby or an occasional vacation or exercise.
However, it’s important to approach these activities from the point of engagement. Also, don’t forget to practice gratitude, this means taking note of what goes wrong and what goes right. It also helps to note down all the things that you could be grateful for in a day.
Eat right: One of the best ways to get out of depression is to have a healthy diet. Believe it or not, your diet influences your moods to a great extent. Eat the right kind of food, in the right proportions. Eat regularly and don’t skip meals. Hunger can also irritate a person and make one cranky.
Following a proper diet and good eating habits help one feel better. Try not to binge on junk food and energy drinks. Moreover, having food in moderation can also have a good influence on your mental health.
Depression often comes in the form of lethargy that prevents you from doing the things you love and can even come in the way of carrying out your daily activities. In addition to medications and professional help, the above lifestyle changes act as depression remedies and can go a long way to help aid you in your journey to get rid of depression.