Clinical depression is comparable to a thief – it can steal your happiness and sanity the moment you relax your guards. Also called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), it affected over 16 million of citizens in the United States in 2015. The fact that it accounts for 6.7% of an entire country’s populace makes it the most debilitating mental disease on land – and this is true, as Dr. Jamie Long said in his website, “Depression can feel like you’re at war with your mind and body. You can feel sluggish, overly negative, and like there is no joy in life.”
The medical society deserves much respect for being able to diagnose health conditions, especially the various types of depression. They continuously develop treatments as well in the hopes of helping patients get rid of their diseases. Despite that, scientists have a long way to go because the antidepressants may bring side effects that’ll make matters worse (i.e., drug dependency). “If the woman is taking medication for the depressive symptoms it may lose effectiveness for whatever reason at several months out, so it wouldn’t necessarily be unheard of for a relapse to occur several months after the initial PPD episode,” says Jean Kim, M.D.
In case you’d much rather fight depression holistically than medically, you may find a way from the ideas below.
“People often don’t realize that depression isn’t just one thing. It can have different causes and presentations. Some people look sad, others are more irritable, some withdraw, and others seem restless.” according to Lisa Moses, PsyD.
When you ask people that question, not many can honestly answer “yes” or “no.” Call it being naïve or just in denial, but mostly it’s because they don’t want to believe they have such a mental disorder.
A good ol’ diagnosis from the doctor can tell you if you have depression. In case you wish to break out of this ordeal without medical help, though, look for these signs in yourself.
Depression is a disease that millions of people suffer from around the world. However, statistics may be a little inaccurate because many can’t speak up about it and are silently dealing with it.
You’ll understand them better if you put yourself in their shoes. The stigma thrown at people with mental disorder, especially depression, is a total pain to handle. Others, on the contrary, just won’t accept that they have this illness for fear of embarrassing themselves or their loved ones.
If you don’t want anybody to know that you have the disorder or you refuse to see a doctor for it, then perhaps you should try to heal yourself at least. Below are some practical ways to overcome depression on your own.
What are the usual symptoms of depression? There’s never-ending guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, and other horrible emotions that make you wonder how you’re still breathing. And what do you think will act as a salve to all those negativities? Gratitude, no less. As what Amy Morin said, “Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.”
It can’t be challenging to achieve because even you can give it to yourself. The trick is to let happiness enter even the tiniest blood vessels in your body. Should you still be wary as to how it’ll take place, there are a few points to remember.
You always need to look out for signs of depression for yourself or your loved ones. The disorder may appear to only affect the sadness level of a person in the beginning, but it’s much deadlier than diabetes or cancer. Once the mental illness persists, it can cause unexplainable body pain, emotional detachment, and worse, suicidal tendencies.
Should you speak with a psychiatrist if you feel the symptoms? Yes, of course. You need to receive a diagnosis to be able to remedy the issues that made you blue. Whether you should take antidepressants or not, however, depends on your beliefs. If you are pro-drugs and the doctor gives you a prescription, then you may try that.
As said by a mental health expert, psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, PhD, “Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.” Aside from that, you can do many things.
In case you have the energy to try alternative methods, below are the activities that may lower your depression or the risk of having it.
Fitness offers more advantages than just dissolving fats or strengthening your core muscles. It also lessens your opportunity to binge-watch or stick with social media all day long. Hence, you can de-stress and stay positive.
Blaming Yourself Less
Getting angry about something you’ve already done is futile. You can’t edit that out; you can merely learn from what went wrong. Once you instill that idea in your mind, the mental disease may not bother you again.
Minding What You Eat
Food may enhance your mood when you’re feeling down, but too much of it can also depress you. To reduce that possibility, you need to be mindful of what you put on your plate and the serving sizes. As Cassandra M. Faraci, Psy.D. said in her blog, “Consult your medical doctor about an appropriate diet and exercise plan for you. Staying healthy can be a huge mood booster! Scheduling pleasurable activities can also boost your mood not only because you are engaging in something you enjoy but it reduces the amount of energy you put into ruminating about your worried thoughts.”
Keeping in close contact with your kin is essential when it comes to preserving your sanity. It is ideal to hug your children and spouse often and affirm your love for one another. If physical distance makes it impossible, you can talk to them over the phone or do a video call regularly.
Lack of sleep often short-circuits the brain. When you only get one or two hours of rest every night, you may transform into an irritable mess and get buried under a massive pile of stress. Feel free to change your bedroom decoration, leave gadgets outside, or stick to a schedule to counter that.
Seeking Life Purpose
Have you ever wondered why you are still alive? A probable reason is that you haven’t fulfilled your purpose in this life just yet. Work on knowing what that is so that you can let go of the saddening thoughts and walk towards the righteous path.
Dodging Substance Use
A lot of depressed people look for the momentary happiness that smoking or drinking brings. It’s vital to avoid either activity, however, because it may result in addiction, as well as losing your job and family. You will then be extra miserable and have no desire to crush depression.
Lastly, you need to work on building up or maintaining your confidence level. You can’t roam the world without it at an all-time low – that will turn you into a negativity magnet. Practice voicing out your thoughts more and wearing clothes that make you feel powerful until your self-esteem becomes stable.
Just in case you need more than that, “Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a short-term therapy technique that can help people find new ways to behave by changing their thought patterns. Engaging with CBT can help people reduce stress, cope with complicated relationships, deal with grief, and face many other common life challenges,” according to Kathleen Davis, FNP.