4 Dos and Don’ts When Battling with Depression
Did you know that depression is one of the most prevalent mood disorders worldwide, affecting over 3.5% of the global population? The World Health Organization (WHO) statistics reported that over 250 million people worldwide are battling depression. People who don’t have depression fail to comprehend the struggle and despair accompanying this mind-bending illness.
The pain and suffering of depression are perhaps best depicted by Gotye’s words, “…you can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness.” That’s precisely what patients experience, for depression causes persistent and unavoidable sadness, hopelessness, and misery. Patients find themselves drowning in the most bottomless pits of despair, struggling with the overwhelming feeling of impending doom.
Their sadness is all-consuming, inhibiting their daily routine, professional goals, intimate relationships, and self-care. In some cases, depression is triggered by the unresolved pain of trauma and adverse life experiences that take time to heal. However, in other cases, depression stems from genetic and biological reasons, such as changes in brain neurotransmitters. In either case, depression is treatable, and patients need extensive support from psychiatric practitioners, family members, and friends.
Keep reading to explore some fundamental dos and don’ts of battling depression.
1. Do Get Clinical Care & Psychotherapy
Depression is a severe, overpowering illness, and it demands clinical care and therapeutic interventions, much like type 2 diabetes or cancer. Delaying treatment will exacerbate and worsen the symptoms, reducing your ability to function healthily. In contrast, antidepressants, psychotherapy, and psychiatric support will help you fight depression and reclaim your life.
So, how can you get started? First and foremost, enlist Google’s help finding a licensed and reputable practitioner or mental health facility. Suppose you’re exploring treatment facilities or therapists in San Francisco, California. In that case, make a quick search query using the keywords “treatment for depression SF,” and don’t forget to enable location access.
Choosing a facility or clinic near your home is wise, so you don’t have to travel far for your sessions. Many patients who isolate themselves socially struggle to maintain consistency with treatments and medication adherence. Having a therapist nearby will help you cope with emergencies and breakdowns with immediate support if you live alone.
Nonetheless, if you suffer from severe depression and live alone, your doctor may suggest an in-patient recovery program. Patients with chronic depressive disorder have a higher risk for suicide, as despair drives them to take their lives. If you or your friends/family members are experiencing suicidal thoughts, it’s crucial to gain immediate support and treatment. An in-patient program will envelop you with the assistance and support of psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and patients in group therapy.
The struggle gets more debilitating when your family members or caregivers don’t recognize the signs and deny your illness. In such cases, you have to do what’s best for yourself and seek treatment as many insurance products offer mental health coverage. Medicare also provides coverage for extensive mental health needs, including prescription drugs and outpatient services.
2. Don’t Isolate yourself
Depression thrives in isolation and solitude, ridding your body of all joy and filling your mind with suicidal and pessimistic thoughts. Escaping negativity demands changing your environment and surrounding yourself with the positivity of friends and family. Instead of staying cooped up at home, dress up and head outside with your friends.
Embarking on new experiences, such as trying out new cuisine, watching a play, or vacationing abroad, will help you heal and grow. Novelty strengthens the brain by encouraging new neural connections, a process known as brain neuroplasticity. Depression inhibits brain neuroplasticity, preventing the brain from developing and expanding its horizons. The lack of new neural connections in the brain allows depression to dig deeper roots in mind.
Don’t isolate yourself. Instead, go out and meet new people, plan exciting adventures, and add fun events to your social calendar. Surround yourself with the love and care of your family members and friends.
3. Do Learn about your Condition
Educating yourself about the symptoms, risk factors, preventive care, and remedies will help you fight this illness with strategy. Learning about depression is crucial to educate your family and friends on triggers and emotional sensitivity.
Understanding the symptoms and their triggers will make you feel empowered and more in control. This empowerment will make it easier to recognize, manage, and cope with symptoms and find a treatment that addresses your needs. Start by understanding the causes, symptoms, and warning signs, then reflect on your own experiences. It’s wise to keep a mental health journal to record overwhelming bouts of sadness and reflect on negative emotions. This journaling habit will help you map out your symptoms and maintain a log of your feelings to improve your coping mechanisms.
Identifying the triggers that induce depressive mood swings will help you manage and avoid situations and experiences that trigger symptoms. Educating your loved ones and friends is crucial so they can help you avoid triggers and lend support during challenging episodes.
4. Don’t Fall into Unhealthy Patterns
It’s common for people battling depression to develop alcohol or drug dependence. They find refuge in binge drinking or substance use, especially if they’re fighting the trauma of loss or abuse. Substance use encourages escapism by temporarily lifting your emotions and stabilizing your mood. However, it initiates a vicious cycle of depressive episodes and substance dependence, leading you towards addiction. Excessive drinking or substance use will hinder your recovery chances because alcohol and drugs are depressants.
Consulting a doctor for a psychiatric intervention is advisable to treat your symptoms with prescription drugs, such as antidepressants. You need to balance your treatment and depression medications with a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Instead of spending your days in bed, overcome insomnia and chaotic sleeping pattern. Waking up early and going to bed at a decent time will help you fill your days with outdoor activities and social interactions.
Don’t shut out the outside world and lose yourself in virtual distractions, such as multiplayer games and social media. Instead, create a healthy balance of activities and hobbies that reward you, and be sure to start a regular exercise regime. Regular exercise and a healthy, nutrient-rich diet will help you fight depression with robust mental and bodily defenses.
Battling depression gets easier when you know your enemy well and strategize to dismantle it from its roots. The roots of depression are spread throughout the brain, and you can eradicate them naturally with positive stimulation. For instance, exercise and physical activity encourage the stimulation of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins – the brain’s feel-good chemicals.