When you are diagnosed with depression, you can find ways to take control of your life and manage your treatment other than medication. Making a few lifestyle changes can improve your mood and help alleviate many of your symptoms, including low self-esteem. “When you’re depressed it’s good to reduce as much stress as possible, especially the unnecessary or avoidable stress that people can attract when they’re depressed. To get out of frustration, it helps to know the facts. Depression is a medical condition and is not a temporary reaction to “laziness” or general sadness and/or hopelessness.
A major depressive episode is defined as experiencing five or more of the following symptoms every day (or several days) for two weeks or more:
- A sad or irritable mood
- Sleep problems (ie, sleeping too much or too little, mainly during the day)
- Change in interests (ie, loss of interest in things you used to like) or decreased motivation
- Severe guilt or an unrealistically low self-image
- Significantly less energy and/or changes in self-care (ie, no longer bathing)
- Significantly poor concentration (ie, severe decline in grades or performance)
- Changes in appetite (ie, eating too much or too little)
- Anxiety or severe anxiety/panic attack
- Suicidal thoughts, plans, or behavior – including self-harm (ie, deliberately cutting or shooting yourself)
- Remember that not everyone who is depressed is suicidal. You can still get help if you don’t show any specific suicidal or self-harming behavior, or if your symptoms aren’t as severe or persistent as the above.
Ok, I’m sorry… Now what?
Now that you know the symptoms of depression, some positive coping skills can come in handy. All of the following techniques are supported by scientific research and drug prescriptions — such as by psychiatrists — and these skills are often recommended as important components of treatment for people who continue to take antidepressant medications.
Warning: Do not suddenly stop your prescribed antidepressant medication without first talking to your doctor. Discuss any questions or concerns about the side effects of your medications with your provider.
Here are 5 things you can do to feel better. They may seem simple, but they can be of great help.
Regular Exercise: Walk at a brisk pace for 15 to 30 minutes daily. Or you can dance, play sports, stretch or do yoga. People with depression may not want to be active. Try to do it yourself anyway. If you need to push, ask a friend to exercise with you. Taking up any activity can help improve your mood. are going.
Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water: Some people with depression do not feel like eating. Can eat more. But what you eat affects your mood and energy. So with depression, you need to make sure you eat right. For most people, that means plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit simple carbs and foods with added sugar, such as “junk” meals or desserts. Don’t go too long without eating. Even if you don’t feel hungry, eat something light and healthy. And don’t forget to stay hydrated with lots of water. Avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks whenever possible.
Express yourself: With depression, your creativity and sense of fun may feel inhibited. But it can help get your creative juices flowing. Paint, draw or doodle. Bake, cook or bake. Compose, dance or write music. Chat with a friend or play with a pet. Find something to laugh about. Watch a funny movie. Do things you enjoy. Even a little. It helps to reverse depression.
Ignore the problems: It feels good to talk about a problem with a caring friend. But depression can lead people to complain, blame, and repeat problems. It puts you in the wrong perspective. It’s okay to air your thoughts and feelings with people who care. But let’s not talk about problems. Do some good deeds too. Try to change your negative thoughts to more positive ones. It helps your mood to become more positive.
Focus on the good things: Depression affects a person’s attitude towards things. Things can seem hopeless, negative and hopeless. Aim to notice 3 positive things every day to change your perspective. The more you see what is good, the better you notice it.
How common is depression?
Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the country. 17.3 million adults in the US report having at least one major depressive episode in a one-year period, according to a 2017 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It accounts for 7.1% of adults aged 18 and over. Women are more likely than men to experience a major depressive episode (8.7% compared to 5.3% of adult men). Depression among employees is particularly crushing: according to the World Health Organization, it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The total economic burden of MDD in the United States alone is estimated to be $210.5 billion annually—representing the costs associated with missed days, reduced productivity, depression treatment, and suicide.