Coping With Depression

Depression goes beyond feeling a bit blue or a little bit down. Depression can take over just about every aspect of your life and leave you feeling helpless, lost, and very much alone. Learning tips for coping with depression can be an essential part of your depression treatment program, and can help you to better gain control of a life that may have otherwise felt like it was spiraling rapidly down into a dark mental place.

Working closely with your therapist, can help you to work through your depression and learn a set of management skills that will help you to keep your depression at bay.

Tip One: Educate Yourself

This is perhaps the most important tip that you could follow. Educating yourself about your depression puts you in the driver’s seat of control. Your symptoms of depression could be as a result of an underlying medical condition that should be treated prior to embarking on your depression treatment and management. If you are able to rule out medical issues as contributing factors to your depression then you can begin to focus fully on your treatment.

The more that you know about depression and your unique situation, the better you will be able to understand how to work through it. Additionally, by recognizing the situations and other triggers that could be contributing to your depression, you will ultimately be able to remove these factors from your life.

Tip Two: The Right Treatment

It can often take a bit of trial and error in order to find the right treatment plan that works for your unique situation. A huge part to learning how to manage your depression is to understand that your first counsellor might not be the best fit for you. Just as the first anti-depressant medication that you take might not be the best medication for you.

It is important that you don’t lose heart if you find that you don’t click well with your first counsellor or if the first medication you try doesn’t alleviate the symptoms of your depression. A vital part of managing your depression is to learn how to be flexible with your treatment plan. If something isn’t working, you need to feel comfortable in changing things up in order to find the right treatment.

Tip Three: Your Support Network

Depression can make you feel incredibly isolated from your friends and family members. If you are to gain control of your depression and of your life, you cannot do it on your own. The more that you allow your loved ones into your life and allow them to be a part of your depression management, the more you will be able to break away from the feelings of isolation and loneliness that your depression has inflicted upon you.

Your support network should extend past your circle of friends and your family members. Joining a depression support group is an excellent means of adding to your network and it also gives you a safe haven in which you can freely discuss issues on your mind, get support, and even provide support to others in similar situations.

Take up new hobbies, take a few classes, expand your mind and at the same time you’ll expand your social and support network to include additional people who can be there when you need someone to guide you through a difficult patch.
And don’t forget, your counsellor is your best support ally in the treatment and management of your depression!

Tip Four: An Improved Lifestyle

It may seem impossibly simple, but the reality is that good management of your depression can often mean changing your lifestyle for the better. Some of the changes may be drastic compared to your current lifestyle, while others may seamlessly fit into your routine.

Here are just a few of the lifestyle changes that can help you to manage your depression.

Eating a well-balanced diet can make a great difference and not only for your mental well-being. When your body is being fed healthy and nutritious food your energy levels will go up, your mood swings will be minimized, and you’ll soon see an improvement in your overall mental health.

Getting in a good amount of exercise can be a hugely effective part of managing your depression. Exercise doesn’t just do your body good but it can help to boost several chemicals in your brain that can be just as effective as some types of antidepressants. A walk around the block or just taking the stairs at work can make a great difference to your physical and mental well-being.

When you work closely with your counsellor you will be able to identify those things in your life that are causing you undue stress. An excess of stress in your life can have a huge impact on your depression and, in fact, can worsen the symptoms of your depression. Finding the best methods of reducing your stress can be a challenge, especially if it means reducing work stress or stress that is coming from a difficult relationship. However, your counsellor can help to guide you towards the right decisions that work for your unique situation.

Getting a good night’s rest is perhaps one of the best things that you can do for your body and your good mental health. Depression can drastically alter sleeping patterns so it is important that you do your utmost to get yourself into a good nightly routine so that you can get in those 8-9 hours a night! Without enough sleep, you’ll find that sleep deprivation will turn you into a bear – a bear that is moody, depressed, and just downright miserable to be around.

Getting a firm grip over your depression isn’t going to happen overnight. Managing your depression is very likely going to be a life-long journey for you. The good news is that you don’t have to embark on this journey all on your own. With the guidance of your loved ones and the therapist with whom you feel comfortable, you will soon come to an understanding of the best methods of management of your depression. Remember that you’re not just taking control over your depression. You’re taking back control of your life.