It’s not easy dealing with depression. At times, you don’t even know you are depressed until you get to the point where you believe death is your only solution to life’s problems.
For those who have experienced depression, it is a memory that brings a tinge of regret at having fallen way off on the goals you had set for your life. No one ever imagines themselves being in such a desperate situation. Yet, it happens to many of us. Not even the high and mighty in society are immune to it. It is an insidious foe that leads our lives to despair.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression starts slowly and can even develop over a couple of years. What’s important to note with mental health issues is that, some problems are genetically linked while others are due to external circumstances. There are some symptoms one needs to look out for to identify depression before it takes root in our lives:
- excessive stress;
- constant fatigue even when you have not done a lot of work;
- changes in our sleeping patterns e.g. oversleeping excessively;
- indifference to day-to-day life issues;
- wanting to be alone more often;
- experiencing loneliness even when you are around people;
- feeling hopeless and miserable;
- reduced productivity at work;
- inability to concentrate on any task;
- loss of enthusiasm;
- lack of appetite or interest in eating;
Some of these symptoms become significant once depression has started taking shape in our lives. Depression manifests when our world is out of balance; when we feel (even without realizing it) that we no longer have control over what happens in our lives. It is this lack of control that leads to suicidal thoughts.
Unfortunately, we only ever research such issues once they have affected our lives; sometimes with drastic effects. Before we become mental health victims or know someone who is affected, none of these issues are ever relevant. Nevertheless, we can learn to cope with depression once we understand how it affects us.
How to Cope
There are a couple of things you can do to help you cope with depression:
Establish a support system
We all need a confidant; someone who we can share our life’s goals, dreams and problems. It can be a family member or a friend. Having someone you can talk to about your problems gives you a different perspective of what you are going through. Sometimes we just need to get something off our chests to help us feel better. Having someone you can trust, who will listen to your problems without judging you, will enable you to understand issues better and perhaps even help you get a solution faster.
Depression pops up because we bottle a lot of problems. Life is not easy. Everyone is going through some sort of struggle in their lives. The more you keep unresolved issues inside you, the more likely you will get anxious about it. Once you feel you are losing control over your life, you start getting stressed. It is vicious cycle. Find a group of people who care about you and want to help you resolve your problems. It will keep you from suffering a relapse into depression.
Address Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress always tie in with depression. When you are constantly anxious and stressed, it might feel like the walls are closing in on you. You have nowhere to run and no one to help you. The people closest to you can even make you feel worthless. They might not understand what you are going through and therefore they can put pressure on you to resolve whatever it is that is troubling you.
What people on the outside might not understand is that you feel helpless in your situation. Depression is the same. You feel all alone; all your problems are yours to solve. What can you do to get yourself out of this mess? Should you even bother anymore?
Once you get out of a depressive state, you learn about all the triggers that brought you this mental health issue. Therefore, from now on, you have to learn to resolve any problem in your life that is causing you a lot of anxiety and stress. Get your support system to help you tackle everything quickly and move on.
One of the key issues that leads to depression is not getting enough sunlight. It is strange how important the sun is to our health. People who are depressed spend all their time indoors wallowing in their suffering. Getting some sun rays and a breath of fresh air outdoors has a massive impact on our health and overall well-being. So go outside more often and take walks near parks and rivers. You will feel rejuvenated.
Exercise is important, not only for those who are fighting depression, but also for every other health problem in our lives. Exercise contributes to our well-being by releasing beneficial chemicals into our blood stream and helping our bodies combat illness. Exercising also keeps the mind fresh and active thereby boosting mental health.
Sleep deprivation is now linked to a host of health issues in our lives. Depression is one of them. Solving your sleeping problem will go a long way in helping you cope with depression. Poor sleeping patterns lead to other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, which will in turn cause you stress and anxiety. Everything is cycle. You have to cut off all problems at their root before they cause other issues that can reignite your battle against depression.
Nowadays, there are sleep monitors and sleep tracking devices that can help you figure out the changes you can make in order to get the most out of your sleeping time.
Seek Professional Help
People often turn to professionals when they are overwhelmed. Depression is an overwhelming problem that requires patience and assistance from others in order to manage it fully. A medical professional can prescribe medication that can help you with this problem. Doctors and therapists are also adept at giving advice and guidance that can help you to cope with depression and move on in your life.
Dealing with depression is not easy and it will require great effort from you in order to cope with it. For those who have not experienced it, you can try to keep it at bay by following some of the ideas listed here.
Please remember one thing: You are stronger than you realize. Many other people have faced depression and overcome it. You can do it too. Accept that despite all the challenges you face, life is still beautiful. Find your purpose in life and go out boldly to try to achieve it. Remember to give to others. What you give, you will receive tenfold. Be there for other people who are struggling in life and it will give you a better perspective of your own life and what you need to do to improve it.