Depression is becoming increasingly common among the population of today. Most people will experience depression in their lives, either in mild or severe forms. Thus, it is useful to know how to overcome depression so that you can fight it right away or help someone cope with it.
Before we can talk about how to overcome depression, we must understand what depression is and how to recognize it. Keep reading to know what you can do to fight depression from the very beginning.
Table of Contents
What is depression?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by loss of interest in enjoyable activities, loss of motivation, and extreme sadness. While feeling sad from time to time is natural, in depressing, there is excessive sadness, and this sadness is persistent.
It is important to note that sadness due to the loss of a loved one or a major change in your life is quite normal. This sadness may return at particular times, such as the death anniversary of a loved one. In such cases, sadness may persist for a few months as well. However, as long as you can move on from this event and enjoy life most of the time, this type of sadness is not categorized as depression.
Symptoms of depression
When you take a look at both the physiological and psychological symptoms of depression, it becomes easier to understand it. Sadness is quite common in our lives, but recognizing the signs of depression is important to ensure that we can get the help that we need. It is important to note that depression is persistent. While it does not mean that you are sad all of the time, but it means that you are sad more often than you are not.
The psychological symptoms of depression include
- Feeling low or miserable more often than not. This feeling can last for weeks or months. The intensity of the feeling may vary throughout the day, and even throughout the time that it persists.
- Lack of motivation to pursue any activity
- Loss of interest in activities which the person would earlier find to be engaging, exciting, and pleasurable.
- Poor or lacking the ability to concentrate on any activity
- Slow or inefficient thinking; unable to solve simple problems
- Unpleasant thoughts which enforce ideas that one is a bad or unworthy person
- A feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness
- Suicidal ideations, or suicidal attempts
Physiological symptoms which may indicate on how to overcome depression are as follows:
- Loss of appetite which may result in excessive loss of weight
- Extreme fluctuations in body weight
- Loss of libido
- Feeling exhausted or lacking in energy even when one has not engaged in any physical activity
- Slowed speech and activity
- Interruptions in the sleep cycle; some sleep may be fitful and ineffective, resulting in them staying awake most of the time while others may sleep for most hours of the day.
Knowledge of these symptoms helps you understand more about depression and how a depressed person may behave. It is important to note that these symptoms need to have been present for a long duration, and should have occurred on most days.
How to deal with depression
Coping with depression and overcoming it is not as easy as it sounds. Dealing with depression can sometimes seem like fighting a losing battle. This is because, as stated above, depression leads to a lack of motivation. Hence, the person does not feel inclined to deal with their situation, and the depression worsens. Depression leads to a lack of energy; you feel as though you could not possibly cope up with the daily demands of life. Even thinking about exercising or pursuing any activity seems exhausting, and hence you feel less inclined to get out of “the rut.” This is not because you are lazy or lack discipline. Rather, these are the symptoms of depression, making it hard for you to change your mindset or break out from the cycle of not being able to pursue any new activity.
It is important, however, to give yourself a little nudge from day-to-day. You cannot go from 0 to 100 in a day, or even from 0 to 50. But you must push yourself little by little every day. Pursuing new activities, exercising, or focusing on something that brings us joy helps you to cope with the symptoms of depression slowly. While they seem challenging to pursue, they are not impossible. You must keep in mind that pursuing any activity may be exhausting, but as long as you remember that it is not unattainable, you can begin with a few baby steps.
When trying to overcome depression, there are several strategies that you may follow. These strategies help reduce the symptoms of your depression and allow you to deal with your environment effectively. With the help of these strategies, you will be able to be better at your day to day functioning, and not be hindered by your depression.
When dealing with depression, first and foremost, a step that a depressed person should take is to educate them. There is a lot of misinformation and “layman’s science” when it comes to depression. While depression has become a popular term, valid and useful knowledge regarding this subject seems to be lacking. Hence, people who may be depressed may not be aware of it and maybe ignoring this serious issue.
Learning about how to overcome depression helps you to be able; it understands yourself and what you are going through better. It also helps you to be able to reach out to friends or family members who may be going through a similar situation or who you think will be able to help you. Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness are characteristic of depression. People feel as if they have no worth, no purpose, and an inability to contribute to society. However, learning about depression can help a person understand that these feelings result from their depression and not a fact.
When you read the psychological symptoms of depression, it is easy to see that depressed people have a negative thinking style. They have a negative outlook towards the world, their lives, and towards themselves. Depressed people blame themselves for any misfortune which falls on them and thinks of them as worthless. However, when something good happens in their lives, they do not see themselves as the cause. Rather they merely consider themselves to be lucky. Hence, depressed people need to implement cognitive strategies in their lives; they must challenge their negative biases and negative thinking. They must be able to deal with failure productively, rather than wallowing in it. Additionally, they should also be able to take credit for their success. By implementing these cognitive strategies in their lives, they can reduce their symptoms and decrease their chances of relapsing into depression again.
Depression is characterized by inactivity, as well as lack of energy and motivation. A depressed person needs to identify the behavior, which makes them feel worse and slowly change that behavior. In depression, there is a vicious cycle where people notice that they cannot accomplish as many tasks as before, and then they feel worse because of that. Thus, an important behavior strategy is to maintain a daily activity or try to keep up with it as much as possible.
Even though a depressed person may not feel like taking part in any activity, it is important to start engaging in daily activities little by little. One should focus on activities which they like, and hence, are more appealing to them. Or, they may focus on rhythmic activity, where they do not have to exert themselves too much. Regular activity, as little as it may be, can slowly help a depressed person feel better. Additionally, a depressed person can implement behavior strategies in their lives to ensure that they do not relapse into depression again.
These are a few broad strategies that can help you cope with and reduce your depression symptoms. But, when it comes to dealing with depression, everyone is different. Do not feel discouraged if you are not able to accomplish all of these strategies in a day. It is important to be persistent and continue working slowly on these strategies every day.
How to overcome depression
Few activities can help people feel better and have accomplished something even with their depression rearing its ugly head. The following tips are a few small changes that you can incorporate to reduce your symptoms of depression and ensure that you do not relapse. Here is what you should maintain in your life to help prevent a relapse:
Maintaining a schedule
When you have a schedule for your day, with every activity neatly planned out, it is easy to follow the steps throughout the day. Even if you lack the motivation to do something, writing out simple tasks in your planner like “eat breakfast” helps you function effectively in your environment. This also helps in giving you a sense of accomplishment after you finish the task.
Your goals should be realistic and attainable. Start with smaller goals so that you can reinforce your self-worth. Make sure to appreciate yourself for accomplishing small goals that you have set for yourself throughout the day. This is one of the best ways to overcome depression, stay active, busy, and happy.
Going out does not necessarily mean that you should hang out with your friends. Spending time with you is just as important. However, you must take the time to go out into nature for a few minutes every day. It is a pleasant activity that you can engage in. Still, it also helps you get your daily dose of Vitamin D. sunlight not only helps with the acquisition of vitamin D, but it also helps in boosting serotonin and improves your mood.
Unhealthy sleep schedule is a symptom of depression. By regulating your sleep, you can reduce this symptom greatly. One way to ensure that you fall asleep on time is to maintain a schedule and participate in ample activity throughout the day. Hence, by the end of the day, you are tired and ready to dose off. Additionally, you should also limit your screen time before bed as the blue lights emitted from the screens can adversely affect your ability to get good quality sleep.
Medication for depression
In some cases, medication to overcome depression is required. Medication can only be prescribed by a health care professional and should not be taken without their guidance. Unfortunately, medicines for depression may have some side effects; so many people try to avoid it. However, for those whom this medication is necessary, it can help reduce depression symptoms greatly. It is important to remember that you must take your medicines even when you do not feel depressed anymore as a break could cause a relapse.
What should you remember?
What you should take away from this article is that depression does not need to be a debilitating disorder. There are several ways to deal with depression effectively. Many people can function in their daily lives with this disorder. Learning more about this disorder helps you understand how you can continue to live with it. With the knowledge of what depression is, strategies to deal with it, and symptoms, it will be easier for you to approach a mental health expert and get expert opinions regarding your health.
When working with a mental healthcare expert, you can effectively deal with your unique situation and learn and incorporate new techniques suited to your needs. Additionally, a mental health expert can provide you with resources that help you to be able to deal with depression effectively. Depression is persistent, and there is a risk of relapse. However, with time, you can learn how to cope with and overcome it. Implementing certain strategies that have proven useful for you in the past and working with a mental health care expert can help ensure that your risk of relapsing is lowered.
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