If I am depressed, what’s the solution?
Once you know the symptoms of depression, you should start reading about the skills that you can acquire to get over it. The following skills are recommended by scientific research and doctors, such as psychiatrists. They are prescribed even if the patient takes antidepressant medications.
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Being depressed can leave you helpless. You are not. In addition to therapy and sometimes medication, there are many things you can do to defend yourself. Changing your behavior, your physical activity, your lifestyle, and even the way you think are all natural treatments for depression.
A depressed person is the one that experiences at least five or more of the following symptoms every day or most of the time.
- A sad mood
- Sleep issues(for example, oversleep or not enough sleep; sleeping only during the day)
- Losing interests in what one used to enjoy or becoming unmotivated
- Feeling guilty all the time and having a deteriorated self-image
- Becoming passive and not taking care of one’s self (for example, having no shower)
- The inability to concentrate(for example, a radical decline in performance)
- Loss of appetite or eating too much
- Severe anxiety/panic attacks
- Suicidal tendencies such as self-harm (cutting or burning oneself on purpose)
Not everyone suffering from depression shows suicidal behaviors. It is recommended to ask for help despite not showing any self-harm behaviors or having the symptoms listed above.
WARNING: Do not stop or change your antidepressant medications without consulting your doctor. Explain in detail all the side effects of your medication to your doctor.
Practice These Coping Skills Every Day
It is recommended to practice all the following skills and techniques once a day when you feel depressed. It is quite natural to lose motivation once you practice them. However, you need to fake it till you make it.
Most of my patients who get used to practice these coping skills get over depression quickly.
MY PEERS is the acronym of these skills.
Meaning: Accomplish certain activities
Once you dedicate yourself to accomplish a particular activity, you will be happy. Also, it doesn’t matter how big it is. It was said that “Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue… as the unintended side effect of one’s dedication to a course greater than oneself.” – Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.
Your goals: Work on goals that can be easily accomplished
The majority of people feel guilty because they try to reach specific goals that are very difficult or impossible to accomplish. We can consider a given goal as possible if:
It is something you can monitor (i.e., no one can control it except you)
You can manage it (i.e., not challenging)
It is meaningful for you (not for someone else)
It is achievable(i.e., you know you can do it)
You have to adopt an attitude called “ What can I learn from this?” to overcome difficulties instead of being judgmental, like saying, “this is why I’m a loser.” Also, it must be noted that you should not compare your progress with other people as most of the time, you compare your loss with other’s gain, which is unfair.
Pleasant Events: Plan enjoyable activities or events.
If you wait till you are ready to enjoy a given event, you will never be in the mood. For instance, you need to take 30-minutes to practice a hobby per day. Yet, you must practice those activities with the right attitude. Also, show gratitude to yourself. Do not only focus on the bad incidents but also the good ones. It is recommended to have a gratitude journal in which you list all your blessings. It doesn’t mean that you need to neglect your problems.
Engagement: Stick to your present
You need to be engaged in what you are doing. Avoid self-judgment as soon as it pops into your mind and focus on your present. It has been proven that if you have a higher self-compassion, you are automatically self-confident.
If problems with self-compassion persists, check out self-compassion exercises on Kristin D. Neff’s website here. Also, throughout Utah, you can find mindfulness Based Stress reduction courses.
Exercise: And choose what to eat
Doing sport five times a week for at least 30 minutes can help to change your mood. Getting used to moderate exercise is healthy. You should also take great care of what you eat and drink as they have an indirect influence on your mood. Avoid a heavy diet! And, avoid junk food, energy drinks, and carbs as they bring about depression.
Relationships: Watch out who you are spending the most time with
Try to speak to people who motivate you and increases good vibes. It is also necessary to have some time alone but try to create a balance as depression increases when you isolate yourself.
Sleep Regularly: Try to organize your sleep hours.
Do not oversleep, and do not sleep too little. Avoid staying up late at night and sleeping the next day. Plus, do not try to solve significant issues late at night because your brain is half-asleep, and you will tire it.
The more you practice these coping skills, the more you will get rid of depression.
Be aware of these issues that are most often faced by patients! Some patients think that there is always a good reason not to practice these skills, which dramatically increases their depression level. Medication is suitable, but try to practice these skills too everyday. It may be hard to practice all of them initially, but once you get used to them, they will help.
Natural Depression Treatments
As strange as it may sound, you have to work for fun. Plan things you love, even if it feels like a chore. Continue to the cinema. Keep going out with friends for dinner.
Check with your doctor before using any supplements.
“There is promising evidence for some supplements for depression,” Cook says. These include fish oil, folic acid, and SAMe. But more research needs to be done before we know for sure. Always consult your doctor before starting any supplement, especially if you are already taking medication.
Do something new.
When you’re depressed, you’re in a rut. Push yourself to do something different. Go to a museum. Take a used book and read it on a park bench. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Take a language course.
You cannot get over depression without knowing the medical views concerning it. In medical studies, depression is considered a psychological condition in which pain is not temporary.