Depression Management: An Open Letter to Someone Struggling

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            Depression: we use this word in our everyday life very often and throw around this word so easily. We use this word to explain our daily mood swings related to bad day or an overwhelming inability to live life. But the only person with depression can tell that it is more complicated. It is not just about being sad, heartbroken and being lazy but it is much more than any one word can describe. Those are common misconceptions that prevent someone from seeking treatment and getting help that they needed to feel better.

            Depression is when everything becomes so hard. You’re not able to enjoy things that you used to enjoy. Suddenly all the pleasure from your life vanished. You find it harder and harder to get out from your bed in the morning. You feel hopelessness and worthlessness in your life. An unseen darkness holds you from each side. You’re not able to do simple activities of daily life. In depression you have excessive negative thoughts and inappropriate guilt. Your sleep gets affected badly in depression. You loss or sometime gain weight within days when you’re suffering from depression. You have recurrent thoughts of death and suicidal ideation. These are the common symptoms of depression and when these symptoms become severe you need immediate help from relatives, friends and professional.

Depression and Students

            In students, this unseen parasite can easily find a way in; due to increase competition in many levels of education and increase the popularity of relations with opposite gender. Today, an average student is not worried about getting good grades but also about relationships, social standers and career etc. All these worries will cause students to easily become victim of clinical depression. Lack of knowledge about depression and lack of importance this fact receive is truly tariffing.

            A survey conducted in Pakistan claims that 70% of students in our country suffering from clinical depression. Some of them know it themselves but most of them have no idea about their condition. This percentage is outrageously high. A feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, fatigue, sadness, suicidal ideation and change in appetite and sleep routines are all signs of depression. There are treatments for depression. Once this is properly diagnosed, one can have sessions or medications for the termination of this pest. If you have a better understanding of how you feeling and what action you can take can empower you to live your best life even when you’re suffering from depression.

Why Dealing with Depression is Difficult?

            Depression is difficult to deal with because it drain your energy, hope, interest and make it difficult for you to take steps to feel better. Sometime in depression you cannot put in action simple things just like exercise and spending time with friends. Even it feels exhausted and difficult to think about simple things you should do to feel normal. In the recovery from depression, things that help the most are things that seems the most difficult to do. However, there is a big difference between something that is difficult and something that is important. You should focus on what is important for you. While recovering from depression isn’t easy and quick. You have more control over things than you realize even when your depression is persistent and severe.

            The key to cope up from depression is to start from small things and build from there. May be your depression drain all your energy but still by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough strength to take a walk or pick up the phone to call a loved one. Taking the first step is always harder then we think. But start from things that you can do right now such as going for a walk, getting up and dancing to your favorite music or having a conversation with friend over phone. These little steps will boost your mood and energy for several hours, which is long enough to put a second recovery step into action. Fortunately, there are few ways you can turn your bad habits into good ones and get back on track.

Depression Management Steps

            Everything feels more challenging when you’re experience depression. Going to work, socializing with friends, or even just getting out of bed can feel like a struggle. These normal, everyday activities can seem impossible at times for those struggling with depression. Those who experiencing depression or a depressive episode may have trouble managing as well as struggling on how to help them to get moving forward again. There are some things you can do to cope up with your depressive symptoms and improve your quality of life. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, you will be able soon to lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.

Tip 1: Stay Connected and Reach Out

            You cannot fight depression alone and by yourself. Getting help and support from others is an essential part to overcome depression. It could be difficult for you to maintain the healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression on your own. However it is also the nature of depression that makes it difficult for a person to reach out someone for help. When you’re suffering from depression the tendencies to withdraw and isolate are high and it makes the connecting to even close family members and friends difficult. There are some tips that help you to reach out for depression support.

  • Talk to someone face to face about your feelings.
  • Voluntary help someone else no matter if it is big or small
  • Go out and have coffee or lunch with a friend.
  • Ask a loved one to regularly check in with you.
  • Accompany a friend to the concert, movies, or a small get-together even if you don’t feel like it.
  • Call or email a good old friend.
  • Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
  • Schedule a weekly dinner date.
  • Meet new people by joining a club or taking a class.
  • Confide in a teacher, sports coach or clergy member.

Tip 2: Do Things You Enjoy and Make You Feel Good

            In order to maintain your depression, you have to do things that make you relax and energize. For this purpose you have to follow a healthy lifestyle, learning how to manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, and scheduling activities into your day that makes you feel good. When you’re depressed you cannot force yourself to have fun or experience pleasure. You can push yourself to do things, even when you don’t feel like it. You might be surprised about how much better you feel once you’re out in the world. Your depression doesn’t lift immediately you have to be patient. You’ll gradually feel more upbeat and energetic as you make time for activities that make you feel good.

  • Pick up a sport or a former hobby you used to enjoy.
  • Express yourself creatively through music, art, or writing.
  • Spend some time with nature; take a day trip to museum, the mountains or the park.
  • Make a list of things that you like about yourself.
  • Read a good book before going to bed.
  • Watch a funny movie or TV show with friend or family member.
  • Take a long and hot bath.
  • Play with a pet.

Tip 3: Get Moving and Exercise

            When you’re suffering from depression, just getting out of bed can seem like a difficult task and let alone working out. But exercise is a powerful depression fighter and also one of the most effective tools in the recovery from your depression. Research claims that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for maintaining depression symptoms. It also helps prevent relapse once you maintain your depression symptoms. It will be more beneficial if you aim to exercise 30 minutes per day. This doesn’t have to be all at once and it is okay to start from small. A 10 minute walk can improve your mood for two hours. Exercise is something that you can do right now and it will boost your mood immediately

Tip 4: Challenge Negative Thinking

            When a person feeling depressed he/she feels like they are powerless or weak. You think like bad things happen and there is nothing you can do about this. You feel like hopeless and worthless. The thing is depression put a negative spin on everything around you. It puts negative spin on the way you see yourself and your expectations about future become negative.

            When these types of negative thoughts overwhelm you, it is important for you to remember that these thoughts are not real and only symptoms of depression. When you start to question and really examine them they don’t hold up. This trick is you have to identify the type of negative thoughts that fuel your depression and replace them with more balancing way of thinking. As you start to cross examine your negative thoughts, how quickly they crumble will surprise you. In the process, you’ll develop a more balanced perspective and help to relieve your depression.

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