That is a fearful term for many of us who have went through that or have at least witnessed its ravaging effects on people around us. I can empathize with those who are currently going through such a stage in their life. "I am giving up", " Why am I even alive?, "It's all dark for me"...and we have a long list of such broken bits of conversation that comes out from our as much as parched lips as the mind from which it originated. There's more to it.
Depression is not a simple black and white thing. Suffering from depression means more than just dealing with a bad week or even a bad month. Depression is a weakening condition that can make it impossible for you to enjoy your daily existence. If you are plagued with feelings of overwhelming sadness, loneliness, worthlessness, and cannot imagine that things will get any better; be alert. Those are the very symptoms of depression.There are many degrees of discouragement on a continuum into the most debilitating kind of depression that will push you to the edge of suicide, and you certainly have to be alert to that.
A significant number of people already suffer from 'Observable Depression' and even larger number are victims of 'Hidden Depression'. These terms are understood in the literal sense; the former consists of people whose conditions are known to other people and maybe even undergoing some treatment and the people in the latter category have no realization of their condition until later stages. Dear reader, if you are one of those struggling with it, have courage because there is Hope.
Before we jump into ways to tackle depression we might have an insight into this condition that we struggle with and its symptoms.
What is Depression?
According to our knowledge of Medical Science, Depression is a condition of persistently low mood and classified as a mental illness. Possible causes are Psychological, Biological and Social sources of stress exerting strenuous load on mental realms of the bearer.
How do we recognize it or What are its symptoms?
Understanding one's condition is very important to treatment and subsequent relief. Most of the people don't take the warning signs seriously. The picture above summarizes all the symptoms related to depression. Following signs can also be added to the list.
1) Being immersed in thought during meals, work or even driving.( Too dangerous)
2) Slow response
3) Remaining ill and doing nothing about that
4) Feeling weight over oneself all the time
5) Anxiety all the time
6) Even favorite things, hobbies and food don't amuse you
(Disclaimer: Having one or more of above symptoms doesn't necessarily mean you are under depression. However, if you feel that you have been dealing with them for a prolonged period, a medical consultation is highly recommended.)
How to deal with it?
1) Consult a Doctor
It is absolutely necessary to confirm of your condition with a Registered Practitioner. Only after a thorough evaluation with a psychiatrist or psychologist can you be diagnosed with depression. Many illnesses and medications may contribute to depressive feelings. Therefore, your doctor will administer a variety of tests, conduct a physical examination, and an interview to get to the bottom of your symptoms.
2) Narrowing down the possible causes
Though the doctor will tell you about various psychological, biological and environmental factors that are leading you to depression, you need to identify them specifically and acknowledge them. These influences can include:
a) Addiction to alcohol, drugs, smoking, inhalants and even pornography.
b) Hormonal Imbalance due to restless working or thyroid problems.
c) Side effect of some medication.
d) An underlying illness that you are coping with at the moment.
3) Some situations in your life at the moment can also contribute to depression. This includes:
i) Loss of a friend or loved one: It is normal to grieve after losing someone you care about. However, after a period of time, most people tend to feel better. If your grieving does not seem to lift after months, you may be experiencing depression.
ii) A failed or unfulfilling romantic relationship: If you are going through a devastating break-up, or are in a relationship that is causing you great pain, then it could be contributing to your depression.
iii) An unrewarding career: If you feel deeply unhappy, stifled, or even worthless in your current job or throughout your career, then your line of work may be a contributing factor to your depression.
iv) An undesirable environment. If you live with two screaming, unbearable roommates, or just feel deeply unhappy in your own home or neighborhood, then your environment may be contributing to your depression.
v) Financial reasons: Worrying about making your next rent payment or where your next paycheck will come from can be a serious cause of depression if it's a continuing problem.
vi) "Baby blues" : Many women often experience crying spells, anxiety, and mood swings after giving birth. This can be a severe form of baby blues called postpartum depression. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms resemble this condition.
4) Treatment options available
Depending on the severity of your illness, you may require a combination of medication and psychotherapy. While medications can help relieve symptoms, it is still important for depressed persons to understand the disorder and develop healthier strategies for coping with it. Generally, milder forms of depression can be treated with psychotherapy and lifestyle changes. One of the most researched and applied psychotherapy treatments for depression is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This form of treatment is directed at identifying and changing negative thought and behavior patterns that worsen depressive symptoms. Other therapies useful with depression are acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, and interpersonal therapy.
You must understand that this is as much (sometimes more) of a mental fight as much as a physical one. Hence once you get back to a healthy mindset, body doesn't take much time to respond. It all depends on your willpower to put yourself back on track. Hence, the next section deals with it.
Improvements in your life
1) Rewiring and resetting unhealthy relationships.
If they are causing you great pain, then it's time to stop making yourself feel worse. If there is something in a relationship that is troubling you, have a serious conversation with the person. For example: If you're feeling depressed because you're convinced your significant other is cheating on you or that your best friend is stealing your money, then it's time to confront the person and work towards a solution.
2)Maintain healthy relationships.
Though you may wish to be alone and away from others, it is good for your mood to spend time with others. Rely on your network of friends and family members, as well as your significant other if you have one. Spend as much time as you can hanging out with people who make you feel positive about yourself and the world. Good friends will not only help you cope with your depression by talking about it, but they can make you feel more loved and supported.
If you are in a relationship, spending solo time with your significant other can lift your moods. Enjoy yourself and your relationship by scheduling special time to spend with your partner as often as possible. Open up to them about your condition. Married couples can go for a vacation and participate in couple activities and games and take a big time out for passionate and intimate moments with each other. Enjoy being in their company.
Make more time for family. Your family should make you feel loved and supported, so try to spend as much time with them as you can. If your family is across the country, make time for phone calls as much as you can.
3) Fill your schedule with events and activities you love.
Keeping a busy schedule will force you to stay active, focused, and thinking about the next thing on your plate. You can draw up a schedule for each day at the start of the week, or simply plan out each day the night before. Whichever method you choose, make a goal of sticking to it. Here are some things you should make time for:
i) Positive and supportive friendships.
iii) Hobbies and interests.
iv) Time to do something silly that makes you laugh.
v) Outdoor activities. Don't spend all of your time indoors. Instead, go out into the sun, or do your normal homework or reading in a coffee shop so you feel less isolated.
4) Find a new passion.
You may not like your current job, but maybe you are not in a position to change your career right now. However, finding a new passion can help you feel like you have more of a purpose in life. A passion can be anything you care deeply about, even if it is not something you are good at yet.
Here are some great ways to find a new passion:
i) Explore your artistic side. Sign up for a painting, ceramics, drawing, or pottery class.
ii) Express yourself through writing. Try writing some poetry, story,(Remember JK Rowling)
iii) Find a new love for learning a foreign language.
iv)Discover a new team sport, such as volleyball or soccer. You will find a new passion while making many friends.
5) Be more generous.
Turn your life around by being generous to the people you love and the people in your community. Being generous will help you to increase your self-worth and build greater connections with others around you.
i) Do a favor for a close friend. You will feel better for helping.
ii) Volunteer at your local library. Help people discover the joy of reading.
iii) Volunteer at a center for senior citizens, youth, or the homeless, and see what a difference you can make.
iv) Volunteer in your community by helping clean up your local park. Just spending time in nature can help improve your mood.
Developing Healthy Habits
1) Proper Sleep habits
You need to give your body just ample rest hours. Not more not less. Adding to that, have proper times of going to bed and rising up.
Exercising for just thirty minutes a day will have a dramatic impact on your physical and mental health. Exercising can give you more energy and make you feel more motivated throughout the day. Find an exercise plan that works for you and stick to it.Even taking a walk for just 20 minutes a day can help you get some exercise while you reflect.
3) Eating well
Have a balanced diet of food intake and never skip meals especially breakfast. Going for fast one day a week is good if your body is healthy enough otherwise wisely and have plenty of water. Add fruits and salads to the meals to supplement enough vitamins and minerals. Let yourself splurge occasionally. You will feel better if you give in to your cravings sometimes.
4) Surrounding Yourself with Positive Thoughts And Children
Being a more positive thinker will help you look at your life and world in a way that fills you with hope instead of despair. To think more positively, you should learn how to recognize your negative thoughts and to fight them with stronger positive thoughts whenever you can. For a jump start on positive thinking, find at least five things to be grateful for and happy about every single day. Also, keeping in the company of little children, playing with them , helping them in homework or reading a story to them etc. have also been found to lift the moods of people.
Believe In GOD
While doing all the above things we need to turn our broken hearts and shattered minds to GOD. He's the best doctor and healer. Pray and mend your relationship with GOD.
Let me encourage the broken people to look unto GOD.
The Bible says, in Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
In Psalm 34:18 it says,
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Everyone's known Psalm 23: 4 says
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and your staff comfort me.
Just believe and he will be there with you. Jesus had promised, "Behold, I am with you till the very end of ages." We need not be let down by depression rather be strengthened by the Grace of The LORD.
Dear reader, if you've been going through this bad phase in your life, do not lose hope. You are valuable. Don't let depression overtake you. Your life is not to end up on a suicide rope or in front of a moving vehicle or even to be thrown down from a high rise building. You have to fight it out.
If this had been helpful, please let me know in your opinions below.
Keep Being Awesome