How to get out of depression: ways, methods and useful tips
“I have depression” – we often hear these words. But most often people call depression ordinary bouts of moping and bad moods, which often go away on their own in a few days at most. Real depression is an illness that can poison your life for years and never goes away without treatment.
What is depression?
Depression is a serious illness that is characterized by clear symptoms to distinguish it from a bad mood. The main signs of depression include:
- A joyless, depressed state;
- Frequent and sudden mood swings;
- Anhedonia, loss of sense of pleasure (“Nothing pleases or interests”);
- Inability to concentrate, impaired memory;
- Inability to make decisions, constant returning to the same questions;
- Fear, anxiety, panic attacks, attacks of aggression;
- Chronic feeling of fatigue, lethargy (“I wake up broken”);
- Sleep disorders, insomnia or, on the contrary, constant sleepiness;
- Loss of appetite, weight loss, digestive problems;
- Decrease in libido;
- Feeling of pressure, heaviness in the abdomen and chest area, shortness of breath;
- Various autonomic symptoms such as increased sweating, tremors, dry mouth, and others.
Your strength is peace of mind inside! Aphobasol® restores and protects nerve cells, reducing anxiety, restlessness and irritation.
Learn more. THERE ARE CONTRAINDICATIONS. IT IS NECESSARY TO CONSULT A SPECIALIST.
If these symptoms occur simultaneously and persist for several weeks, there is every reason to suspect depression.
We are accustomed to thinking that depression is always a consequence of some unfortunate event – loss of loved ones, divorce, loss of a favorite job. But this is not entirely true. There are three main types of depression – reactive, somatic and endogenous. Reactive depression is really a consequence of abrupt changes in life or experienced trauma. An endogenous one, on the other hand, appears as if “out of nowhere,” without any apparent reason. In fact, there are reasons, but they are not so evident to those around. Endogenous depression can be a consequence of hormonal imbalance (postpartum depression is particularly well-known), taking certain medications, alcohol or drugs. Somatic depression is one manifestation of another illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease, hypothyroidism, brain injury, or even the common flu.
Excessive anxiety negatively affects a person’s quality of life, becoming a cause of overwork and bad moods.
In addition, residents of northern latitudes often experience seasonal depression associated with a lack of sunlight.
It is very dangerous to underestimate or poeticize depression. There is nothing attractive or romantic about this condition; it destroys a person’s life and personality, affecting not only himself, but also his loved ones. Advice to “stop whining” and “pull yourself together” is not only useless, but very harmful. A depressed person is unable to control his condition, just as a patient with a broken leg cannot run a hundred meters. The reproach of friends only leads to more confidence in their weakness and worthlessness and sinks even deeper into this state. Wrong and opinion that the disease – the result of a tendency to overanalyze and “wind myself up. Depression can affect even young children who have barely learned to speak.
It is one of the most common mental disorders, affecting more than 350 million people of all age groups. Every year about 150 million people in the world are disabled because of depression. At the same time, women fall ill twice as often as men, although doctors do not explain these statistics by the “toughness” of the stronger sex, but only by the fact that men are less likely to go to specialists and are “treated” mainly with alcohol or other similar drugs. There is another disturbing fact – according to statistics, the risk of getting depression increases threefold if someone in the family is already suffering from the disease.
Restoring mental equilibrium is a necessary measure for anyone who wants to live a full life.
Treat, you cannot delay!
To get rid of depression quickly is not easy, and without the help of doctors and psychologists – not at all impossible. But the disease is successfully treated with the right approach. Usually prescribed by complex measures.
First, medications – antidepressants – come into play. Choose them should be a doctor. As a rule, these pills can not buy without a prescription, and the uncontrolled reception of this group of drugs can lead not to recovery, but to the deterioration of the condition. Antidepressants relieve the main symptoms. As a rule, the drug treatment stage lasts from several weeks to several months. As a supplement to antidepressants, sedatives are often prescribed. In some cases, physiotherapeutic procedures, light therapy and acupuncture also give good results.
Nervous disorders manifest themselves in different ways, depending on the degree of development of the illness. Often, the help of a specialist is needed to correct them.
After the condition has improved, there is a period of consolidation of the results. This stage of treatment is just as important – depression is insidious and can return again in a few months or even years. In order not to leave the disease a single chance, a course of psychotherapy and individual work with a psychologist is necessary. There are many techniques to deal with depression – cognitive psychotherapy, which aims to change a person’s view of themselves and the world around them; interpersonal psychotherapy, which helps to resolve conflicts with others; behavioral therapy, designed to change the behavior that leads to stress and depression; psychodynamic method, which resolves a person’s internal conflicts with themselves and many others. The duration of this stage depends on the severity of the condition and the degree to which the patient is ready to cooperate: it will take from several sessions to several months of work with a specialist.
Jerome Wakefield, author of The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Turned Normal Sadness into Pathological Depression, argues that depression can be the impetus for positive changes in life, allowing you to sort out your desires and learn from your mistakes.
How to beat depression, or anti-depression tips
You can overcome depression only by really wanting to do so. And if the fight against the disease is limited to taking only formal medication and visiting doctors, the result will not be achieved or the road to recovery will stretch for many months and years. To get back in shape as soon as possible, you need to actively include “antidepressant measures” in everyday life. In the treatment of depression, there is no such thing as detail. Of course, these tips will not cure the disease without medication and psychotherapy, but can significantly speed up the process.
Shift your attention
Depression is characterized by intrusive thoughts that are very difficult to get rid of. If you feel that for the hundredth time you are scrolling in your head the same memories and questions, shift your attention to any object. Pick up a pebble from the ground, examine it, note the color, texture, weight, twirl it in your hands, think about what it looks like. Instead of a pebble, you can use any other object – a key, a leaf from a tree, anything that comes to hand. It is important to concentrate on contemplation. After a few minutes, gloomy thoughts will recede.
Engage in sports.
During physical activity, whether we like it or not, the brain produces endorphins – hormones of happiness and joy, the lack of which leads to depressive states.
Sudden feelings of panic are one of the common symptoms of nervous disorders.
Art therapy is an entire section of psychotherapy. Creativity really helps you cope with depression. Any result of creative work increases self-esteem, and the process itself is important. But the artistic value does not really matter.
Don’t hold your emotions in.
The demands to “get a grip”, “hold your punches” and “don’t fall apart”, as we said, only serve to make a person even more depressed. Restrained emotions are like a bomb that explodes inside. Even healthy people who keep everything inside pay for their apparent equanimity with neuroses and psychosomatic illnesses. If you want to cry – cry, if you want to scream – scream, if you want to rage – beat the couch cushion.
Make yourself happy.
Start a diary in which you will note all the pleasant moments, even if they were quite fleeting and insignificant. Pay attention to what pleases you the most, and strive for that.
All information about health and medicine is for information purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment.
Overcoming depression: 10 ways to help yourself
Today we will talk about how to cope with depression on your own. This article is addressed to those who occasionally experience relatively mild periods of depression and are still able to overpower themselves. These recommendations are unlikely to fit those who are touched by a severe form of the disease. In this case, going to a doctor is the only reliable way to solve the problem.
Why does depression occur?
The exact cause of depression is not yet known. Like many psychological disorders, depression can result from a combination of several causes:
- Life events. Sometimes life changes such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or relationship breakdown can lead to depression. Those who have experienced violence, serious trauma, lost their jobs, or are deprived of communication with family and friends also experience a state of depression. Ironically, even good changes, such as getting married, moving, getting a new job, or graduating from an educational institution, can cause depression.
- Chemicals. Symptoms of depression are commonly associated with an imbalance of neurotransmitters – chemicals involved in the transmission of signals between nerve cells. The mechanism of action of almost all the currently existing medications for depression (antidepressants) is based on restoring the balance of neurotransmitters.
- Heredity. Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives also experienced this problem.
- Hormonal. One of the causes of the depressed state can be a violation of the hormonal background of the body.
Why, after experiencing approximately the same events, some people tend to fall into despondency, while others continue to be optimistic? Each person’s mindset is individual, and each of us reacts differently to life situations. Life would be boring if we all thought and acted the same way. That is our freedom, in that we can choose for ourselves how we feel about certain phenomena and how we behave.
Unfortunately, most people seldom think about why they react to certain events in the way they do. It has long been seen that if two people are faced with the same problem, one can overcome it easily, while the other is practically crushed by it. What is the reason?
Psychologists have noticed common features of thinking in people who are often depressed. These features have been called pseudo-beliefs. Pseudo-beliefs are not entirely realistic ideas that a person believes to be true about life in general. Sometimes they are realized by the person, but more often they are not, and they become the cause of depression in the majority of cases. In order to successfully overcome a depressed state, it is necessary, first, to become aware of these ideas, and second, to change them, or rather replace them with more reasonable ones. If this inner work is done successfully, a person can not only come out of depression on their own, but also change their life in a broader sense.
Here are the beliefs often held by people prone to depression:
- Showing irritation or being angry at those around you is bad. You may believe that you have no right to show resentment or anger toward others regardless of their words or behavior. So no matter what they do, you always try to find excuses for them. Maybe you think that if you show your true feelings, you will offend those around you or cause resentment. The belief that being angry is bad is instilled in many of us as children. In fact, anger is a defensive reaction inherent in all living things. Reasonable displays of irritation and anger between people are not only permissible, but necessary in order for their relationships to develop.
Often this belief is related to the following two:
- Someone who talks about his desires is selfish. This belief is also usually learned as a child. Perhaps you have often heard from your teachers that “you must not get ahead,” “you must always yield,” and are used to thinking that other people’s desires are more important than your own. Maybe you think you deserve less than others. People who share such ideas tend to take on the role of “helpers,” which can be hard for them to give up. The problem here is that this role often causes resentment toward others, because consciously or not, one expects others to reciprocate their concern for oneself. Those around him, however, may genuinely believe that helping him makes him feel good, and do not think as if he “owes” anything in return.
- Good deeds are always rewarded. If you tend to do good deeds out of a sense of duty and are convinced that sooner or later they will be rewarded, you are wrong. It only makes sense to take care of other people when you really want to. The motives here can be love, commitment, or gratitude. Often people who spend a lifetime doing “duty” eventually realize how much they have lost and become depressed.
The ideas listed above may not only be shared by those prone to depression, but they are characteristic of the latter. In more severe forms of depression, other pseudo beliefs are also encountered:
- All-or-nothing thinking. You may think as follows: “If I miss one workout, there’s no point in doing any more” or “If I can’t do everything, I won’t do anything at all.”
- Exaggerated judgments: “No one is ever interested in my experiences,” “Only trouble always happens to me.
- Disbelief that those around you may genuinely wish you well. Because of low self-esteem you may think that if people around you show favor to you, they are driven only by selfish motives.
If you notice that you share some of the ideas listed above, you may want to replace them with more reasonable ones. For example, the categorical statement, “If I miss one workout, there’s no point in continuing,” can be replaced with the more moderate statement, “Irregular workouts are less effective, but they will benefit my health, too.” As you change the statements, watch how your feelings about yourself change.
Other ways to help yourself with depression
People with low self-esteem are known to be more prone to depression than others. Therefore, when prone to this ailment, it is helpful to work on self-confidence.
The following are activities that are not in themselves a method of combating depression, but they help many people to loosen up, to feel their value, improve mood, which levels the symptoms of depression.
- Get creative. Any activity is useful: drawing, sewing, cooking, dancing, playing musical instruments, composing compositions from flowers, composing poems or stories. It is important that in the process of activity you disconnect from habitual reflections and involve imagination and feelings.
- Make a to-do list for the day and cross off the completed ones. These simple actions will allow you to keep track of your achievements. But don’t be too hard on yourself. If you feel like doing something you didn’t plan to do, do it and then write it down.
- Keep a journal. At the end of each day, write down what happened, even if it seems insignificant. Write about what caught your attention and why, what you liked about what you read, etc. But don’t get carried away with listing unpleasant incidents.
- Be physically active. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, “hormones of happiness,” in the body. These substances control endocrine gland activity and increase mood. However, physical activity helps to cope with depression not only due to the production of endorphins, they are – oddly enough – contribute to higher self-esteem.
- Take frequent walks. It is proved that a daily walk in the first half of the day can alleviate the symptoms of depression. While walking, try to have fun – look at what you see around you, listen to sounds, breathe in smells. At first these activities may seem unfamiliar, but in time you will learn to enjoy your sensations.
- Choose your sources of information carefully. If you often watch programs, read newspapers or online publications that talk about accidents, disasters and other negative events, you run the risk of “catching” a bad mood. Publishing such information is a relatively easy way to get people’s attention, which is what many media take advantage of. At the same time, it is scientifically proven that bad news causes anxiety and increases depression. If you find out that several people have died on the other side of the planet, you still can’t help them. Give preference to publications that do not use such techniques to attract an audience.
- Smile more often. Feeling happy makes us smile. But the opposite is also true. It has been experimentally proven that when we smile, the body produces chemicals that make us feel joy. To smile, watch funny movies, read something nice, and joke around more often.
- Try to become happy. Imagine that you are an actor who plays the role of a happy person, try to get into that role. It may all sound a little strange, but this method often works. Take your time and pretend to be happy every day. Try to behave as a happy person would behave: do not pay attention to annoying little things, on the contrary, concentrate on pleasant things: listen to your favorite music, eat what seems delicious, do things that you “could not get to. It is noticed that we get depressed not so much because of the troubles, but because of the lack of positive emotions. Doing this exercise, try to enjoy every minute of it. Most importantly, don’t let yourself think about past troubles or worry about the future. Instead, focus on the here and now. And don’t take this exercise too seriously-just experiment and see what happens.
- Communicate more. Find an interlocutor with whom you can share your experiences. Sometimes, to sort yourself out and deal with depression, it’s important to talk to someone who will listen but not judge, evaluate, or label you.
Try putting at least one or two of my recommendations into practice and you are sure to feel like a happier person.