There is no one cause of depression, something which affects as many as 400 million people globally and around 8% of adults at any given time, but there are recognized measures that can improve your livelihood and life. Coping and living with depression is not easy, it is something you work towards though.
For some depression is largely genetic, while for others it's onset comes later in life following a period of sadness or trauma. Simple life events also throw their hats in the ring with a death in the family, relationship problems, financial issues, growing older and more each acting as a potential trigger for a general feeling of malaise or even a crippling bout with depression. For those living a depressed life or living with a depressed person, many things can be done to make a life with depression a manageable, if not happy, existence.
Therapy and treating depression with antidepressants is a common way for patients and doctors alike to manage it. But, many millions of those with depression are unmedicated and live happy lives the majority of the time. Depression is nothing if not frustrating. For doctors prescribing medications for depression, many of their frustrations are rooted in their patients taking it upon themselves to take meds when they feel like it.
Not only does this reduce the effectiveness of medical treatment but it can also be quite dangerous. Any decision made about your medications need to be discussed with the prescribing doctor. Treating depression with antidepressants does not necessarily mean a life of pills. It does not mean that changes can't be made to the medicines you are being prescribed. Antidepressants are not for everyone, but for those taking them, take them. If it's time for a change, this should always be discussed with your doctor first.
This does not simply mean, make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Depression and sleep have a unique relationship. Oversleeping can make battles with depression considerably more difficult to win. Oversleeping can bring on a lethargy that dramatically affects mood and can lead to even more sleeping and less action. Insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restless sleep are also problems for those with depression. The body recovers while sleeping, allowing the brain to grow and rest while the immune system strengthens itself. Overeating often comes from a lack of sleep which makes depression less manageable as well. In a stressful world, you need rest. Don't be afraid of looking into micro-napping as well. A series of short, planned naps can recharge your batteries in as little as 15 minutes.
Almost without exception exercise is tremendously beneficial to those that experience and are living with depression. This is especially the case when stressing the immediate benefits of exercise. Those experiencing body issues that trigger feelings of depression could be put in a darker place by thoughts of a life of exercise and a feeling of it's too late.
However, the immediate benefits are difficult to dispute. Exercise does affect neurotransmitter systems in the brain in much the same way that antidepressants do. Those that experience rapid breathing, a racing heart, and other anxiety disorders are also benefited by exercise almost immediately. Don't let a bad mood be the reason you're not exercising, exercise to exorcise that bad mood.
Living with depression is not easy. Journaling can be a fantastic way to address your depression each day. Unless you're planning on sharing your journaling, the practice provides you with an arena bereft of judgments, criticisms or condemnations from others. Whether there is any truth to "golf and sex are the only things you don't have to be good at to enjoy," add writing. This is entirely for you not others. Additionally, journaling can provide a place for you to acknowledge your depression and a forum for discussing it if you so choose.
This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be using your support network every time you start to feel depression is rearing its ugly head. This simply means that you need to know that you have people you can talk to if you need to or just want to talk. Just knowing it's there has been known to be a tremendous help to millions. If you're hesitant to burden family and friends with your problems, find local support groups or members of these anonymous groups to rely on if needed. Working with a net can be a fantastic relief by itself.
Thankfully, smoking rates have steadily been declining for decades, and most know that it's to be avoided. However, for many others and disproportionately among the depressed it remains a crutch and a vice of instant gratification. Additionally, electronic cigarettes and vaping are on the rise and nicotine can be a horrible addition to the depressed person's health inventory.
This is one of the scariest trapdoors for the depressed person. Many embrace legal alcohol, legal and illegal drugs alike to cope with depression only to find that it's become a primary source of their depression over time. This tip could be its own article, alcohol and drug use does offer an immediately improved mood for many, but the downside is so great and so slippery that it is worth serious consideration. Depression can be horrible, depression coupled with addiction is often disastrous.
Strenuous or vigorous exercise is fantastic for keeping depression at bay. However, sometimes when people see the word exercise they immediately think about the gym, the crowds in the gym, the monthly membership and get discouraged and put it off. You have shoes, use them and go for a walk at any speed. Walk fast and call it exercise or take a lazy stroll and practice mindfulness. Listen to the birds, smell the flowers, and feel the sun on your face.
This doesn't mean you need a support peacock for your next airline flight. Millions of depressed people have found comfort and support in an animal to take care of and watch them help you in turn. Dogs and cats for many are the answer to moments of daily happiness, something that can't simply be discounted when it comes to living and coping with depression.
This could be its own tome of a book. From drinking more water every time you're thirsty to eating more greens in your diet, you can do almost no wrong here outside of allergies. There are countless resources to improve your diet, a major factor to manage a life with depression. Make a decision to try something new and conquer it.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.