How to cope up with Depression

Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
Depression affects one’s cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical functions. One of the most insidious aspects of depression is that it tricks you into thinking that nothing will help, or that the relief will be temporary, and it will keep you in a cycle of maladaptive thinking, feeling, and doing (or non-doing). However, there are steps one can take to cope with depression.

What is the number one cause of depression?

There’s no single cause of depression. It can occur for a variety of reasons and it has many different triggers. For some people, an upsetting or stressful life event, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries, can be the cause.

Most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors, according to the NIMH. Certain medical conditions may also trigger depression, including an underactive thyroid gland, cancer, heart disease, prolonged pain and other significant illnesses.

Some of Social and Relational Factors in Major Depression

  • Death of a loved one.
  • Divorce or marital problems such as infidelity.
  • Loss of a job, financial problems, or poverty leading to homelessness.
  • A chaotic, unsafe, and dangerous home life such as violence in the family.
  • Abusive relationships that undermine self-confidence.
  • Social failures such as friendships.

Tips to Manage Depression

Take care of your physical health

Get active! It is important to get 30 minutes of physical activity daily. This can be anything from yoga, walking, jogging, walking stairs, a stroll around the block, gardening. If this is too daunting, start with 10-15 minutes a day and add 5 minutes to each day.

Sleep…getting adequate sleep is important for our physical well being, mental acuity, and concentration

Take a closer look at your thoughts

Write down recurring thoughts…negative thoughts about oneself, one’s future, and the world are common; these thoughts are often distortions that feel real and often perpetuate unhelpful behaviors. By writing down these thoughts, one can begin to see the distortions a bit more clearly.

Limit rumination- rumination and depression go hand in hand; rumination is a type of thinking where you rehash a moment over and over again; you can learn to limit rumination by being more aware of it and redirecting yourself towards doing something more helpful. For example, when you are aware that you are ruminating, take notice of you are doing and what is around you. And ask yourself “what is one thing that I can do right now that is good for me?”

Identify unhelpful behaviors and replace them with healthy, helpful behaviors

Build a sense of mastery-this involves setting realistic, achievable goals daily; rather than tackling big ticket items, break them down into smaller, more manageable units. This sense of mastery will also help to chip away at the unhelpful distortions.

Engage in healthy joyful activities—this can involve something as small as brewing a nice cup of tea, listening to a favorite song, sending an email/text to a friend, dancing in your own space

Stay connected to friends and family- it might help to let them know what you are experiencing and how they can help.

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