How to Deal (or cope) with Depression

Let’s face it, life can be hard, demanding and positively unforgiving sometimes which makes it very easy to fall under the weight of depression.  Likewise, tragic events or personal hardships might occasionally rear their ugly heads and threaten your mental state; many might say that this is unavoidable.  While we can’t really change the outside world in most cases, we can learn to take more control over ourselves and our state of mind.  Remember, in many ways depression is a self-imposed punishment and you have the power to break the spell, but first you have to want to get better.  Here are some very helpful tips that can assist you in coping or dealing with a spate of depression…

First off, if you’re having an extremely negative reaction or are perhaps having suicidal thoughts please consider getting help ASAP.  You don’t have to visit a medical doctor or psychiatrist right away, you might want to try calling a crisis hotline to speak with someone, and they’re often very supportive.  If you have a knowledgeable, caring and trusted family member to confide in, consider going that route as well.

But before we get too far into solutions and coping mechanisms, it’s important that we ascertain whether or not you are actually suffering from depression.  Here are some classic symptoms:

  • Intense and extended insomnia

  • Sleeping much more than usual

  • A constant feeling of tiredness and outright exhaustion

  • Sensitive emotional states permeated by instances of bursting into tears

  • A murky mental state (an inability to concentrate on anything)

  • Inability to conform to a daily routine / schedule

  • Extreme procrastination or pessimism

  • Unexplained physical maladies that seem to have no actual cause and won’t dissipate with medical treatment

  • Extreme irritability

  • Extremely low self-esteem as well as a tendency to heap blame upon yourself, often for no reason

  • Persistent and lingering sadness for longer than 2 weeks

  • Erratic eating habits and/or weight gain / loss

If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms then you either are in the midst of a depressive bout or are moving closer toward one.  Luckily, there are some things you can do yourself which can perhaps turn the tides in your favour…

Write it down

For starters, write down what’s bothering you, whether it is related to the material world (financial, physical, etc…) or something perhaps more intellectual / emotional.  By doing this your mind will automatically begin looking for solutions to your problems, don’t try to inhibit it; instead, try to keep an attitude that promotes forward motion.

Take “baby steps”

Next, realize that you are in control of your life and you don’t have to move at the speed set by others if you don’t want to.  If you’re having trouble moving forward and dealing with your depression, simply take things one step at a time; a very deliberate way of approaching your problems will not only help you slowly conquer them, it will also minimize any complications and help build self-esteem.  In short, take things at your own pace, it’s not a race.  As always, exercise is highly recommended as is proper nutrition, these two things alone will help you immensely!

Stop beating yourself up

If you find that you’re constantly beating yourself up about things over which you have no control, stop it right now.  Just because you perceive yourself to be a victim of something doesn’t mean that you’re in any way to blame, once you realize this you can begin rebuilding your life and take those next steps forward into a brighter tomorrow.

Good luck and good health to you!

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