- Mental Health
Feeling Blue? 6 Ways to Combat Depression
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
Overcome With Sadness
Feeling Down in the Dumps?
At some point in life, everyone feels blue or depressed. Choosing to remain "down in the dumps" or dealing with the depression is the choice of the person. There are many things a person can do to help combat depression. But, before we go to combat, we need to understand the reasons why we are depressed. Be aware of your circumstances, and keep in mind that we cannot have complete control over everything. In order for this combat to work, we need to let some things go and be willing to focus on the things we can change. No matter what circumstances are playing out in our lives, the way we react to them is definitely something we can change.
There are many elements which cause depression. I would have to write a book about the causes of depression to cover them, as there are that many different causes. However, a few typical examples could be the loss of a loved one (whether it be divorce or death), dissatisfaction to the current status of our life, financial struggles, mood disorders, recent birth of a baby, vitamin deficiencies, or even the lack of sunshine. Whatever the causes of the blues are, here are some suggestions that can help.
If you are unsure if you are suffering from depression, read Ten Signs or Symptoms You are Suffering from Depression.
Do you suffer from depression?
Marcom Waymore brings you an excellent analysis explaining depression.
This hub is written by Denise Handlon and covers many aspects of depression.
Moving on to Combat
1) Seek therapy or counseling. A psychologist is an excellent choice for dealing with depression. Sometimes, depression can be a predecessor to other mood disorders such as Bipolar Disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A psychologist can determine if psychiatric treatment is needed, or if therapy will be adequate treatment. Meeting with a therapist to talk about issues can help because he or she can give you other perspectives to think about. Also, the information discussed is confidential, so sharing deep and personal information is sometimes easier than talking to friends, as they might not keep the shared information confidential. If psychiatric treatment is suggested, medications can help to stabilize the moods and curb the depression.
2) Keep a journal. Write, write, write. Write about your day, or the fight you had with your spouse. Write about your feelings, especially on a bad day. Write down the circumstances that triggered your depression that day. After you have kept a journal for awhile, you should be able to see a pattern of the triggers that are causing your depression. Also, keeping a journal is similar to talking to someone else, except that the words are written, not orally spoken. In times when I am super-stressed or upset, my therapist taught me how to power-write.
3) Be willing to address issues head-on. I once heard a saying that has stuck with me over the years. "Denial is not a river in Egypt." If you do not address the causes of your depression, it will smother you like a dark cloak of doom. Sometimes, tragedies happen to people, and they have a difficult time facing what happened. Other times, people become accustomed to their "comfort zone" and are afraid to change things. Even if the "comfort zone" is an unhealthy place for an individual, he or she knows what to expect in their zone. Coming out of that zone scares some people because they do not know what will happen next. Facing the issues takes a load of weight off their shoulders and can lower stress levels significantly. Facing the issues is a healthy action because dealing with reality is better than fooling yourself.
4) Proper eating habits. Vitamin deficiencies are a definite cause of depression. According to www.depression-guide.com, there are many vitamin deficiencies that cause depression and involve Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, and Biotin. Lack of Vitamin D can also cause depression. Vitamin D is found in our foods, but it is also found in the sunlight. This is why people get the "winter blues" because they have been cooped up inside their homes and are spending less time in the sun during those cold months (if you are in a geographical location that snows). A well-balanced diet not only helps prevent depression, but also gives you energy to be able to complete Step 5.
5) Exercise. I cannot stress enough how important exercise is. I try to exercise a few times a week, even if it is only a 10 or 15-minute run. When the body works out, it produces what I call "happy endorphins." These endorphins are considered to be a natural stress fighter. Sometimes, exercising when you are feeling depressed or stressed could be enough action to put you in a better mood by the time you are done with your workout. And this does not include the positive benefits from exercise, such as weight loss, stronger muscles, and a healthier heart.
6) Meditation. Meditation helps a person to become more alert and focused. It also helps him or her to be less reactive and more responsive, allowing the person to be able to handle stressful situations with greater ease.