How To Cope With Depression Healthily
The Difference Between Sad and Depressed
According to Healthline, approximately 10% of the population has suffered some kind of depression in their lives, while 5% has or currently suffers severe chronic depression. Depression normally occurs after a sudden traumatic life event, such as a divorce, death of a loved one, unemployment, etc. However, depression can also occur due to social rejection, perceived body flaws, or for no apparent reason. People tend to confuse feelings of sadness with depression. Sadness is a completely normal, and important, reaction to traumatic events. It becomes depression when those sad feelings don't get better or worsen after a few weeks. As someone who has been battling clinical severe depressive disorder for over 5 years now, I know how tough it can be to cope with. The following is some of the ways I have coped with it throughout the years in a healthy way.
Go To A Doctor
The Mayo Clinic defines depression as "a mood disorder that causes a persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest... may make you feel as if life isn't worth living." The first step everyone with depression should take is understanding and knowing that you have depression. If you feel like things that used to interest you just aren't worth doing anymore, or lack a motivation to do anything, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with a doctor. The usual course of treatment as prescribed by a doctor is anti-depressants and therapy, both of which are very effective at combating depression. However, neither of them will get rid of your depression instantly. I can speak from personal experience, however, that they do work. They both take time and require patience, but as the weeks and months go by, you'll notice a definite improvement on your outlook on life.
Would You Say You Are Depressed?
Talk To People
One of the challenges with depression is that it causes you to feel like people don't care about you. That is not true. Your friends and family love you. If you feel depressed, talk to somebody about it. Sometimes all it takes to lift yourself out of a depressed mood is someone to talk to. If someone notices you behaving weirdly and asks you about it, don't shut them out. They are worried about you and care enough to ask. They want to see you happy and will do the best they can to make sure you are.
Do Things You Enjoy
Another challenge of depression is the lack of motivation to do anything. You feel like nothing is worth it. It is hard to convince yourself to do anything while depressed, but it IS worth it. Whether it's drawing, reading, or playing video games, doing something you enjoy releases serotonin in your brain, which is responsible for the feeling of well-being. Depression is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance, with low levels of serotonin. Increasing serotonin can lessen or eliminate your depression. As an artist, whenever I'm feeling down, I pick up my sketch book and draw something to represent how I feel.
Express Your Feelings
I've already discussed one way to express your feelings by talking to people. Another way to express feelings is by different mediums. Try sketching out how you feel, or write it down. If you like poems, write a poem. If you compose music, write a song. This materializes your feelings and can allow you to better understand what you are feeling. Reading a writing out loud can also help you realize that the potential reasons you are feeling this way aren't worth being depressed over. This is a method therapists have used for a long time, and it is effective. When I draw while I'm depressed, I draw something silly or stupid that represents my depression and it helps to realize that me feeling this way for no reason is silly. It has personally helped me fall into better moods many times.
Reminder Of Ways To Get Better
-Go see a Doctor and Therapist
-Talk to people about how you feel
-Do the things you enjoy, regardless of what they are
-Express your feelings
-Take time to smile!!!
How Do You Prefer To Express Yourself?
It Gets Better!
These are the ways I have coped with my depression over the years. What ever you do, remember that life is worth living. As a wise man once said, "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." There is so much good in the world. Somebody out there loves you for you no matter what and would fall to pieces without you. Depression can't control you if you don't let it! Remember two things - It will get better and you ARE worth it!