Understanding and Coping with Depression
Stress and Depression
Depression comes to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, or social class. It makes you feel sad, hopeless, helpless, and irritable, and you don’t even know why. Normal people sometimes feel this way but when you cannot snap out of it after a long time, it is no longer normal. You might have fallen into depression.
Depression affects your body, mind, disposition, thought, sleep, energy, and concentration. It is not a mood, it is not a sign of weakness, and you can’t just simply will it away.
Studies show that stress is a leading factor that causes depression. Stress is all over a person’s life. There is stress at work, at home, and even at social events. Stress comes in the form of worrying about money, about relationships, about getting good grades at school, the stress of losing someone through separation or death, losing a job, losing a home, and there is the stress caused by fear of the unknown.
You cannot avoid most of these stress-causing events. What you can do is to come up with a coping mechanism in order to overcome a stressful situation, and not fall into depression.
Symptoms of Depression
The following symptoms, which vary from person to person, may indicate that you are falling into depression:
- prolonged sadness
- inexplicable crying spells
- significant changes in sleep patterns and appetite
- anger, irritability, anxiety, worry, agitation
- pessimism, indifference
- loss of energy
- persistent lethargy
- feelings of guilt and sense of worthlessness
- indecisiveness and lack of concentration
- loss of pleasure in activities previously enjoyed
- social withdrawal
- inexplicable pains and aches
- extreme fatigue even when not doing much
- recurring and frequent thoughts of suicide or death
If you are experiencing at least 5 of the symptoms above, and if those symptoms begin to interfere with your life or your family’s life, then it could be time to consult a doctor.
Do not self-diagnose or rely on your friends or family members for diagnosis. Only a professional can determine if you are having an episode of depression.
Do not feel embarrassed, shy, or ashamed of your problem. If you are depressed, you are not the only one. Every day, there are millions of people who suffer from depression.
It is beneficial to consult a professional like a psychiatrist and obtain proper diagnosis and treatment before depression affects your home life, your job, or school if you are a student.
Treatments and Therapies
Most treatments involve medical and natural remedies to achieve a balance of your physical and emotional state. Medications may involve some form of anti-depressants which include names such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.
Therapy is often prescribed with medical treatments. Therapy sessions can be group or individual sessions where you can talk about issues that could be causing your depression.
A lifestyle change to promote a better self image and to adjust chemicals in the body is also a helpful supplement to the treatment. Eating a well balanced diet, and exercising several times a week is valuable. Some persons with depression can also benefit from alternative treatments such as acupuncture and hypnosis.
The important thing is to discuss all treatment options with your doctor or psychiatrist to decide on the proper combination. Each person has a different level of depression and a treatment should be customized to the individual. If you are taking some supplements or radically changing your diet, be sure to inform your doctor so they can be taken into consideration when developing a treatment plan for your depression.
Depression does not need to affect your life negatively. With proper treatment, you can live a full, happy life but it is important that you take action to minimize depressive tendencies.
There is something that religion, science and psychology seem to agree on, and that is the fact that the mind is indeed the most powerful force in the world. The Yoga gurus have stated that whoever can control the mind is indeed a powerful human being.
Since depression is all about feelings and thoughts of negativity, you have to make every effort to think positively to combat the negative challenges that is trying to invade his thoughts.
Wise men say that thoughts create things. Yes, thoughts have the ability to manifest whatever it is that your thoughts are focused on. When you are depressed your thoughts are filled with negative thoughts, thoughts of being hopeless, worthless, and even thoughts of death, but how can you snap out of it and think positive? If you can think positive, then you would not be depressed in the first place. You need help, from your family, from your friends, but most especially from professional therapists.
When you allow yourself to constantly fill your thoughts with hopelessness, doubt, or pessimism, those negative thoughts are going to diffuse into your speech and actions, and eventually cause depression to engulf you.
For something to end before it can begin, nip it in the bud, don’t let it rear its ugly head and become a full-blown depression.
When a depressed woman told her psychiatrist that her husband thinks her illness is all in her mind, the doctor replied, “Of course, it’s in your mind! You are depressed!”