Practical Ways – How to Deal with Depression? – Symptoms and Treatments
Depression: A type of Mood Disorder
‘Depression is the most commonly used term and has become slang nowadays. People usually use it when they feel sad. But depression is not that you are feeling sad at a point in time. Feeling sad is a natural emotion, but when the sadness impairs a person’s daily functioning, that is the symptoms of depression when he/she needs help and know-how to deal with depression.
Depression is a category of mood disorders that are clinically diagnosed. The person experiences extraordinary sadness and dejection for a long period. The longer duration of sadness is symptoms depressed. This condition impairs the normal functioning of an individual.
Signs of Depression
For diagnosing a person with depression, (DSM-5) Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders 5th Edition and (ICD-11) International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision, provide all the information. The physical symptoms depressed experienced by an individual are:-
- Persistent depressed more nearly every day.
- Interest or pleasure in almost all the activities is diminished.
- Weight loss due to not eating or weight gain because of eating too much.
- Insomnia refers to sleeplessness, and hypersomnia means excessive sleepiness.
- Psychomotor retardation means the reduction or elimination of physical movements; and psychomotor agitation
- Refers to those movements which serve no purpose (pacing around the room, rapid talking, tapping toes, etc.)
- Loss of energy or fatigue every time and every day.
- Feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness nearly every day.
- Concentration and thinking ability decreases.
- Continuous thoughts of suicide.
A person is diagnosed with depression when 5 or more of the above symptoms of depression are present for at least 2 weeks continuously.
Studies have shown that as compared to men, the rates of getting depression are higher in women. Another category of depression that generally occurs in women is postpartum depression (PPD).
Postpartum Depression Symptoms
Postpartum Depression affects some women after childbirth. Most of the women feel sad or hopeless after giving birth for 1 or 2 weeks. But when this condition stays for more than 4-6 weeks after childbirth, the signs of depression in women are assessed. And they are clinically diagnosed with postpartum depression.
Symptoms of depression in women which lead to the diagnosis are:-
- Feeling overwhelmed or trapped.
- Low or sad mood which at least lasts for a week.
- Exhaustion or persistent fatigue.
- Hypersomnia or insomnia.
- Loss of appetite.
- Lack of interest in the self and everyone.
- Excessive Crying.
- Intense irritability, frustration, and anger.
- Feeling of restlessness
- Severe anxiety or panic attacks.
- Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming the baby
These symptoms depressed can range from mild to severe. The mild form of postpartum is known as ‘baby blues’ which includes mood swings, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and crying spells, and if worsens you should know how to deal with depression.
How to Deal with Depression
A person, feeling depressed can’t just snap out of it. Dealing with depression is difficult. It drains out the energy and hope of the person experiencing depression. The draining of energy and hope makes it difficult for the person to take steps for help and know How to deal with depression.
People say things to the depressed person like ‘Try to be happy’, ‘Think Positive’, ‘Think Happy Thoughts’, etc., which the person already knows. But it is easier said than done. There are some ways How to deal with depression.
1. Reach out for Support
People who want to know how to deal with depression should reach out for help. Support helps a lot in overcoming depression. Depressed people have lost hope and find it difficult to maintain a healthy perspective on their own.
They also have difficulty in asking for help or reaching out for support because of their depressive nature. But the best thing they can do is talk with others.
Keeping themselves connected to others and participating in social activities or gatherings could offer a change in the mood. The loved ones and the people who care about you will provide a helping hand.
Things you can do to reach out:-
- Look for the people with whom you can comfortably talk.
- People who make you feel good about yourself will be of great help.
- Make a routine of doing face-time with others at least once a day.
- If you can adopt or buy a pet.
- You can be part of a support organization where people affected by depression come for help.
2. Perform things that make you feel happy
To overcome depression, you can think of things that make you happy. Make a list of them and start doing them regularly.
Remember those things you used to enjoy. And first, make a list, take baby steps, and don’t hurry. Then try to start with that activity. Try to start it, and it is okay if you don’t complete it on that day.
When you do these things, it will make you feel that you have started something good. You will have a feeling of achievement and hope that you can do something good.
It will distract you from that moment and helps in reducing stress. As you feel the accomplishment of doing something, your self-esteem also increases.
Things which can make you feel happy:-
- Wake up early and enjoy the sunrise.
- Write about the things which you like about yourself.
- Pick a hobby or a sport which you like or used to like.
- Opt for relaxation practices like yoga, deep breathing, meditation, etc.
- Read books that increase self-esteem.
- Listen to the music you like or used to like.
- Take a long, hot bath with pleasant scents.
- Watch a funny movie with your family.
3. Physical Activity
When you are feeling depressed and getting out of bed is a challenging task. But the workout is a depression fighter, one of the most essential tools to recover from depression.
Research has shown that performing physical activity regularly is as productive as medication. It also helps in preventing relapse after the treatment.
Exercise helps in improving your current mood and providing energy to your body. If you exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes, your stamina will improve.
You can ask your loved ones to help in this area. They can exercise with you making it a routine and accompanying you. Socializing and exercising is an effective measure to medicate yourself.
Things you can perform in the physical activity:-
- You can go for a walk with your dog. And can also talk to the people you meet on the way.
- You can go swimming with your friend daily.
- You can join a dance institution or hire a dance tutor and make a routine.
- Join a club for volleyball, tennis, or any other activity you like.
- Focus on your body, all the sensations you feel during these activities.
4. Eating a Healthy Diet
People with depression either completely lose their diet or start eating too much. Diet affects your body in every way. What you eat is what you feel; eating healthy will make you feel healthy from the inside.
Reduce the consumption of foods or drinks which harm your brain and mood. These foods include alcohol, caffeine, trans fats, processed foods, etc. People crave for eating pasta, French fries, cheese fries, etc., but they lower your energy and crash your happy mood.
Consuming nutrients essential for your body will make you feel that you have achieved a goal. The healthier you eat, the happier you will feel. Vitamin B consumption can add to the treatment to fight depression.
Things you can eat in a healthy diet:-
- The First thing is that you shouldn’t skip meals. Eat less but healthy.
- People who start eating too much can make a schedule.
- Eat healthy snacks every 3 to 4 hours.
- Eat green leafy vegetables, chicken, eggs, beans, and fruits.
- Eat foods that contain omega -3 fatty acids such as salmon fish, tuna fish, anchovies, etc.
5. Challenge your Negative Perspective
People with depression feel powerless and weak as they experience continuous negative thoughts and they do not know exactly how to deal with depression. Because of which you may have symptoms depressed and hopelessness.
The thoughts that reinforce negative emotions or thinking are known as cognitive distortions. It is a symptom depressed and makes you feel overwhelmed by these thoughts.
In this, you experience unrealistic negative thoughts with different approaches. Like when you think black and white, as if you have done just one thing wrong, you are a total failure.
Some people overgeneralise negative thoughts. If they have experienced one bad meeting (date), they will think that they will never find a partner. If these things happen you can start challenging your views.
Things you can do to challenge your negative thoughts:-
- Write your negative thoughts down on a sheet. Think them through and ask yourself are these true?
- Find evidence of your thoughts, and that will let you know whether it is right or wrong.
- Question yourself why do you think that? Why do you think it is right?
- You can also discuss these thoughts with your loved ones.
When You Should Reach Out For Professional Help?
If you have tried and failed, and the depressed mood is not changing. If you have made positive changes in your lifestyle and still finding it difficult to let go of depressive thoughts, then you should seek professional help.
Seeking professional help does not make you look weak, but it makes you look strong. Because you are taking an initiative to improve your mental health. Depression is a condition that can be treated and make you feel better again.
Mental health professionals assess your symptoms and plan a clinical treatment for them. Talking to a therapist is an essential part of fighting depression and with their assistance, you can get your answer to how to deal with depression?
Several therapies will help you adjust to your life. Treatment plans will help in lowering your stress and depressive thoughts and making you feel better.
If you are experiencing the above signs of depression, you can opt for ways that will help to cope with it. Taking the first step to cope is the hardest, but you can take small or baby steps. Don’t pressurize yourself and do one thing at a time.
Don’t resist seeking professional help, as treating depression by themselves is a very difficult task for everyone. You can continue the above self-help tips along with professional treatment with the best psychiatrist.