Dealing With Depression
Depression can make a person feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings make some people feel like giving up. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and typically do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. Negative thinking fades as treatment for depression begins to take effect.
In the meantime, there are a few things that can be done as part of dealing with depression. These include:
- Learning as much as possible about depression. Research has shown that people who are better educated about their disease are more likely to have a successful outcome.
- Following your treatment plan exactly as your healthcare provider recommends, even when you start to feel better.
- Setting realistic goals in light of the depression and assuming a reasonable amount of responsibility.
- Breaking large tasks into small ones, setting some priorities, and doing what you can as you are able.
- Trying to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive.
- Participating in activities that may make you feel better.
Exercising, even in moderate doses, seems to enhance energy and reduce tension. Some depression research suggests that a rush of the hormone norepinephrine following exercise helps the brain deal with stress that often leads to depression and anxiety. A similar effect may be obtained through meditation, yoga, and certain diets.
- Expecting your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time.
- Postponing important decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition, such as changing jobs or getting married or divorced, discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Keeping in mind that people rarely "snap out of" depression, but they can feel a little better day by day.
- Remembering that positive thinking will replace the negative thinking that is part of depression. Negative thinking will disappear as your depression responds to treatment.
- Letting your family and friends help you.