Depression Hurts. Tips to Improve It
Updated: Mar 30
Depression is the primary cause of disability all over the world and can affect anybody, from small kids, adolescents, to adults. It also affects all genders, with more females being more affected than their male counterparts.
What is Depression?
Depression is generally a mood disorder involving a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest in the things you once enjoyed doing. Depression is quite distinct from the typical mood fluctuations individuals experience as phases of life. Major life-changing events such as loss of jobs, sickness, or bereavements can gradually lead to depression. However, a doctor will only consider grief as a part of depression if it persists for a while, and affects daily life activities.
Depression usually is a long time problem, not passing one with symptoms lasting for at least two weeks and can last from several weeks to years. There are several factors and causes that can trigger symptoms of depression. Such factors include:
Social and psychological factors
Other conditions such as Bipolar Disorder
Substance and Alcohol Abuse
How do you know if you are depressed?
Signs of depression are quite many and vary from one person to the other. The most common ones include:
Lack of or reduced interest/pleasure in activities one used to enjoy
Gaining or losing weight unintentionally caused by eating too much or loss of appetite
Lack of sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
Constant fatigue or loss of energy
A feeling of unworthiness or guilt
Difficulty in making decisions, concentrating on your work, or thinking clearly
Constant and recurrent thoughts surrounding death or suicide or attempting to commit suicide
A feeling of restlessness, agitation, and not being able to stay at one place thus pacing up and down
Getting angry easily for things that in the past might not have been a problem
Withdrawal and preferring to be on your own, or avoiding having company
Having a depressed mood
The good thing with depression is that it can be treated. If you or someone you know is experiencing the above symptoms, it is encouraged to seek a professional from the mental health industry to properly diagnose and provide treatment.
Managing depression symptoms involves three components:
This involves having practical solutions discussions and finding possible causes as well as educating family members.
This is also referred to as the talking therapy and involves one-on-one counseling sessions.
If necessary, psychiatrists can prescribe medication such as antidepressants to the patient. These drugs are used to treat moderate to severe depression patients.
Tips to Improve Depression
There are several strategies to help you cope with depression. Here are some I recommend:
Staying in touch
This is the time you need friends and family the most as it means you have people to talk to wherever you feel down. Therefore, you should never withdraw from life and live in isolation as socializing can greatly improve your mood.
Be more active
When depressed, getting out of bed may feel like a difficult task, let alone exercising! Take time every day to engage in some exercise as it can help to lift your mood. Research has shown that regular exercise is effective in relieving depression symptoms. Changes can happen with light stretching and walking for 15-20 minutes 3-5 times a week.
Do things that make you feel good
Doing things that help you relax and feel energized play a vital role in overcoming depression. This involves adhering to a healthy lifestyle, knowing how to manage stress better, including fun activities into your daily schedule, as well as setting limits on what you are capable of doing.
Whatever you eat has a direct impact on your feelings. Reducing foods and drinks that can negatively affect your mood, such as alcohol, caffeine, and fatty foods. Eating healthier meals is the right move towards fighting depression. Afterall, we are what we eat, they say!
Confront your fears
Never avoid things you find complicated; it is better to face them head-on. When you are anxious or down, you may find it difficult to talk to people and you may end up losing confidence to go out or doing anything for that matter. Whenever this happens, facing the situations head-on helps you become stronger.
Many cases of depression are emerging during this time of Covid-19 due to the loss of jobs, death of loved ones, social distancing, and fear of uncertainty. If you are experiencing difficulties, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (954) 903-1676.
Your Therapy Friend,
Sofia Robirosa is the owner of Infinite Therapeutic Services and is a Perinatal & Relationships Expert. She offers individual, couples, and family counseling to individuals seeking to enhance their relationship with their children and significant other. Her private practice is located in Plantation, FL. She attended Nova Southeastern University for both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Business Administration. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Perinatal Mental Health Certified Professional, and a Leader in Active Parenting for children and teens. She loves her family, which consists of her husband, daughter and son, and two dogs. Some of her interests outside of work include spending time outdoors, traveling, and dining. Read more about her at: www.infinitetherapeuticservices.com
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