There is a saying among the practitioners of clinical mental health, “there is no health without mental health.” Keeping the mind fresh and free from any negativity is a basic directive for any human with a functional mind.
However, sometimes, due to some reasons, a mental state may ensue where a person may feel a loss of interest in their surroundings and may be unable to function properly as they once did. This condition is stated as major depressive disorder, or depression, in general terms.
The extent of depression is far-reaching nowadays and can be seen almost everywhere. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Therefore, this is a serious problem and needs to be handled with extreme care.
Various factors are responsible for the generation of depression and there are different ways to cope with them. So, here is a comprehensive guide on the phenomenon of depression and how to tackle the situation for favorable outcomes.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a general and severe mental illness that causes the person affected to have negative thoughts about his or her life, and everything related to it. One of the main indications is the loss of interest in activities that were enjoyed before.
These conditions and effects, if left untreated, may give rise to extreme conditions, such as suicidal thoughts and general disregard for basic hygiene or social skills. The most common symptoms that are observed in the case of persons suffering from depression can be stated as:
- Feeling sad: This feeling can last longer and shorter in different persons and the intensity may range from mild to extreme.
- Loss of interest or pleasure: The affected person(s) will experience diminished or total loss of any attachment with activities he or she once enjoyed.
- Unrelated changes in appetite: The person may face sudden changes in appetite, either he or she may feel no hunger or may start to eat too much. And this condition does not depend on any diet that he or she was following at that time.
- Unregulated sleep cycle: This is one of the most common signs of depressive episodes. The person affected will have trouble sleeping, or will sleep too much and be unwilling to get up. Also, this could also be a sign of other physical illness, therefore, the time of affliction should be considered before making any decision.
- Loss of energy: The afflicted person will be short on energy and will be always tired; he or she may also show signs of fatigue on every occasion.
- Rise in useless physical activities: This is also a common sign of depression in affected persons. Incessant hand-wringing or pacing around, sometimes coupled with reduced movement and slowed speech are the general markers. The changes are also apparent to the persons connected with the affected patient.
- Dependence on narcotics: Sometimes, the persons affected with the disease can resort to the use of narcotics; be it drugs, alcohol, or other substances. This is also a serious issue, as the dependence may turn into an addiction, which itself is a serious medical condition, and cause other health detriments.
- Feeling of worthlessness: The affected person may think himself as unworthy of any good things and place guilt on himself or herself on any negative situation.
- Difficulty in making decisions: The depressive mental state may render the affected person unable to take quick decisions and have delayed episodes of reaching to a conclusion.
- Thoughts of death or suicide: This is a serious stage for a person affected with depression. In case of severe helplessness, the person may contemplate on taking on his or her own life or may try to commit suicide. 80% of people give out some kind of indication. This condition is needed to be treated with extreme care.
The Ways to Combat Depression
The coping methods of depression are not very tough, just the person will need to take the first step. It is better to start small, and as time progresses, go on addressing the issues one by one.
1. Being Active
Your family and friends are a great support system for both mental and physical matters. Make sure that you have repeating contact with their person, preferably face-to-face. Be active in the social circle in these ways:
- Try to keep track of your social media status.
- Browse the internet for your subject of interests.
- Build a general support system for yourself.
- Studies have shown that socially active people have more chances of developing hobbies or relationships.
2. Stop Blaming Yourself
Remember the often-quoted saying, “What’s done is done.” Do not try to ruminate over the mistakes and blame yourself for it. Try to accept the things as they are and focus on what can be done by you in that case and give it your best.
You may want to consider volunteering for social causes. It is a great way to help others and feel good about oneself.
3. Quit Smoking and Drinking
Tobacco, drugs, and alcohol are not only bad for your health but they are known to trigger depression, instead of being any help. Always remember that any problem you cause or face during any of the addiction episodes also affects your family members and friends.
It is understandable if you cannot leave these bad habits in one go. Take the case of alcohol. You can try a fruit juice or any non-alcoholic beverage instead of alcohol.
Even for cigarettes, there are worthy alternatives to smoking that you can consider to satisfy your craving.
Overcoming addiction to harmful substances will be helpful in bettering your mental state and improving your physical health.
4. Get Professional Help
Depression is a mental disease that is curable by taking professional assistance. There is a stigma about seeking therapy for mental problems, but ultimately, it is also a disease.
Therefore, if you think you need help for your depression-related problems, reach out to the best psychotherapist and follow the treatment plan rigorously.
Depression, as the name suggests, takes the affected person downhill, physically and mentally. However, with proper counseling, diet, and refraining from any addictive substance, this condition is totally treatable.
These above-mentioned tips will help you overcome depressing thoughts, and gain a positive outlook towards life and everyone around you.