How do I control depression?

Some background, some drama

Suffering from depression means more than just dealing with a bad week or even a bad month. Depression is a weakening condition that can make it impossible for you to enjoy your daily existence. If you are plagued with feelings of overwhelming sadness, loneliness, worthlessness, and cannot imagine that things will get any better, then you may be suffering from depression. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better.

Do’s and Don’ts

With the right treatments, you may be able to minimize the symptoms of depression and reduce the impact of depression on the quality of your life. The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to guide and help you to control depression.

Do’s

  • Consult with a doctor. Only after a thorough evaluation with a psychiatrist or psychologist can you be diagnosed with depression.
  • Get help immediately if there are thoughts of suicide. You should not try to get rid of these thoughts without the help of a professional.
  • Talk to a therapist who can also help educate you about your depression, which is an important component to reduce depression.
  • Make time for positive people. Social support is crucial to getting out of a depression and can help you cope with stressful life events.
  • Give and receive physical contact. Physical touch releases brain chemicals which increase happiness and decrease depression.
  • Think positively and realistically. Ruminating over bitter and negative thoughts is a trademark of depression.
  • Compliment yourself as positive self-talk helps reduce depression and increase a sense of well-being.
  • Learn to take the good with the bad and not vice versa.
  • Focus on your health. Exercise on a regular basis. Eat healthy. Sleep better.
  • Get outside as vitamin D from sunlight helps reduce depression.
  • Practice meditation.
  • Volunteer your time. Helping others can be a strong predictor of well-being and a positive identity.
  • Fill your schedule with activities and hobbies that you love.

Dont’s

  • Don’t spend time with people who are not supportive of your depression and cause you anxiety. Spending time with them will delay your recovery.
  • Don’t focus on negative or irrational thinking. Replace it with a positive, more realistic affirmation.
  • Don’t expect an immediate recovery. It will take time to start feeling better, but it is achievable.
  • Don’t aim for perfectionism. Be realistic.
  • Don’t have drugs and alcohol. These can worsen depression.
  • Don’t spend too much time alone. Have daily conversations with friends and family.
  • Don’t be afraid to express sadness, fear, anger, anxiety and the other emotions that accompany depression. Compounding your emotions with shame will only make you feel worse and make recovery harder.
  • Don’t blame yourself for being depressed.

Last words

Depression is a debilitating condition that can prevent you from enjoying your life. Although it may be difficult to imagine achieving previous feelings of happiness, you can take control of your depression and be on the road to recovery by increasing social support, changing your thinking, increasing your physical health, and coping healthfully.

Sources and citations