Depression is a often a symptom of a very serious problem. Depression can stem from a chemical imbalance in the body, deep-seated guilt, anger and frustration, bitterness, regret, or mourning. Nearly any negative emotion or major life change can result in a lingering depression. While pharmacological management is often used and is suitable for many cases of depression, most health-care professionals now recommend adding other interventions as well to help manage depression. Here are a few you can try at home.
It’s important to note that if you are experiencing lasting or deep depression that includes thoughts of harming yourself or others, you should seek medical help immediately. Also, if you are already being treated for depression, you should consult your doctor or therapist before trying any of these interventions.
1. Develop a support system. Depression thrives when we are isolated from others. There is great power in living openly in community with others, and developing a support system to help you through the dark days is essential in beating depression. Seek out others who have overcome depression, those who love you, and those who are willing to walk alongside you during your struggle. You can check for community sponsored support groups, church mentoring programs, and your local counseling center to locate support persons if you don’t already have people in your life to help you through your depression. Just remember, help is available- you are not alone.
2. Enlist help. Enlist the help of three to four people who agree to be your emergency army in times of need. These are the people you can call on day or night when you’re in a crisis and need to talk. These are often people who understand that when you say, “I think I need help”, there’s a world full of meaning behind those words. They stand ready to support you and love you during the darkest days.
3. Know your limits. We all have days when we feel overwhelmed, but know your limits well enough to know when to call out for help. Know when you need to get out and be with other people, and when you need to refrain from intimate conversations and major life decisions. With the help of others and your doctor or therapist, you can overcome depression.
4. Deal with your emotions. Many times, depression’s root cause is deeply seated emotions. These emotions can carry over from a troubled childhood, a bitter divorce, the loss of a loved one, or any unresolved life experience. You don’t have to rehash every negative emotion you’ve ever had, nor do you need provide intimate details of painful experiences to heal in every case. However, you do need to give validation and light to these emotions that continue to affect your mental well-being. A trained counselor or therapist can help you work through your emotions if you need help.
5. Help others. Helping others is a great way to help lift the fog of depression. When you focus on others, you learn to put your own problems aside, and perhaps gain a new perspective on the scope of your troubles. Helping others is very rewarding for most people and serves as an instant spirit lifter when depression lurks nearby.
6. Monitor your thinking. Carefully control the thoughts that you allow to run rampant through your mind. Stop any negative thoughts as soon as you notice them and replace them with a positive statement. Find something positive about each and every day, even if it’s just the sunrise and the birds singing outside your window. Each day has something wonderful to offer, but we must look for it and learn to treasure it.
You can beat depression. You can take back control of your life with the help of a strong support system, a positive attitude, professional counseling, and lots of love. If you decide to try medication for a time, just remember that there is no shame in seeking help for your condition. Medication has effectively helped countless individuals conquer depression and it could be the answer that finally lifts the fog enough to see the light. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by depression, seek help today. Waiting only makes it harder. There are people who are willing and able to help you through this dark time.