Every one of us feels low sometimes, usually because of a disturbing or difficult circumstance in our lives. But endless sadness or suffering can be caused by depression, a serious condition that authorizations treatment.
Talking to your primary care doctor can be a good place to start. Your doctor can screen you for depression and help treat your symptoms.
Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide — 20% of all women, 10% of all men, and 5% or more of all adolescents. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and is the second most common psychiatric problem in the U.S. (after anxiety disorders), afflicting about 17.6 million people each year at a cost in the range of about $50 billion a year.
There are different symptoms of depression in different people here are some symptoms which will tell that you have depression
• Depressed or irritable mood
• Sleep problems (i.e., sleeping too much or too little; sleeping mainly during the day)
• Change in interests (i.e., not being interested in what you used to enjoy) or low motivation
• Excessive guilt or unrealistically low self-image
• Significantly low energy and/or change in self-care (i.e., not showering anymore)
• Significantly worse concentration (i.e., a sharp decline in grades or performance)
• Changes in appetite (i.e., eating too much or too little)
• Agitation or severe anxiety/panic attacks
• Suicidal thoughts, plans or behaviors — including self-harm (i.e., intentionally cutting or burning yourself)
It’s important to remember that not everyone who is depressed is suicidal. You can still seek help even if you haven’t demonstrated any specific suicidal or self-harm behaviors, or even if your symptoms aren’t as severe or persistent as the symptoms noted above.
These are the way you can cope with depression
1. Get in a routine. If you’re depressed, you need a routine, says Ian Cook, MD. He’s a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.
Depression can calmed away the structure from your life. One day melts into the next. Setting a gentle daily schedule can help you get back on track.
2. Set goals. When you’re depressed, you may feel like you can’t accomplish anything. That makes you feel worse about yourself. To push back, set daily goals for yourself.
“Start very small,” Cook says. “Make your goal something that you can succeed at, like doing the dishes every other day.”
3. Exercise. It temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It may also have long-term benefits for people with depression. Regular exercise seems to encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways, Cook says.
How much exercise do you need? You don’t need to run marathons to get a benefit. Just walking a few times a week can help.
4. Eat healthily. There is no magic diet that fixes depression. It’s a good idea to watch what you eat, though. If depression tends to make you overeat, getting in control of your eating will help you feel better.
5. Get enough sleep. Depression can make it hard to get enough shut-eye, and too little sleep can make depression worse. Start by making some changes to your lifestyle. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to nap. Take all the distractions out of your bedroom — no computer and no TV. In time, you may find your sleep improves.
6. Take on responsibilities. When you’re depressed, you may want to pull back from life and give up your responsibilities at home and at work. Don’t. Staying involved and having daily responsibilities can help you maintain a lifestyle that can help counter depression. They ground you and give you a sense of accomplishment.
7. Challenge negative thoughts. In your fight against depression, a lot of the work is mental — changing how you think. When you’re depressed, you leap to the worst possible conclusions.
The next time you’re feeling terrible about yourself, use logic as a natural depression treatment. You might feel like no one likes you, but is there real evidence for that? You might feel like the most worthless person on the planet, but is that really likely? It takes practice, but in time you can beat back those negative thoughts before they get out of control.
8. Check with your doctor before using supplements. “There’s promising evidence for certain supplements for depression,” Cook says. These include fish oil, folic acid, and SAMe. But more research needs to be done before we’ll know for sure. Always check with your doctor before starting any supplement, especially if you’re already taking medications.
9. Do something new. When you’re depressed, you’re in a rut. Push yourself to do something different. Go to a museum. Pick up a used book and read it on a park bench. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Take a language class.
10. Try to have fun. If you’re depressed, make time for things you enjoy. What if nothing seems fun anymore? “That’s just a symptom of depression,” Cook says. You have to keep trying anyway.
As strange as it might sound, you have to work at having fun. Plan things you used to enjoy, even if they feel like a chore. Keep going to the movies. Keep going out with friends for dinner.