One of the most prevalent and serious mental illnesses is depression.
It’s important to know that depression isn’t the same as being sad. We all feel sad and frustrated once in a while — it’s part of being human.
But what is depression, really?
Depression is a more constant condition that comes from a biological basis. It is feelings of sadness or heaviness that prevail over a longer period of time. Depression is a serious illness that causes a significant impact on your health and quality of life.
Here are some signs of depression:
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Loss of interest in daily activities.
Appetite or weight changes.
Anger or irritability.
Loss of energy.
Unexplained aches and pains.
So, what can you do to cope with depression? It’s different for each person, but here are a few steps that may help you:
1. Learn to accept yourself and meet yourself where you’re at.
The key to navigating and coping with depression is to be kind to yourself — one way is by accepting yourself and where you are. For example, treating yourself kindly like how you would treat a loved one.
2. Find small ways to be of service to others.
A great way to manage depression is to put the focus off of yourself and aim it toward helping others. You may find personal meaning by serving something larger than yourself.
3. Get moving.
Exercise is always a good idea to help boost your mood. Aside from it having good mental benefits, you may also experience its physical benefits.
4. Create goals that give you a sense of accomplishment.
Sometimes, setting goals that are too out there, or unpractical can only make things worse. Make sure to set SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Time-bound, and Relevant.
5. Stay in the present.
There will be a lot of times that your mind will wander and think of the worst-case scenario. Try to be mindful and stay in the present.
That being said, not only is it important to detect the signs of depression but it is also essential to track your healing journey.
Here are some signs that indicate that you are recovering from depression:
1. Better mood and appetite
Do you notice that you don’t feel sad, down, or as heavy as often? Do you find yourself thinking more clearly? Do you also find your appetite has returned? These are small and positive signs of recovery.
2. Fewer bouts of anger
Depression can trigger sudden mood swings, which include bursts of anger. A person suffering from depression experiences bouts of anger and sudden mood swings which makes it difficult for them to rationalize or think clearly. You’ll notice that these great feelings of emotion lessen when you are recovering.
3. Increased daily activities
When a person is going through depression, one tends to sleep more, remain inactive, feel lethargic, and exhibit all signs of laziness. When you are on the road to recovery, you will start to gain more energy to engage in daily activities — big or small.
4. Enhanced social interactions
Going through depression also impacts your social life. When a person is recovering, they voluntarily step out of isolation and would start to feel at ease when around family, friends, or in public.
5. Resuming work
When you are going through depression, your professional life can also take a hit. But if you find yourself going back to work, interacting with colleagues, and taking on responsibilities, then this is a good sign that you are healing.
Remember: Finding the right treatment for you may take some time, so be open with your doctor or healthcare professional about what is and isn’t working. They’ll work with you to find the best option.
If you are struggling with anxiety or your mental health in general, please feel free to reach out to our licensed mental health coaches.
Once you find what treatment works best for you, life should be a lot more enjoyable and a lot less daunting.
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