When you are depressed, you are likely to feel like there is nothing that is ever going to make you feel better again. The lack of energy, the loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities, and the low self-esteem make it difficult for people with depression to want to do anything, including getting professional help. For people who have depression, it is important to remember that it is an illness just like any other medical condition. If you properly treat depression, it can be conquered and you can go on to live a normal life. There are a few things that people who experience depression can start doing immediately to start to treat depression:
Ruminating on all of the negative thoughts you have been carrying around is going to make you feel worse rather than better. Do not get stuck dwelling on your negative thoughts. Things are not going to change unless you take actions to make them change. Take a realistic look at your situation and make the decision to take action. Distraction is a powerful tool that is incorporated in a number of therapies, including DBT.
Depression often takes away the emotions you have for things and leaves you devoid of all feeling except sadness and despair. Anger is one of the strongest emotions there is. Dig deep and find something that you can be angry at. Sometimes depression is anger or rage that your mind is not comfortable dealing with, so it turns itself inward and turns toward depression. Finding the true source of your potential anger at someone or something may be the trigger that helps you being to take back control of your life.
Taking big steps to try to help yourself is not going to be an easy process. You are going to have some setbacks from time to time. You are going to stumble on the road, but there is no reason to be too hard on yourself. It is okay to set goals and be aggressive about keeping them, but you need to be kind to yourself. Do not engage in negative self-talk. Let your words be gentle, and your thoughts be positive and useful. Set small, achievable goals at first so that you can get in the habit of congratulating yourself when you achieve them. Beat yourself up about having and fight depression is only going to make the fight harder.
There is no need for you to think beyond the present. Focus on one day at a time. Get out of bed. Eat something healthy. Make a plan for what you are going to do for the day and then do it. If your plan gets askew, change the plan and move on. Dwelling on past mistakes may get you stuck in the trap of negativity. Detach yourself from the past and let it go. You can think a bit about the future, but it might be overwhelming for you to do so. Thinking too far ahead can make it seem as though you will never be able to achieve health and happiness. Do not focus your goals too far in advance. Take small steps that will eventually add up to a big step that will eventually get you where you want to go.
Depression devastates your energy levels. You likely feel run down and tired all over. But exercise can actually do some good for your energy. Start small with a walk around the block once a day. After a week or so maybe walk a little further. While you are walking, focus on your breath and the world around you rather than on your own negative patterns. Yoga is also a great way to get moving and to clear your brain. Yoga was designed to keep your mind from wandering. It gives you so much to focus on that your mind does not have time to focus on anything but your breath and the pose.
While you are likely going to be sensitive to the thoughts, feelings, and comments of others for a while, it is still a good idea to keep yourself active within your group of loved ones. Ask a friend to go for your short walk with you or go get a beverage. You need some people around who are not going to let you shut yourself away.
If you find that you are still struggling with feelings of depression after trying these things, it may be time to seek professional help. At the office of Raul J. Rodriguez, MD & Associates, we specialize in treating clinical and major depressive disorders. It all starts with a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation by Dr. Rodriguez or one of our team members. Contact us today to learn more.