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Even if you try to stay happy always, at times it is hard to keep depression at bay. Being depressed can not only make you feel hopeless, less energetic and helpless, but can also adversely affect your mental and physical health. Depression may also disrupt your daily work. So, it is absolutely essential for you to overcome depression before it becomes severe and persistent.
The following ways may help you to deal with your depression in an effective manner:
As depression affects your mood, the common tendency will be to alienate or isolate yourself. But, you must realize that locking yourself up in a room and refusing to communicate with others, can never help you to overcome your depressed situation. You will feel like spending time alone, but avoid doing that and instead connect with others. Make new friends or meet up old pals. You can also spend time with your family members or try and stay connected with others through social media.
While you are depressed, you will not feel like working at all, even the things you love doing will appear to be monotonous. You will be feeling lethargic. But stay away from laziness and set new goals for yourself. Start by setting small goals for yourself that you can easily achieve. This will boost up your confidence and prevent you from feeling worthless.
The common tendency during depression is to skip meals and not getting enough sleep. Try to avoid this. Eat healthy food and try to get some sleep. Before going to bed, you may consider reading or listening to instrumental music to help you to fall asleep.
- Get yourself a new pet. You can engage yourself by playing with your pet or learning new ways to deal with them during your free time. This can also help you to distract yourself from the disturbing thoughts.
- You may also consider learning something new. You may learn a new instrument or a new language. This way you can keep yourself busy.
- Try to take new responsibilities or volunteer for some good cause. This will make you confident and also help you to feel good about yourself.
- Practice yoga or meditation. This will help you to calm down from within and stay more focused. Also, avoid negative thoughts even if they keep coming back to you.
- Avoid darkness for few days. Switch on the night lamp while going to bed at least for a few days. You may not feel good with the light always on and prefer darkness. But, avoid that as much as possible as this will help you to keep away your negative thoughts.
- Most importantly, never give up and try all possible means to make yourself happy again. It will be time consuming but avoid getting frustrated. Inspire yourself and try till you get over your depression completely.
If nothing works for you and in spite of trying everything you are still unable to get over your depression, feel free to seek help. You must visit a psychiatrist and ask for professional help.
Brain is just like other muscles in the body; stimulation of the brain cells on a continuous basis will lead to a well-functioning brain. In fact, exercising your brain through various brain exercises helps in forming new neural pathways inside it. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and adapt when it is stimulated.
The various methods you can adopt to improve your mental health are:
- Learn a musical instrument: Start taking music classes to learn an instrument such as guitar or piano as it helps in improving mental health. It also helps in delaying age related problems such as Alzheimer's disease.
- Do math exercises in your head: Try figuring out various mathematical sums inside your head, as this will keep your brain sharp. It has also been known to improve intelligence quotient.
- Try to Recall Past Events: When you try to recall past events, the section of the brain dealing with memory is stimulated and thus, leads to stronger neural connections.
- Learning a New Language: Learning a new language is good for the brain as well because it helps in delaying the process of decline of cognitive functions. Chances of being affected by mental health disorders decrease significantly.
- Aerobic Exercises: You should follow a regular exercise regimen consisting of aerobic exercises and cardiovascular exercises as they help in improving your blood circulation. Apart from keeping you fitter and lean, it also improves your overall wellbeing.
- Improve your Hand-eye Coordination: Do activities such as painting, knitting or solving puzzles as they help in improving your hand eye coordination. It fine tunes your motor skills and keeps you mentally sharp.
- Cooking: Learning to cook helps in activating various parts of the brain such as sight, smell and taste. This is related to different parts of the brain resulting in an overall development.
Recently most of us were shaken by the death of the well-known television actress, Pratyusha Banerjee. Her sudden death has brought to light the very common yet under-addressed problem - Depression - that a number of youths are living with.
Most mental and emotional health issues are inconspicuous in nature and, therefore, cause more harm than they otherwise should, most people still live with a number of symptoms of depression without even realizing it or do little to address it. When the depressive symptoms last for more than 2 weeks and affect the individual's personal, social or occupational life, it is known as clinical depression or major depression. There is often a delay in opting for the treatment because of the social taboo associated with depression.
Although cases of depression can vary from an individual to the other, there are signs that one can look out for, to identify a depressed person:
- Low mood most of the time of day along with frequent crying spells
- Feeling of unworthiness and low self-respect are very common in a depressed person. Due to these feelings, the affected person may become very critical and disapproving about himself or herself.
- Lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in a depressed person makes them no longer derive pleasure from things that once gave him or her happiness.
- Exhaustion and insomnia are signs that one should look out for in a depressed individual. These are usually due to changes in sleep patterns, from sleeping a lot because of feelings of constant fatigue or due to instances of wakefulness.
- From indulging in comfort eating to losing the will to eat, predominantly loss of appetite characterizes a depressed person.
- Difficulty in recalling details and tendency to over generalize as also problem-solving issues can point to the presence of depression
- Unexplained bodily pains and aches are another characteristics of the condition.
What are the different types of depression?
Regarding the different forms of this mental health issue, it comes in several forms along with their distinct symptoms, effects, and causes. These are:
- Major depression
- Recurrent depressive disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Bipolar disorder
How can it affect your life?
More than 90% people who commit suicide suffer from some form of psychiatric illness and depression is the most common reason. The despair that usually accompanies depression makes the thought of taking one's life as the only means available to escape the pain. In addition to suicidal thoughts, it can also affect one's functioning in day to day life if help is not sought in time.
Depression is as curable as any other illness. Both medical management and psychotherapy are helpful in treatment. Type of treatment depends on patient's condition, the severity of illness as well as availability.
The risk of a mental illness increases if one or more of your family members have a mental disorder, but this increased risk doesn't guarantee that you will develop a mental illness. Not only have some mental illnesses been found to be hereditary in nature, but certain studies have found that some major mental illnesses can be traced to the same genetic variations.
Some hereditary psychiatric disorders are:
1. Obsessive compulsive disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a disorder of the brain and behavior. A person suffering from OCD has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviors they cannot stop repeating. Ocd also causes severe anxiety in such people. In 2000, a study conducted by researchers in Washington d. C. And Baltimore concluded that having one or more ocd family member (s) may increase the chances of you developing it too. In 2010, a study tracked down possible chromosomes that may be responsible for OCD.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that affects and dictates how a person feels, thinks and behaves. Those suffering from schizophrenia may lose touch with reality and experience delusions, hallucinations, thought disorders and movement disorders. It has been seen that people who have an identical twin with schizophrenia are 50% more likely to develop the disorder and those who have one parent suffering from schizophrenia are 18% more likely to inherit the illness.
Major depression or clinical depression is a common though severe mood disorder. It is characterized by an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that last at least for two consecutive weeks. Those suffering from depression may feel helpless and worthless, lose all interest in daily activities or activities they used to enjoy and feel unable to take part in normal day-to-day activities. Other symptoms of depression also include sleep pattern and appetite changes, chronic fatigue, concentration or focus problems and physical discomfort. Some patients with depression may become suicidal.
In 2011, a study pinned down a specific chromosome that may trigger depression development. Research on the hereditary properties of depression within families shows that some people are more prone to develop the disorder than others. If you have a parent or sibling that suffers from depression, you might be 1.5 to 3 times more likely to develop depression than those who do not have a close family member suffering from this condition. You are also more prone to developing bipolar disorder in such a scenario.
Related Tip: What Really Causes Personality Disorders?