3 ways to combat depression
Written and reviewed by
Hypnotherapist, Diploma in Counselling Skills, BSIC, Advanced Trainee of Transactional Analysis, Advanced Skills in Counselling
Depression is spreading at a fast pace in modern India due to many reasons like poor diet, lifestyles, poor social support system and having too many unrealistic expectations from themselves and other people in their lives. It can affect the rich and the poor and any age group also. According to World Health Organisation, 1 in every 10 people suffer from depression. Due to the social stigma attached to it, most people remain undiagnosed and hence suffer from it silently. This is a huge waste of human potential and capability. Some common symptoms of Depression include:
Appetite loss or an increased hunger,
Insomnia or Oversleeping,
Pervading feelings of worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness,
Anger and Irritability,
Intense physical, emotional and mental fatigue,
Self hatred for making mistakes and not coming up to the expectations of self or other people
Risky Behaviour like rash driving, addictions, dangerous sports,
Problems in Concentration, Memorising and Focussing
Unexplained aches and pains, stomach-aches, Back pain or Headaches
Sudden loss of Interest in Daily Activities, Hobbies. Work
Suicidal Thoughts or Attempts
Here are some basic tips to beat the blues.
Recognising and Conquering Self Criticising Inner Voice:
You would have heard this harsh voice which often reprimands you for making mistakes, or doing something silly or taking any risks. Often this voice would have said, "Its always your fault"," You are capable of nothing"," You are always making mistakes", "Only bad things have happened in my life", " My life is Over". These are called self destructive negative thoughts which can interfere and distract you from your daily activities and a general sense of confidence, power, wellbeing and balance. Depressed people often associate themselves with a negative image of self and of the world, which is very incapacitating and makes the person feel guilty, angry, worthless, hopeless and helpless. The trick is to combat this inner thinking process with evidence to disprove it and support the evidence with logical and rational reasoning and seeing the whole picture with its positives rather than focussing on the negative parts only. For eg.."Good things have also happened in my marriage"," I can learn from my mistakes and do things differently next time"," I have achieved many things in life so I am capable and intelligent"," Life is not over yet, there is hope because I am still alive". such statements are compassionate and help in restoring lost confidence, faith and hope which is vital to beat depression blues.
During depression, physical energy takes a beating as a person goes through an emotionally low phase. People who don't exercise regularly are more prone to depression as the body and mind lacks in blood circulation and "feel good" neuro chemicals called Endorphins. When you are feeling down in the dumps, exercising, yoga, gym, cycling, aerobics, dance can help in elevating the heart rate and thus increasing the blood circulation and elevating the moods. Cycling to work, using the stairs, walking just a little bit as a daily small goal can be beneficial as energy levels can be very low in depression. Getting the sun on the back bone which carries many nerves is also important and helps in chemical synthesis in combating depression.
Man is a social animal by evolutionary process. We tend to feel better in harmonious social communities for our social and psychological wellbeing. Identify people who are well meaning and supportive of your condition. Don't withdraw from the society, thought hat may be the easiest and logical thing to do in depression. Meeting people with similar interests as yours, people who value you for who you are and some people who are funny and can make you laugh will be of immense importance for boosting your self esteem and self worth. See if some one can benefit from your care..caring for others is a huge booster of self worth and self esteem. Having a pet and caring for it can be another activity that you can look into. Watching comedy shows, movies, laughing at your own mistakes or other people mistakes can be a wonderful way to look at life more objectively. Don't take yourself and other people too seriously..everyone makes mistakes and nobody is perfect.
By no means is this list complete. Please look around and find more tips that can help in beating the blues. If Depression is caught in its early stages then its completely curable. Please don't self diagnose and take medications. Get it diagnosed with a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Stress management, Marital Counselling, Meditations and relaxation techniques, Spirituality are very powerful in dealing with depression too.
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