5 Powerful Ways to Help You Deal With Depression
Have you been battling with feelings of worthlessness or guilt? Have you lost interest in activities that once gave you pleasure? Do you have difficulty thinking, making decisions, or concentrating? Have you been battling with thoughts of suicide or death? Do you have trouble sleeping? If your answer to all of these questions is yes, then you may be exhibiting the signs of depression. 
Statistics reveal that that depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults yearly. Also, one in six people will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. There is no particular time frame for depression to set in; however, on average, the first signs of depression may appear during the late teens to the mid-20s.
Compared to men, women are more susceptible to depression. Studies have also revealed that one-third of women will have at least one depressive episode in their lifetime. However, it is important to distinguish between grief and depression. Since both have the same signs, it is easy to confuse one with another.
The severity of depression cannot be overemphasized. If left untreated, it can lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems and can reduce a person’s ability to function optimally both at work and at home. The American Psychiatric Association defines depression (major depressive disorder) as a “common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act.”
Fortunately, depression is treatable. It is one of the most treatable mental disorders, with 80–90 percent gaining relief from their symptoms after undergoing treatment. Apart from seeking medical help, which is non-negotiable, here are five practical steps that will help you deal with depression.
Develop a GOAL with therapy
Going into therapy for your depression is great. It’s an awesome thing that you’ve decided to make an effort to ensure that you get better. However, it is very vital to develop a goal alongside therapy.
For several people, therapy sessions are a means to get better. But what exactly is ‘better’ to you. Is ‘better’ a good relationship with your wife? Is it feeling fulfilled at your job? When you’ve identified what it means to you, the next step is finding a psychologist who can give you the results you want.
According to Richard Taite, founder, and CEO of Cliffside Malibu treatment center, it is crucial for you to: “Figure out what you want: You want a loving relationship with your wife, to really take each other in, and breathe each other in? You want a good relationship with your children; you want to be at peace; you want genuine happiness? You can’t be in the victim position. That’s the most disempowering place you could be. You have to take care of your own side of the street.” 
Celebrate your small victories
In your journey to recovery, you may find it challenging to recognize little victories here and there. You may feel like it’s nothing or it’s worthy of celebration. However, you need to change that mindset. All goals are worthy of celebration, and all successes are deserving of recognition.
If you have achieved a goal, celebrate yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud, ‘I did this.’ If you can go a few hours without a negative thought, it’s a victory. Do not play it down. While you may not feel like going all out, recognizing your successes will go a long way to help your psyche and serve as a potent tool against any depression’s weight and negative thoughts. Nothing beats the memory of a job well done. Cherish your victory.
“For a long time, it’s little wins, little wins, little wins — and then all of a sudden, you realize you’re changing, and you start to know how to act when depression hits. When you get in that space, you recognize it, and you know how to identify what’s going on and move out of it,” says Richard Taite, founder, and CEO of Cliffside Malibu treatment center.
Engage in activities that make you feel good
Before depression reared its ugly heads, there were activities that you enjoyed doing. Now is the time to go back to those activities. Did you love spending time in the sun and nature, do that often. Did you enjoy having a long and relaxing bath after work, you need to start doing it again.
Additionally, you can find hobbies that you enjoy and do them. Sign up for art classes, dance, make trips to those places you’ve always wanted to visit, read that book you’ve always wanted to read. You will need all of the happiness and sunshine. 
Eat healthy diets and stay clear of alcohol
Yes, you may not feel like eating anything when you are depressed, but you need to eat healthily regardless of your appetite. As much as possible, avoid skipping meals. On the flip side, some people may find themselves overeating. It is also important not to overeat. Avoid sugary things and refined carbs. Finding a balance is vital.
It is also imperative that you avoid taking alcohol. Do not use alcohol as a coping mechanism. It will not solve your problem; neither will it do you any good. Instead, it may make you more depressed than you already are.
The last thing on your mind may be to meet up with friends or volunteer for anything; however, doing both will help you deal with your depression. As much as possible, try to hang out with friends that you can trust. Talk to them when you feel down. Do not withdraw from life. Stay connected.
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- “5 Powerful Ways to Make Depression Work for You.” Psych Central. Carol Freund. Accessed March 12,2020.
- “What Is Depression?” American Psychiatry Association. Accessed March 12,2020.
- “Depression: Facts, Statistics, and You. Brandi Koksie. Health Line. Accessed March 12,2020.
- “Why is depression more prevalent in women?” JPN. Paul R. Robert. Accessed March 12,2020.