3 Tips For Coping With Major Depression

Major depression is a common form of mental illness that can become disabling when symptoms spiral out of control. A combination of mental health resources and lifestyle modification may help you reduce symptoms or gain better control over depression.

Ask For Help

One of the worst things you can do when you have depression is keep the problem to yourself. When you do not proactively deal with depression, it can make the symptoms worse and harder to control. If you are unsure where to reach out for help, speak with your primary care doctor. In some cases, your doctor may be the first person to treat you with antidepressants, especially if there are limited mental health services in your area. They can also offer you a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist at a counseling center like Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc within your insurance network. If you are uninsured, consult government agencies within your area to determine if there are any services available through social services or a community services board.

Be More Engaged

Depression can make you lose enjoyment in being social or other activities you used to find pleasurable. Although it can be difficult to force yourself to be more engaged with your life, once you get past the hurdle, you may find it temporarily alleviates depression. Try to find a simple activity that might interest you, like painting, drawing, or model-building. You do not have to overwhelm yourself by diving into a project. Convince yourself to spend five minutes each day on your new activity. In many cases, once you start, you find you will spend more than a few minutes on the activity.

Going outside in the sunlight is another way to become more engaged with your life. You do not have to engage in vigorous exercise to notice the benefits. Walk around the block in the sunshine or go outside during your lunch break. For some people, depression symptoms become worse due to lack of sunshine. If you cannot go out in the sun, use a full-spectrum lightbulb in your living room lamp. Turn it on for a couple of hours each day to help supplement your lack of sun.

Change Your Eating Patterns

You can experience different changes in your appetite with depression. Some people lose their appetite, while others may feel like they are never full. Whether you are eating little or more than usual, try to focus more on the quality of foods. It is common to focus on comforting foods, which may be full of carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. If you notice a trend toward emotional eating, try to focus more on foods that will not make you feel more tired and sluggish. Look for snacks that have a taste you desire, such as sweet or salty, but with higher amounts of protein. This may include meat jerky or seasoned almonds.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for depression. Usually a combination of therapy, medications, and lifestyle modifications will give you the best chance at better symptom control.