Depression can have an enormous impact on quality of life. It can leave a person feeling listless and lacking drive; during severe episodes it can lead to self-harm and even thoughts of suicide. While the road to recovery from depression is by no means easy, it is not impossible to conquer. The good news is that there is plenty of help out there for sufferers and you don’t need to feel isolated and alone with your problem.
It’s estimated that 1 in 15 people in Europe have suffered from a major depressive episode at one time or another. We are a lot more aware of this condition nowadays and we are far from the days when individuals were told to simply ‘pull themselves together’. Most of us feel down at some point in our lives and we get through it on our own or with the help of a friend. Depression becomes more debilitating when a person can’t see a way out to the other side and the future seems bleak and unrelenting.
Starting to Take Action
The hardest thing for a person with depression to do is take that first step to make things right. If you are suffering from such a condition it can be difficult to see the wood from the trees. That’s why you should always begin with small steps – things that are easily achievable. It’s important that you are patient with yourself and allow yourself time to move forward at your own pace.
Many people with depression will tend to withdraw from the world around them. One of the key factors in recovery is actually reaching out. That social support is vital and you’ll be surprised at the number of people who are willing to give you a helping hand.
Don’t fret that you are going to be a burden on others because talking to an understanding person can be a great relief and help you get onto the next stage of recovery. Talk to old friends, check in with loved ones, just make sure you get out there even if you don’t feel like it and make contact.
It might seem better to put your head under the duvet and stay there but it’s not good for you. Force yourself to get up and do something. Exercise can help to lift your spirits and reduce those feelings of fatigue. It doesn’t have to be a fully-fledged aerobic exercise session – a simple ten or fifteen-minute walk will do the job just as well. Going outside can get you exposed to the sun and give you a beneficial dose of Vitamin D as well. Another thing to consider is making sure you get a good night’s sleep and eat well.
Start Enjoying Life
Try and pick out those things you enjoyed doing when you were in better mental health. Start a new hobby or pick up something again where you left off, even if you don’t feel like it. Getting back to doing things that are worthwhile will have a cumulative effect that can help lift your spirits some more. They are not going to cure your depression but they will allow you to keep moving forward and conquering it.
Coping with Those Negative Thoughts
Addressing how you view the world is equally important and can be a cathartic way to get a better understanding of your condition. Questioning why you feel a particular way and finding solutions to these problems can help you in many ways. Writing down your thoughts is a good idea and gives you something to refer to when you feel at your lowest.
Seeking Professional Help
Self-help can take many people to the other side of depression and, with the help of friends and families, can lead to a good recovery. If you’ve tried all of the above and you are still struggling with depression, then it is a good time to go and see your doctor and get professional help. There is a lot of it out there now and not of all of it is based around drugs and medication. A professional investigation into your depression will be able to identify causes, come up with solutions and provide you with the valuable support you need to make a full recovery.