What Causes Depression and How to Identify It?
The reason behind depression varies from one person to another. It may stem from a traumatizing event. However, it is not possible to determine the reason behind depression in some cases. For example, depression may occur spontaneously in some people without any particular reason. Researchers also have been unable to establish why some people may feel depressed by a particular event while others do not.
However, there is documented proof to suggest that the risk of having depressive episodes is higher in people who have had a depressive episode in the past. Psychological Medicine conducted a study on people who recovered from the first episode of severe depression. It showed –
- Over 13% of people will have another episode within 5 years
- 23% of people will have another episode within 10 years
- 42% will have another episode within 20 years
Psychiatrists believe that depression is a complex disorder. It is likely to be triggered by overlapping biological, psychological, and social/environmental factors. Anybody can suffer from depression at any stage of life regardless of age, gender, or demography. Thus, it is critical to learn how to cope with depression. This article will guide you in this regard.
How to Cope with Depression? 10 Effective Tips
1. Stay in Touch
Someone suffering from depression will have difficulty connecting with friends and even close family members. He/she will tend to isolate himself/herself and will withdraw from any social activities. In a depressive state of mind, you may feel ashamed of your condition, may feel guilty for neglecting relationships, or may not have the energy to talk to anyone.
It is difficult to maintain the effort that is necessary to cope with or overcome depression without having the support of your near-and-dears. Hence, work hard to stay in touch with the people who make you feel safe, relaxed, happy, and motivated.
- You can stay in touch with family members, friends or relatives via phone calls, text messages or social media. However, it is most effective if you can spend quality time with them.
- It is helpful when you participate in social activities even if you have the urge to withdraw.
- Helping others may uplift your mood, as it brings a sense of accomplishment.
- You may even keep a pet for some company or may join a support group for depression.
2. Lay Out the Emotions
It is impossible to overcome the depressive state of mind if you suppress feelings and emotions. To keep from suppressing your feelings, you may keep a journal and write down your state of mind or your feelings whenever you feel depressed. It enables you to let out the emotions instead of keeping them suppressed.
3. Give Yourself Grace, the Opportunity is Not Lost
It is important to give yourself the kindness that you deserve. You may fail to achieve a goal or accomplish something today. However, this does not define your future. It is important to give yourself the opportunity to keep trying in order to secure a win in the future. You have to focus on tomorrow’s fresh start instead of feeling depressed about today’s loss.
4. Focus On Positive Thoughts
In a depressive state of mind, your brain may focus on the things that went wrong in the past instead of focusing on the events that brought happiness, success, or satisfaction in your life. You have to find the light in the darkness if you want to get out of a depressive state of mind. For example, you might keep recollecting about the day when something went wrong, and you might not be able to keep your mind from doing this. In this scenario, you can write down about positive feelings or memories you have regarding this day. It might help you recognize the light within the darkness.
5. Set Achievable Goals
A sense of accomplishment will bring a feeling of satisfaction or happiness. However, you may fail to accomplish anything if the to-do list is long or filled with tasks that are difficult to accomplish. However, it is better to take one small step at a time instead of doing nothing. You may set one or two smaller goals instead of making a long list of incomplete tasks. For example,
- You may take the trash out instead of cleaning if you do not feel like cleaning the house.
- You may start sorting the laundry by colour if you do not feel like washing it.
You have to focus on the next task once you accomplish the current task and have to keep going at your own pace.
6. Have a Routine
Establishing a routine is not just useful for creating healthy habits. It also equips you to cope with the changes, reduces the stress level, and improves interpersonal relationships. Many research-based studies have shown that a person can efficiently manage the symptoms of depression or any mental disorder by creating a daily routine. It promotes healthy habits while reducing anxiety and can prevent burnout resulting from stress or hectic schedules.
7. Do Things You Enjoy
Depression may lead to inactivity. You can feel fatigued in a depressive state of mind. Your negative emotions and sadness might overshadow joyous feelings. If this happens, try to engage in activities that make you feel relaxed, satisfied, or invigorated. It can be anything like painting, singing, hiking, reading, playing with your kids, or anything that pleases your mind. You can overcome depression by doing something that uplifts the mood and energy.
8. Try Something New
You will experience boredom and will fail to become innovative if you do the same tasks on an ongoing basis. Therefore, it is essential to try something different every once in a while, that is challenging to your brain. Many medical research studies have shown that doing something different alters brain chemistry and recharges neurons. Thus, you will start feeling more active and energized. It may even improve your relationships, as your social or romantic relationships start to improve once you notice an improvement in overall wellbeing.
Incorporate Meditation in Your Routine
It is hard to stay relaxed, calm, and content at all times when you have a busy life, personally or professionally. However, meditation can lower the level of stress and anxiety. Make some time for meditation every day despite having a hectic schedule. It was found through many research studies that yoga, deep-breathing exercise, or journaling can improve a person’s sense of well-being along with meditation.
Be More Active
You might not feel like getting out of bed or doing anything when you are depressed. Working out may be the last thing in your mind. However, any type of exercise is regarded as a powerful tool to fight depression. Regular exercise can help you in different ways:
- It increases the level of endorphins which is regarded as a natural mood lifter.
- It can bring back the altered sleep pattern to normal and protect the brain from damage.
- This focused activity brings a sense of accomplishment.
Hence, it is essential to stay active and to exercise every day if you want to overcome the depressive state of mind. You can start exercising for 5 minutes daily and gradually increase the duration.
Started Feeling Good!
Depression may stem from various sources. It may stem from a physical condition, altered brain chemicals, stress, or a traumatizing event. There are a few common signs of depression, such as the feeling of worthlessness/emptiness, lack of sleep/appetite or interest in activities, frequent outbursts of anger etc. The aforementioned tips may enable you to cope with the depression and to overcome it.