Living In Depression Techniques For Dealing With Depression

Dealing with depression is never easy. Those suffering from a life with depression may find it difficult to even get out of bed in the morning. Depression can cause a loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable. Often, the depressed person wants to isolate himself. However tempting this may be, self-damaging actions such as this won’t get you any closer to life after depression.

The National Institute of Mental Health offers the following suggestions for individuals living in depression. These tips may help you to maximize a life with depression, and get yourself closer to recovery:

  • Avoid isolating yourself.
  • Be realistic about your goals and priorities when dealing with depression.
  • Break large tasks down into smaller, more manageable ones.
  • Discuss your feelings with a close friend, family member, clergy member or other trustworthy individual.
  • Establish and stick to a regular exercise program when living in depression.
  • Get out and socialize with other people, even if only for a short time.
  • Give yourself time to recover. (Some treatment plans take time to become effective.)
  • If you can, postpone important life decisions (such as moving, changing jobs or divorce) until you begin to feel better.
  • Meet with a doctor regularly.
  • When possible, participate in activities you used to enjoy.

Most of all, donÕt be afraid to ask for help in dealing with depression. This is the first (and most important) step toward life after depression. Remember that depression is a disease, not a defect or sign of mental weakness.

Treatment for Life with Depression

If you are suffering from a life with depression, many types of treatment may ease your symptoms. Many find that the most effective treatment involves a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy (also known as Òtalk therapyÓ).

Antidepressants can help relieve some of the biochemical symptoms of depression, while psychotherapy can:

  • Counter negative emotions
  • Provide support, hope and encouragement
  • Teach helpful coping strategies.

Other treatment options include:

  • Alternative therapies, including acupuncture and certain herbal supplements
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which offers benefits similar to those of ECT without the side effects.

Life After Depression

Dealing with depression can be difficult; the negative feelings and thoughts seem as if they will never lift, and you may think that life after depression doesn’t exist. However, even the most severe depression is treatable. Many depression patients begin to feel some relief after starting psychotherapy (or counseling), antidepressants or another treatment. For some, a support group (in person or online) is also helpful in managing the ongoing effects of living in depression.

Once patients begin treatment, life with depression gradually begins to feel “normal” again. As they begin to feel better, some depression patients are tempted to stop treatment. Those dealing with depression should, however, talk with their doctor or therapist before discontinuing any treatment.

Resources

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Staff. (n.d.). Depression: Symptoms, treatment and tips for living in depression. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from the AARP website:www.aarp.org/health/brain/diseases/depression_symptoms_treatments_and_tips_for_living.html.

Baker, S. (n.d.). Can you overcome depression? Retrieved May 14, 2010, from the Avoid Depression website: www.avoiddepression.com/can_you_overcome_depression.html.

Cohen, B. 2008. Can support groups help with depression management? What kind of support groups exist? Retrieved May 14, 2010, from the ABC News Health website: abcnews.go.com/Health/DepressionLivingWith/story?id=4360075.

Overcome Depression Staff. (n.d.). How to rebuild your life after a breakdown. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from the Overcome Depression website: www.overcomedepression.co.uk/HowRebuildYourLifeAfterBreakdown.html.