DEALING WITH DEPRESSION
Everyone feels sad or “blue” from time to time for a few days or weeks. Depression is when these feelings don’t go away and they interfere with daily life. Depression is a real illness. It makes you feel sad and helpless. It gets in the way of your life and relationships. It inhibits your ability to think and act. But, with help, you can feel better again.
Depression is something we tend to recognize in others, but may have a hard time seeing in ourselves. It can show in many physical and emotional ways:
- Change in your appetite
- Tiredness not related to physical exertion
- Restlessness or irritability
- Slowness of movement or speech
- Feeling depressed or withdrawn
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Cause trouble with mental tasks such as remembering, concentrating or making decisions
- Make you feel nervous and jumpy
- Cause trouble sleeping
- Cause headaches, stomachaches, or other aches and pains
- Drain your body of energy
Getting better takes time
Talk therapy will help you feel better. Often, medication is used at the same time as therapy to help reduce symptoms of depression. But change doesn’t happen right away. Depression takes away your energy and motivation, so it can be hard to feel like going to therapy and sticking with it. But therapy has been proven to be very valuable in the treatment of depression. Therapy for depression is often done for a set number of sessions. In other cases, you and your therapist decide together at what point you no longer need therapy.
Depression: Tips to Help Yourself
As your health care providers help treat your depression, you can also help yourself. Keep in mind that your illness affects you emotionally, physically, mentally and socially. So full recovery will take time. Take care of your body and your soul and be patient with yourself as you get better.
Be with others
Don’t isolate yourself – you’ll only feel worse. Try to be with other people. And take part in fun activities when you can. Go to a movie, ballgame, religious service, or social event. Talk openly with people you can trust. And accept help when it’s offered.
Keep your perspective
- Depression can cloud your judgment. So wait until you feel better before making major life decisions.
- This illness is not your fault. Don’t blame yourself for your depression.
- Recovering from depression is a process. Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time.
- Depression saps your energy and concentration. Set small goals and do what you can.