Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. It can begin anytime, in any race or gender, at any income level. Author Jennifer Spredemann described depression like this: Moonlight filtered in through the blinds illuminating their bedroom, but the bright glow could not penetrate the darkness that surrounded her heart.
Living with depression is like carrying a backpack full of rocks all day. Everything feels more challenging: Going to work, socializing with friends, or even getting out of bed can feel like a struggle. It is not easy to carry the burden.
Depression is curable, but the process may be very long. Patients may feel hopeless, become more anxious, and stuck in a vicious circle. Does it mean that patients will never have a normal life during depression?
Things are not that bad. Since depression will be with patients for a long time, why not change your mind and treat it as a special friend: understand it and try to adapt to it.
There are some tips to improve the symptoms.
Build a support network
Sharing problems with others can give the necessary support. Patients are suggested to build a strong social support. Research showed that talking can help people recover from depression and cope better with stress.
This may mean talking to any trusted one from families or friends. A depression support group can also be key. If uncomfortable about expressing negatives feeling in front of people, patients can also choose writing or painting to express any significant emotions.
“No one should worry or suffer alone,” Dr. McGee (MD, chief medical officer, Haven at Pismo) says. “There is a saying that a problem shared is a problem halved. It is amazing how just talking through a problem with others can bring peace and clarity.”
Create a wellness toolbox
A wellness toolbox is a set of tools that people can use to ease themselves when feeling bad. It can be achieved by writing down anything that can make people feel happy. Then try any of those things when depression occurs. It is helpful for it can be highly personalized.
Here are some things that might be helpful:
- Listening to favorite music.
- Watching a good movie.
- Taking a long hot bath.
- Cuddling pets.
Besides, creating everyday-feeling journals can help patients know themselves better and give a precise document that doctors can use to make a more accurate diagnosis.
Take regular exercise
Exercise can help to produce natural endorphins, which help put people in a good mood. Many studies show that showed exercise can improve mood. It may be as effective as antidepressants in reducing the symptoms of depression.
Going to the gym can be extremely hard for depression patients. So, it is not necessary to exercise that seriously at the beginning. Do not expect too much, as this will only accentuate feelings of failure. It is better to break large tasks into small ones. For example, going for a walk at any time during the day for 30 minutes.
Have a healthy diet and improve sleep quality
Sleep and mood are intimately related. A 2014 study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that 80% of people with major depressive disorder experience sleep disturbances. Applying sleep spray on the pillow may help with the improvement of sleep quality.
Research continues to find clear links between diet and mental health. For example, a 2012 study, published in the journal Affect Disorder, found that zinc deficiency increased symptoms of depression. Besides, B-vitamin and omega-3 fatty acids may both have a good impact on depression.
Living with depression can be extremely hard. But patients with depression worth a good quality life. It is expectable that the light will finally irradiate to everyone. But before that, try to accept the “special friend” and get along with it.