June 2, 2016

How to Deal With Depression and Survive It

Are you one of those students who continue beating themselves up for not passing their midterms? Are you one of those employees who constantly remind themselves how they could have had a better life if only they had accepted that other job offer? Are you someone who tells themselves that they are wasting their life – not knowing what you really want to do?

You’re unable to go about living your normal life because you feel you can’t accomplish even the smallest of tasks. Every time an opportunity to be productive appears, you shrug it off without even trying.

depressed girl

You find it hard to be excited about anything. Going to parties, watching the latest movies, buying your favorite things, and even spending time with your loved ones all seem to just feel wrong.

Maybe you are just a person who thinks too much. Apparently, your too much has become so destructive that you can no longer control it. Unknowingly, it has already begun to control you.

You may be building up some deep-seated sadness. You may be experiencing depression.

What is depression?

Depression is a type of psychological disorder that lowers one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior and overall mood. There are number of things that you can feel when you are depressed – It’s not just about sadness. You can also feel anxious, empty, hopeless, worthless, helpless, irritable, ashamed or angry.

depressed man on bench

In addition, you might start to lose interest in activities that used to make you happy. You may have a hard time concentrating on a certain goal. You might experience a lot of problems making wise decisions for yourself.

In The United States, there is an estimated 350 million cases of depression spanning many different age groups. With depression, it’s not just about “the blues”. It is more than that. Do not be afraid to speak and seek help if you think you are experiencing depression. You are not the only one.

How to know if you have depression?

The following might help you decide whether or not you are already experiencing depression:

  1.  You always feel helpless and hopeless. You tend to spend that day thinking that nothing will ever improve in your life. You feel as though you are stuck in a hole of sadness forever. You always tell yourself that there are no other ways to make things better.
  2. You lose interest in engaging with your daily activities. You no longer want to participate in the activities that you normally would have. For example, you grow up playing volleyball then suddenly, a court, a ball and the adrenaline of the game does not excite you anymore. It seems like it was never your favorite sport. However, you know deep down inside that it has value – based on how much time and energy you invested just to become a good player.

depressed girl against wall

  1. Your sleeping pattern has changed. There are two different cases with regards to a change in your sleep pattern: either you are sleeping too much or you are sleeping less than you should. You may stay in bed most of, or even the entire day.
  2.  You always feel angry or irritable. You lash out on people even though they are not doing anything to harm or annoy you. You always feel agitated about everything.
  3.  You seem to experience a general loss of energy. You always feel fatigued. Sometimes, you feel sluggish or physically drained. Your feel it’s difficult or requires too much out of you just to move your body for the day.
  4.  You have reckless behavior. You take substances that can harm your health. Reckless driving can also be considered a symptom of depression, and you may end up ruining the custom seat covers you bought with your military discount.
  5.  You are unable to concentrate. You simply cannot focus on doing things. You start to have difficulty making decisions.
  6.  You have trouble remember things. You start to forget important things. For example, birthdays of special people in your life, appointments, and the like.
  7.  You experience seemingly unknown physical pains. You always have complaints on how your body feels. You have headaches, back pains, muscle aches, and stomach pains, all of which somehow came out of the blue.

What are the causes of depression?

  1.  Perhaps you experienced abuse. You experienced some form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse that left a lasting impression on you.
  2.  You had been abusing certain drugs. You took potentially dangerous drugs so much that they left a long-last or even permanent effect on your mental health.
  3.  You experienced the loss of someone important to you. The death of someone that you treasured may have sent you over the edge.
  4. Members of your family have depression. Depression is also something that is hereditary. If your family has a history of depression, then there is higher probability that may too.
  5. There have been recent major changes in your life. Major events in your life, even something as seemingly innocuous as a graduation or a wedding, can still lead to depression. There are cases where you begin to whether or not you deserve to be happy during actual moments of happiness. Depression may have also kicked in from your fear that your happiness might be taken away from you, and you may no longer find it again for yourself.

How to transcend from depression to happiness?

happy woman

  1.  You must be vigilante for the symptoms. You have to learn how to assess whether you are already experiencing depression. You can try writing down your thoughts throughout the day. You can also take note if there are changes in your behavior.
  2.  Learn to seek help from doctors. Don’t give into the stigma that you are already a “crazy person” just because you visited a doctor. If you think you need help, then go ask for help.  Always remember that you are not alone.
  3.  Learn to understand your own emotional cycle. Everyone has different emotional cycles. There are days when you are okay. Then there are circumstances that trigger your anger or sadness. You might feel you are perfectly happy for days or weeks, and then depression will hit you. You have to understand that both happiness and sadness are something that passes over time.
  4.  Surround yourself with positive people. The people that you interact with play an important role in how you view the world and yourself. It is important that you surround yourself with people that can help lead you to positive thoughts and away from negativity.
  5.  Try to remember past successes. This can help you to remember that you are not in a some metaphorical hole of darkness for your entire life. There are moments when light has been the center of your life. This can help bring back your old, more invigorating, perspective of life.
  6.  Try to have gratitude for everything. This is the best way to learn how to appreciate everything, even the little things. This can also help you to see that when many positive small things pile up, they can become something great.
  7.  Try to put yourself in a different, more positive environment. Maybe your usual environment has been triggering moments of stress and pain. Finding a new, healthier environment can make you feel like you are starting a new life that is full of possibilities.
  8. Try to think about the bigger picture. This can help you to understand that there are things aside from sadness. This can help you appreciate the blessings of the universe for you instead of focusing on certain bad thing that happened.

Jessica Gonzalez

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