I think I’m struggling with depression, I’m not sure what to do
If you haven’t done so already take a look
at our article “what is Depression”. It takes you through the basics of
depression and gives an insight into what depression may feel like and you may
be able identify with some of the issues addressed in the article
Firstly, depression is not a sign of
weakness and can affect anybody, man, woman or child. It can be triggered by
factors such as; major life events like the death of a loved one, extreme
pressure/stress, complete change of environment (i.e. moving house, moving to a
different country) or it may be idiopathic where there is no known underlying
cause. It is very treatable, with measures such as talking therapies,
antidepressant medication or a combination of both.
However, the first step to recovery is
acknowledging that something is wrong and not bottling up your feelings as this
can make you feel worse. Step out of your shell and talk to someone you trust
about your feelings, as a problem shared is a problem half solved. Also talking
to someone is form of release and you may find that you feel better once you
have expressed what you are going through and how you feel.
Seek professional help from your local
healthcare professional (this could be your doctor, pharmacist or nurse) or
seek out a mental health professional. Always remember that with the right help
you can get better.
Keep up with your usual activities be it
your weekly dinners with friends, a hobby that you regularly partake in or
church gatherings. At this point, it may seem like no one understands you or
what you’re going through. But it is of utmost importance that you stay
connected and keep in contact with family and friends, as isolation can
actually make you feel worse.
Ensure that you stay active and exercise
regularly. By exercising you are releasing feel good hormones called endorphins
which boost feelings of happiness and positivity. It is also important that you
stick to healthy eating habits. Poor eating habits can affect your overall
health, which in turn may make you feel worse. Avoid or restrict alcohol intake
and illicit drug use as they alter your thinking/perception which again can worsen
the depression. Good sleep hygiene should be maintained as it is clinically
proven that lack of sleep can cause confusion, crankiness and a loss of
concentration; all of which may exacerbate your symptoms depression.
As mentioned earlier the first step to
recovery is acknowledgment and the second step is acceptance. It is only
through these steps that can you proceed to seek the help that you really need.
Try to take each day as it comes ,adjust
your expectations as you may not be able to accomplish as much as you do
usually and that’s ok. Don’t be too hard on yourself, nothing is permanent and
with the right treatment this period will be temporary.
For more information and advice on what to do call these hotlines to speak to trained professionals that help deal with depression