Depression can really take it out of you but don’t give up hope when depressed. It’s well-documented that depression leaves you feeling lethargic, hopeless and demotivated. Depression feels like you are living in the dark black tunnel with no light in sight.
Symptoms of depression
Typical symptoms of depression include a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy. Chronic depression effects how you see yourself and the world. You’re thinking becomes negative and optimism leaves in a hurry. Personal hygiene goes out the window and getting out of bed before midday is almost impossible. It’s no wonder that functioning as you normally do is a tall order when you are depressed. It’s so easy to feel defeated but don’t give up hope when depressed.
So what can you do when you feel incapacitated by depression?
One of the first things you can do – don’t give up hope when depressed! Remind yourself that your thinking is not to be trusted )because our thinking becomes distorted when we are depressed). Depression often changes the chemicals in our brain and shift our thinking. A negative mental filter is a common problem during a mood disorder.
Don’t buy into your thinking – acknowledge and notice the negative thoughts and remind yourself that this type of thinking will pass and you will get back on track again.
One of the best ways to shift depression without medication is to become more active. You don’t need to jump out of bed and run a marathon but you do need to increase your current level of activity. Complete an activity diary and slowly but surely raise the bar. If you currently only managed to get out of bed at midday, make a promise to yourself that you will try get out of bed at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Not only will this improve your mental state, it will also give you a psychological boost when you know that you have achieved something – no matter how small.
If you never brush your teeth, or only brush them three times a week… Increase that amount. As you can see, it’s the small steps that will lead to the bigger victories. Don’t give up hope when depressed, instead set yourself small goals to achieve everyday.
You will be amazed at how your mood will start to improve.
You will need will-power and discipline
This is the hard part. It can take all of your strength to make that phone call, get out of bed earlier or see a friend. Depression often leads to withdrawal from others. Many of us don’t want to feel like a liability and believe that our friends have busy lives. We certainly don’t want to be a burden to anyone else. So we struggle along on our own and don’t tell anyone how bad we really feel.
Take that leap of faith and push yourself out of your comfort zone. The hardest part is that first step. We are wired for comfort and as a result, we don’t like to be out of our comfort zone. You will literally have to force yourself to do whatever it is you don’t want to do…but boy, will you be pleased with yourself and lift your mood when you do.
Depression is extremely common and the statistics show that depression is increasing. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 16.2 million U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2016. This represents 6.7 percent of the U.S. adult population. Depression is most common in ages 18 to 25 (10.9 percent) and in individuals belonging to two or more races (10.5 percent).
I have been depressed in the past and I’m aware of many others who have also experienced depression. It’s just the way of the world and a mental health issue that we need to acknowledge rather than be ashamed of. The burden of depression and other mental health conditions is on the rise globally. A World Health Assembly resolution passed in May 2013 has called for a comprehensive, coordinated response to mental disorders at the country level.
- Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
- Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
- More women are affected by depression than men.
- Depression can lead to suicide.
- There are effective psychological and pharmacological treatments for moderate and severe depression.
Does modern life increase depressive symptoms?
Yes. Depression is caused by factors such as unemployment, bereavement, psychological trauma, debt, stress and many more examples. Depression can, in turn, lead to more stress and dysfunction and worsen the affected person’s life situation and depression itself.
When we begin to concentrate on issues such as poverty, crime, injustice, discrimination, prejudice, mental health services and similar fundamental issues, only then can we truly begin to tackle depression.
Despite this, don’t give up hope when depressed – your power lies in focusing on what you can and can’t control. All you can control are your thoughts and actions.
Use mindfulness to prevent rumination, stay active using baby steps towards where you would like to be. Try not to avoid others and don’t trust your negative thoughts when you are in the throes of depression. Start with these simple tactics and you will be taking the first step towards your recovery.
If you need therapy for depression, you can contact me. I offer online therapy for depression. You are welcome to get in tuch.