Are you wondering how to fight depression? Depression is a serious affliction that not only affects you but your near and dear ones as well. The fact that you’re here is a good sign indicating that you’re interested in taking your first step towards fighting the depression, or perhaps in helping someone who’s dealing with it.
How to fight depression: Understanding the causes and symptoms
The causes of depression can vary from individual to individual. While the root causes are not fully understood yet, research has shown that women in general, those with low self-esteem, those suffering from certain diseases such as cancer and heart attack, those with high anxiety issues and those with a history of depression in their families are at higher risk of suffering from depression.
The onset of depression normally begins with chemical changes in the brain. These changes ultimately affect the body. In the case of diseases, it could well be the reverse: physical changes in your body affect your brain function, resulting in depression. Before you look for ways on how to fight depression though, you need to be sure you actually are suffering from it. Here are some typical symptoms of depression:
- losing interest in daily activities, especially ones that energized you before
- inability to sleep, or in some cases, sleeping far too much
- loss of appetite, or in some cases, overeating
- feeling worthless and having low self-confidence
- feeling restless or fatigued
- constantly arguing with family and friends regarding little matters that did not bother you before
- having sudden emotional outbursts and suicidal thoughts (this is a major indicator)
How to fight depression: What to do when you’ve identified your condition?
The feelings of sadness, guilt and low self-esteem over a prolonged period of time can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. What is important is to identify and understand your state of mind and then seek professional help. You can always approach your friends and family to support you in fighting depression. Talk to any doctor, psychiatrist or counselor and take medical advice. Medication and drugs may be necessary when dealing with clinical depression (that means your depression symptoms last over 2 weeks). However, there are many other alternative treatments and methods you can try first to improve your overall mental health. Throughout your journey in figuring out how to fight depression, never forget to adhere to the following:
Sleep for at least 7 hours daily, and do not exceed 9 hours. Relaxation of the mind is necessary to relieve depression, but don’t overdo it or you’ll feel sluggish and tired throughout the day. If you are unable to fall asleep, try to keep your eyes closed and think of the happy times you’ve experienced in life.
Eat healthily and at equal intervals. “You are what you eat”. A healthy, balanced diet can do wonders to the brain structure which can help curb depression. Cook a lavish meal for yourself and invite a few of your friends to enjoy special lunches with them. Food with low fats and refined carbohydrates is advisable. Mood-boosting foods with high protein and chromium would stabilize your energy level and make you feel good.
Interact more with your loved ones or with new acquaintances. You can try going to gyms, clubs and socializing spots to build new relationships and strengthen your existing ones. If at all possible, get your loved ones to learn how to fight depression as well, so that they can provide adequate support for you.
Listen to soothing music or join art classes. This would help you relax and release your negative thoughts.
Pamper yourself by throwing a party at home and inviting your old friends with whom you had lost touch for years. Go shopping or hit the nearby vacation spot with your loved ones. Be sure to balance this though; indulging in your own comforts all day long can be detrimental.
Go outdoors frequently! Even a short daily walk around the neighborhood is better than staying indoors all day.
Exercise. Endorphins released as a result of exercise can lift your mood substantially. Exercise is one of the most effective tools you will find in your quest to learn how to fight depression.
- Try to erase the negative thoughts and tragedies from your life and imagine a better life ahead.
- Volunteer. Indulging in one’s own pain and suffering is a comfort taken for granted by many people in developed countries. Consider volunteer work to focus your thoughts away from your own pain and towards helping others instead.
- While it may seem bleak now, you do not know what the future holds exactly. Do not isolate yourself; try to always be in a group, surrounded by your loved ones.
Understanding how to fight depression is an important first step. The next step is to actually take action. Do not feel embarrassed to seek help before depression jeopardizes your life. We welcome your comments below. For more information on how to fight depression, scroll to the bottom of this page for our most recent posts!