Working through Depression
Looking for help and support is one of the first steps for anyone with depression to take to begin the journey of recovery. Not an easy step, so well done on taking this action. I encourage you to keep going. Life can be very different.
Managing depression requires a unique and individual approach. Because everyone’s experience is unique to them, it is necessary that you take the time to increase your awareness, take the risk and try to get some help, and make the commitment to follow it through.
Managing depression requires that you take responsibility for improving the quality of your life. It is important to identify the symptoms that you are experiencing so that a course of interventions can be determined. In other words we need to look at the warning signs to your depression. We can then look at ways to reduce the severity of the depression. These warning signs (symptoms) can be purely related to stress and depression or may have a physical bases. Therefore, if you have not been recently examined by your doctor it is a good idea to make an appointment to rule out any physical complications that are contributing to your experience of depression. Your doctor will advise you on the next steps to take and may refer you to a counsellor/psychotherapist. You can also self-refer to a therapist.
Possible medical causes leading to your depression can be:
Chronic stress reactions, allergies, chronic health problems, drug/alcohol abuse or dependence, recently stopped smoking, recent surgery, PMS, seasonal affective disorder.
Having seen your doctor you can now look at options for your recovery. This can be done by developing a Self-Care Plan.
A Self-Care Plan includes’ some of the following:
- Structure. Structure your day by looking at ways to the care of yourself. You might decide to write down some simple ways that you can look after yourself in any day.
- Support. Work at creating your own support system. People and places to go to when things get bad. Try not to withdraw and isolate yourself. It’s at this time that you need people, you need to be part of something.
- Positive attitude. Remind yourself that depression is a temporary emotional state, and focus on taking one day at a time. Think positively. Look at the positives in your life.
- Awareness. To continue progress and to manage your depression you need to become aware of what works and what is helpful? And just as important is what does not work for you?
- Exercise. Exercise is very helpful in reducing stress, improving sleep and increases the sense of well-being. Exercise at your own pace and ability.
- Nutrition. Eating daily well-balanced meals. Watch your diet. Consult with your doctor if you are not sure. People who were depressed often experience some change in normal healthy eating patterns and as a result there can be weight loss weight gain.
Managing depression means total Self-Care. Emotional health, as well as physical health, is about lifestyle.