Learn to Manage and Cope with Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. When you’re depressed, it can feel difficult to perform daily tasks. You may even find yourself unable to get out of bed in the morning. It is important to recognize depression for what it is: a mental disorder that can be treated. Because depression can stop you from doing things that need to be done, it can be tempting to blame yourself for the problem and sink further into the depression. When depression affects your life, your goal should be to seek help for the depression, rather than blame yourself for what’s not getting done because of it.

Symptoms of Depression

There are some key differences between depression and regular, healthy sadness. Generally, a person is considered depressed if they experience debilitating symptoms for more than two weeks. These symptoms can make it difficult to maintain relationships, go to work or school, and even take care of themselves.

If you or a loved one experience any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, you may be dealing with depression:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depressed mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to find pleasure in activities you previously enjoyed
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Irritability and/or restlessness
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pain, or backaches
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much

The Importance of Self-Care

When dealing with depression, taking care of yourself can feel like a pointless chore. Unfortunately, indulging in this feeling will only serve to worsen your condition. As difficult as it may seem, try to keep up with your regular daily tasks— even if it is only a simplified version of them. Get out of bed, eat three meals a day, exercise, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. Maintaining some structure in your life will help you feel more productive, and in time you may find yourself with more energy to perform more intensive tasks.

Most importantly, make sure you seek treatment from a skilled therapist. Some people are hesitant to seek treatment for depression because they don’t want to take antidepressants. Rest assured that, while medications can be a helpful addition to therapy, no credible depression psychologist would use them as the driving force behind treatment for depression. Talking about depression and teaching patients skills they can use to identify and manage depression is the best way to tackle the issue. Take the time to find a therapist you trust and can speak openly with so you can feel confident you are receiving the best care possible.