Depression is something what I personally think that most of the people go through at some point in their life. Someone can be tensed about his career, someone can be concerned about his personal relationships, someone can be worried about his job and salary or someone can be anxious thinking about the lower marks that he might be getting in his exams. Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, but when emotions such as anguish and despair take hold and just won’t go away, then is when things get serious.
Depression is a common mental health problem which can evoke a feeling of persistent sadness, dejection, hopelessness, lower self-esteem or various other negative emotions in the person suffering through it. Depression is a mood disorder which negatively affects the way you feel, the way you think and how you act on various situations and can interfere with your daily functioning. Depression varies from person to person but various common signs and symptoms of this mood disorder include appetite or weight changes, loss of interest in daily activities, general discontent or anxiety, self-loathing, restlessness, mood swings, lack of concentration and many others.
No matter how severe, depression is treatable. A person suffering from depression can get rid of it. But various myths or misconceptions regarding depression are the actual roadblocks in the journey of getting rid of depression and not the depression itself.
- Many people feel that you become depressed whenever you surrender to the feelings of grief and misery and you can get out of depression if you change the way you think and maintain a positive attitude towards life but unfortunately, that’s not the case. When suffering from depression, the functioning of the person’s brain is negatively affected and it’s not a sign of weakness.
- People think that talking about depression makes the things doesn’t help but worsens the situation and discussing depression keeps you focused on the negative thoughts and concerns that bother you but quite interestingly, when someone has a supportive, nonjudgmental listener to support them; things can start getting better.
- Depression is considered analogous to “madness”. These two terms are used interchangeably by some people. Having depression doesn’t mean you’re “crazy”. It just means that some concerns of your life are negatively affecting your mind and it’s functioning which is very normal. Even the strongest people might suffer through it. Depression can strike anyone, at any time.
But it’s important to remember that depression is just a state—not the reality of your situation. Getting rid of depression is possible. One must always remember that no matter what happens hope is always there. No matter how dark the night is, no matter how dark your life is, there is always the light that will help in guiding you back like the moon.
Various steps involved in the journey of recovering from depression are:
- Acceptance: There is no change without acceptance. In order to commence this journey of getting rid of depression, you firstly need to accept and embrace yourself. The time might be hard, but it too will pass and this should never be forgotten. No matter how hopeless you feel, better days are ahead. By embracing your emotions, you can take the first steps to feeling better and overcoming the problem.
- Exercising Regularly: Exercise seems like the last thing that you want to do when suffering from depression or anxiety, but exercise can make a big difference. Firstly, exercise can take your mind off all the stress and concerns bothering you breaking the cycle of negative thoughts that are a source of depression. Secondly, depression also leads to the release of feel-good endorphins and other natural brain chemicals which can help you stay positive.
- Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle: To fight depression, healthy lifestyle changes can be incorporated in our daily routine. For example, going for a walk, eating healthy such as fatty acids and complex carbohydrates, spending time with friends and family, meditation and having a proper sleep pattern can be very helpful in this journey. Getting rid of alcohol and the habit of smoking can also prove to be very helpful in fighting depression.
- Social Support: Humans are social animals by nature. But modern life has disrupted many of the traditional social norms. Depression is difficult to fight alone. In such a scenario, spending time with friends and family, socializing with people can be a great help. Now of course, a person suffering from depression might not feel like going for a party but instead making baby steps back into the society such as going for a walk is helpful.
- Setting Goals: Identifying the goals is the heart of the recovery process. When we are able to see what future holds for us, we can get motivated to do all that we can to reach that future. Goals can be small or big but asking oneself question like “What brings me joy?” or “What do I want?” can prove to be efficient while getting rid of depression.
- Getting Help: If you feel that your depression is causing problems with your work or relationships, considering getting help is a wise solution. Talking to a mental health counselor can be a way to get help. They can help you undergo talk therapies and can also prescribe you antidepressants if needed. Never shy away from getting help because it is not a weakness.
- Count Your Blessing Everyday: Last but not the least, thinking about what we have at the moment is crucial for survival. Paying gratitude for the little things in life makes us appreciate life. Count every day as a blessing and see a hope of recovery in it.
It might not be easy to get rid of depression but never let go of the string of hope even if it seems to be breaking with each passing second. Always remember that you are not alone. Once you choose hope, anything is possible.
By Piyush Abrol, Ludhiana