Every year approximately 9.5 per cent of the American population suffers from depression. Depression is a grave illness that affects day to day life and destroys families. It is a disorder that controls the mind and its functions causing loss of appetite, sleeplessness, mood swings, and a deep sense of despair.
The symptoms of depression are varied and the severity changes with time. And, according to expert’s depression can be an inherited disorder, or caused by life-threatening illnesses, or stress. Other causes are certain diseases, medicines, drugs, alcohol, or mental illnesses. Women are seen to experience depression more than men and this is attributed to hormonal swings, menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, pre-menopause, and post-menopause.
Common symptoms of Depression:
1. An unshakeable sadness, anxiety, or emptiness.
2. Overwhelming hopelessness accompanied by pessimistic feelings.
3. Extreme guilt, feelings of helplessness, and no sense of self worth.
4. Loss of energy, a slowing down of metabolism, and activity levels. Being plagued by constant fatigue.
5. A sense of helplessness along with an increasing inability to focus and indecisiveness.
6. Loss of sound sleep and development of extreme insomnia.
7. Inexplicable weight loss or weight gain. Triggered by loss of appetite or eating binges.
8. Brooding and suicidal inclinations.
9. Irritability, short temper, as well as restlessness.
10. Physical afflictions like headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain for no particular reason.
If you experience any of the above along with a marked change in behaviour do consult your doctor. They will give you a thorough examination to rule out physical causes for depression as well as any underlying medical problems. Then if required they will recommend that you consult a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Take matters in hand and try and erase negativity from your mind. Cut out from your life terms like exhaustion, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Change your life by setting yourself a few goals. Try and relax, meditate, and enjoy music. Start new activities that absorb your time as well as interests. Go out and meet people and participate in group activities. Avoid the company of negative people. Make up your mind to enjoy a movie, ballgame, family outing, picnic, or trek. Be positive, self-confident, and have faith in yourself. Faith is itself a great healer. Decide to change your world for the better. However, do follow the doctor’s advice.
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”Stephen Fry
If your depression escalates or you are suicidal seek help from your family physician or health care provider. Do call a local health department, a community mental health centre, or hospital or clinic. Someone will extend a helping hand and talk you through the crisis.
5 Quick Tips To Ease Depression, Stress And Anxiety
Take Time Out
Working hard without regular breaks is a great way to build up stress and tension. Make sure you have at least one 15-minute break in the morning and one in the afternoon as well as at least 20 minutes for lunch. If possible, eat lunch away from your workstation. Equally, if you have a lot to deal with in your life right now, taking a day, or a weekend elsewhere ñ longer if you can – to get some breathing space will really help. Even just a day away from the firing line will enable you to get some distance from the problems and help you to gather your thoughts.
Mental and Physical Health
Regular exercise can help relieve stress, depression and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins into your system and will give you a natural boost. It will also provide you with a break from brooding and dwelling upon problems and troubles ñ but only if you perform the right kind of exercises. Avoid: Exercises that allow you to brood (weight lifting, jogging, treadmills) and perform exercises that require your full concentration. Competitive sports such as squash, tennis, badminton and circuit training are all excellent examples. It is important that you do not brood when you exercise because although you will be benefiting physically, you are still stressing yourself mentally and the stress, depression and anxiety will worsen.
Stop Being Your Worst Critic
Self-deprecation is a huge part of stress, depression and anxiety. Each time you beat up on yourself, you will erode confidence and self-esteem. Never tell yourself you’re useless, worthless, stupid, hopeless, boring, ugly, and a loser. Never convince yourself that other people hate you, that others find you difficult to be around and that you’re better off being alone. You would never deem it acceptable to say such things to other people and you must deem it equally unacceptable to say them to yourself. These words and phrases are powerful, and they will hurt you. Accept you’re not perfect and that you make mistakes, just like everybody else does, and cut yourself some slack. From this day, make a pact with me to never indulge self-deprecation ever again. IT IS UNACCEPTABLE.
Use ‘Me Time’ Positively
Isolation is another problem experienced by stress, depression and anxiety sufferers. OK, there will be times when you just want your own company. During such times, you can brood over and over again on problems and events and beat yourself up for hours on end. Not good. Instead, use isolation more positively. Occupy your mind by tackling a jigsaw puzzle, a logic problem, a crossword, read a book or perform a hobby such as painting, playing a musical instrument or whatever it is you have an interest in. In this way, isolation will help you to grow instead of causing you further pain.
Reduce Social Media and Media Access
Television, radio and newspapers can all supply you with a daily hit of negativity and help lower your mood. In the main, they concentrate on the negative side of life: crime, corruption, war, scandal and natural disasters and can give you a distorted view of reality. Not to mention the amount of image manipulation they subject you to. Give yourself a break from this negative drip feed and avoid them completely for one week. You may find, like I have, that they have no place in your life after that. Trust me, you won’t miss them. I have more tips on how to beat doomscrolling.
That’s five, quick tips for you to help fight stress, depression and anxiety. Please give them a try, they’ll all help to boost your mood levels very quickly indeed.