Regardless of age, status in the society, or profession, depression may affect anyone. It may exist at times of puberty, after childbirth and/or at mid-life. Thus, this health problem occurs at a specific period of time wherein circumstances of life may influence your mood. Immediate depression may be caused by particular events and losses such as death of a person close to you or reduction of your income. There are also other aspects to be considered, such as inherited factors associated with depression (a history of family depression) or other physical factors (abridged levels of neurotransmitters in the brain).
At various phases of our lives, we have all experienced being “down and troubled.” It is due to the changes in our day-to-day living. It also affects our environment and interaction with others. Sometimes, events apparently cause us to be more upset and we become depressed for over a long period of time.
As everyday events influence our moods, some make the misconception of depression as temporary “blues” or sadness. It might be a normal grief caused by the death of your loved one. People with the “blues” and normal grief might experience short-term symptoms of depression.
MYTHS AND FALSE IMPRESSION
The term “depression” is used to express a depressed mood, simultaneously with other symptoms, that exist for a prolonged period of time. When depression is not cured, it may influence normal performance. It is important to recognize that depression is not a sign of frailty or a lack of determination, and not something that you can easily escape from. It is a condition that can be cured through proper treatment.
Because of the link between grief and depression, some make false impressions to both.
Here are some myths that needs to be cleared up.ï,§ Depressed People are Mentally Unstable and Inefficient.
As you might experience troubles in making decision and difficulty in concentration and memory, lack of knowledge and misinformation leads to the thought that depressed people are incompetent. This is certainly not true! Because depression is a treatable illness, it can be cured by your own determination and will power. It can be treated faster with the help of others.
ï,§ Someone Must Have Brought the Depression.
All of us used to admire others and set them as our role models. They might be our parents or other famous personalities. Some people have been mistaken and blamed by others for causing depression. You must understand that depression is a health problem that can only be caused by yourself and nobody is to blame.
ï,§ Depression is God’s Way of Punishing for Some Wrong Act or Misbehavior.
This is a widespread belief in the midst of sufferers. If a person can’t find the answer for his or her sufferings, then it might tend to make himself or herself more burdened by the depression, causing that person to find something wrong with himself or herself.
This piece of writing describes what depression is and looks at the common causes and symptoms, as well as some of the myths about depression.
No one should be ashamed of being depressed. It might seem so difficult and sometimes unbearable, to draw yourself out of a sinkhole of depression, but it is THE MOST TREATABLE EMOTIONAL PROBLEM. Always remember that you are not a terrible or hopeless person.
Particular self-help methods in this section will seem more suitable for you to use to cope up with your depression. You can try two or three and see if they work. If not, take a break on something else. In general, gaining some optimism about getting better, having a clear viewpoint, and getting family support, along with selected self-help methods, will lead to a better recovery from depression.
BASIC PRINCIPLES IN HANDLING DEPRESSION
• Free Yourself from Bitterness and Hatred Each Day.
Avoid going to bed with annoyed and irritable feelings against people you have a misunderstanding with. Eliminate hatred from your heart and mind. Release all anxieties, tension, and anger on a daily basis.
• Look for Something That You Can Bring About for a Particular Person
If possible, do a nice deed each day. Stretch out to anyone in need.
• Get in Touch Frequently with Our Creator.
You must realize that His love is unconditional. You will always feel happiness and contentment if you build an intimate relationship with Him.
• Worship God Everyday.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
• Get Something Done to Settle Family Misunderstandings.
Establish close and harmonious relationships with each member of your family. Encourage an open communication line with your spouse and children. You will feel much better inside when you share problems and secrets with people you are close with.
• Get Involved in A Small Group Religious Study or Share Group.
• Be Personally Involved in Something That You Enjoy Doing and That Will Benefit You for a Lifetime.
The known ways for coping with depression are as simple as follows: As the time comes in our lives when we most feel like doing nothing, you need to DO SOMETHING! When the future looks most bleak, you need to look forward to it with hope and courage. If you hate yourself because of a big boo-boo you have committed, you have to accept your mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. Eventually, no matter which “cure” you take, you will have to help yourself; there is no easy, effortless, and magical cure.
CONTROL YOUR ANGER, CONTROL YOUR DEPRESSION
To completely release yourself from the sinkhole of depression, you must also be free from anger. Here are 7 fabulous tips to help you manage and control your anger:
1. Relax and Visualize.
Calm yourself down. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, imagine all those bottled-up rage come out of your nose and mouth. Release it and be free. Repeat this step over and over until you feel peace inside. Then visualize being in a place where you feel most happy, calm, and relaxed. It may be a place like a beach, garden, scenic location, or anywhere else you might think of. Just imagine being there and inhaling the essence of your serene surroundings. By doing this, you will not find it hard to attain inner peace.
2. Pour Out Your Anger to Safe Outlets.
You had a big quarrel with your former friend. He betrayed your trust. You want vengeance and you’re raving mad. You just have to let it out or you’ll feel more and more depressed. But don’t let it out on him. Try your best to get away from him as far as you can. You don’t want to hurt anyone. Anger can possess your brain into doing something that you wouldn’t dare do before. How do you then release your anger properly? Buy a punching bag, then pour out all your rage in it. Punch it, kick it, and strangle it. Imagine the punching bag as your enemy. When you’re done, you will feel a sense of satisfaction. You may even punch and kick through thin air if you desire. Another way to release it is “SHOUT!” Find a distant place where you can be alone – a place where no one can hear you. At the top of your voice, yell out loud “Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!.”
You can choose any word you like as long as you release all those angry demons out of your chest.
3. Forgive and Forget.
Nothing could ease your mental and emotional pains better than by forgiving someone that has hurt you in the past. It is very unhealthy to burden yourself with unnecessary torture brought about by unpleasant memories of other people’s demeaning acts.
Moreover, if they have taken something important away from you, would it make sense to also sacrifice your health and lifestyle, and feel much more depressed than ever?
Of course not!
Engaging in exercises increases your endorphins. Your angry mood could miraculously change to a happy one if you get involved in exercises that you enjoy doing.
5. Have a Circle of “Sponge” Friends.
Do you feel relieved when you voice out all your problems to close friends and relatives? That’s the power of voicing out your inner feelings. Always have someone to talk to when you’re down, when you’re depressed, when you’re mad, or in any other occasion when you feel you have to get the thorns out of your chest.
6. Listen to Soothing Music.
It calms your soul. A 20-minute session of listening to relaxing music while resting comfortably could soothe the upset spirit. Take deep breaths often.
Deadly consequences arise when people could not hold back their fury. Ask for guidance that you will be able to control your temper. Prayers bring inner peace to those who ask for it.
REMARKABLE REMEDIES FOR SELF-ESTEEM
If you are suffering the mental crisis of low self-esteem, serious action should be taken to regain it. So what can be done to revive self-esteem? Here are some remarkable remedies:
1. Satisfy or Indulge Yourself.
Eat whatever you want, play a sport you’re most interested in, go to places that make you happy.
2. Get in Touch with Your Close Friends Often.
Their encouragement and company can boost your confidence level.
3. Whatever You Do Well, Do Often.
If you have a certain skill or talent that you’re good at, develop it. If you see yourself becoming or performing better than others, that will really boost your self-esteem to greater heights.
4. Do whatever reminds you that you are a good, brilliant, capable, responsible, and caring person despite experiencing the opposite feeling.
5. Imagine yourself as being famous and successful if you feel that others are not paying attention to you.
6. Safeguard and maintain good health.
7. Set yourself attainable goals.
PRACTICAL METHODS TO COMBAT STRESS
A stress-free lifestyle could very well do wonders in eliminating depression. Here are some practical methods to combat stress:
1. Express Amusement And Be Happy.
Laugh hard and loud. If you don’t have a sense of humor, find someone else who has. Laughter releases endorphins (happy chemicals) from the body, and it helps boost your immune system.
2. Take Control Over Your Time and Schedule.
You’ll be much more able to deal with stress if you have a good handle on your job, relationships, and other activities. When you are in control, you are more inclined to stay focused and calm. Plan your time wisely.
Remember to leave room for unexpected events – both negative and positive. Be adaptable in rearranging your agenda. Get up 15 minutes early in the morning. Allow an extra 15 minutes to get to all appointments.
Avoid procrastinating on important or urgent tasks. Whatever needs doing, do it immediately. Do the unpleasant tasks early, so that you won’t have to worry about them for the rest of the day. Keep an appointment or record book. Don’t just rely on your memory.
Do your tasks one thing at a time at a time. Focus your attention on the present moment, whether it’s the person talking to you or the job at hand. This helps you to avoid making errors – which lead to more tension and anxiety. Be patient in waiting. Anxiety caused by impatience can rise up your blood pressure.
Say “no” to requests that you cannot accomplish. Delegate trivial tasks. You must remember that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Crack a job into separate tasks and assign them to people with the suitable skills.
3. Work Out
Strive and get some habitual exercise such as brisk walking, swimming or whatever appeals to you. Play a sport you’re interested in. Aerobic exercises can considerably reduce the stress factor. Work out also improves sleep and gives you time to think and focus on other things. It also promotes the release of natural soothing chemicals in your body. Do not result to excessive exercise, however, as this may have an adverse effect and might cause more depression.
4. Search Out For A Support Group.
You’ll be able to manage stress much better if you have other people helping and supporting you. Did you know that married people and people who are outgoing (always meeting with friends), have considerably low levels of stress in their lives?
Choose positive friends who are not worriers. Friends who continually put you down or talk gloomily about life will increase your anxiety. Invite a good friend to help you talk out a problem and get it off your chest. A long-distance call to an old pal can be great therapy.
Pardon others instead of holding grudges. Slow down your standards – for yourself and others. Don’t expect too much. Perfectionism is not the means to happiness. Become more flexible and adaptable to your environment. Communicate clearly with your co-workers and boss. Ask questions. Repeat instructions that you are given. Clarifying directions at the start of a project can save lots of time later rectifying out misunderstandings. Be honest in your dealings with others. Lying and cheating leads to stress.
5. Take Breaths Deeply and Slowly.
Calm down your muscles, escalating your stomach and chest. Exhale slowly. Do it again several times. Follow your breath as it flows in and out. Do not try to have power over it. This is a good way to relax in the midst of any activity. This practice allows you to find a breathing pattern that is natural and relaxing to you.
Make use of this yoga technique: Inhale slowly, counting to eight. Exhale through your mouth, even more slowly, counting to sixteen. Make a sighing sound as you exhale, and feel tension dissolve. Do it again 10 times.
6. Consume Healthy Foods at the Appropriate Time.
Never skip meals, especially breakfast. Get time out to eat heartily no matter how busy you are. Take nutritious snacks to the office, or even the shopping mall. A nutritionally balanced diet is essential to your health and lifestyle. For example, researchers have found that even small deficiencies of thiamin, a B-complex vitamin, can cause anxiety symptoms. Pantothenic acid, another B-complex vitamin, is critical during times of stress. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sweets, which can worsen symptoms of stress.
7. Live Optimistically.
Count your blessings, particularly when everything seems to go wrong. Believe that many other people are living in worse conditions than you are. Don’t exaggerate the complexity of your problems. Every problem has a solution. All you need to do is find that solution. Learn to be happy and to enjoy life’s blessings. Live one day at a time.
8. Put Off Problems Earlier Than They Occur.
This takes some preparation. If you are going to another city for an valuable meeting, carry your presentation materials and dress suit on board the plane.
Acquire gas for the car before the tank is unfilled. Get usual oil changes and checkups. Keep food ready anytime at your house so you can fix a fast meal without going to the store. Keep food, medicine, and toiletries on hand so you never have to feel tensed when they run out.
9. Enjoy The Good Things That Life Has to Offer.
Grant yourself some physical pleasure and enjoyment to help your stress slip away. Indulge yourself to a professional massage, or trade massages with a loved one. Give yourself consent to enjoy a movie, watch a concert or sports event, listen to music, or read a book. Take pleasure in a soothing cup of chamomile herb tea with a little bit of honey. Chamomile has long been used to relieve nervous tension.
Arrange a day of beauty with a friend. Do each other’s hair, or paint your nails and chat.
Make a simple steam facial at home by boiling water. Remove the pan from the stove. Cover your head with a large towel so that it creates a tent over the pot. Steam your face for five or 10 minutes. Add aromatic herbs to the water for a sensual touch. Center your attention on any of the senses – hearing, seeing, eating or body movements – for a few minutes. Even washing your hands can become a sensual experience.
10. Possess a Definite Goal or Purpose in Life, and Strive for it..
Plan ahead to meet your most desired goals in life. You should always wake up with a sense of purpose.
Time management experts highlight the importance of writing down your important goals. Break big projects down into a series of small steps that you can work on every day. Want to change jobs? Contact one prospective employer today. Is writing a book your dream? Commit to writing one page a day. Inch by inch, slowly but surely, you will get to your ultimate destination.
Knowing that you are striving toward your dreams relieves frustrations that mount when you feel stuck in a situation that seem to have no direction.
11. Move Away to Recharge Your Spirit.
Make a schedule for a private time alone every day. You deserve it. Unplug the telephone and enjoy a quiet evening alone or with your family, or even 15 continuous minutes in the shower or bathtub. You may want to spend a few minutes writing your feelings out in a journal. It can help you find a new viewpoint in life and relieve internal conflicts.
More Tips to Recharge Your Spirit
• Have on earplugs for instant peace anytime, anyplace.
• Be taught of a meditation technique. Two methods: Observe your thoughts as they pass through your mind. Or, repeat a word or phrase with an uplifting meaning.
• Put into practice progressive relaxation for 20 minutes twice a day to relive high blood pressure and other physiological responses to stress. Make tighter and release each muscle group in turn, starting with the soles of the feet and slowly working up to the scalp.
• Schedule a weekend activity that is a change of your usual routine. If your week is a lot scheduled, relax and enjoy noncompetitive activities. If you are never able to finish anything during the week, choose a project that you can complete in a few hours on weekends.
• Take time out for a little entertainment in the middle of your workday. When the pressures of completing a project are too great, your productivity can drop. Take a walk or eat lunch outside the office.
12. Use Visualization and Affirmation Techniques.
You can conquer a circumstance you fear by going over the event in your mind. Imagine the scene in clear detail and visualize the best possible result that may happen.
You can also reduce an imagined fear down to size by picturing the worst possible outcome. Visualize describing this worst case to your best friend the next day and the sympathy you receive. Imagine telling a group of friends the next month, who contribute to their similar experiences. Finally, imagine joking about your unpleasant experience with a complete stranger a month later. If you carry this exercise through to the end, your stress will become something to laugh about.
Replace negative self-talk with affirmations. Don’t let your mind be filled with gloom: You’re too ugly… you’re too old…you’ll never achieve anything. And things like: What if I fail the exam? What if she doesn’t like my gift? What if we get lost? These things haven’t even occurred yet. Nourish your mind with a constant stream of “I can; therefore, I will.”
13. Get Sufficient Sleep.
Settle on how much sleep you require for best possible performance. Lack of sleep worsens the body’s responses to stress and lowers the immune system.
14. Don’t Be Self-Centered.
Always remember that you don’t have to attain all the money, fame, and success in the world. Today’s society forces us to build up as much accomplishments as we can, while trying to balance our own personal and family life. There’s just not enough time to do all these things. Start from the most important task and focus on one thing at a time.