Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
Depression is powerful. Sometimes it shows up, seemingly out of nowhere, knocking you to your knees. Other times you suffer for a long while, not realizing that demon depression has taken over your mind and spirit.
Your doctor or your therapist or your partner finally tell you what is happening, and all the pieces fall into place. The hollowed - out way you've been feeling...The sensation that your body has suddenly gotten two hundred pounds heavier…The lack of ability to enjoy the things you used to…It all makes sense.
Now that you know, what can you do?
Get regular sleep. Exercise. Eat a healthy diet. If your body is not healthy, it will be difficult to get your mind to a healthy place. If you are overweight, try to lose five pounds. If you succeed, try another five pounds. Brag about it!!
Touch is important. Whether it is regular massage, or acupuncture for the random physical pain that often accompanies depression, or simply hugging or holding hands with someone you love, feeling someone's touch can release pleasurable feelings in the form of endorphins.
Talk to someone, whether it is a good friend or a therapist. Putting words to our feelings in an environment of support can be liberating. Being listened to and taken seriously can take the fear out of how we are feeling. Knowing that there are people who still care, despite how you are behaving, is an important cornerstone of recovery.
Do you like to listen to music? Do you like to sing along? Do it – sing at the top of your lungs! Let the people around you hear it. If they laugh, laugh with them. If they growl, sing louder!
Enjoy theater? Treat yourself to a show, even if you can't afford it.
Read a good book, or a series of books by an author you enjoy. Reread old favorites, to recapture the pleasure you felt the first time you read them.
Dance, even if you are alone. Dance as though you are possessed, dance like a diva, dance until you drop.
Sunlight can prevent seasonal affective disorder, one type of depression. Fifteen minutes of the sun on your face, even in winter, is bound to stimulate your endorphins. During other seasons, make a little time each day to sit or walk outdoors. Use sunscreen to protect yourself, but get outside and feel the sun on your skin.
Ever sit on a front porch and listen to the rain fall? The sound of the rain, even the thunder in the distance, can be very soothing. Make sure you are in a safe place, and enjoy.
Depression can often be accompanied by other negative emotions, including fear. Don't let fear overwhelm you. Just understanding that it can be part of the entire package of moods and emotion that is depression can be enough to lessen its grip.
It isn't easy to do any of these things when you are feeling bad. If you can do even one, though, it could go a long way to making you feel better.
Image courtesy: Victor Beruzkhov
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