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Anyone who suffers from depression knows that symptoms affect all areas of wellness. That is why holistic approaches to depression treatment — those that address mind, body, and emotions — make sense.
The most annoying thing about depression is that managing it requires making choices and taking action — two things that are difficult when motivation is in the toilet.
Making any effort can feel like walking through setting cement, digging a hole with a soft rubber shovel, or like engine meltdown when all the spark plugs have stopped firing or cannot stop firing. However, doing nothing lets the depression-snowball roll down the hill of symptoms, picking up size and speed.
Successfully managing depression requires us to address a minimum of four things:
FIRST, physical activity is essential, whether it’s walking, housecleaning, gardening, or washing the car. The body needs activity to remain healthy. If motivation is low, we need to start small.
SECOND, the body needs good food. The typical Western diet is notoriously hard on human health. Theoretically, no one should take medication until they have been on a healthy diet for at least 12 weeks; like that is going to happen. Depressed people would be overwhelmed at the thought of revamping their entire diet, but making small changes is more doable.
THIRD, the mind can be difficult to reign in, but not impossible. Anyone with depression needs to understand how thoughts affect his or her mood, and have psychological tools to help him or her choose healthier thoughts.
FOURTH, people generally do better when they have a sense of belonging. A sense of connection can be with family, a group of friends, a church, a support group, an interest or an activist group, with pets, or a volunteer organization.
The point is not how you cover the basics of symptom management, it is just important that you do. It may take some experimenting to discover what combination of options helps you best manage your depression.
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