How to stop feeling depressed? Will I ever be happy again? Will this sadness ever end? Will I ever be able to concentrate on my studies like before? Will I ever move on in my life?
Are these questions hitting your mind more than often? If yes, then this can be a sign of depression.
You should seek some professional help to fight depression. But before going ahead with this discussion, let us know more about depression.
Depression is a severe mental illness or mental health disorder. An individual feels low all the time, experiences mood swings, loses interest in any work or activity, eventually leading to a sad lifestyle.
Depression has some adverse effects on a person’s feelings, thoughts and behaviour, leading to various physical and emotional problems. A depressed person may sometimes find his life very dull or even unworthy of living.
Depression is not something to take lightly or something you can easily snap out of. Depression often takes a long time to be cured completely. But medication, meditation and psychotherapy can help relieve depression symptoms.
Symptoms of depression
Depression is such a condition where a person is persistently sad, which affects the overall mental health of that person. The symptoms of depression appear in episodes.
These episodes of depression may occur less frequently or more, throughout the day.
Some of the psychological symptoms are listed below:
- Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, and tearful.
- Sudden wrath, frustration, or irritation, even on not so big issues.
- Lack of interest in life events or lack of pleasure in various life activities, including sports, hobbies.
- Impaired sleep problems, such as sleeping too less or no sleep at all (insomnia) or sleeping too long.
- Persistent anxiety, restlessness, or agitation.
- Feeling worthless or guilty, regretting past mistakes, and blaming self.
- Impaired concentration, decision-making, thinking ability, and impaired memory.
- Having suicidal thoughts or thinking about suicide attempts, or even committing suicide.
Some of the physical symptoms of depression are as follows:
- Feeling exhausted or feel tired because of low energy levels.
- Reduction in appetite leading to weight loss or higher cravings of food items leading to weight gain.
- Delayed or disturbed speaking, thinking, or body movements.
- Facing unexplained physical discomforts like body pain, headache.
- The appearance of dark circles around the eyes due to improper sleep or stress.
Symptoms of depression in children and adolescents
Symptoms in children
- resistance to going to school
- being malnourished or underweight
Symptoms in adolescents
- inferiority complex
- losing self-confidence
- poor performance in school or college
- poor attendance in school or college
- extremely sensitive towards everything
- drug and alcohol abuse
- sleeping or eating too little or too much
- abstaining from social interactions
Risk factors leading to depression
- Certain traits of personality like self-critical, low self-esteem, pessimism or being too dependent on others.
- Stressful life events or some traumatic experience such as violence, sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial crisis, death or loss of someone dear or having a different relationship.
- Genetic history of depression or alcoholism or bipolar disorder.
- Being a gay or bisexual or lesbian or transgender in a family or society who is not supportive.
- Drug abuse or alcohol abuse.
- Some acute or chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, liver disease, chronic pain.
- Some medicines like sleeping pills or high blood pressure medicine.
Facts about depression
Depression is not a disease, it is just a condition. – Dr. Falguni Jani
One of the indications of depression is when plenty of negative thoughts hit the mind and engulf the entire mind and drag it into the dark yet imaginary world of anxiety, overthinking, and stress.
Moderate depression and mild depression can be overcome by breaking the loop of negative thinking, overthinking, and stress.
Depression is gradually turning into a global issue because there is little or no knowledge about mental health. Mental health cannot be ignored in the same way as we cannot ignore physical health. We were never taught about handling negative thoughts or how to deal with emotional turmoil, neither in schools nor in our family.
Not being able to share the thoughts and not being understood or listened to worsen depression.
The majority of people are suffering for long, due to depression and there is no end to their sufferings keep because they are not yet aware of the treatment of the issue which they are suffering from.
Facts about the treatment of depression
Music is an excellent therapy for depression.
Positive affirmations also help a lot to overcome feelings of hopelessness
The majority of depression cases can be curved easily by including exercise in daily routine.
It is recommended to seek professional help if it gets hard to beat depression independently.
Role of diet in the treatment of depression
Food also plays an important role in influencing how a person behaves and thinks. Food is a major determinant when it comes to improving your mood.
There is no such predefined diet for depression, but some food items can prove to be a helping factor in reducing depression.
Consuming a healthy diet can surely aid the overall treatment process and improve mental wellbeing.
Some of the essential nutrients which help in reducing depression are given below-:
Usually, our bodies produce free radicals, which can lead to aging, cell damage, and other problems. These free radicals badly affect the brain.
To lessen the destruction caused by free radicals, one should consume antioxidants like:
- Vitamin C– Pepper, tomato, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, orange, grapefruit, blueberries, potatoes, etc
- Beta-carotene– Sweet potato, pumpkin, collards, cantaloupe, apricots, spinach, peaches, carrots, broccoli, etc
- Vitamin E– Nuts, wheat germ, seeds, margarine, vegetable oil, etc
Mood-boosting hormone, a chemical present in the brain, serotonin, is linked to carbohydrates. Some experts claim that consuming carbohydrates may affect serotonin levels.
Choosing carbohydrates wisely is recommended. We should choose complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, over the simpler ones, like cookies and cakes.
Consuming legumes, fruits and vegetables is a great option.
Foods rich in protein help to increase alertness. Consuming protein-rich food during cognitive distortions boosts energy levels.
Foods like chicken, tuna, and turkey have tryptophan (an amino acid) that helps in elevating serotonin levels.
The excellent sources of protein include lean meat, beans, low-fat cheese, milk, fish, yogurt, soy product, peas, and poultry
4. Vitamins B
In some studies, it was found that depression is also linked with folate levels. If there is a deficiency of folate then it often contributes to raising depression in an individual.
Some good sources of folate are nuts, some fruits, legumes, and dark green vegetables. Low-fat dairy products, fish, and lean meat are excellent vitamin B12.
Other such nutrients which should be consumed regularly are omega 3 fatty acid, vitamin D and selenium-rich food.
Ways to combat depression
If you are feeling depressed, try to figure out the cause of the depression. Spending time with self is also essential to introspect.
Given below are some pro tips to tackle depression on a personal level:
1. Know the cause -: Try to figure out the root cause of your depression and check if it can be eliminated. Figure out whether you are suffering from moderate or mild depression.
2. Assure -: Ensure yourself that things will be fine. Mild cases and moderate cases of depression can be easily cured. So, overcoming depression will not be challenging for you.
3. Learn -: Learn about your condition, the issue which you are facing, and how to correct it and try to implement the corrective measures on yourself.
4. Clarify -: If you have doubts regarding the natural treatment process, feel free to consult a counselor or psychologist.
5. Motivate -: Throughout the journey of fighting depression, staying positive and motivated is very important.
What to do when depressed: How to stop feeling depressed?
After reading all the above content about depression, it is pretty clear what depression is, the symptoms of depression, and how we can fight depression.
But the main question which remains unanswered is – what can be done by us at the times when we feel depressed? What should we do when we feel worse, even during the positive events of life? What kills depression?
Many such questions revolve in our minds whenever we feel low or when our mood is upset.
So let us talk about some practical things that can be done when you feel depressed.
Follow the below list to know more-:
1. Spend time with friends and family
They are the ones who care for us, who feel bad about seeing us sad and feel good when we are happy. They are our true well-wishers and supporters, especially our parents.
No matter how strict or conservative our parents are, they would never want us to be in a miserable state. Vent out in front of your parents because no one can understand us better than our parents.
If you are not very comfortable talking to your parents or feel hesitant about sharing something, then search for some trustworthy family member, like your older siblings, or a loyal friend, to share your insecurities and negative thoughts.
This will make you feel better.
2. Watch a movie
If you stay alone or you cannot find anyone to talk to, then the best way to distract yourself from overthinking or negative thinking is to watch movies.
And if you watch a funny movie, it will be even better because that will make you laugh and there are chances that you may forget all your worries for some time.
Watching movies is the best way to eliminate boredom.
3. Online course
There are a lot of online courses available on the internet these days on various subjects.
So there are courses available that can help depressed individuals learn how to deal bravely with depression.
Improper sleep is an essential factor that contributes to the cause of depression. A healthy adult needs proper seven to eight hours of sound sleep. If you have issues in sleeping, you may feel agitated and frustrated all day long.
So whenever you feel weak or depressed or find nothing to do, then take a nap for an hour or two, and then you will feel better.
5. Visit the local park
Parks are a great place to chill out alone or hang out with friends. If you have no work to do and want to feel relaxed, then going to the park would be good.
When exposed to the fresh air, you will feel rejuvenated and calm. This will eliminate all your worries.
6. Fun activities
Indulging yourself in activities that make you happy, like cooking, online gaming, gardening, painting, singing, playing outdoor games, can boost you up, and you will feel more energized and experience peace when you do what you love or what makes you happy.
7. Phone calls, video calls, or chatting
If you stay away from your loved ones, then you can always connect to them via phone calls or video calls, or chatting.
Technology has made things so easier and simpler now. Staying away from home often leads to homesickness and sadness, but we can always connect to our loved ones now. Talking to our loved ones can instantly uplift our mood and remove depression.
8. Eating something healthy
You can eat a healthy snack that includes the proper amount of essential nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, Vitamin B, Vitamin D.
Eating healthy food have a positive impact on the brain and the body.
9. Favourite music
Everyone loves music. Everyone has a different taste in music. So whenever you feel low, sit back with a relaxed body and mind, with earphones plugged in your ears, and enjoy soothing and relaxing music.
Music has a soothing effect on the mind as well as the soul. So music can be your rescue when you are messed up in your mind.
Exercise is the best way to release tension and stress. Exercise promotes the health of the body and the health of the mind. During exercise, muscles contract and relax, leading to a well-toned body.
If your body is well toned, you feel more confident about yourself, and if your body is not in proper shape, you may feel under-confident, leading to stress and discomfort and eventually depression.
11. Stop blaming yourself
Be gentle towards yourself. Everyone commits mistakes, bigger or smaller, frequently or rarely, but not everyone curses themselves for the mistakes they made.
Committing mistakes is normal. We should take them as a lesson and move ahead and not like a crime to regret throughout our lives.
If you are a book lover like me, I am sure that you would love this activity of reading any book, be it a novel, sci-fi or anything.
It is very rightly said that books are our true friends. They act as a free guide to us. They amaze us, teach us, and are great companions during our loneliness.
If you believe in the almighty and have faith in him, then never stop praying. Spiritual peace is essential too. Never stop believing that God will make things better soon.
What you are facing today will not stay the same in the future. Praying is a medium to connect to the almighty directly, and it gives you inner peace and a lot of strength and positivity.
You might have heard doctors saying, at times, that when medication fails, only prayers can do miracles in life. So you can imagine the power which lies in prayers.
14. Surf social media
Various social media apps are best to remove boredom and negative thoughts. One can find so many jokes, memes, funny videos, poems, quotes, and many more on social media apps, which will surely help uplift your mood.
15. Watch motivational videos
Watching motivational videos on YouTube can be a great option to feel motivated. Managing them can make your mood happy and relaxed.
You can also watch ASMR videos. They, too, have a calming effect on our minds.
Our wellbeing lies in our own hands. Remember, life is a battle, and you are a warrior, fighting against different enemies from time to time. A warrior is strong. And a warrior never quits. A warrior keeps fighting till his last breath.
So believe in your strength. Never doubt yourself. You are capable of doing all that you think. All the battles begin in your mind, and if you win the battle in your head, you can win it in real.
I know that staying positive in tough times is challenging and also that we do not have any power to control negative thoughts.
But if we understand that turning negative improves nothing and instead worsens everything, then I am sure staying positive will seem to be an easier option.
I know it’s always easier said than done, but you have to give it a try. That’s the least you could do for yourself. Your life should first matter to you, only then it will matter to the rest of the world.
So, always try to look at the positive side even when it’s difficult to do so. Your attitude makes a lot of difference.As an Amazon Associate, Icy Health earns from qualifying purchases.