How to Deal with Depression and Improve Quality of Life

Everyone have their share of ups and downs in life! Life is like a roller coaster sometimes you will have your share of happiness and sometimes you might be deeply saddened due to some kind of events happening in your life. Remember sadness is a natural human emotion, however, sometimes it is highly possible for sadness to deepen, and this may lead to depression.

Before we move forward let us understand what is depression:

deal with depression

What is Depression?

Depression can be explained as a disorder that is illustrated by excessive sadness, lack of interest in doing things which you might enjoy and low motivation. Depression is common and one in three people might be suffering from it at some stage of their lives. The cases of depression can vary from mild to severe.

No one exactly knows the root cause of depression but current studies show that genetic factors play an important role in cases of depression so if you have a family history of depression you should be more cautious. Apart from the genetic factors, stressful environment, like financial stress, bereavement, unemployment, loneliness, etc are all the factors that can ignite depression so it is important to understand the signs of depression.

What are the signs of depressions?

It is important to understand these signs of depressions, so that we can find the antidote quicker before it becomes a burden in your life. You can say that you are going through depression if you are going through bouts of

  • Miserable feeling throughout the day which can intensify at any point of the day.
  • Loss of interest in your day to day activities.
  • Poor concentration and having difficulties in sorting out a problem or making decisions.
  • Persistent unpleasant thoughts
  • Suicidal tendency or having thoughts of harming yourself.
  • Loss of appetite and loss of weights
  • Losing interest in sex
  • Losing energy, even if you are not physically active
  • Suffering from insomnia
  • Reduced activity and speech

A combination of any 5 of these symptoms can be considered as a depressive disorder, so you need to be cautious about these warning signals.

How do you deal with depression?

An episode of depression requires action, and that is the Catch22 situation. Taking action to recover from depression, like exercising, or spending time with friends can be very difficult to put into action. It might seem to be a Herculean task to simply pick up your phone and call your loved ones or take a walk.

supporting friends

Tips for battling with depression

As you go through this section of this article, remember that you are not the only person who is dealing with depression there are millions of people around you who might be suffering from the same disorder. Dealing with depression requires a constant effort where might be required to challenge your mind engage yourself in something beyond yourself. To get ahead with these agonizing times, you might require the knowledge of the strategies, style of living, and treatments that will help you to deal with these times. These are some of the dos and don’ts, if you wish to pit yourself against depression.

  • Keep in touch – It is common to withdraw yourself from all kind of social activities during depression and you might feel that staying alone will be good for you! However the paradox is that the thing which you do not want to do can actually help you to cope with depression. Psychiatrists say that talking to someone when you are feeling low can help you to manage such situations.
  • Indulge in some activities – Although it is easier said than done, it is advisable to take up some exercise. It is now a proven truth that exercise helps in recovering from depression. Exercise helps by releasing endorphins and taking your mind away from worries. Exercising also helps you to gain more confidence. If you can do some sort of exercises for 30 minutes a day for three to five days a week it can significantly improve your mental health and help you to fight anxiety and depression.
  • Face the fears – If you are looking to confront depression then do not procrastinate, you should always face those things which find difficult to do and try to do it immediately. Sometimes you might tend to become reticent and avoid talking to people, or you might be losing the confidence to take a walk or drive your car. In such situations facing such kind of incidents will be helpful to fight the depressive mood that you are going through.
  • Avoid drinking too much of alcohol – People try to indulge in drinking too much alcohol when they go into depression or depressive mood. Alcohol is a depressant so before you reach out for a drink, think again! Even a small amount of alcohol can have an adverse effect and can worsen some of the depression symptoms like fatigue, difficulties to concentrate, rising pessimism, insomnia, loss of appetite etc. In addition to this, if you are taking antidepressant, alcohol obstructs the effects of the drugs by having negative interaction with the drugs. This can aggravate the depression symptoms.
  • Eat a healthy diet – It is very important to eat a healthy diet when you are going through these harrowing times. People are at a risk of losing excessive weights by reducing their intake of food while others find comfort in gobbling junk foods and put on extra weights; during depression it is very essential to have a healthy diet. Antidepressants can also affect your appetite so it is always advisable to consult your GP to seek their advice in you feel your antidepressant is affecting your diet and weight.
  • Boost your sleep hygiene – Sleep and mood are closely interrelated. People with depressive moods often experience disturbances in having a sound sleep. Lack of proper sleep can result in loss of productivity and you will always feel exhausted throughout the day. So it is very important to practice a good sleep hygiene like turning off your mobile and TV at least two hours before you go to sleep. Try some relaxing activity before you go to bed. Do not sleep immediately after eating your food. Improving your quality and quantity of sleep can help you to recover from depression quicker.
  • Take your medications daily – For some people antidepressant needs to be administered to eliminate severely depressive moods. It is advisable to take your medicines as per the instructions and not leave it half way. You should not stop your medications without consulting your health professional who prescribed it because in case, you stop taking medicine without being advised for it, your depression might return. Antidepressants have some side effects which are normally get adjusted with your body as you continue the medication. In case the side effects continues or worsens you should immediately consult your physician.
  • Shut out our negative thoughts – Depression can fill your mind with negative thoughts. Changing those negative thoughts can help in improving your mood and make your feel better. Therapists use a method of treating the negative thoughts by what they call Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, which is aimed at changing the patterns of negative thinking in order to remove the depression.

How does depression affect your productivity?

Episodes of depression do affect your productivity, and most people with clinical depression do not get the help they need at their work place. Ailments like migraines, headaches, back ache, lack of concentration, feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted are also associated with depression, which can affect your productivity in a major way. The onus surrounding the clinical depression exists and many employers do not recognize the problem. Researches state that an estimated $45 billion is lost every year due to workers with clinical depression.

depression productivity loss

Depression in women:

Women are twice more prone to be diagnosed with depressive disorders. There are many factors due to which a woman face depression –

  • Depression can occur at any stage like puberty- due to hormonal changes during puberty.
  • Premenstrual problem- this can occur due to the bodily changes that might happen during this time like breast tenderness, abdominal bloating etc.
  • Pregnancy- Dramatic hormonal changes are experienced during this period which can affect mood.
  • Postpartum depression- Some new mothers might find this period irritating and they tend to become sad, angry and irritated which is common, however if they have a long lasting effect then it is a clear indication of postpartum depression.
  • Peri-menopause and menopause During this stage the hormone estrogen gets significantly reduced. Many women experience troublesome menopausal symptoms which can increase the risk of depression, especially if they have a history of depression and are undergoing a very stressful life.

So, you need to be more careful about females and do everything in your power in order to help women deal with depression.

Depression in children:

Depression in children often goes undiagnosed and untreated because it is the habits of adults to pass it off as a normal behavior. However if your child is showing these symptoms then you should come out of the stigma surrounding the mental disorders and consult a medical professional:

  • Anger and irritability
  • Contagious feeling of sadness and hopelessness
  • Becoming withdrawn towards him or herself and losing interest in social interaction
  • Increase in sensitivity towards instances of rejection
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in sleep which can either be lack of sleep or excessive sleep
  • Impaired concentration and faulty thinking
  • Constant guilty feeling
  • Suicidal feelings

depression in kids

Children with depressive disorders will show some evidential changes in their social activities, academic performances and behaviors. It is always prudent to speak with your GP or a medical professional if you notice such changes.

Depression is curable and you are not alone! There are more than 300 million people across the globe who are affected by depression and the numbers are growing. Adjusting your life, proper exercise, eating healthy diet, practicing meditation, yoga, relaxation, undergoing massage therapy all can easily help you to recover from depression quickly. So don’t think that all is lost, because behind every dark tunnel there is hope and light , if you just can shove this bad phase of your life off your head, then you will see that there are wonderful things waiting for you.

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Charu Verma
Charu decided to unite her Honors Degree in New Media and lifetime of geekiness to pursue a career in tech and gaming journalism. You can usually find her writing about a variety of topics and drooling over new gadgets and games.