Coping With The Symptoms Of Depression
The symptoms of depression can be addressed to help you feel better. Here are some ways to deal with these symptoms.
-Set goals for daily activity. Plan full days of useful activity by making a list of the activities you are going to engage in at different times during the day. Try to stick to this plan as closely as possible.
-What activities do you enjoy? Try to increase the amount of time you spend on these enjoyable activities.
-Avoid comparing the way you are behaving or feeling now while you are depressed with the way you used to behave or feel before becoming depressed.
-Reward yourself for your efforts. Ask others around you to encourage and praise you for each small step you take. Recovering from depression is a bit like learning to walk again after breaking your leg.
-If a task seems too difficult, do not despair. Break the task down into even easier steps and start again more slowly.
LOSS OF APPETITE
Eat small portions of food that you particularly like. Take your time and do not feel under pressure to finish if you are eating with others. Drink plenty of fluids.
LOSS OF INTEREST IN SEX
Seek nonsexual activities with your partner that you still enjoy. Explain to your partner that your loss of interest and affection is a symptom of your depression, not a rejection of him or her, and that these symptoms will be temporary.
-Get up at the same time every morning.
-Avoid sleeping during the day.
-Reduce tea and coffee intake if excessive (no more than two or three cups per day and none after about 4:00 p.m.).
-Do not lie awake for more than about thirty minutes—get up and find a relaxing activity.
-Try relaxation exercises.
MISERABLE FEELINGS, UNPLEASANT THOUGHTS
These negative thoughts and feelings tend to focus your attention on things you do not like about yourself or your life situation. These thoughts also tend to make your problems seem worse than they really are. As well as concentrating on your negative features and experiences, when you are depressed, you tend to underestimate your positive characteristics and your ability to solve problems. A number of strategies may help you achieve a more balanced view of things:
-Make a list of your three best features—perhaps with the help of a friend or relative. Carry the list with you and read it to yourself whenever you find yourself focusing on negative thoughts.
-Keep a daily record of all the small pleasant things that happen and discuss these events with your friends when you see them.
-Recall pleasant occasions in the past and plan pleasant occasions for the future (this may best be done in conversation with a friend).
-Consider alternative explanations for unpleasant events or thoughts. Although your initial explanation may be that you are at fault, rethink these conclusions and write down all other possible explanations for these events or thoughts.
-Keep yourself busy doing useful activities. Avoid sitting or lying about doing nothing.
WORRYING OR INEFFICIENT THINKING
Put your worry to a useful purpose. Rather than endlessly pinpointing your problems, pick out one or two that seem really important and make a decision to resolve them. You may like to ask a friend to help you.
Go through the following steps:
1. Say exactly what the problem (or goal) is.
2. List five or six possible solutions to the problem. Write down any ideas that occur to you, not merely the good ideas.
3. Evaluate the good and bad points of each idea in turn.
4. Choose the solution that best fits your needs.
5. Plan exactly the steps you will take to put the solution into action.
6. Review your efforts after attempting to carry out the plan. Praise all efforts. If unsuccessful, start again.
With assistance, the right treatment, and a solid understanding of the disorder, you can overcome depression
Original article available here.