Is There an Answer to Depression?
Depression is becoming increasingly common in the modern age. Depression may be a result of one or more of the following factors:
- Poor choices in the past
- Genetic predisposition
- Chemical imbalances in the brain
- Drug use or abuse
Depression often results in a self-reinforcing downward spiral, as the depressed person withdraws from life and avoids addressing and dealing with the things that are causing the depression. The situation becomes worse, and the person becomes increasingly depressed and withdraws further. Depression can destroy lives by robbing people of their ambition and potential and can even lead to suicide. Depression needs to be addressed and professionally treated as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Depression
Whether depression is caused by chemical imbalance or situational factors, the symptoms tend to be universal and may include the following:
- Changes in sleep patterns including either insomnia or an inability to get out of bed
- Changes in eating patterns including a loss of appetite or overeating
- Feelings of hopelessness and despair
- Seeking escape in drug use
- A profound sense of regret over mistakes made in the past or situations that were beyond the person’s control
- Obsessing over the past and engaging in constant speculation about how things could have been better
- Thoughts of suicide
Ways to Cope with Depression
Depression tends to cause people to stop engaging in their normal activities and to spend most of their time obsessing about the things that are making them depressed. This is part of the self-reinforcing cycle of depression. While it is important to address the issues at the heart of the depression and to deal with them in constructive ways, it is just as important not to obsess over them so that they take over your thoughts and your life. Some constructive ways to cope with depression include the following:
- Keep busy. Find activities and hobbies you enjoy. Get a full or part time job, if you are not already employed. Staying busy will occupy your time in constructive ways and will keep you from obsessing about the things that are making you depressed. Pleasurable activities and experiences release dopamine in the brain and lift your mood.
- Set goals and work toward them. Decide on something you want for yourself and do the work necessary to make it happen. Goals keep you positive and provide the satisfaction of making progress.
- Exercise. If physically able, engage in regular exercise. Exercise improves mood, increases physical and mental health and helps you sleep regularly and more deeply.
Need Help Coping with Depression?
We are here to talk with you about depression and any co-occurring drug use or mental health concerns. Our toll-free helpline is here for you 24 hours a day, so please call now and learn about your answers to depression.