What is the best strategy for dealing with depression in every day life?

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Answered by: Gina, An Expert in the Living with Depression Category
When you're depressed, daily life can seem quite daunting. Tasks that others might find simple and menial can be intensely challenging. It can be hard to find the motivation to go to work or school, do chores around the house, or even get out of bed. At times it may feel as if you will never feel happy again. The first step to dealing with depression is to take each day as it comes. Many who suffer from depression also suffer from general anxiety. Anxiety causes us to constantly worry about hypotheticals, instead of focusing on the present and the positive. By taking a moment to be present in our current situation, we can dispel fears and clear our mind.

When dealing with depression, it is also important to remember self-care. Self-care is any activity that brings a person closer to a sense of mental well-being. When depression brings on feelings of despair, it can be helpful to engage in self-care as a way of coping. Writing, reading, and listening to music are common forms of self-care. Your personal self-care routine might include other things such as shopping, meditating, or getting a massage. No matter what form it takes, self-care reminds us that our minds and bodies both require maintenance in order to keep us functioning in a healthy way.

Depression isn't the kind of illness that you can see. The symptoms of its grasp aren't always tangible. This doesn't mean that depression is invalid or imaginary. To cope with your depression, you must acknowledge it as a very real mental illness that can have dire consequences on your health. Others, such as friends or family, may not understand the way you feel. They may tell you to "snap out of it" or "stop being lazy." Those around us do not necessarily want to hurt us with their words, but these phrases still sting. Rather than allowing things like this to get to you, you might consider educating those close to you about the symptoms and signs of depression, as well as the ways in which they can help when you find yourself in the midst of a depressive episode.

It's okay to seek outside help when battling your depression. Many people find it helpful to talk with a therapist weekly. Having an outlet to discuss your deepest fears and sorrows can take the weight off of a burdened mind. Knowing that your therapist maintains confidentiality can make it easier to open up. In addition to talk therapy, you may wish to see a psychiatrist and discuss potential medications that may relieve some of the signs and symptoms of depression. Often, a treatment plan that includes both psycho-pharmaceuticals and talk therapy is most beneficial to the patient.

There are many different ways to cope with depression in your everyday life. Above all, it is important to remember that you are not your depression. Your entire existence need not be defined by a mental illness. It's okay to ask for help.

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