What is the best way how to cope with depression?

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Answered by: Lauren, An Expert in the Living with Depression Category
Depression can derive in any size, shape, or form, resulting in many people from all walks of life that become affected by it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 9% of adults in the United States have generated a diagnosis of depression. Living with this mental illness can seem like an unbearably difficult task when you feel as though you are not living, however only existing. Feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, and despair crowd your mind and mood. “It’s a bit like walking down a long, dark corridor never knowing when the light will go on” explains Neil Lennon, a former Soccer star speaking about his personal experience with the illness.



     Depression can develop from an assortment of different situations that each individual has their own unique experience with. For example; depression can occur when a loved one passes away, or maybe someone is going through a divorce, struggling with an addiction, suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. Perhaps there is no rhyme or reason to the way you feel, depression can sneak up on anybody for unexplained purposes. Clinically, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which the combination of medication and therapy are strongly suggested on how to cope with depression.

     So how do you know if you are depressed? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following: fatigue, isolation, insomnia or excessive sleeping, irritability, overeating or appetite loss, persistent sad or anxious feelings, difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, and thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts. If you have any of these symptoms and/or are feeling this way, you are not alone and there is a solution. Once you have become aware of your behaviors and feelings, the next best step is to talk to somebody about it, even when you don’t want to. When depression is telling you to isolate, reach out to somebody you trust instead and a little bit of that depression will fade away within the light of exposure.



     This illness unfortunately is not something that can be healed overnight, living with it takes time, practice and patience. Seek a professional therapist or join a support group to help learn how to cope with depression one day at a time. Some basic techniques to help lower your stress levels are to exercise and eat healthy, journal your thoughts and feelings, go for a walk outside in nature, take a warm bath, read a book, find a new hobby, volunteer or help someone. I find that the best solution for getting out of my own skin is to perform a selfless act and help somebody else in need. By performing a generous action I feel better about myself and that I accomplished something, and found a purpose even if it was just for that moment.

     Anybody who is struggling with depression can find their purpose too, just remember you are not alone and there is hope. Awareness of your thoughts and feelings is a key point, and talking to somebody about it is imperative, and then you will be ready to take the necessary steps to pursuing your so longed freedom and happiness.

Resources:

-     www.everydayhealth.com

-     www.webmd.com

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