Depression Self Help – Part 2
We highly recommend reading our Self help Islam and Anxiety article first as this is a continuation
Anxiety and depression are two mental conditions that are often taken lightly but can be quite serious. Although they are not life-threatening, they can actually ruin a person’s life if not dealt with the right away. If you think that you have any of these two conditions and would want to know how to cope with anxiety and depression, then you may use some of the tips given above. If your condition gets out of hand, then don’t be afraid to seek medical help right away.
It’s always better to find a cure while it is still early so that it doesn’t fully take over.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression would also fall into four categories just like anxiety.
- For physical symptoms, you’d have poor concentration and memory, inability to eat, fatigue, and oversleeping.
- For the thoughts, you’d often think that no one likes you, that you’re a failure, and that things won’t ever change.
- For emotional symptoms, you’d feel upset, sad, irritable, lonely, and miserable. You’d also feel empty inside and unmotivated.
- Lastly, you’ll have behavioral symptoms such as wanting to be alone all the time, wanting to sleep all the time, stopping all your activities, and isolating yourself.
Self-Help Tips for Depression
As anxiety and depression are often linked together, some of the mental self-help tips for anxiety, such as learning how to control negative thoughts and improve problem-solving can be used for depression as well. Some extra tips would be to:
- Understanding Depression
Just like in anxiety, you also need to understand depression to know what you’re up against. In a nutshell, depression is an extreme form of feeling down in the dumps or feeling low. Because of this low and draggy feeling, other feelings and behaviors start to spring out as well. Depression also relates to self perception wherein your feelings of sadness turns into a negative self-view.
- Learning How to Be More Proactive
When we get depressed, we often are unmotivated to do anything at all because of the low and draggy feeling. With this type of draggy feeling, we would often stop doing things and lessen productivity. With this type of situation, one of the things that we can do would be to force ourselves to do something. After all, the best motivation is from within our thoughts.
One technique is to keep a diary of activities. You must make it your goal to ensure that all your activities are met. Some may include socializing, exercising, getting a hobby, or getting to bed on time. Just make sure you have your checklist and follow it.
- Learning to Notice Your Own Good Qualities
This may be hard for a person with depression because depression often makes us only remember the bad things about ourselves. However, with enough practice, noticing our good qualities can become a regular habit.
To make it a habit, it’s good to jot down those good qualities everyday. Some of the things that you can write down would be:
- Your achievements
- Your good qualities according to your loved ones
- Things you’re good at
- Things you’ve helped people with
- Compliments people give you
- Things you can do without effort
Also, it helps by backing all of these with evidence that all you’ve written is true. For example, you can write that you’re a fast and efficient employee. Your evidence would be because your boss told you so. Write at least one of each everyday until it becomes a habit.
- Eating the Right Foods
Eating can also help us in fighting off depression. There are certain foods that are actually mood enhancing and may elevate symptoms. Salmon and tuna are seen to have omega-3 fatty acids that can help in stabilizing our mood. Also, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and chicken are good for our moods since they contain folic acid.
Also, we should never skip a meal because going hungry may just worsen the effects of the depression.
- Reaching Out to Your Loved Ones
Lastly, it’s always good to reach out to our loved ones. One of the characteristics of depression is that it makes us feel alone. Having loved ones who are there to support us and just be there for us makes a big difference.
Speaking to a counsellor is an effective way of overcoming depression