Depression is a very serious mental illness, albeit a very common one. It is also one of those things that can vary in severity quite a lot from person to person, and what might be depression for you could be something else entirely for someone else. But whether you have the occasional depressive bout, or you have been diagnosed with major depression in a chronic sense, there are always management techniques that you can take on board – and there might even be hope to overcoming depression forever, even in quite extreme cases.
In this article, we are going to go through some of the most important and major treatments and management techniques for depression. These will range from little everyday things that an individual can do to improve their depression, to long-term treatments that might be recommended for someone with chronic depression. Hopefully, there will be something for you here, and you will be able to come away from it with a better idea of how to manage your own depression more effectively.
In a sense, depression can be thought of as the opposite of hope. In the midst of a terrible depressive episode, you can find yourself feeling that there is not any hope to be found in the world and that anything that looks like it is simply fraudulent. But the truth is that there is always the possibility for hope, as long as you know how to look for it, and this is something that you are definitely going to want to think about if you are trying to overcome your own depression. Just reminding yourself that there is hope is an important first step for most people in getting through their depression.
If you are struggling with that, you might need other treatment first. But it is worth reminding yourself once a day that you can find hope, and that it is perfectly possible to overcome any difficulties you might have in life, including extreme depression, even when it doesn’t actually feel like it.
The more physically well you are in general, the easier it is to keep your depression at bay and to make it more manageable. Of course, there is a vicious cycle here, which is that when you are depressed it is hard, and might even feel impossible, to be able to do all the things that you know you should do in order to be physically fit and healthy. You know that you should exercise, but you can’t think of how you can possibly put one foot in front of the other to do so. You know you should eat better, but you wonder what the point of that would really be.
Fortunately, even when you are feeling like this, it is perfectly possible to overcome it in time. It’s all about taking tiny steps, rewarding yourself for doing so each time, and gradually getting out of the situation in this way. If you are trying to go for a run once a week, just break it down into individual movements – as small as putting on your running shoes and then seeing how you feel. Over time, you can build up, until you are eventually getting up and running every morning – and you will feel better and happier as you do so.
Because physical wellbeing is so vital for feeling better mentally, this is a really worthwhile endeavour. But try not to beat yourself up if you fail at it at first – this is only going to get in the way of recovery and create more depression.
With an ability to be mindful of what is really going on in your head all the time, you should find that you are going to be able to redirect your thoughts wherever necessary, and that can prove to be a powerful tool indeed. You might also find that it empowers you to see that your depressive thoughts are really just empty, they don’t need to be believed, and most importantly of all, they are just thoughts, and not who you really are. Developing mindfulness is one of the greatest things you can do to generally improve your ability to cope with depression.
To do this, you will need to try and do it every day, for at least ten minutes. If you just do that for a week, with a daily meditation session, you are already going to notice a difference. It is helpful to have some other help at the same time, just in case increasing your mindfulness actually throws up some issues for you at first. Make no mistake, however: in the long run, mindfulness will increase your ability to deal with whatever comes up in your mind, and whatever you might feel in your body.
Seek Medical Treatment
Some people have depression which is so advanced that they are really going to need medical treatment of some kind or another. If you have tried everything and you are still quite sure you need this kind of help, then you should of course speak to your doctor as soon as possible. You might be surprised at the hugely varied number of ways in which they can help you in overcoming depression, and what kinds of treatment there are out there to consider. That might include therapy, medication, ketamine treatment, antidepressants of all kinds, and much more. It’s worth giving it a go, as something is bound to work for you.
Rewire Your Brain
It is actually perfectly possible to rewire your brain. Not only is it possible, in fact, but you do it all the time. Our brains have this ability to be ‘plastic’, meaning that they can change rapidly and profoundly from very little input. This is how we learn anything, and it is actually the case that your brain can be rewired in pretty much any way that you like. If you are seeking to rewire your brain so that you are less depressed, the way to do that is to start questioning the depressing thoughts that arise. Interrogate them, ask if they are true, really get at them in this way, and watch as they fall apart.
The less energy you give to those thoughts, the less likely they are to reappear. So if you can redirect your mind when those thoughts come up, over time you are going to find that better, less depressed thoughts appear. If this sounds like magic, rest assured that it is perfectly possible, and many people have done it before you – and you can do it too. It requires patience, but it works.
Spending time with other people is one of the quickest and fullest remedies for overcoming depression. Of course, it is not always easy to do. But you should bear in mind that the more you spend time with people, the better off you will be. You are going to find it a lot easier to beat depression if you have a lot of people around you rooting for you, and just knowing that their support is there is often one of the most important things of all in all of this. So make sure that you are trying to lead a sociable life still in whatever way you can manage to. It is going to make all the difference in the world to how you feel.
If you do all that, you are going to find that depression can be overcome, and life can get sweeter.