In Australia, there are currently over 1 million people suffering from depression each year. While the mental illness is different for each person individually, some common symptoms include changes in behaviour (withdrawing from society); retaining the thoughts of self-failure; a loss of physical endurance or energy and frequent changes in mood, including sadness, irritability and feeling overwhelmed. The hardest part of depression isn’t being diagnosed, it’s learning to accept the absence of life optimism, and still accepting the challenge of overcoming it. There is no ‘quick-fix’ to rid yourself of depression, but if you start small and build the fight a little every day, it will be easier to see the light and become positive.
Many people suffering depression have low energy and low enthusiasm to fight the disease. There are some small steps that can be taken to build up your self-confidence and help you fight – and win!
1. Connect with people
Isolation is a common reaction of depression. You may feel that people don’t understand you or you may even feel guilty about your withdrawal. Telling a loved one how you feel can be extremely difficult, but to recover from depression a strong support network is vital.
2. Do things that make you happy
Whether it is a relaxing exercise or a vigorous routine of energy, taking time out every day to do something you enjoy will allow you to manage stress and social withdrawal better. If it doesn’t feel fun, don’t force it, but it’s important to keep pushing yourself. Gradually the energy for doing the things you enjoy will slowly seep back.
3. Celebrate the sun
Vitamin D deficiency is prominent in those suffering from depression. You don’t need to sun-bake for hours – a simple coffee in a park for at least 20 minutes per day will heighten your mood.
4. Get moving
Exercise naturally releases endorphins in the body. By exercising regularly, you won’t feel sluggish or as run down.
5. Train your brain
Your brain is a powerful tool and simply asking it not to feel anxious, stressed or isolated will not work. Depression turns everything dark and you need to teach your brain to see light again. Brush up on the negative ways of thinking (e.g. overgeneralisation) and learn to identify when you are letting the depression run your thoughts. If you can acknowledge that it is happening, it is easier to turn around.
Depression is a serious illness and sufferers should always consult a healthcare professional if their life is turning dark. The WHO World Health Day on April 7, 2017 focused on depression awareness and treatment, which has spread the word that depression needs to be recognised and treated and that there is no shame in that.
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533 Blackburn Road, Mt Waverley
03 8545 9955
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