How to cope with depression

Depression is a common mental disorder that can happen to anyone. An estimated 3.8% of the general population experience depression but people who have lived through abuse, severe losses, or other stressful events are more likely to develop depression. It is 50% more common in women than men. It can affect all aspects of life and may even take life via suicide. If you are suffering, we have some tips to cope with depression

Stay in touch: You might feel like not talking to anyone but don’t withdraw from life. Socializing can improve your mood. Keeping in touch with friends and family members whom you think can understand you is one way to cope.

Be more active: Yes, depression can suck all energy out of you but try taking up some form of exercise. There’s a good number of evidence that exercise can help lift your mood. If you think you can’t start gently by walking for 20 minutes every day.

Face your fears: Avoidance is one way depressed people cope. Depressed people avoid talking to other people become anxious and lose their confidence even while going out, driving, going to work, or traveling. If this starts to happen, facing up to these situations will help them become easier over time.

Avoid alcohol or other substance of abuse: People may start drinking or drink more than usual as a way of coping with or hiding their emotions, or just to fill time. But alcohol won’t help in problem solving and it could further worsen depression. The same is the case with other drugs.

Eat a healthy diet: Change of appetite (under/over-eating) is a common symptom of depression. Even the antidepressant medications can change the appetite. Hence try eating a healthy diet regularly with enough hydration.

Have a routine: Depression can create havoc in the routine of individuals throughout the day. Not having a routine can affect other biological functions. It can lead to poor sleep patterns and altered eating habits. It is important to get up at normal times and stick to routine as much as possible. Follow principles of sleep hygiene.

Seek help for depression: If you are feeling down or depressed for a couple of weeks seek help Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It is important to assess and diagnose if you have clinical depression. If yes, the treatments for depression include talking therapies (like CBT) and antidepressants.

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