Help with your Depression?

Depression has one major characteristic that you need to be aware of when thinking about what you can do to defeat it. It can feed on itself. In other words, you get depressed and then you get more depressed about being depressed. Negative thoughts become automatic and are difficult for you to challenge. Being in a state of depression can then, itself, become a bigger problem than the difficulties that caused it in the first place. You need to break the hold that the depression has on you. An important thing to remember is that there are no instant solutions to problems in life. Solving problems involves time, energy and work. When you are feeling depressed, you may well not be feeling energetic or motivated to work. But if you are able to take an active part in your treatment, it should help your situation.

Fighting negative attitudes
Try to recognise the pattern of negative thinking when you are doing it, and replace it with a more constructive activity. Look for things to do that occupy your mind.

Activity is good for the mind
Although you may not feel like it, it’s very therapeutic to take part in physical activities, for 20 minutes a day. Playing sports, running, dancing, cycling, and even brisk walking can stimulate chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which can help you to feel better.

Caring for yourself
You need to do things that will improve the way you feel about yourself. Allow yourself positive experiences and treats that reinforce the idea that you deserve good things. Pay attention to your personal appearance. Set yourself goals that you can achieve and that will give you a sense of satisfaction.

Healthily eating patterns
Oily fish, in particular, may help alleviate depression. Don’t abuse your body with tobacco, alcohol or other drugs, which make it worse.

Alternative and complementary therapies
Practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine concern themselves with the person as a whole, and don't merely treat their symptoms. They can take more time with you than your medical doctor can. Practitioners may offer treatments such as acupuncture, massage, homeopathy and herbal medicine that many people with depression have found helpful. But if you are already taking other medication, it may not be safe to combine them. Consult your pharmacist or doctor for more information.

Self-help groups
It can be a great relief to meet and share experiences with other people who are going through the same thing you are. It can break down feelings of isolation and, at the same time, show you how other people have coped. Finding that you can support others can help you, too. These groups are often led by people who have overcome depression themselves. For help in locating local self-help groups, call mental health/counseling centre near you.

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