It’s normal to feel a little down from time to time. However, when feelings of hopelessness and despair get a hold of you, and you just can’t shake them off, it may be a sign that you’re suffering with depression. Such feelings can make it difficult to function normally and enjoy life as you did before. Trying to get through the day can be overwhelming. The good news is that depression can be treated and it’s possible to get better. However, you need to recognize the symptoms and understand the underlying cause before you take the first steps to feeling better.
Coping with Depression
It might feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but there are things you can do to make yourself feel better. If you have a drug or alcohol abuse problem the best place to start is to seek drug detox services. A few small steps at a time are the best way to help yourself. Do a little more every day, and you’ll get there.
Feelings of depression often lead to people isolating themselves from others, so it’s vital you reach out to friends and loved ones.
The Most Common Symptoms of Depression
Depression is something that can vary from person to person. However, there are some common symptoms and signs. Some of the following symptoms can be part of the usual lows of life, but if you’re suffering with more than a few of them, it can be a sign of depression.
- Feeling helpless and hopeless – when you feel all is lost, nothing will ever improve, and there’s nothing you can do to make things better.
- Significant weight loss or gain – anything more than around 5% of body weight in a month.
- Loss of interest – you don’t want to do any of the things you used to do including hobbies and social activities.
- Sleep problems – this could be problems with getting to sleep, waking in the early morning, oversleeping or insomnia.
- Bad moods – we all get them from time to time, but you’re feeling agitated, restless or violent it can be a sign of something more serious.
- Lack of energy – feeling tired and sluggish all the time and both mentally and physically drained.
- Recklessness – you’re trying to escape from your problems by taking drugs, reckless driving, compulsive gambling or dangerous sports.
- Feelings of worthlessness – you over-criticize yourself, feel guilty and worthless.
Getting out of bed might be a struggle in the morning but make yourself do it and include exercise in your day. Not only will it make you feel more positive about yourself, but it will also improve your sleep patterns.
Eating healthily is also going to aid in your recovery. Foods such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar, refined carbs and trans fats can adversely affect your mood. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are full of mood-enhancing nutrients. The final thing you can do to help you cope with your depression is to seek help from a mental health professional. There are a wide range of treatments available including therapy and medication.