Beating Depression

Today people are beating depression.  There was a time when people lived with the debilitating effects of depression because there wasn't any hope of recovery.  How people become depressed hasn't changed, but the outcome has changed.  Negative thoughts regarding relationships, career, health, and personal issues are considered harmful for our mental health. Thinking of bad situations beforehand is also regarded as unnecessary, since the person's way of thinking affects his or her outlook in life. These ruminating negative thoughts can cause a pessimistic way of thinking that could seriously affect a person's otherwise healthy way of living.         

By consistently thinking and feeling down, a person might be already experiencing depression. A person dealing with this condition may also feel irritable for no apparent cause, together with lack of energy and concentration. Depression is not a one-time event. If a person has experienced depression at some time in his/her life, the chances of a recurrence are high. Some people exhibit depression in various ways. Symptoms of such can be the following: consistent feelings of sadness, tension, and irritability; change in appetite with considerable gain or loss of weight; restlessness; change in sleeping patterns; decrease in pleasure of doing usual hobbies and interests; lack of decision making skills; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness; and thoughts of suicide and death.                     

People suffering from this kind of feeling may not seek help from other people, even from their own family members. Depression is believed to be a mental health issue that affects many people, and treating it would be very critical since it affects not just the sufferer, but everyone and everything in their lives. Other people dealing with depression sometimes attempt to harm themselves convinced that these negative feelings will never end. This is why everyone should be aware of the symptoms of depression and know that it is treatable.  We now know that many people live in recovery.

Depression results from a number of factors, depending on the person and his/her surroundings. Family history plays a vital role in having this mental health issue. Another factor triggering it can be trauma and stressful situations.  Death, financial problems, relationship breakups, and changes in your life (be it a new job, school graduation, or getting married) can contribute to feeling depressed. Some people also possess the trait of pessimism, where they usually have a negative outlook on life or having low self esteem. Physical health conditions also cause depression. Serious illnesses including cancer, HIV, or heart disease can trigger depressive thoughts since these health conditions make a person feel stressed.  By feeling depressed, these medical conditions might make things even worse than they already are. Other psychological disorders including anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and particularly substance abuse can easily make a person feel depressed.

"I had a black dog, his name was depression" is a video by The World Health Organization about depression:

Being depressed can really make people feel bad, inside and out. But by taking the first step, which is to get proper treatment, depression can deliberately be healed. There are several medications specifically designed for the treatment of depression. Another way to take away feelings of depression is through psychotherapy.  By expressing feelings and sharing it with a therapist, depression can be eased. Types of psychotherapy includes the cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps in identifying thought and behavior patterns related to feeling depressed. Interpersonal therapy, on the other hand, deals with the connection of depression and troubled relationships.  A longer therapy process would be the psycho-dynamic therapy, which links depression to certain events and conflicts that a person has experienced especially during childhood.  Group therapy is more an interaction with other people who are depressed, sharing experiences with the therapist and group members to find solutions to problems.

Self-help is another way to deal with depression and work toward recovery and healing.  There are many self-help group meetings that people can attend to get support, share information and find ways to help themselves.  Most important is finding out that no one is alone and that other people are living with depression too.  The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has support groups that meet in cities around the country.  DBSA not only has in-person support groups, but on-line support groups too.  If you think you have depression or you have been diagnosed with it, you can go to their website to find a support group in your community or online.  They also have stories of recovery that you can read which will give you hope that you can get better too.  You can sign up for their newsletter too.

Another excellent tool is WRAP—Wellness Recovery Action Plan.  Many people around the world use WRAP as their recovery tool.  It’s your plan on what works for you.  I know that many of you reading this post use WRAP or know of someone who uses it.  If you haven’t developed a WRAP the best time to start is now.  You can contact the Copeland Center to find out about WRAP and where you can attend training in your area.  If you have peer support services in your area talk with someone who is a peer who can direct you to an upcoming WRAP training.

What is really important for you to know is that you can overcome depression.  You can have a life of wellness when you take the steps necessary to help yourself—seek treatment and find a support group.  You will find that life is really worth living when you take advantage of the resources available to you in your community.

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