Depression is a growing concern in India today. With over 43% of Indians suffering from it at some point in their lives, it has prioritized treatment. Earlier, people were not aware of how to deal with it.
That is not the case today. From simple lifestyle changes to sophisticated help from a psychiatric hospital, there are several ways to address this issue. Beginning with lifestyle modifications, they are simple yet impactful. Some of the lifestyle changes that help with depression are:
Exercise is an integral step in dealing with mental health. It is a well-known fact that only a sound body can house a sound mind. But many do not understand the psychological and physiological reasons behind it.
Exercise helps in improving metabolism and enhances the production of certain hormones that reduce stress levels. Hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins elevate the mood naturally and are regarded as natural-painkillers.
It stimulates brain cell growth and nurtures neural connections similar to antidepressants. Even a simple 30 minutes walk can do a lot of good. Aim for consistency over quantity.
Social interactions help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. Keep in touch with family and friends regularly. Consider joining clubs/discussion groups when one can indulge in fun activities and conversations. Volunteering is another helpful way to engage with others and help oneself.
Nourish With Nutrition:
Eating well is a non-negotiable part of maintaining mental well-being. It nurtures both-mental and physical health. Eat well-balanced meals spread throughout the day. It will sustain energy levels and reduce mood swings. Avoid sugary foods and replace them with healthy fruits and veggies.
Sleep Off Stress:
Sleep has a significant effect on mood. When a person does not get enough sleep, symptoms of depression will worsen. Lack of sleep exacerbates conditions of moodiness, irritability, and fatigue. Try to get at least anywhere between 5-8 hours of sleep every day.
Make adequate changes to lifestyle and routine to manage stress efficiently. Packing in too much stress into daily living worsens depressive episodes. Consider what aspects add to anxiety. It may be an increased workload, toxic relationships, etc. Find ways to reduce their influence or impact.
If all these lifestyle changes have not helped to deal with depression, one should consult a trained professional. A Psychiatric hospital can provide proper medical diagnosis and treatment to alleviate the symptoms. Undergo a medical check-up and consult with a psychiatrist or therapist.
The nature of depression is different, so if there are underlying medical reasons, lifestyle changes may not help. Only doctors can suggest the necessary treatment and the right medication.
Some cases of depression are also caused as a side effect of taking medication for other illnesses. The doctor will check for drug interactions and take appropriate measures to deal with them.
Psychotherapy To The Rescue:
In the event of no underlying medical causes or drug interactions, therapy can be helpful in a significant way. It can be insightful and provide invaluable skills to feel better. It also helps to prevent the recurrence of depression.
Among the many kinds of therapy available, the most common ones are:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
The fourth is a blend of all the approaches, which is often the preferred mode. Some of the techniques of therapy even include skills for handling negative thinking and how to reframe them.
It is also centered on getting to the root cause of depression and understanding the triggers and nature of depression.
The Big Picture:
Feeling overwhelmed is a marked characteristic of depression. Therapy helps in taking a step back. And re-assessing one’s life choices and consider what changes one needs to make. It often involves focusing on the big-picture.’ Some elements of the big-picture include:
- Relationships: Understanding relationships is vital to maintain, re-build or sustain them. It will reduce feelings of isolation, prevent depression and loneliness.
- Setting boundaries: Stress is more often than not caused by biting off more than one can chew. So, set healthy boundaries/limits within relationships and in the workplace. Therapy helps identify these boundaries that will be right for an individual.
- Dealing with everyday problems: Life is a bed of roses, said no one. It is a series of events that could either result in one being stressed or happy. Talking with a therapist helps get reliable feedback on how to handle these events positively and come out feeling stronger.
Getting help at the right time is as vital as getting the appropriate treatment. Seek help before the condition worsens and deal with depression effectively. From choosing the right therapist to practical lifestyle modifications, these changes can help on the journey to recovery.
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