How to Deal With Depression by Yourself

2739

DepressedMore and more people are taking medication for depression these days. Is it because there are more things to cause depression or because we are not teaching our children good coping skills? Either way, it is a subject that needs to be dealt with. But how to deal with depression by yourself?

The first step to finding a solution to any problem is recognizing what the problem is. In this case, you want to try and figure out why you feel depressed. Learn how to recognize the warning signs of depression, which can be emotional as well as physical.

 

10 Signs of Depression

  1. Continuous anxiety, sadness or overall empty feeling.
  2. Hopeless or pessimistic feelings.
  3. Feeling unworthy, helpless or guilt.
  4. Losing interest in an activity or hobby you once enjoyed – sex included.
  5. Lower energy, feeling fatigued or, like you’re moving in slow motion.
  6. Trouble with concentration, memory or decision making.
  7. Trouble staying asleep, waking early or sleeping longer than usual.
  8. Loss of weight or appetite or increased appetite and weight gain.
  9. Contemplating death or suicide or attempting suicide.
  10. Feeling restless or irritable.

everyone is differentEveryone is different so it also helps to recognize what is normal for you. Some will also experience physical symptoms which are not responding to treatment like digestive issues, constant pain or headaches.

Clinical depression, sometimes referred to as major depression, would maintain symptoms consistently for two weeks or better. This would also be a change from the normal routine or behavior for that person.

Men and women experience depression in different ways. Here are some of those differences:

Women Men
Blame themselves Blame others
Feel sad, unemotional and worthless Feel angry, irritable and inflated ego
Feel anxious and scared Feel suspicious and guarded
Avoid conflicts at all costs Create conflicts
Feel slowed down and nervous Feel restless and agitated
Have trouble setting boundaries Need to feel in control at all times
Find it easy to talk about self-doubt and despair Finds it weak to admit self-doubt or despair
Use food, friends and love to self-medicate Use alcohol , TV, sports and sex to self-medicate
From: Male Menopause by Jed Diamond

 

Causes of Depression in Women

Depression factorsDepression is found in countries across the world and is twice as likely to happen to women as men, no matter the race, ethnicity or economic status. There are many factors that contribute to depression in women.

 

Biological/hormonal:

  • premenstrual
  • pregnancy/infertility
  • postpartum
  • perimenopause/menopause
  • health problems.

Psychological:

  • Focus and rehash of negative feelings and events
  • Stress at home, school or work
  • Body/self image issues

Social:

  • Marriage/relationship problems
  • Family responsibility
  • Discrimination at work
  • Feeling like not living up to goals or potential
  • Losing or changing jobs
  • Constant money problems
  • Death of someone close leaving a feeling of being isolated and/or alone

How to Deal With Depression by Yourself

first stepNow you have examined your feelings and believe yourself to be depressed. How do you deal with it? It requires action which can be difficult when you are feeling this way. Difficult but NOT impossible. Start small, don’t try and tackle everything at once. Small steps after small steps can bring about recovery. Take one day at a time and if necessary one hour at a time.

One day melts into the next when you are depressed so it’s important to have and keep a daily routine. Set small daily goals for yourself. First on your list should be your mindset. Being negative only makes a difficult situation more difficult.

cactusYou may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it!

 

The next item on your list should be to remove as much negativity from your life as possible. This includes negative people. You know who I’m talking about. Those friends or relatives who have their own ideas of how you should live or where you should be in life.

Some people who have achieved their own definition of success believe everyone can copy and achieve the same results. Seeing as we are all different, this is just not possible. So stop trying to live up to other people’s expectations and ideals and discover your own for yourself.

I recommend going to your local Dollar Store and picking up a couple of notebooks. On the first page or pages make a couple of lists. The first list will be of things that you ARE doing but you get no joy from. The second list will be of things which you do enjoy and wish to do more of. Possibly make a third list and write down some things you have never done but think you would like to try.

Daily-JournalIn the rest of the pages jot down ideas related to your joy lists. Something you read in a magazine, online or heard someone mention and thought, that sounds like fun.

In your other notebook start a daily journal. Write down your thoughts and details from your day. This will help you see what you are doing and how it made you feel. Get one small enough to carry with you where ever you go if need be.

I am not a doctor and am no expert but I can tell you things which help me through those down times. These steps have also led to me having a happier life in general. Things don’t have to be perfect in your life in order to  experience joy in your life.

In my next post I will give you more tips for bringing yourself out of the darkness as well as some natural ways to help with depression.

Do you experience depression? Have some great tips you use to get through your day? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

14 COMMENTS

  1. It’s a tough one, dealing with depression by yourself. People talk about support systems, but that’s not always an option for some. A well written and insightful article, I look forward to your next one. 🙂

    • Hi Kathy,
      It is tough. There are many things one can do to make it a bit more bearable. I will cover some natural remedies in my next article.
      Angela

  2. Clinical depression is certainly a controversial subject to some extent. For example, you hear about famous people battling bouts of depression and people will say”They are filthy rich, what do they have to be depressed about?” Those thoughts have crossed my mind as well.

    I tend to think that some people are genetically predisposed to be depressed and would suffer from it regardless of their financial status. I was broke most of my adult life, yet I am the opposite of depressed. I don’t get upset even when I probably should! I keep myself optimistic and I find humor in EVERYTHING (well, almost everything) Is that genetic or just a choice on my part? I have no idea.

    Steve

    • Hi Steve,
      I’ll be honest, I have had those same thoughts. It’s hard to believe sometimes that people who seem to have it all could be sad about anything. You may be right about predisposition as I have seen multiple family members suffer at some degree.
      I also have always tried to put a positive light on bad situations. We all go through bad times but why make yourself even more miserable by having a bad attitude. Optimism and humor are good things. Good for you.
      Angela

  3. Great article! I feel fortunate that I have not had to deal with depression in myself but have seen the devestation it has caused in others lives. It is very refreshing to see people talking about it in a positive light. For far too long people have made it a taboo topic.

    • Hi Nicole,
      Yes, it needs to be brought into the light. If more people were talking about it maybe there would be more understanding.
      Angela

  4. Hi Angela, after looking at those male symptoms they completely summed up all that was going on with me at what I call my lowest point which was about 7 years ago.

    These are great self help tips. Theres not enough emphasis in promoting good mental health these days, people just like to point the finger and call people mad. I wish you the very best in promoting your message.

    • Hi Jason,
      I agree that we need to have more emphasis on good mental health. We should be teaching our kids good coping skills instead of letting them think they have to win and excel at everything.
      Angela

  5. It’s interesting how the symptoms of depression are the polar opposite for each gender… I have certainly seen both in action. I sometimes wonder if the fact that we are the only creatures who are aware of our own demise is the root of depression in some folks… a deep seeded ‘death anxiety’.

    • Interesting thought Steve and you may have a point. I have heard of people having a “death anxiety”. Although it is not something I fear, I suppose I could see how someone might fear it.
      Thanks,
      Angela

  6. Good advice Angela. In society today we tend to turn too quickly to someone else to fix our problems. I know that there are cases where prescription drugs, counseling, etc may be needed, but there are many things we can do on our own to change our outlook on life. These are all good things that can be helpful even when seeing a professional for help with depression. Looking forward to hearing more.
    Thanks.

    • I agree Debby. I think many in our society today are too used to the “quick fixes” and forget that everything we need is inside us. There are cases where medication and therapy are needed as you said, but there is so much we can do for ourselves.
      Thanks,
      Angela

  7. Great article Angela!
    Depression indeed does occur differently for everyone so it’s important to be aware of the exact symptoms one is dealing with. I agree with Steve about the gender divide with depression, but I guess it’s an unwritten caveat that those differences are generic. I can’t say I’ve suffered depression (altho I have battled low self-esteem for many years), but I really like the practical advice that you have provided. I would be happy to share this with people I know who are depressed or if I ever suffer diagnosed depression, I know where to turn.
    Cheers
    Jeremy

    • Hi Jeremy,
      I believe we should always look for ways to make ourselves better first, before turning to medication. Although I do understand that medication and therapy are necessary sometimes. I just don’t think it should be the first option.
      Thanks,
      Angela

LEAVE A REPLY

*