Depression is a debilitating condition with symptoms that may include feelings of hopelessness and despair, extreme fatigue and lack of interest in doing anything. People with depression feel drained and often lack the motivation to do anything about their condition. However, no matter what the cause or symptoms, most cases of depression can be treated. The trick is to find the right depression treatment for your particular symptoms.
If you have been depressed for a while, a doctor may have suggested that you try antidepressants. Prescription medications can be part of an overall treatment plan for moderate to severe depression, but it is not the only solution. Especially in cases of mild depression, there are many other things that can alleviate the symptoms, and you might want to try these before using prescription drugs. Here are some suggestions.
Don't go it alone
Positive energy is contagious, so if you are depressed, find positive people to support you. You may find that you naturally attract or are attracted to people who feel more negative, which will only cause your own depressed feelings to grow stronger. When you are depressed, you need to find positive people to challenge the negative mindset that keeps depression going strong. This does not mean you should completely reject friends or family members who may also have feelings of depression. After all, you wouldn't want them to reject you. Just be sure to seek out others who can help lift your mood and challenge you to fight your depression.
Take care of your health
There is no doubt that the body and mind are one. If you are not well physically, you will not feel well emotionally either. On the other hand, it's much harder to feel depressed when your body is in top condition and your energy is strong. One of the best antidotes to depression is regular exercise. Exercise works because it releases chemicals that make you feel good. These chemicals are called endorphins. Exercise also helps to improve the flow of oxygen through your bloodstream, which increases energy.
Another way to stay healthy is to eat well. A diet that is based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains will keep your energy stable, while eating processed foods and foods that are loaded with sugar will send you on a roller coaster of ups and downs that can end up being exhausting. Also be sure to get some exposure to natural sunlight every day. It will probably not surprise you that people who spend more time outdoors are often less depressed. Light therapy in the form of a commercial light box can also be used effectively in the treatment of depression.
If you are depressed, you probably don't feel very good about yourself. One way to turn this around is to help others. Whether you do volunteer work or just spend time with a friend who is alone, helping others can be an important part of treatment for depression. When you spend time with other people, especially people in need, you see that everyone struggles with problems. Focusing on the problems of others can be a welcomed distraction from your own problems and depression.
Do things you enjoy
Obviously it's hard to be depressed when you're having fun! However, if you suffer from chronic depression, you may avoid doing enjoyable things because one of the symptoms of depression is lack of motivation. Overcoming depression can also become so much the focus of your attention that you approach life with a sense of intensity and the idea that you must work harder to meet your daily responsibilities. This leaves little time for joy. Making time for fun is crucial if you want to overcome depression. Even if you don't "feel like" doing anything, do something anyway. Take a bike ride around the park, play a game or join a friend for a movie. In short, make fun part of your routine. Before you know it, you'll look forward to these enjoyable activities and you will begin to notice that you are having more fun with life than you thought!